This past year has revealed a growing number of client requests for seminars and keynotes dealing with the subject of change and the challenges involved with having to cope with what is considered to be an uncomfortable trend.
Major book stores report a marked increase in the sales of books and audio tapes based on this age-old subject of change.
A recent National Internet Poll identified change as one of the top five concerns to the average American today.
- I’m personally pleased to see organizations seeking tools and strategies to better equip themselves to deal with change.
- It’s encouraging to see people pursue more and better information (books and CDs) on the subject.
- It’s reassuring to observe that the average American has identified change as a major concern in the hopes that they will prepare themselves to deal with it.
What I find both interesting and ironic is the fact that most people speak of change as though it’s a new concept and therefore difficult to deal with. The harsh reality lies in the fact that we should be very well equipped and prepared to deal with change as it has been a constant companion to all of us for as long as we can remember.
Here’s an interesting and entertaining exercise for you. Sit down for ten minutes with family, friends, or fellow staff members and generate a list of things that have changed in just the past five years. Consider areas of technology, food, politics, transportation, communication, entertainment, etc. Within a matter of a few minutes you’ll quickly fill a legal pad. Note that we have weathered all of those changes, benefited from the majority of them, and quickly took them for granted as we moved on to other things.
That’s life— always has been—always will be. When it ceases, we’re in big trouble. And yet we struggle to accept this vivid reality and seek to embrace it for it’s many advantages and benefits.
We seem to be so focused on past and present changes that we leave little time and energy to recognize the obvious changes which lie ahead and prepare ourselves, our families, our cities, and our organizations.
Those individuals and organizations which will be most successful in dealing with change are those who can learn from previous transformations, put forth an effort to predict future changes and create plans to deal with them. History proves this to be true—again and again.
Therefore we’re going to take advantage of this new blog feature, Going, Going, Gone, to review the many past changes we’ve experienced, identify current changes we may be dealing with at the moment, and contemplate upcoming modifications and how they might affect you, your family and organization.
We’ll focus on people, products, organizations, and trends which:
- have undergone major changes,
- are currently in the midst of transformation,
- are destined for future change, and
- the inevitable results that will evolve.
Watch this page for an on-going list and feel free to share your own predictions as well.
- Newspaper classified ads will be replaced by free online listings at sites like Craigslist.org and Google Base.
- Print Yellow Pages will continue to bleed dollars to their various digital counterparts, from Internet Yellow Pages to local search engines and combination search/listing services like ReachLocal and Yodle. They will soon disappear altogether. Think of trees we’ll be saving.
- Video stores such as Blockbuster Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video, West Coast Video, MovieBeam, and others are closing their doors by the hundreds as Netflix revolutionizes the industry and in-home downloading becomes more readily available and user-friendly.
- Dial-up Internet Access connections have fallen from 40% in 2001 to 10% in 2008. The combination of an infrastructure to accommodate affordable high-speed Internet connections and the disappearing home phone have all but pounded the final nail in the coffin of dial-up Internet.
- Phone landlines are also readily being replaced by cell phones. Note how phone booth presence has diminished in airports, hospitals, shopping malls, etc. Expect much more of the same. It’s only natural to expect the number of answering machines to decline as we see landlines disappear.