Futurist David Houle has written that we are moving to what he calls the Shift Age, and this decade of 2010 to 2020 is the “transformation decade.” As Houle says “The Transformation Decade therefore will be the ten years when most of humanity and its’ institutions will change nature, shape, character and form. This transformative force will sweep most along with a palpable sense of acceleration and change.” In his discussion of this decade he mentioned two areas that are human resources related.
The first of these I have written about many times and will yet write more in the future. He said “The words “job” and “employment” are undergoing transformation as significant as the transition from the Agricultural Age to the Industrial Age. We are moving back toward being individual artisans, similar to where we were prior to the centralization of the Industrial Age employment model.” I agree with him, but also feel that there are going to have to be many transformations to make this occur. The recession sped this along, but it is being heavily resisted by the forces of government (harder to collect taxes and fines from individuals) and the forces of organized labor (it is tough to organize individual entrepreneurs.)
The second point he made dealt with communication. He said “Our hand held devices are becoming appendages and portals to our selective and connected worlds. The devices we carry in our pockets and hands trump the computing power of all the Mercury and Apollo spacecrafts.” These devices are rapidly becoming the predominant method of communication, even to rival, and in some cases surpass email. Even within companies. Have you seen the commercial where the guy walks up to a group of people in the hallway in an office and says something to effect “Sharing tacos by Bill’s office. Think that might be something I would be interested in. You even invited Eric. You said Eric creeps you out.” At which point his PDA/phone buzzes and it is his message to come have tacos. (It was a commercial for speed of coverage.) You can see it below. (Not an endorsement of the product.)
That got me to thinking about the question “Are you taking advantage of this?” Here in the Southeast we recently had a very debilitating snow and ice storm. Many people were unable to make it to work. Many businesses, schools, churches, etc. were closed. As in the past many of these organizations called the TV stations to get their closing announcement on the “crawl” on the bottom of the screen. The better way to have done this would have been to send a broadcast text message to employees, members, students and others. Did you? Are you using this technology to communicate with your employees? Even in the office it might be the easier way to communicate. Not everyone is at their computer.
So let me know. How many of you are embracing this transformation in communication?
BTW, if you want to read Houle’s stuff you can find it here at Shift Evolution.
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