I have been recommending this article to all of my friends, co-workers and contacts. It’s the best article I’ve found outlining what we are living, right now — destabilizing, disruptive, fascinating, motivating and very, very exciting.
It also features seven people who are thriving in this environment.
“The times they are a changin”!
“The next decade or two will be defined more by fluidity than by any new, settled paradigm; if there is a pattern to all this, it is that there is no pattern. The most valuable insight is that we are, in a critical sense, in a time of chaos.”[i]
For the last 15 years, every organization I’ve worked with has encouraged employees to “embrace change”, “think out of the box”, “innovate”, “change the paradigm”. I guess I should thank them, because I have tried to follow their advice. I just hope they’ve followed it too. If they haven’t “walked the walk”, they are in for a serious and prolonged rough patch.
Change is challenging. Ambiguity is one of the most stressful situations to deal with, never mind live in. But we don’t seem to have a choice. Here’s some advice, for what it’s worth, on coping with these chaotic times, so as not to get left behind.
Be optimistic. There have been several studies that show that optimists are better able to cope with great change, perhaps because they believe things will turn out right. You might as well be happy about chaos, because it’s not going away and who wants to live life being miserable about circumstances one can’t change.
Upgrade your skills. Spend time with your children, nieces, nephews or conscript the neighbour’s college kid. Get them to explain the technology you don’t understand. Ask about cloud computing, make them show you their iPads and smartphones.
Take a course, there are tons of them online. Refresh on the software skills that may be a bit rusty. Or, catch up on time-saving new features that might not be familiar to you.
Check out Social Media. I’m not saying to start tweeting, pinning or communing with your family on Facebook, but get someone who is comfortable with them to show you around, so you know what these social networks are all about and can confidently talk about them and why you are on them, or not. (But whatever you do, if you’re in business, join Linked In and build your profile.)
It’s never too late for an old dog to learn new tricks. Because if you’re not learning new tricks, growing, changing and adapting, you will become old. And obsolete.
Read, read, read. One of the biggest transformations in communication is the incredible accessibility of information, advice, guidelines, how-to’s and more with the advent of blogging. You can find numerous resources on any topic just by typing a few words into the search bar. Do it!
We can’t rest on our laurels and rely on doing the same things, the way we have always done them. We need to make sure they are working and if they are not, we need to sit down and quickly figure out our options, so we can change our methods or drop them altogether.
We need to be fully engaged, aware and open to what’s going on. Brushing Social Media, the new Brand dynamics, the economic situation and emerging trends aside or burying one’s head in the sand is not going to be an effective coping method.
The longer you remain in denial, the more difficult it will be to recover. It’s better to choose the wrong horse and be in the race than to be on the sidelines. This race doesn’t have a fixed finish line, so we may not be passing this way again.
We need to be fully in the present while considering the possible courses of the future. It is important to be flexible.
If you bend, you won’t break.