Thursday, June 19, 2008

Customizable World...

As I watch my daughter Sydney watch Elmo sing with Andrea Bocelli their own counting version of "Time to say goodbye"...she's mesmerized by his signing...(Andrea's singing)...well OK maybe Elmo's too and really who can blame her. I refresh my thoughts about her generation that only knows the world as an always on, always connected, all digital, all the time world.

A customizable, changeable world has always existed. The difference has only been the pace and the amount of those contributing in a meaningful way. So, as I use this world changing technology to communicate to you now as an example, clearly the pace has not always been as fast as in the last few years. The pace has definitely quickened.

And so, I'm asking to what end and are you as a company prepared for what's next?

Sure, most of us view technology advancement as cool, but my head space is all about results and so like the late nineties where designers designed websites that were "cool" with mystery nav and flash intros that did little more than waste our time with all business fundamentals going right out the door. I'm wondering how many are really changing the world for the better.

We know that a rare idea properly cultivated can change the world. However, I used the word "rare" for a reason. Are our kids going to be more a capable of "rare" ideas? I say yes, under the right definition of what "rare" is. There is still much to be discovered, that said, I think that our kids are more likely to vastly improve upon some of the things that generations past have created, identified or thought up. Of course the "World is Flat" and so there provides many opportunities for collaboration that have not existed before. My company leverages this every day, that said, it's not that common place outside of the Internet world of business.

Does COOL TECHNOLOGY + AVERAGE COMPANY = CHANGE THE WORLD CAPABILITIES or just recognition that they're using cool technology? I would argue no. For me this is obvious, it's based on human beings rather than the technology and how the people behind the company process, adapt and leverage that technology based on their philosophy of doing business that really determines results. Still companies don't get it and expect technology to be the holy grail answer to why they're sales numbers are down. Technology is still simply an enabler and for really cool people it's more than that it's massive power. This generation is and will be evidence of that.

My point, in part, is that, this generation's philosophy and outlook is vastly different than my grandparents, parents and in many ways possibly even me. This is both a blessing and a curse simultaneously. This generation is also said to be much much larger than the Baby Boomers, and with way more wealth and buying power to go around. So how are businesses preparing for this? It will take more than hoping into the fast paced stream of technology just to prepare. This is mental more than anything else. This transition between the Baby Boomers still working old school business methods and fearful closed door management styles will continue to end up just like the dinosaurs (Sears). You might be able to save yourselves now if you open your mind to what's happening or simply step aside, it's inevitable as none of us lives forever and these kids are coming quickly and they're highly capable.

This disjointed rambling of thoughts brought to you by a lack of coffee and emotional reflection while watching the most beautiful daughter in the world and simply worrying about providing the very best for her and her friends.

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