Rate of Change

The rate of change is increasing year on year.
This is generally accepted as an axiom, because people are continuously experiencing the effects - particularly in the progress, and short life cycle of IT equipment. But there is a danger that because we simply accept the fact, we do not stop and question how much change we are experiencing. it is worth stopping for a moment and quantifying the sheer enormity of the current rate of change.
The statistics are awesome: Currently, the sum of all human knowledge is doubling every two years. As a pertinent example of this, you might like to consider that every month 500 new books are written on management alone. At the same time, eighty percent of information is out of date within five years. That is a lot of change! And most managers have been trained to work in a world that no longer exists.
Information is becoming obsolete at a faster rate than many of us can even hope to assimilate it. In the case of our organisations we are finding that the cycle for radical change (leadership changes, market shifts, takeovers, culture change programmes...) is becoming shorter that the time needed to fully accommodate and implement change. As a result, and paradoxically, nothing changes - the fundamental lessons remain unlearned and poor practice continues unremarked and unresolved.
 Reason stands helpless in a world of increasing adjustment.

 Gunter Grass, German Novelist

But it does no good to simply bemoan the fact. The increasing rate of change is a fact of life, and our world will inevitably become more complex and demanding. At 'one level' at least!
Perhaps then, it is the other levels that should begin to interest us? Perhaps we should ask how the vast rate of change in biochemistry and in technology does not incapacitate the professionals in those fields? Perhaps we might learn from their interpretation of professionalism, and the way that their thinking takes place at a level above the level of change?
Their reason stands OVER their world of increasing adjustment.

Increasing complexity; Return to 'Increasing Pressure'


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