Please read only if you are convinced that you want to truthfully answer the question above.
“It is impossible to teach a man what he thinks he already knows” – Epicelus
The world is transforming at an alarming rate, to stay relevant, people and organizations must be adaptable to change.
I vividly remember a course I was privileged to attend some months back on business modeling. It was facilitated by a French man I have grown to respect, I learnt a lot of things, I also learnt about some vital indices that further corroborate the fact that all organizations that will succeed in the future, must factor these elements into their business models. These elements are:
1. Crowded – When my grandfather was born, the population of the earth was about 1 billion, when my father was born it was 2 billion, when I was born the population of the earth was 4 billion. Today, the earth’s population is over 6 billion. The size of the earth has not changed, but the population of tenants has increased. Less than 1% of the known human history has witnessed 90% of the physical accumulation of the human species. The earth is getting crowded, and its resources are being depleted. The economy of the future must depend on resources that do not diminish with the crowd. The economy of the future will be driven by non-physical resources like information and knowledge.
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer
2. Complex – Back in 1900, there was no electricity, cars were new, no computers, no telephones, no airplanes, no plastic, no TV (not even in the radar). People rode bicycles, read with candles, and traveled by trains and coal powered boats, this was in America. In Africa? Don’t go there :)! Electronics, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, strategic management e.t.c. were not even in science fiction novels.
Fast forward to 100yrs later. We walk on the moon, gather star dust, we are flying at incredible speeds and planning for faster, the average person today carries two small boxes, one to speak to almost anybody, at almost anywhere, at almost anytime (mobile phone), and the other to manipulate data at processing speeds close to 100times faster than was available to NASA in 1969 when it landed the first man on the moon (laptop).
We are approaching a future where the rate at which knowledge becomes extinct will be alarming. 20yrs experience will be 1yr experience doing 20 different things. The value of tenure will diminish; success will be a function of the speed of learning and unlearning.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy
3. Changing – Between 500-1500, it took 1000yrs for world economies to triple. In the 20th century, it took 25yrs, 1950 -1975 for world economies to triple. 300yrs ago, there were human beings who knew everything there was to know about everything.
They were called ultimate men (this of course was a world without light, cars, airplanes and fuel). Today, people die as professors still unraveling the mysteries of the inner ear.
Changes in economics, knowledge, technology, and more are making information vital for the future.
“In the future, how we gather, manage and use information will determine whether we succeed or fail.” – Bill Gates
4. Competitive – The major commodities in this world: food, energy, drugs, transportation, information, e.t.c. are controlled by corporate giants. As the handful gets smaller, the giants get bigger and competition toughens.
With the technological flattening of the world today, the world is becoming a truly global village. Service can be rendered from anywhere, and local is becoming extinct. Big corporations are getting toppled by smaller innovative ones. Whether the organization be a lion or a gazelle, the prayers today are the same; for the gazelle, for grace to outrun the fastest lion, and for the lion, for grace to outrun the slowest gazelle. Competition is no longer amongst equals. Survival in the future requires moving from the competitive plane to the creative plane.
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new; so we must think anew and act anew.” -Abraham Lincoln.
What are you doing to stand out from the crowd?
What are you doing to stay abreast of technology and remain relevant in a more complex world?
What are you doing to stay abreast of changing information?
What are you doing to migrate from competition to creation?
If you know you can’t do it alone, who are you partnering with?
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