Businesses Must Prepare for Constant Change

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By: Nancy Garberson, CEO, Marketing & Communication Strategies, Inc.

We must prepare for rapid change to be a way of life. Any insightful person accepts that rapid change is a defining characteristic of our economy. He or she plans to work with it effectively on an ongoing basis instead of thinking they can just persevere until it’s behind us.

Characteristics of this age include endless choices of resources, and the knowledge that change happens whether we’re ready or not.

Consider this: In 1900, the total amount of knowledge available to humankind was doubling about every 500 years. In 1990, it was doubling every two years.

Today, the rate of change is doubling every 35 days.

Imagine the implications of that kind of increase in the rate of change and how an organization can remain sustainable, significant and competitive.

This change means new products, new regulations, new market configurations, new customers and new technology in almost every industry is changing at such a rate that a project lasting more than 35 days is obsolete before it can be finished.

It’s no wonder that we’re confused and uncertain about what to do, how to do it and how to keep it current. It feels as if we need an instant “refresh” button in every aspect of ours lives.

As the growth of our knowledge continues to increase, how do we make sure our information stays fresh, worth reading and stays noteworthy to a global market?

The effect of the evolving rate of change on our businesses and our jobs has been cataclysmic in every aspect of marketing, public relations, website development and graphic design. It is almost as if a wicked spirit were stalking any attempts of communication, rendering all wisdom of the past worthless and casting a spell of confusion and uncertainty over the land.

We believe that we are lifelong learners, staying ahead by listening, reading, experimenting, and that teaching each other is essential. That means it is likely that the conclusions, paradigms and core beliefs upon which we based our decisions today may be obsolete before we finish a project.

Even more sobering, the conclusions and strategies we develop today are sure to be obsolete within months.

As we count on this continuing obsolescence of our best strategies, what mindset can we adopt that will equip us to survive and prosper in turbulent times? What skills do we need to survive and prosper in this information age?

One core skill that defines the most successful individuals is their ability and propensity to engage in self-directed learning. My co-workers are adamant that we have sustainable, effective comprehension of this rapidly changing world and show it in our daily work.

We are cultivating the ability to positively transform ourselves and our organization with our own wisdom, our insight and our humanized enlightenment.

In the face of a world that is different from one week to the next, our most powerfully positive response is to cultivate the ability to learn and keep it alive.

The most skilled employees will be the ones who can continually access the changing facts and growing complexity of their jobs, and then change appropriately.

You can email Nancy at [email protected].

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