I remarked to someone the other day that we were living through the most turbulent period of our lives. It is not just that there are disruptive events, but that they are more frequent and are impacting every aspect of out lives. We had both been around through the ‘IT revolution’ and seen the move from mainframes, to mini-computers, to microcomputers, and the spread of software into all aspects of business. But since the interent arrived, the pace of change has ramped up several levels. Now it has extended into our social lives, with evidence that social media is actually rewiring our brains. The same has been happening with economics and finance, which have changed out of all recognition.
But then, think of a century ago. Electrification, the spread of the car, telephony, air travel, mass production, radio and television – that all happened is a relatively short space of time. So, is it really so different today?
I think it is in one particular aspect. The interdependency and connectedness of things. Economies, countries, businesses, people, cultures, religion. When there’s an event in one sphere, the ripples spread much more widely, with more power and much more speed. One ‘disruption’ inevitably leads to another, because there is less space and distance for the power to disippate.
Instead of looking to steady things and ‘return to normal’, we need to be looking for the next disruption. And be ready to respond, and harness the energy and power.