January 31st, 2011
In the past two years, I have given around 200 speeches and presentations. I speak to the reality that humanity is entering a new age – the Shift Age. The last few years have been extremely disruptive, as it is the transition between the Information Age and the Shift Age. I have presented my view that, after this re-organizational recession and time, we have entered not only the global stage of human evolution, but also an exciting time of transformation almost unparalleled in human history.
In small situations – such as corporate retreats and CEO groups – I spend a lot of time interacting with people, answering questions about the future. I’m often asked whether Islamic extremists, dictatorships and governmental bureaucracies will keep this transformation from happening. My answer has always been that the three forces of the Shift Age – the Flow to Global, the Flow to the Individual and the Accelerating Electronic Connectedness of humanity – will ultimately triumph over these impediments to transformation.
Accelerating Electronic Connectedness is not just about social media, the creative destruction of 20th century-business models and mobile apps. It is about the collapse of wall gardens and ignorance. Dictatorships survive not only through brutality but also by controlling information. Religious extremists gain power by creating walls to block outside views and information. In both cases, ignorance is a key part of the foundation of dictatorships and religious extremists. As humanity becomes ever more connected, this is much harder to maintain.
In these past two years, I …
January 2nd, 2011
01/01/11 is the second digital New Year’s Day in a row. A year ago it was 01/01/10, also zeros and ones, the two digits of the Information Age of computers. That column, called “The Transformation Decade” seemed to resonate immediately as it was widely sourced in the blogosphere and retweeted globally on Twitter. I created a presentation, “The Transformation Decade: 2010-2020” that was widely requested and delivered around the world this past year.
The definition of ‘transformation’ is ‘a change in nature, shape, character and form’. The Transformation Decade therefore will be the ten years when most of humanity and its’ institutions will change nature, shape, character and form. This transformative force will sweep most along with a palpable sense of acceleration and change. In advising companies for example, I have said that old management theories that applied in the 20th century are no longer sufficient, that only leading from a place of transformation will keep companies current with the world around them. To not operate with a dynamic sense of the definition of the word transformation will risk decline and obsolescence.
In the past four years, and in the three years since my book “The Shift Age” was published, I have said two things. First, that the Great Recession of 2007-2010 is a reorganizational recession as it is the economic transition between two ages, the Information Age and the Shift Age. Second, that we are already in the Shift Age but that the perception and acceptance of a new …