old globeDo you ever feel overwhelmed by information that seems to be coming at you from all directions? Is there a part of you that really does not want an upgrade to a new software or device because it is just one more learning curve? Although change is no longer cyclical, but constant, for the most part our world is still operating off of old rules that clash violently with the emerging new operating system. The tools people work with, how people work and where people work are all changing. With increased life expectancies, multiple generations compete in the same market space often pitting valuable life experience against technology know how. Beginning to grasp the implications of “The World of 3.0” is a journey that some make gracefully and others will make flailing against the inevitable. If you think your cheese is going to adjust to a slow jog, you are mistaken for the race has just begun. Forget about a taking a break or arriving, because like the horizon your destination will disappear as you get closer. Yet the painful transition from one to the next is not something that can be avoided. Like the debate between a STEM focus or an art and design emphasis – often the point here is missed. In today’s world, more than ever, we need to embrace the value proposition that both ends of the spectrum and the in-between bring to move forward effectively. If location is crucial in real estate, context and mindset is critical in today’s world of change. It only makes sense if a good portion of our population feels overwhelmed by information.

  • We grew up in homes where when the phone rang, your mother called out, “Someone get the phone.” Why? Because if you missed that call there was no answering machine, voice mail or caller ID. That call once gone, was gone.
  • We lived in a world of card catalogues and microfiche at the library. There was no Google, no internet, no Wikipedia, no Amazon or e-books. Teachers used blackboards and chalk, and detention could have you outside pounding erasers in a cloud. Handouts were made using a ditto master that used heavily inked waxy paper turned through a machine with a solvent that transferred that ink to paper. A printing press of sorts.
  • We went to concerts and bought music. Phone booths and pay phones were common. Maps were necessary. Offices were important and communication was far from instant.
  • Publix closed at 6. Almost nothing was open all night or on Sunday and packages and messages certainly did not arrive the next day.

Contrast that with portions of our population that only know a phone as a handset or mobile device, are more comfortable with a keyboard than a pencil, that barely knew VCR tapes, and look online first for information as if that were the only choice. As mass quantities of information stream past them they do not feel obligated to open every email, text or read each information feed. Of course older people express, as all “older generations” for centuries have, serious concerns over this generation. Yet more important than the information they know, is knowing how to find the information they need. How do we evolve culturally from the “old rules” that worked in yesterday’s world to discovering and implementing the new rules for today? Preparing for our leadership conference involves hours of research and conversation as we work to identify core components around each year’s theme. As the topics, speakers and panelists come together, the sessions and the agenda take on a life of their own unfolding into something so rich and much bigger than the sum of the original parts.