There is so much attention being paid today on how to embrace change. But management expert Gary Hamel, the bestselling author of What Matters Now, says that leaders need to understand that change itself has changed. Grasping the evolution of change will prepare leaders to anticipate shifts and the unstoppable innovations that drive them.
In the latest installment of Big Think’s Edge, Hamel teaches how to navigate today’s world of accelerated change and relentless competition.
The Revolution of Management
In the near future, industries will be ruled by technologies that haven’t been invented yet. Moore’s Law has observed that computing power doubles every two years, and so can you imagine what leading industries will look like two decades from now?
Leaders who don’t want to be blindsided by a shift must be experts at anticipating and leveraging change. “There’s a very good chance that over the next few years we are going to see a revolution in management that is just as profound as the revolution in management that gave birth to the industrial age,” says Hamel.
The Acceleration Continues
As fast-paced as the world is today, we have to stop a moment and consider how change itself has changed. And the pace may not seem natural, as far as our agrarian ancestors are concerned; it's not slowing down but becoming faster. “We literally live today in a world where change has changed. We are the first generation in history where the pace of change has gone hyper-critical within our lifetimes,” Hamel points out.
Modernity has given us an "exponential lifestyle" where everything from CO2 emissions and the number of genes sequenced to the number of discovered planets are essentially growing exponentially. The old adage should be changed to: rapid change is the only constant.
From the printing press to the personal computer to whatever device we're all glued to ten years from now, advancements in technology provide greater opportunities. This is of course a positive trend, one that evens the playing field. But it also means fiercer competition and lowered barriers of entry.
Master navigating change and you gain an advantage over your competitors. You will also anticipate shifts before they happen and seize on new innovations and other opportunities in uncertain times.
To learn how to understand everything you need to know about managing change, subscribe to Big Think’s Edge and watch this clip from Hamel’s discussion on staying competitive in our ever changing world: