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By David Harder on May, 14, 2015

How One Innovation is About to Change Our Entire World

Picture this:

You’ve wanted that new BMW convertible for quite some time.

You get a promotion and a bonus. Your first thought is to order your brand new car.

You visit BMW’s website and key in all of the options, the color and the interior. You get to customize this auto to fit your unique design ethos.

You click send and the dealership down the block prints out your beautiful new convertible.

There is no big factory.

There is no shipping.

The dealership has no inventory.

Does this sound like a pipe dream?

3D printing has reached such an advanced degree of sophistication that defense contractors are now tooling up to build entire fighter jets without assembly lines.

How will change like this impact our world?

If you are working in a traditional manufacturing setting, it is time to reeducate and reinvent – right now.

In the next decade China will lose the factors that have made it the world’s chief manufacturing center.

3D printing is at a tipping point. Most of our leaders don’t know it, but the technology has moved well beyond a novelty phase and it is about to go mainstream. GE is ramping up production of jet engines, medical devices and home appliance parts using 3D printing. Thousands of other organizations are following suit. While the direct costs of using 3D technology are often higher, when we add flexibility, remove inventory, shipping and labor, the costs are substantially lower.

I offer up this scenario to raise the volume in how much all of us need to learn how to change ourselves. For years, our programs at Inspired Work have given people an active opportunity to change their lives with the endgame being a fulfilled and remarkably effective relationship with their work. So many walk into our programs and tell us, “I can’t change. I will be the one person that won’t get it.” And yet, they walk out the door with new lives.

I am spending a great deal of time with employee engagement. I have come to the conclusion that the rate of change has reached such dizzying heights that many of us, as Alvin Toffler once predicted, are living in a state of “future shock.” We want to change but don’t know how. Or, are skills in self-change are new and just as we think we’ve adapted, the world shows up in an entirely new place.

Most of us were never taught to change. We were conditioned to fit in. The Industrial Revolution created a relationship with work that was based on predictability and survival. That fixation is diametrically opposed to active learning and developing the skills to fluidly take advantage of change in the world.

We really must trade in our need for predictability and survival.

But for what?

For those of us who let go of that fixation and build an enthusiasm for growth, for learning and for reinvention, the opportunities are vast, exciting and life giving.

3D printing is but one innovation among countless others hitting our world and redefining how we live. One innovation will not only change the lives of millions upon millions of workers, it will prove to be a game changer for an entire superpower.

Some of your friends and family members might be hiding in their jobs, hoping the human resources death angel isn’t coming around the corner.

These are the people we most need to inspire to let go, to change and to jump into a world that offers learning and growth opportunities unlike any other time in human history.

Active Learning, Enthusiasm for Change and Personal Growth –

This is the holy grail for leading powerful lives.

The next Inspired Work Program is in Los Angeles on June 13 & 14.

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We welcome your questions. Please feel free to call Inspired Work at (310) 277-4850.