Key to seamless service: Blending physical and digital worlds

We are at the knee of the curve of exponentiality. If you thought yesterday was fast, you haven’t imagined the pace of tomorrow yet. Meanwhile, many organisations are run in a way that is perfectly prepared for a world that no longer exist – yesterday. The future is a blend of the virtual and the physical, the digital and the analogue. And brands that know how to blend work, life, sleep, creativity, presence, absence, and output – seamlessly – both globally and locally, are those that are flexibly prepared for a place where we will spend the rest of our lives – the future.

Conversation notes

  • What is exponentiality?
  • How does the world of exponentiality affect your life?
  • Are there certain human behaviours that do not accept the fastness of the digital world?
  • Technology has changed the way people work and that changes how people will retire
  • Successful business strategies join the analogue and digital worlds
  • How does seamlessness disrupt traditional industries?


“She (Anders’ mother) thinks of the future as digitally dehumanized and I think of the world; say the world of ACORN’s, a world of the Proteus effect, or an aging of an avatar that can actually nudge us (you should read up on Richard Fowler’s book ‘Nudge’ if you haven’t done so) into smarter decisions today that will impact us not just in the short term but positively also in the long term.”



While many people lament the ‘old days’ of good service given by a real person, especially when dealing with call centres, it’s good to know that quality service is back and is here to stay. It just looks a little different than it used to. Instead of service being replaced by digital functionality, the businesses that are getting it right are using a seamless blend of digital and human interactions.

Digital Transformation: Does the blend of digital and human interaction work?

Here’s just one example of how this approach is already working. A customer wanting to buy a new bed doesn’t start by trekking from store to store to try everything. Instead, they search online for bedding suppliers that service their area, browse through their catalogues to select the looks and specifications they like to create a short list. They could order straight from the site and return the product if it’s not right, however, most people still choose to physically go to one or two stores to see and feel the bed before they make a final decision.

While in store, they get advice from a salesperson who has an iPad in their hand to check things like price and availability. The salesperson processes the order via the iPad which automatically sends a confirmation to the customer’s phone or email. Customised delivery times are arranged through a courtesy call from the dispatch manager. The delivery truck is tracked in real time via a phone app and the driver calls when they are on the way, (so, no more waiting to see if and when they’ll turn up).

As digital technology advances, this type of service will only get better, faster, and cheaper – if it’s done right.

Are you flexible enough to embrace change?

Digital Transformation shapes how organisations operate and how they will operate. The organisations that are flexible enough to embrace change, and AI in particular, are those that will still be going 20 years from now. However, those that are not changing the way they do things now to integrate the best of the digital and physical worlds, probably won’t be around much longer.

About the speaker

Anders Sorman-Nilsson is a global futurist and innovation strategist who helps leaders decode trends, decipher what’s next, and turn provocative questions into proactive strategies. When Anders gave a presentation as part of Florence Guild’s speaker series, ‘The Antidisciplinary Future’, he outlined his thoughts on the future of work. Anders believes that although we are about to see a huge increase in the rate of exponential change and growth, many organisations are not prepared for it. He says, “The future is a blend of the virtual and the physical, the digital and the analogue”. Organisations need to understand this and model themselves accordingly.


Anders’ Linkedin:
Anders Sörman-Nilsson

Anders’ Twitter: @asormannilsson

Thinquetank Facebook: @Thinquetank

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