We all know the world is changing, and that the speed of change is increasing. Or at least, we say we do.

But not everyone embraces change. If you are already at the top of the heap, you might prefer things to stay the way they are. If you are a believer in a fixed world view – whether religious or scientific – the discovery of new facts and the destruction of old paradigms will be unsettling.

And for those of us who enjoy change – who like diversity, who enjoy learning something new even if it means we have just lost an argument – for us, technological change is as exhilarating as travel to an unexpected landscape in a new country.

Here’s a new manifestation of an idea that is pointing the way to a barely conceivable future:

As reported in FastCoDesign, the Tangible Media Group at MIT’s Media Lab has developed a way of tracking the movement of objects such as hands in 3D, and replicating those moving objects through a grid of posts, allowing them to manipulate another object that the real hands can’t reach.

To look behind the scenes is to see someone moving their hands in isolation, as though playing atheremin, or a Wii without a controller. You move your hands here, but you can impact the world as though your hands were somewhere else. Now the phrase “Reach out and touch someone” attains a new reality. The implications for all industries can only just be glimpsed: warfare, search and rescue, surgery, construction, space exploration, gaming – let alone pornography – all will be revolutionized with the blending of robotics, AI and distance manipulation.

It hasn’t happened yet, but you can see it coming. My belief is: Anything that anyone can imagine, at some point will be attempted by someone – and, given enough time, achieved. That’s just what humans do.

So how can you lay plans for the future, business plans or personal plans, when the future is shifting under your feet in seismic fashion? As in our Income/Outcome business simulations, there is no certainty, and there is no predetermined correct path. The answers are:

  • Know yourself (your company) and your strengths and weaknesses
  • Know your environment (your competitors, customers, vendors)
  • Search for opportunities and threats
  • Maintain an adequate cash flow
  • Improve the speed and accuracy of information sharing
  • Use plans, not for certainty, but to identify limitations
  • Stay flexible and able to respond rapidly to change.

Our world has neither the apparently unchanging existence of previous millennia, nor the steady and gradual improvements of recent centuries. Our world is one of disruptive technologies and unpredictable change, of limitless opportunities for creation and destruction, of an ever-expanding big picture understanding of the universe.

So in our business acumen workshops we don’t teach predetermined answers. We provide foundational thinking and visualization of key concepts and driving factors of business. What you do with your enhanced insights and understanding is up to you.

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