Change is not just something that happens It is a process and has a life of its own
The Nature and Pace of Change Who are these People and How are they Different???
Anticipating Change <ul><li>Of course, you don’t have to go to the distant past to discover those who thought they knew the future. But, we have to anticipate change or all we can do is react to it: crisis management </li></ul>
Prediction is always tricky, especially where the future is involved ( Sam Goldwyn) Here are two best-selling books based on trying to predict the future
But, Life was not always like that. <ul><li>99% of our ancestors lived in a world where nothing changed, and they did not expect any change. </li></ul><ul><li>Indeed until the last few hundred years, change was dangerous to your health because it challenged the existing order. </li></ul><ul><li>It was either treason or heresy </li></ul>This could be 16 th century Europe or 1 st century Rome.
The Salem Witch Trials were evidence of the resistance to change in early America Any challenge to the existing order of society was considered challenging something ordained by God, and so you were executed as a traitor . Those who challenged the existing religion were deemed Heretics and executed.
Why did change begin? In China, right up to the 1900s, the Emperors sat on a throne underneath a sign which simply said: Change Nothing . This does not encourage free-thinking. When the Protestant religion developed in Europe it broke the old Catholic rigid order that had persecuted people like Galileo, and it allowed, and even encouraged, change. This came in time to unleash all those minds that created the Industrial Revolution and Capitalism. They were looked down on in the Old Europe, and once they secured power, the world was their oyster.
Themes in our Study of the Process of Change <ul><li>To study change as a process is something new </li></ul><ul><li>Change is now an expectation </li></ul><ul><li>The need for us to think Strategically </li></ul><ul><li>Can you ever predict change? </li></ul><ul><li>The danger of Change as an Act of Faith </li></ul><ul><li>The Speed of change and our structures for dealing with change—will they be overwhelmed? </li></ul><ul><li>This lady was born in 1903, and is still going. The remarkable thing is that she is older than: </li></ul><ul><li>The Federal Reserve Bank (she was 11) </li></ul><ul><li>The Flying Machine </li></ul><ul><li>The Radio </li></ul><ul><li>The TV, and </li></ul><ul><li>When she was 12, it took 62 days to drive across America. </li></ul><ul><li>There were fewer cars in America than there are in Bloomington today. </li></ul><ul><li>Women did not work for money, there was no credit, and no social security (she was 34 when that happened). </li></ul><ul><li>The State of Indiana was 87 years old. </li></ul>
Consider Progress <ul><li>Progress was not a concept our ancestors understood. </li></ul><ul><li>Now policy must stress progress, i.e. economic growth . If we are not growing, we are stagnating or declining . Where does it stop? When is enough enough? </li></ul><ul><li>Have we gone from “no expectations” to “The Prozac Generation” as a way of coping with too much change coming at us too fast? </li></ul>Prozac: Indiana's Gift to the World
Some Theory: 1, Schumpeter Josef Schumpeter, an Austrian economist, came up with the idea that change comes in waves , not as a smooth progression from one thing to the next. These waves get overtaken by new technologies , like oil displacing steam. But notice, tbe length of each wave diminishes meaning change is getting faster . Also, notice the slope of the back of the wave (left side of wave). It is getting steeper . What does that mean?
Some Theory: 2, Alvin Toffler <ul><li>An American psychologist, he wrote a book in the 60s called Future Shock </li></ul><ul><li>Basically, it says that we can cope with a certain speed of change—our institutions and instruments can be modified to adapt. </li></ul><ul><li>However, there comes a pace when these are overwhelmed , and they collapse with nothing to put in their place. E.g. the family </li></ul>
Alvin speaks…… “ The roaring current of change, a current so powerful today that it overturns institutions, shifts our values and kills our roots. Change is the process by which the future invades our lives. I became appalled by how little is actually known about adaptivity…Earnest intellectuals talk bravely about “educating for change,” or “preparing people for the future.” But we know virtually nothing about how to do it. Many studies focus on where change is taking us, but there is very little on how we adapt to it, which is a function of the rate of change.” “ The Death of Permanence.” Just think about it. Napoleon and his army traveled at the same speed as Julius Caesar. Grant could use the locomotive and today we can be in Iraq in half a day.”
His Real Warning Comes in this Quote…. “ The Roaring Current of change; a current so powerful today, that it overturns institutions, shifts our values, and kills our roots. Change is the process by which the future invades our lives.”
Here is the same thing from a Business Leader… <ul><li>“ In our era, the pace of technological change has vastly accelerated—while the ability of people to absorb and adapt to these changes hasn’t improved at all ” </li></ul><ul><li>Paul Song: CEO, Aris Corporation, August 1999. </li></ul>
But What are We Supposed to do About This? But Mr . The Problem of the Technological “Wild Card” But Mr. Malthus’ Predictions Did Not Come True. Why? Because technology came along that allowed us to produce much more food per acre and per farmer . But, the point is this: “Was Malthus wrong ?” Of course he could not predict science and technology that did not even exist when he was writing
Same Problem 170 years later <ul><li>A group at MIT, using state-of-the-art computing technology in the late 1960s, showed that if world consumption and population continued to grow, our life-support system would collapse—many things within 25 years. In fact many of the things got better. So, the people and policy makers are very wary of doomsayers. The reverse of that is, strangely, a blind faith in technology to pull something out of the hat. “We’ll be ok. Just you wait and see.” This is a godsend to the politician. </li></ul>
Different, but related problem… <ul><li>People tend to believe what they want to believe, an idea we call cognitive dissonance . Good phrase, learn it and impress your friends who did not go to college, but have better cars than you do. </li></ul><ul><li>Policy almost always arises from a crisis </li></ul><ul><li>But good policy should be ahead of the curve , not running along behind. Your options are already seriously diminished by then. </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, you can try to plan for the future, even though you cannot be sure. Use risk analysis , especially when making policy or getting married. </li></ul>One thing that does not change is people. What you see is what you get. And yet, many people marry despite fatal flaws in the other person because of peer pressure, or the idea that “they will change.” They may change—they may get worse.
One More Problem <ul><li>People never anticipate how fast change can happen, and the business world is littered with the corpses of such enterprises. Then they get caught unprepared. Look at Global Warming. </li></ul><ul><li>People never believe how big or how radical change can be, and they never learn from experience. How big does global warming have to be before we describe it as a crisis? </li></ul><ul><li>Policymakers are constrained by the very short time-horizon of their term of office…. </li></ul>
Let's look at the technology of Recorded Sound 1870
And since then?..... <ul><li>Ipod and podcasting; totally digital sound systems of enormous capacity. First wax disks could hold 3 minutes. Now we have DVDs that hold 5 Gigabytes </li></ul><ul><li>Downloading of digital music </li></ul><ul><li>Streaming internet sound and pictures </li></ul><ul><li>And? </li></ul>