When I was young(er), there was a product called carbon paper. By placing a sheet of carbon paper in between two sheets of paper, and inserting all three pages into a typewriter, the impression of the keys would make a carbon copy. It was remarkable at the time and changed the way business was done [Ironically, the abbreviation cc persists on our e-mails to this day!]
At a time when we didn’t even think about the typewriter becoming electric or portable, we couldn’t possibly imagine the continuing advances in business equipment—copiers, fax machines, word processors, computers, printers, cell phones or tablet computers like the iPad.
All of these technological advances have hastened the speed with which we do business, allowing greater flow of goods and services. More recently, advances in social media have made it quite simple now to copy, print, forward, share and send virtually anything. We have fax, email, facebook, twitter and even share where we can post to linkedin, yahoo, dig, mixx, myspace and permalink. We can hit reply, reply all, forward or share without blinking an eye.
The pace of technological change has turned our lives upside down and there are no signs that these changes will slow or cease; in fact, quite the opposite.
Amidst technological change, we have also had to change. We can no longer expect to have one occupation necessarily for the duration of our lives. We have to re-invent ourselves and re-package our skills many times over the course of our working lives and businesses. How can we adapt? How can we keep up? What can we do? Do we have any choices?
A recent column by David Brooks in the The New York Times speaks about two ways to approach life: the “Well-Planned Life,” where you invest substantial time in finding a clear purpose, and the “Summoned Life,” where you examine your opportunities and options, and then choose from the circumstances with which you are confronted.
A “Well-Planned Life” is the result of careful calculation and long-range planning; a “Summoned Life” is determined primarily by sensitive observation and situational awareness.
We have such great respect for the entrepreneur who chooses to create a business entity, employs people, builds wealth and steers that organization through the myriad of obstacles over the life of that business. At the same time, we also appreciate the business owner who adapts to the world as it changes and morphs that business to new levels of success in the face of rapidly advancing technology.
At the end of the day, both strategies for life can be successful. What is most important is to lead a “well-considered life” that is built on a foundation of principles, values, attitudes and faith. Staying alert and knowledgeable about what is happening over time and around you will keep you on course and capable of meeting the challenges of change and innovation.
On top of our technological change, we have created global markets. We are now witnessing systemic changes in our banking system, our health care system, our housing and utility industries and our educational systems. These changes are ushering in an era of unprecedented change within our businesses and our economy.
We need to learn more. We need to learn faster. We need to stay focused, but we also need to stay balanced.
In this age of supercommunication, we need to determine relevancy and impact at lightning-fast speeds. In short, we need to think smarter and quicker…and to inspire, take part in, and share with others who think smarter and quicker.
At Greater Charlotte Biz, we champion the power of mindshare to elevate our businesses and our lives in our continual quest for relevance to changing dynamics.
We invite your input, your ideas, your thinking and your recommendations. Whether your thinking is original or you come across something from someone else, we want to learn from you. We will pass it on in our pages and online. We want to provide a portal to our regional marketplace to facilitate change that is good and healthy and more profitable. So, hit forward or share and send it to us!