How the bleep did we get here?
Perhaps it is time to replace our fear of change with an enthusiasm for growth.
The Industrial Revolution had an iron grip on our culture for about three hundred years.
Clearly that era was over by the end of the 20th century. But, we continue to experience the shock of change so vast that our year of Y2K now seems distant and quaint. The rate of change in the world of work has reached a pace that old work is being turned upside down.
A few examples:
Elizabeth Holmes, a 19-year-old sophomore at Stanford dropped out to launch the most disruptive company in medical testing. Previously, blood testing usually involved multiple vials painfully drawn from patients in clinics. Theranos allows us to go to our pharmacy where we experience a tiny pinprick on our thumb. Tests are finished at the pharmacy in four hours. Multiple tests can be taken from one minute sample. The innovation turned Elizabeth into the youngest female billionaire. It also spells the ends of thousands of jobs and perhaps even the end to a couple of dominant diagnostic companies.
Today, a smart phone can monitor a patient’s health, predict heart attacks and directly notify their physicians. The technology blasts thousands of jobs into the past.
I-Phone cameras are now so sophisticated and produce such superior photographs that an entire class of photographers have become obsolete.
Five years of technological advancement have ended virtually every cashier working on toll roads.
The last time I used a travel agent was 1998.
The rate-of-change produced such a need for coaching that an entire industry sprung up over night.
Have they disrupted anything?
They tell potential consumers,
“If you’re nuts, see a therapist. But, if you’re healthy, I will help you become more successful without the stigma of working with a psychologist.”
In ten years, many new cars will be able to drive themselves.
Where one college degree sufficed, now we have pipelines of information at our fingertips. We can now continually educate and reinvent in a matter of weeks. In fact, it is necessary so why not learn to love the process?
We no longer measure work by numbers because digital technology does more in a nanosecond than a math legend could accomplish in years.
The new democracy is information.
The new engagement is about growing and learning and changing our behavior rapidly, to let go more quickly and to anticipate the many roles coming from our future.
Yes, many of our employees, workers, friends and family members who used to rule the world now wonder what happened. If we are to live in a civilized world, we will tell them, we will show them the way towards a world of abundant change, no longer afraid of our torpid obsolescence.
How the bleep did we get here?
That’s how we got here.
Never, in the history of humankind, have we been given more tools to change and grow and to move beyond the boredom as well as the numbness of a culture that thirsts for predictability and survival.
We have traded those mediocre standards for growth.
Industries rise and fall. Information lives at our fingertips offering indicators of where to jump next and enjoy a ride unlike anything we did in the last century or perhaps even, last week.
Mediocre employers will lose their grip.
The best will harness the energy of our best and brightest.
For some of us, change will be ruthless.
Others will find an entirely new definition of abundance.