There are a whole bunch of folks talking about how the world is changing. It’s easy to miss this conversation, because like most things in our increasingly fragmented/niched world, certain realities are only evident when we look for them. (I’m sure you’ve noticed that the information deluge makes it easier for us to “hide” in whatever circle we travel in.) But whether we’re looking or not, there truly is something happening.
As a wise guy once said, the times they are a-changin’.
And they’re a-changin’ in ways we’ve never experienced before.
Life is faster, more unpredictable.
Business models are less stable.
Communication is always on, and is coming from 360 degrees.
Power structures have flattened.
Consumers are more powerful, CEOs are less powerful.
As human beings, we’ve never felt quite this connected before. At the same time, we’ve perhaps never felt quite this vulnerable, either.
To a large degree we’re headed into uncharted territory, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a few reasonable understandings about what’s ahead.
In the interest of helping to make a bit of sense about the future, I wanted to share an insight about this transition with you.
So much of where we are coming from is dualistic, in the classic sense. We’ve got a number of dichotomies we cling to: Eastern/Western, masculine/feminine, individualistic/familial, left brain/right brain. But the new world that is emerging is connecting everything. It’s colliding forces that used to be separate. (Even old, polarizing enemies like capitalism/communism are finding a new smashed-together life in places like China.)
What’s the implication here?
The things that used to be separate will not be much longer.
Soon — probably much sooner than we think (i.e. now) — we will be navigating gray areas which used to be black and white. A strange new world where left and right brain thinking are equally important, or where a feminine approach is more effective than the traditional patriarchal one, is an environment that operates with completely different rules.
This means the people who can ask the right questions, easily let go of old assumptions, and bring fresh critical thinking to steer through gray areas are the ones who will thrive.
P.S. The other implication is that we — all of us — have many important choices to make in the coming years. When dichotomies collide, some things will stay and other things will go. We must commit to taking the best of both worlds, not the worst.