We are living through a time of unprecedented global change, a time I call The Churning.
Like it or not, huge changes are taking place in politics, the economy, technology, the environment, and society. Brexit, austerity, taxation, the rise of the political right and left, immigration, mass migration, terrorism, smartphones, drones, artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, driverless vehicles, solar power, Airbnb, Uber, Tesla, high competition, low economic growth, stock market volatility, hurricanes, floods, droughts, fires, earthquakes, new diseases (of plants, animals, and humans), climate change, and the ongoing degradation of the planetary life support system we call the environment. All these things are disrupting and transforming our world.
Ten years ago most of these issues were barely on our radars. Now they are the new normal. And though there will be many items on this list you do not care about, there is probably at least one that is affecting you significantly.
We have created a more connected and interdependent world. We can’t predict exactly what will happen when but we do know the world is becoming more complex and unpredictable rather than more stable.
This uncertainty and lack of control affects us all emotionally — especially those of us who, as leaders, are held responsible and accountable for delivering results. So, as well as the outer Churning of the physical world, we also experience the inner Churning of our emotional world.
The people we work with — customers, suppliers, and colleagues — all have their pressures too. And when two pressured people meet it is no surprise if stressed communications sometimes lead to poor decisions, making a bad situation worse. In this way The Churning feeds on itself and grows.
This is the time I call The Churning.
It won’t last forever — it is a transitional phase to something better, as you will understand by the time you have finished this book. But to reach that point successfully, and to deal with the changes we are experiencing now, we need new thinking, new frameworks, and new tools for leading ourselves and others.
Is the rate of change in your life higher, lower, or about the same as it was five years ago? Two years ago? One year ago? Would it be useful to learn new tools and techniques for leading yourself and others through these times of change?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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