"I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I donÕt know."
Mark Twain

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 379


Estimated reading time:  2:30


I've been working on my book as this summer gets rolling. I'm thinking about how important it is for us to change our thinking, before it gets changed for us. Historically, technology replaced physical labour. Just as the plow, the wheel, the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, all extended us physically, so too, smart phones, tablets, AI and Big Data are extending us intellectually. Like the industrial revolution of 1750 - 1850 radically changed Europe, this digital (r)evolution will radically change both the so-called developing and developed world.  While physical labour changed in the industrial revolution, the Digital revolution will change thinking labour; medical practitioners, lawyers, accountants, scientists, truck drivers, artists, algorithms can do at least part of these jobs already, and they are getting better at them every day.  Blue collar, white collar and pink collar,  jobs will change, somehow.  


The changes also appear, so far at least, to have a deeper impact than simply economics. Empathy scores are dropping in university students and some employers are anecdotally reporting difficulty finding staff who are able to read face to face customer complaints.  There are some interesting questions about dormant internal neural maps as more and more of us use tech to locate ourselves and for directions. In the same way that my hands are soft and weak compared to those of my factory working grandfather and his farmer grandfather, what will my grandchild’s brain be like, and his grandchild’s?


This is not to say that the digital (r)evolution is all doom and gloom, rather that we as a species need to live through it with 5 conscious domains; the 5 Thrives. Importantly, we do not need a new ‘how to’ book, but rather, it is time for a ‘who to’ book. We need to be more self aware so that we can see our own responsibilities and rights in the emerging world. We need a deeper connectivity with other people so that we might make better ethical decisions for ourselves and with our families and communities. We need to be open to become a learning species. We need to be more courageous so that we can both inquire and advocate within the difficult challenges of this planet. We need to welcome a disruptive spirituality that challenges our assumptions and habits. By exploring these 5 Thrives, we will be a stronger and better species and that much more prepared for the revolution that follows this one.


May this week be one of changing our thinking.