Monday, August 15, 2016

Smile, Everything is Fine



“Captain, the dinghy is taking on water.”

“No, it is not, we are fine,” said the captain standing tall and confident.

“But there is water around your foot,” said the concerned passenger.

“That is just a mere bit of moisture, nothing to concern yourself with.”

“Captain, we sprung another leak…”

“No we didn’t, all is going as planned,” the captain said more resolutely.

“I can help by patching the holes,” a helpful passenger spoke up.

“I have already consulted myself and all will move forward as per my thoughts…”

My mind was wondering a bit…as I regained focus, I realized that I was just imagining a scene from a famous English comedy troupe that never occurred.  I was back in the meeting I was attending for the last hour or so. Lately, I feel as if this type of scenario is playing out around me in many different areas of my life.  At what point do we believe so strongly in what we say and do that we lose sight of what our true circumstances are? 

The real question is, at what point do we place the blinders over our own eyes, believe only in what we want to hear and see only through a narrow filter?  When I was younger (as in my twenties), I thought that only “old” people (those that are now my age) became locked in their ways.  By the time I was in my thirties, I met some young twenty-something year olds that were against any change – including a changing market place that would make what they do obsolete within two years of that point.  They saw it, complained about it, pointed fingers at it, but not once did they change what they were doing.  Ultimately, they found themselves out of work and needing to retrain themselves.  Getting “stuck” happens at any age. 

Change is constant.  I recently saw in a presentation a graphic that showed the acceptance rate of new technologies to reach 50,000,000 people:

  • The telephone – 75 years
  • The radio – 38 years
  • The television – 13 years
  • The internet – 4 years
  • Facebook – 3.5 years
  • Pokeman Go! – 19 days

19 days?!?  A relatively dinky game got quicker acceptance then the “technologies” that we currently live and rely upon.  The Point of the presentation was that change is rapid and, by example, businesses will be impacted.  Ex-Cisco CEO, John Chambers, said at his last Cisco Live event in front of 25,000 people, "Forty percent of businesses in this room, unfortunately, will not exist in a meaningful way in 10 years."  Change, in this case, is the move to the digital world.  Or, in some words, disruptive technologies.

Can we then apply the same thinking to other areas?  The answer is yes.  Change affects all of our lives.  The digital revolution is in all parts of our life.  Disruptive technologies can be disruptive social interactions, disruptive educational techniques, etc.  This means that we had best be prepared to look for those seemingly little leaks in the dinghy we all float through life in, because if we don’t, we might very well go down with the ship.