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Review of my new book “Breezing Thru DX”

Tomoyasu Hirano, a friend of mine who lives in Hawaii, has written a review of my new book, “Breezing Thru DX”!
“A future in which we transform ourselves digitally, bring our strengths together, and connect with one another” (June 14th, 2021)

 

This book is a dialog between Naoki Sakai, a concept creator, and Atsushi Fukuda, a brand consultant, that reads like a transcript of a wonderful standing conversation (in my mind) between two people on what digital transformation is all about from all 360 degrees. Actually, I’m not sure if they were standing when they did this (perhaps they were sitting down and doing this remotely?). In any case, this book gives us a chance to eavesdrop on a conversation between two people who are on the cutting edge of business discussing a subject that is of great interest today. What an amazing opportunity! We can access a wealth of information using the QR codes in the book and learn more about their individual perspectives. But, perhaps, we shouldn’t make that our goal. The point, rather, should be for us to be part of their dialog, listen to what they have to say, and make it a three-way conversation.

Why is that so? Fukuda’s main message in the book is that “the individual needs to transform themself digitally in the first place.” He points out that we need to digitally transform the way we perceive ourselves, the way we organize information, as well as the way we live and interact with others. If we can do that, our business will thrive, and we can lead an enjoyable life.

In some sense, the point of this book is not to serve as a repository of information. It is an invitation to readers to transform ourselves digitally and a catalyst to motivate us to do just that. I found myself wanting to be able to interject in their conversation and say, “Yes, that’s right. That makes a lot of sense,” and indeed, that felt like the book’s deeper purpose. The information covered in the book has tremendous value, but don’t be distracted by that. You will come across many things that you never knew, and as readers, we are taken on a roller coaster ride as we are shown many things that have never occurred to us. Once we get used to that, we will come to terms with the complex nature of digital transformation in our own way. Digital transformation is difficult to understand because it is a sprawling, interconnected, and multi-layered idea, and not something where we simply add A and B together to get C. Why are we working? What should our corporate organization look like in 10 years? Where will we live and what will we be doing for a living? Or do we even need to decide where to live? The book addresses questions like these, specifically those that are close to our life and our society.

If you think that digital transformation is all about replacing existing businesses with their digital equivalent, you will disabuse yourself of that idea after reading this book. Instead, digital transformation is about fundamentally interrogating the way we live, the way we relate to each other, the way society functions, before formulating as many provisional hypotheses as possible and testing them through the use of technology. In my view, the most important phrase in this book is “remote trust.” This concept is absolutely vital as it refers to our ability to create a trustworthy relationship with someone whom we have never met before in person just by interacting with them remotely. The idea is to develop a relationship of mutual support and mutual trust without having met each other in real life, where both parties can confidently say, “Yes, let’s do that!” Remote trust is essential for building such relationships. This ability will only become more important after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. The reason is that remote interactions are free and efficient, and they allow us to encounter many people and experiences we never knew about, and while physical interactions are also valuable, it is natural for everything to be eventually replaced by their remote counterparts. If there is a lack of trust between individuals when the time comes, we will have a dystopian future.

 

Why do we need this trust in the first place? It is so that all of us can live a good life. I believe this is why the title of this book contains the words “living freely.” I have some questions for both authors and myself based on what I have written above. This book mainly deals with the domain of business, and as a businessman, I have no doubt that I can live freely by jumping into the authors’ conversation and working together with them on future projects. However, we are in an age where the public has become inextricable from the private. Clearly, the most enjoyable way to live is to erase the boundaries between work, play, and life, since an individual is connected to many people and projects once they embrace digital transformation. This would mean that there should be no boundaries, which will make things even more fun. If that’s the case, I believe there are many more fascinating possibilities that have not been explored in the book, which I will be bringing to their next conversation. I will put my ideas on the table, ask them what they think about these ideas, and maybe throw in something else that neither Sakai nor Fukuda would have expected. Doing this will allow us to bring our strengths together and connect with one another.

Wouldn’t a future like this be wonderful?

https://www.amazon.co.jp/review/R20GC02X65GOPI/