The industrial revolution was a process of technological, economic and cultural transformation that changed the structure of society, moving from a rural economy based on agriculture and trade to an urban economy based on industrialization and mechanization. The beginning is located in 1760 around the steam engine and the textile sector of England and Scotland, but it took more than half a century to become aware that this was a structural change and it was not called industrial revolution until 1820, in France. Changing a model of society is a process that takes place over decades and it is difficult for the first generations of this change to be fully aware of what is happening or to anticipate its consequences.

Today, we are clearly living through a transition, once again, marked by technology, and in the same way that at the time we electrified our cities, businesses and homes, we are now digitizing them. Once again humanity is experiencing a process of economic, cultural and technological transformation that will give rise to a new model of society. The digital fact transforms education, commerce, mobility, leisure, politics, the economy, culture.

Everything is happening at a dizzying pace, but the truth is that this process began decades ago and will continue to develop for decades, because inevitably changing the structure of a society is always a task that affects more than one generation and , as always, it is difficult for us to anticipate what the resulting model will be.

More than two hundred years of industrial paradigm have accustomed us to work with methods and procedures oriented towards efficiency and quality. We have been consolidating processes and routines, metrics and indicators, control and evaluation systems. Industrialization is this, embracing mechanization and procedure while abandoning craftsmanship and improvisation. There is a procedure to do an administrative procedure, whatever window you are in. All the mathematics teachers at the same institute apply the same syllabus. All Seat cars are assembled in the same way, regardless of shift and operator changes.

The industrial paradigm values ‚Äč‚Äčorder and stability, and if someone wants to introduce changes, they must guarantee that the result will be solid and better. After decades with this logic, today we have so many procedures that it is very difficult to make changes. So much so that innovation management is the big topic in business schools and the key to business competitiveness.

But it’s time to make changes. We are children of the industrial society and parents of the digital one, and it is up to us to accompany the end of one and the progressive start-up of the other. Keeping an eye on the pace, because industrial is no longer useful for everything, but digital is still not useful for everything. Despite the breakneck speed of the moment, this is a process of structural change that will occupy us for decades.

In other words, no matter what our current age is, we can say that we will live the rest of our professional life in a context of change that is not only permanent but also structural. It doesn’t matter if our work is in health, teaching, automotive, press, insurance or a fashion store. There will be changes. In the digital paradigm, we don’t know what banks, universities, political parties or music concerts will look like, but they know they will be very different. Those who resist change will suffer. And whoever needs to know where we’re going before setting off, won’t be able to start.

The key is to understand that our entire professional life will consist of knowing how to accompany the changes, which will be the preamble to other changes, because not one but different iterations will be needed until the new models for a digital society stabilize within a certain maturity

Digitization is a process that started decades ago, and still has decades of development to do. It started in the 20th century and we are already in the third decade of the 21st century. It is not something that can be managed with the unbearable short-termism of politicians unable to look beyond four years and managers focused on the result of the quarter. The digital challenge is not a sprint but an endurance race, and we need to regain perspective: everything is moving very quickly, but it will not be fast.