Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Speed of Change

Let's take a look at the speed of change these days...

  • INFORMATION: One week’s worth of NY Times newspaper contains more information than a person could access in a lifetime in the 18th century.

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE: Has over 540,000 words (5 times what existed in the 1600's when Shakespeare wrote his works)

  • JOBS: top 10 “in-demand” jobs of 2010 did not exist in 2004

  • JOB TENURE: 1 in 4 workers have been with their current employer less than 1 year; 1 in 2 less than 5 years with their current employer

Change is:

  • Sudden

  • Exponential

  • Constant

  • (and often times scary)

Robert B. Reich says, "Companies that can’t change the way that they think about change won’t be able to change the way they compete. Companies that can’t change in this new environment can’t play in this new economy."

The same holds true for you. If you can't, won't or don't change the way that you think about change, you won't be able to compete in today's economy.

How to keep up

How can one human being keep up with constant, exponential change? It comes down to VALUE. Look at it this way...

Do you remember the "change agents" that companies brought into their organizations in the past? They were given the positional authority to make changes and help the company do things cheaper, faster and better. This pushed the company toward linear (extrinsic) improvement. They would cut costs, question current practices, and apply new technology. Then, they would use command and control techniques to force these changes into the organization (usually without much buy-in from the folks who had to implement these changes. This approach to change was mechanical, limited, out-of-touch, and point-to-point.

Change today cannot only be about changing EXTRINSIC "things" because "things" keep changing and you couldn't keep up. Today's change must be about the INTRINSIC!! It must be about focusing on the genius of human beings... YOUR genius.

Focus on the Intrinsic

Og Mandino writes:

A mulberry leaf touched with the genius of man becomes silk.

A field of clay touched with the genius of man becomes a castle.

A cypress tree touched with the genius of man becomes a shrine.

A cut of sheep's hair touched with the genius of man becomes raiment for a king.

If it is possible for leaves and clay and wood and hair to have their value multiplied a hundred, yea a thousandfold by man, cannot I do the same with the clay which bears my name?

Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.

Your genius and your brilliance...

that is what makes exponential growth possible!!

To read more, click here.