A Brave New World

Great organizations and great leaders plan from imagination, not memory.

For hundreds of years, the world of business stayed pretty much the same. So what you learned from experience could be used for a long, long time. In fact, your experience was your insurance policy. It almost guaranteed success.

Well experience is not as helpful as it used to be. The world is changing so rapidly that your experience may not be a very good guide for the future.

Not convinced? Just take a look at a few facts.

*Today, the body of knowledge known to mankind doubles every 907 days.

*Our computing ability and capacity doubles every 14 months.

*We once marveled at the advanced technology on Apollo 13. Today your car has more technology than that rocket.

*The first UNIVAC computer filled an entire room, but today your wrist watch has more power than that computer.

*The average 21 year old today can expect 11 to 14 jobs and 2 to 3 major career changes.

*The average 21 year old today can expect to have more spouses than children, and he will spend more time taking care of his parents than his kids.

*Right now we have more people living on the planet than have ever died in the past.

Of course, I could continue to list the changes, but you get my point. We’re living in a new world where our experience of the past may not be the best guide for the future.

So what should you do? Refer to your experience when it’s appropriate. But add to that Wayne Gretzky’s approach. As one of the greatest hockey stars of all time, he was asked what made him so successful. He said, “I SKATE TO WHERE I THINK THE PUCK WILL BE.” That’s the best definition of change management and strategic planning that I ever heard.

Action:  Pick a challenge in your personal or professional life. Then, instead of reacting to what is happening, try to imagine where that challenge is heading. Based on your imagination, decide which action makes the most sense, and do it.