Accept Accelerated Change (Or Get Left behind)
Randy Wolken, President & CEO
The world around us is constantly accelerating. When the world is changing faster and faster each day, so must we. Do you have a strategy for your accelerated world? If not, now is the time to develop one.
This is not a new phenomenon, but it is more recent. The last half-century has moved at an accelerated pace. Many of us are now just noticing that acceleration is radically different than just fast. Here is a helpful way to think about it. When driving in a car, we tend to accelerate to our desired speed and then hold that speed steady. We may slow down and speed up again. We may even stop entirely for a while. However, when it comes to change around us, it is constantly accelerating. It never stops or slows down! Imagine a car ride where the speed continuously increases with each passing moment. This is how change is occurring in our world today. Notice how different that feels to you.
As humans, we are not built for constant acceleration. It distorts our sense of stability. We are used to all forms of movement – including being stopped and resting. The world around us never stops when it comes to accelerated change. As we sleep, the other side of the world is in accelerated change. When they sleep, we are involved in accelerated change. It is never-ending. This is our global village, and it can be challenging to adapt our way of living to what is occurring.
Another way to look at our world today is to see it as a fast-flowing river. Once you step into a river, you will never step into that same river again. It may look similar, but the water flowing around your feet is not the same as it was the last time you stepped into it. Our lives are similar. When we got up today to begin our work or play, the world had changed on us. It seems to be the same, but it is most certainly not. Rest assured that something else has changed – that is you!
You are not the same person you were yesterday. You have experienced more of the world you live in. Although they may be similar, they are not the same. Each day is a time of change for each of us if we let it be. Each day is a new day of learning and contributing to what matters to us. As our world has continued to change, so must we.
You and I need a strategy and approach to accelerated learning and adaptive change. When we accept this challenge, we live our life differently. That way, when we step into the river – or our lives – today, we have also changed. We can now experience this new day with all of its opportunities and challenges. This can be exciting. However, we must accept that we need to change just like the river – or day – we step into. Without change, we will be unprepared to thrive.
Step one of any newness involves realizing we must accept accelerated change. After we experience it, we must learn to love it. It will be this passion that propels us to develop a strategy for success. On October 1, I will celebrate 20 years as President & CEO of MACNY. However, no day has ever been the same. And, to stay relevant and valuable, I have needed to be different each day as well. For all of us, the amount of change is accelerated. Today, and every day forward, I must live an accelerated life. This is why I have adopted the Present-Future Leadership paradigm. I must live the present while leading toward a successful future. To do so, I must continually change and at a faster speed than ever.
Every individual and leader must adopt an accelerated change mentality. When we do so, we give ourselves, and our organizations, the best opportunity to thrive in our fast-paced global economy.