I wasn’t Joking about Things Changing

I did an interview on a really cool podcast this week, called Amazing Workplaces. It's almost an hour long, but check it out. Obviously I'm talking about our book, When Millennials Take Over, although Chris also asks me some about culture change, and within the interview we talk a bit about the changes that are happening right now.

It's a small part of our book, but we reference historical research done by generational experts Strauss and Howe that points out an interesting pattern: every 100 years or so in this country, there is a radical transformation, and according to the patterns, we're about to have another one right now.

That means change is coming--and change that almost no one who is alive today has ever lived through. Think about that. We've all lived through great change (remember the card catalogue?!), but most of us have no idea what this next level of change is going to be like.

That's why I am surprised by our lack of urgency about it. While pretty much everyone has accepted the mantra of "the only constant is change," that has not brought along a corresponding change in behavior. We know change is coming, so what do we do? Strategic planning. Reorganizations. Changing budgets by 2%.

Sigh.

The lifespan of the average S&P company was 67 years back in the 1920s. Today it's 15. And we're still doing strategic planning?! Folks, this trend is not flattening--it's getting steeper. And as amazing as the change has been in the last ten or fifteen years when it comes to technology, management has not seen that kind of change--yet.

If you're not at least exploring some significantly different approaches to management, then you are falling behind. We have found plenty of organizations that have embraced more radical management change, and they are thriving. Now is the time to make your choice. Either stay ahead of this curve or get bowled over by it.

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