Paul Miller a 27 year old Technology writer for The Verge has just come back online after a year without the internet. His motivation was what he describes as a “quarter life crisis” which he partially attributed to being constantly connected online and out of touch with the real world.
In summary, his experience lived up to expectations for the first month where he spent his time socializing, reading and writing a book. Then the novelty wore off. He stopped taking advantage of his new found liberation and replaced his internet distractions with other equally mundane distractions (e.g. playing video games).
Paul Miller learned the hard way that his issues were unrelated to technology. As he put it “<not using the internet for year> let me know my problems are more internal than external”. This is the same issue face by many businesses.
During the year Paul Miller has been offline I’ve had several conversations with senior executives who’s core strategy for organizational transformation is implementing new technology. They acknowledge they have broader organizational issues, but feel that technology will act as a forcing factor for broader change. Maybe spending 16 minutes viewing Paul Millers video will save them a from a year of heartache and significantly more expense.
UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon recently responded to the fallout from Hurricane Sandy, in his address to the UN General Assembly “We all know this: extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal, …. This may be an uncomfortable truth but it is one we ignore at our peril.” Which begs the question “if it’s uncomfortable to us and we all know it, then why aren’t we focusing on fixing it?
The answer to this question is important for those on change journeys. Leading change is often not about convincing resource owners, decision makers and influencers that our world is changing, as intuitively they already know that. The emphasis needs to be on a sense of urgency and a realistic positive solution. That’s why strongest cases for change consist of 3 elements – 1) a problem, 2) a sense of urgency and 3) a positive solution. If any of these there are missing, the status quo will often be the end result. Unfortunately this has been the case for the climate change movement.
This thinking on change can be applied in any industry, organisation or individual facing a “new normal”. And there’s a lot of them. Doing quick search for industries facing a “new normal” yields opinion pieces and articles on the new normal in Defence, Sport, Banking, Employment, Marketing, Steel and many many more. Which means that there are leaders everywhere who should shift their change messaging from “the world is changing” to “the world is changing now and a bright future for us will look like this <insert here>“. That’s the first big leap in achieving a Change Effect.
The Lego generation building businesses. Get inspired, put the pieces together and away you go!!