A Conversation with Robert Cooper, Managing Director at Wildix
Imagine you’ve just experienced a powerful earthquake. You spent minutes on end watching walls shake and buildings sway, all while trying to keep your footing on a floor that’s being rocked by a massive, unstoppable force.
But, soon enough, the disaster passes. You’ve made it through in one piece. Not only that, your home is still standing.
The question is, do you now stay content with the stability you have?
Or do you arm yourself with the knowledge to get through the next quake?
If you ask Robert Cooper, US managing director at Wildix, preparing for disruption involves more than relying on what you currently have — or even what you expect to have.
“The concept of digital disruption,” he says, “is not just about the technology.”
Rather, it’s about embracing a mindset that can actively prepare for coming changes.
This is because, to Mr. Cooper, digital disruption is far from a one-off quake.
“Disruption is the new normal,” he says. “And in order to really capitalize on it, you also have to have a learning organization.”
For Mr. Cooper, transitioning organizations into that state of constant learning is an essential part of the value Wildix presents. This gives Partners something more than just new technology; it allows them to act as trusted IT advisors for the end user.
“Wildix believes that that consultative voice to the customer is important,” Cooper explains. “Because our product, our platform, our technology solution delivers a lot of value. And you really need to know how to connect all of the components of that value.
“The partner is the person who should be in the driver’s seat to do that,” he stresses.
But Mr. Cooper also emphasizes that engagement is necessary for this transition.
“The piece we can’t help you with is the commitment,” he says. “We know that we can help you grow your business. But it has to be something that you want to do.”
This inability to commit to change is so pervasive a mindset, Mr. Cooper uses specialized terminology for it.
“Rather than moving in and being committed,” he says, “you see what we call ‘active inertia.’ And active inertia is, ‘Well, I’ve done something, and at least I’m doing a little bit of something, and so that should be good enough.’
“But in the world of digital disruption” he continues, “active inertia is a killer. It’s not enough, because the industry changes too fast. Though you think you’re moving, you’re not moving fast enough, and you’re still gonna be caught in the wave.”
To prepare for that wave, Mr. Cooper believes organizations must be proactive in making themselves part of the value they sell to customers.
“The customer is not just buying the technology,” he points out. “He’s buying you. You are a part of the value.
“The VAR that’s gonna win the day is the one that says, ‘Let me understand what it is you want to do for your business. Let me help you utilize, deploy, and manage these technologies so that you hit those goals.’”
In Mr. Cooper’s view, however, just as important as embracing this consultative role is always being able to adapt to that shifting market.
“As long as you take this committed, proactive stance of embracing change and moving forward,” he says, “you’ll always be able to adapt to what’s next, not continually holding onto yesterday.”
With a mindset like that, you can count on living comfortably — no matter how powerful a quake comes your way.