It’s All About Change
“If the rate of change outside your organization is greater than the rate of change inside your organization, your organization is in trouble.” — Jack Welch, famous past CEO General Electric
The only constant in life is that things change.
Today, change is occurring at ever faster rates. If you look back over time, from the beginning of recorded history all the way to the late 1700s, the time in which a person could travel from one place to another was limited to the speed of a horse (or camel) on land and the speed of the wind in the sails at sea.
The late 1700s and early 1800s saw the development of railroads and steamboats, which increased the speed with which man could travel. The early 1900s saw the beginning of automobile travel in the United States. This ability to get somewhere faster broadened the world for many people and business, but it was still at a snail’s pace compared to today.
In the mere space of time of the last hundred years, look at what has happened to the speed with which we can easily and safely travel between any places in the world. People still living today remember when it took more than five days to go from New York to London. Today you leave New York tonight and you’re in London early in the morning. It was even faster when the supersonic Concorde was still flying commercially.
Two generations ago, a grandfather could teach his grandson what he needed to run the family business. Today, what your sons (or daughters) learn in their freshman year of college may very well be obsolete by the time they graduate. Everyone now needs to keep on learning or quickly fall behind modern living.
This is a very difficult concept for many people to accept. However, if you do not accept change and stay mired in the present (or even in the past), the world will not slow down for you. Look at the word CHANGE. Split it in half and add three letters and you get CHALLENGE. Accept challenges and make them work for you. Accept the fact that you must adapt to constant changes. The people who embrace change and look ahead instead of wishing for what used to be will stay ahead of their competition.