Everything is in a state of flux. An old French proverb says “the more things change the more they remain the same”. Even when things seem to be in a chaotic state of change what remains the same, at least for some, is the ability to adapt.
A Fast Company article titled This Is Generation Flux: Meet The Pioneers Of The New And Chaotic Frontier Of Business states: Despite recession, currency crises, and tremors of financial instability, the pace of disruption is roaring ahead. The frictionless spread of information and the expansion of personal, corporate, and global networks have plenty of room to run.
And heres the conundrum: When businesspeople search for the right forecast–the road map and model that will define the next era–no credible long-term picture emerges. There is one certainty, however. The next decade or two will be defined more by fluidity than by any new, settled paradigm; if there is a pattern to all this, it is that there is no pattern. The most valuable insight is that we are, in a critical sense, in a time of chaos.To thrive in this climate requires a whole new approach, which well outline in the pages that follow. Because some people will thrive. They are the members of Generation Flux. This is less a demographic designation than a psychographic one: What defines GenFlux is a mind-set that embraces instability, that tolerates–and even enjoys–recalibrating careers, business models, and assumptions.
Not everyone will join Generation Flux, but to be successful, businesses and individuals will have to work at it. This is no simple task. The vast bulk of our institutions–educational, corporate, political–are not built for flux. Few traditional career tactics train us for an era where the most important skill is the ability to acquire new skills.
Adapting To Chaos
Prior to the web things were predictable. In the web 1.0 economy things were fairly predictable. The dynamics of web 2.0 and beyond are chaotic and the only thing predictable is rapid change. With this increased speed of change has come a decrease in planning for the future. We are so uncertain about what will happen five years from now that both individuals and corporations seldom plan more than a few months in advance.
Chaos creates opportunity. Those who embrace the latest technologies will make fortunes. In the midst of accelerating change, we sometimes forget that new technologies are not new things that we must do. They are simply new ways of doing what we have always done. The difference is technology accelerates the rate of change which changes the way we do things. Start learning how to do things differently and you will embrace chaos.
As the old French proverb says “the more things change the more they remain the same”. What remains the same is those that resist change. This time there are more people fueling change than those resisting it.