Survival of the fittest?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive,
nor the most intelligent,
but the one most responsive to change.”
Charles Darwin

Could you predict what you’d be doing today five years ago?  And what you will be doing in five years time?

The next fifty years of change will happen in five to ten years, say the authors of the BT Technology Timeline.

Fifty years ago we were impressed with supercomputers the size of warehouses.  Today, we carry memory sticks with more power around in our top pockets.

The employees of the future are technology natives that cannot fathom a life without remote control, have never heard the sound of a telephone dialling, and don’t understand what the phrase ‘you sound like a broken record’ means.

Young people already find all their information online, spend their leisure time in virtual worlds, sending SMS, IM and email.  They are never far from a screen or keyboard and have the ‘I want it now or I’m off mentality’.

This response to technological innovation will enable us to improve productivity by working smarter, not harder.  And that means creating a knowledge economy in the borderless world.

Knowledge has no upper limit.  Unlike labour, capital and other quantifiables of the industrial age, knowledge doesn’t deplete with use.  For example, 161 billion gigabytes of knowledge was created in 2006 (according to IDC).  I’m not sure what was generated in 2007, but I do know that in 2006 we generated three million times the information in every book ever written.  In the next three years the digital universe will expand six fold.

The rules have changed, the tyranny of distance is irrelevant and geography is history.  Whether you are living in Sydney, Singapore, San Francisco or St Petersburg we now all have access to the same information.  So, the borders restricting us are no longer geographical, but those between young and old, and between technology haves and have-nots.

So, we must direct resources into innovating business models, access high value competitive skills through global resourcing and integrating globally.

The iron clad law of the flat world is this: “if it can be done, it will be done.” The only question is will it be done by you or to you?


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