LRMG Performance Agency

Coping with acceleration

Coping with Acceleration: A commentary on Thomas Friedman’s Thank You for Being Late

In a brilliant new piece of work, Thomas Friedman (author of The World is Flat) not only gives us a great synthesis of why the world feels so overwhelming right now, but also provides us with sage advice on how to cope with the accelerated change and even succeed into the future, at individual, company, community, and infrastructure levels.

This commentary considers and builds on his thesis at the individual and company levels for now, leaving his community and social/infrastructure themes for a later date.

The pace of change – technological (driven by Moore’s law), socio-political and environmental – is outpacing that of the human adaptability to change, and it’s overwhelming. Not long ago (200 years) uncomfortable change was happening every 100 years or so. Since the industrial revolution it has been happening every 30 years. Now in this era of accelerated change it happens every five years. Mobile apps, big data, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning, the self-driving car ... these are rushing at us at unprecedented speeds. And the bad news is that not only are we not coping, but those of us that fall behind do so at an accelerating rate! The winds of change of the 1960s have now become gale force!

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