I was intrigued to see this tweet in my stream recently.
— Anthony Behan (@AnthonyBehanAI) August 22, 2016
Prime Minister Lee of Singapore in his National Day Speech spent a great deal of time talking about digital disruption, and his comments and analysis were spot on.
You can read a report on his speech that covered disruption online at the National Times website.
What was fascinating for me was that he singled out disruption as the defining challenge among the economic issues Singapore is dealing with, and outlined how the Government and people can work together to overcome such hurdles.
He of course talked about Uber, but coming from the leader of a country, carried more weight than when this example is used in countless social media presentations.
If you can’t watch the video, this is what he said:
The disruption will happen over and over again…
I just used the familiar example of the taxi business.. what do we do in Singapore? We can respond to disruptive change like this in two ways.
We can close ourselves off, try to stop people from using the new technology, you must do things the way you have always done it. So Uber – out, Grab [local Singapore competitor] – out. Any new services coming along – no. We impose restrictions, we protect the old ways of the taxi companies and we force people to stick to that.
But we’ll be left behind and commuters will lose out, and our economy will suffer.
The other way is to embrace change – let the disruption happen. You can’t stop it but you can adjust to it. Let the commuters enjoy better services, but help the incumbents, and especially help the taxi drivers to adapt to the changes.
None of what Prime Minister Lee says is new. It is however more arresting when delivered by the leader of a country that is one of the most technically advanced.
If you need any encouragement to disrupt before you are disrupted then take the advice offered in the video to heart.
You can also watch my point of view on disruption and how it will impact the financial industry in a talk I delivered at Linedata Exchange in London.