As this bulldozer of change rolls over our planet, we have a choice: to become part of the bulldozer, or part of the road.
— Frank Ogden in The Last Book You’ll Ever Read
Futurist Frank Ogden penned these words in 1993. Today, seventeen years later, this bulldozer is bigger and faster than ever, as the pace of change in workplaces and homes across the country increases exponentially. Consider this example: it took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users, television 13 years, the Internet four years, and the iPod three years. In contrast, in just a nine month period, Facebook added 100 million users, and downloads of iPhone applications reached one billion. Or ponder this. Today, the amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years. Translation: for students starting a 4-year technical degree, half of what they learn in the first year of study will be outdated by the third year of study. Bottom line: it doesn’t matter what aspect of your professional and personal life you consider, the pace of change is increasing exponentially.
If you work in an organization, does it irritate the heck out of you when new versions of software are released and you still haven’t figured out how to use the earlier version? If you’re a supervisor or team leader, does it drive you crazy to see your younger staff texting each other constantly? If you’re in front-line customer service, does it annoy you when clients keep expecting more for less? You have two alternatives to approach these realities. You can hope that they are passing fads and that sooner or later, everyone will come to their senses and these frustrations will go away. In the meantime, you’ll just stay out of the bulldozer’s way (and hope you don’t get run over). OR … you can take action to try and influence the bulldozer’s direction. This option starts with a change in your attitude. Ask questions, request to be involved, and offer your assistance – become part of the solution by becoming a positive force for change. As Ogden said, you have a choice – to become part of the bulldozer, or part of the road. Which one will you choose?