NOVEMBER 10, 2011
- Darwin was right. The future belongs to those who are both willing and able to adapt to change; not those who are well adapted.
- Those changes will come faster and more quickly than we can imagine. Learn to live with it.
- We are constantly learning more about ourselves and the world around us. Over 90 percent of what we now know about most scientific disciplines has been “discovered” in the last ten years. That trend will continue and will accelerate. Burying our heads in the sand is not a viable option and it leaves precious portions of the anatomy terribly exposed.
- Nothing changes unless force is applied. The Red Queen effect will be present in every business situation. If we know it, our competitors know it and so the race for competitive advantage does not have a finish line. Every move we make will affect the situation (fitness landscape) and limit the choices available to us.
- The ability to explain complex issues clearly and simply will be a major advantage. The days of the “mushroom” theory of management (keep the employees - or worse yet, our customers - in the dark) are over. Communication is vital to the health of an organization.
- The Age of Uncertainty is upon us. We continue to plan, but need to realize the benefit to us is not the plan itself, but in the process. We have to keep working at getting better and getting ready for whatever the future holds.
- Successful companies will be smart companies who realize that it is their best interest to “get in front” of the customer. Everybody wants to be seen as both smart and cool. It’s our job to make sure our customers (and employees) see themselves that way.
- The battle over leadership and management shows no sign of ending anytime soon. A successful company needs both. And most successful employees, at whatever level, will have these skills in their personal toolbox.
- Most of us view change as painful. Expect resistance and don’t underestimate the “kiss of yes”. Keep in mind that change is possible, inevitable, and necessary.
- A well-told story will have a far greater impact than any management technique. Mankind has been telling stories for centuries that communicate values, ideals, and passions. Get better at this skill or get ready to be left behind in the 21st century.
- Build on strength. Screen for talent. And look for those who are already doing things right or for those ready for change by employing the idea of positive deviance. Remember there is a difference between being merely critical and being correct. Talents going to waste help no one.
- Small events can lead to big changes; and sometimes these changes can occur suddenly and without apparent warning. Harness the power of leverage implied by the Tipping Point. Ideas and behaviors can be as contagious as any virus. Use them for positive change.
- We choose to make our own future or we allow someone else to choose for us. Who am I? Where am I going? When will I begin? These are the questions we must each answer for ourselves. Those first two are the hardest. But that last one is simple - there is only one correct answer: the time to begin is always now.