I have to admit I have a love hate relationship with David Brooks from the New York Times. I don’t think we have much common ground, and I either love what he has to say on a given day, or I hate it. Today David and I are simpatico. His article “Tools for Thinking” caught my attention and lead me to an organization I will follow in the future – Edge.org.
David, I take the liberty of using only his first name since I also take the liberty of crumbling up and tossing his editorials that I disagree with. David highlights the recent Edge symposium and over 164 contributions were made by leading thinkers, both high and low, about how to handle the posited question – “What Scientific Concept Would Improve Everybody’s Cognitive Toolkit.” I would have made my own contribution, but, alas, I was not invited on the frontend of this discussion. I encourage you all the see the list at Edge.org.
What sparked my attention to this post and this event. It is the same thing that is driving 90% of my consulting work today. After 20 years of leading start-ups and turnarounds my practice has been shaped by this subject matter – essentially, “…what the h*ll should I do next.” These are people looking for ‘tools for thinking’ as well as some critical insights on where the business economy is heading.
The dialog, as presented by David, covers a very broad range, as was its’ goal. I zeroed in on how to understand the change to a digital world – an emergent system, as he describes it. Since our culture is an emergent system we are adapting to how it is being described by the thought leaders who are driving digital tools and social media which are driving more than 80% of the overall change we are experiencing today…and this is what scares the h*ll out of my clients.
For my clients, my job has become to be their guide to this understanding of this change and what it means to them and to their busineses – and thus the ‘Analog Sherpa’ was born. I’ve lead change and turnaround for years, but now the change is from the macro environment and we are all looking for tools to better understand what is happening and where it is going. To get ‘there’ I now see that we have to ‘ become the tools we are looking for.’ Then we’ll understand what our future really looks like.