Rafael Maldonado is a world class CIO leading the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) in the midst of tremendous transformation within the auto industry – including autonomous vehicles, the resurgence of electric, and the impact of fossil fuels. What will the auto dealer of the future look like in response to these changes and innovations?
I love this quote from Rafael when I asked him what he thinks won’t change. He replied, “What I think won’t change is the ‘human element’. The ability to innovate by looking at the potential solutions that are out there and combining them into products, or new lines that are actually going to impact the business that you’re involved in.”
I agree that innovation is uniquely human and the CIO sits squarely in the middle of it. You can choose to be a resistor to change or an ambassador.
See below to read the complete conversation transcript:
Rafael: I like the saying that, “There is nothing new under the sun.” It’s really how things get applied during different times in history. I think one thing that is totally different, as I mentioned before, is this conversions of so many new technologies and advancements that are happening at the same time.
There are literally hundreds of new technologies. We’re talking about 5G today and there are people already working on 6G. We’re talking about 3-D printing which hasn’t yet taken over, and there are already organizations working on 4-D printing. It is that nature of the exponential change that I find truly amazing.
Bill: It’s funny, I just had another conversation about this from a guy similar in age to you and I. It’s interesting. We have this collision happening of so many new technologies coming online concurrently. If there was only one we wouldn’t have a big deal with it. If it was just AI, all right, then we’ll just deal with AI. But when you stack AI, you stack changes with autonomous cars, you layer in changes with printing and exponential health and medicine, and space travel, I mean, you add it all together and it creates quite a maelstrom.
Bill: Where do leaders play? What hasn’t changed in the midst of the change?
Rafael: I think that’s where the innovation becomes real.
Rafael: I think a lot of people are afraid of the rate of change. However, I believe leaders today must welcome that. Because that’s where true innovation is going to take place. As you just mentioned, some of these technologies – AI and others – alone, they will cause change. But the exponential change is going to be realized when you start combining some of these technologies to provide solutions. That’s where the true innovation is going to take place.
Rafael: In terms of what hasn’t changed, is that human element. To be able to innovate by looking at the potential solutions that are out there and combining them into products or new lines that are actually going to impact the business that you’re involved in.
Bill: Thank you Rafael.