Future Shock … 5 Key Questions to Help You Keep Pace With Change

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As we venture into a new year, think for a minute about where we’ve been. The world has undergone and continues to go through incredibly rapid, mind-blowing changes.

Are you familiar with Alvin Toffler’s book, Future Shock? Toffler is an American writer and futurist. Originally published in 1970, his work contains some predictions for the future – many of which have an impact on the way we do business today.

Here’s a quick test to see how you’re measuring up.

1. In 1858, there were 4 cities with a population of 1 million plus. In 1960, there were 141 cities of 1 million plus. Toffler postulated that by 1981, there would be 282 cities of 1 million plus. Also by 2015, an estimated 564 cities around the world would contain 1 million or more residents.

Actually, Toffler wasn’t far off in his calculations for future populations. According to www.citypopulation.de, as of July 2015, there were 536 cities with over 1 million inhabitants. And now, as of Feb 2019 the list has grown to 575 cities.

What does this mean? The world is becoming increasingly urban which influences consumer needs and the way we interact with the world to get what we need.

Key Question: Are you and your business/products/services ready to compete in a global marketplace?

2. In 600 B.C., 8 miles per hour by camel caravan was our top speed. By the 1960’s, we could go 4,000 miles per hour by rocket.

What does this mean? The world is growing smaller. We can be anywhere fairly quickly and have become a very mobile population.

Key Question: How have you adjusted your business model to address the speed at which people are accustomed to getting where they need to go and having their needs met?

3. In the year 1500, it would have taken a century to produce a library of 100,000 books. Today we produce millions of new books every year.

What does this mean? The information explosion has become so great that no one individual can keep up with it all.

Key Question: How are you staying on top of the latest information and trends that impact your industry?

4. The teenager of today is surrounded by twice the number of man-made things than his/her parents were. This trend is increasing.

What does this mean? Young people grow up with different value systems. They think differently and are motivated in different ways than you and your parents were.

Key Question: What does your organization do to attract younger talent and motivate younger employees?

5. 90% of all the scientists who ever lived are alive today.

What does this mean? The knowledge explosion is continuous. More and more tech-heads are working feverishly to create technology that satisfies human needs better, faster, and cheaper.

Key Question: Can you keep up?

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