Monday, May 22, 2006

The World is Flat

Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat, tells how business and organizational hierarchies are becoming more horizontal due to our ability to communicate information more swiftly. This paragraph gives me goose-bumps as I consider the possibilities. "It is this triple convergence--of new players, on a new playing field, developing new processes and habits (key word here) for horizontal collaboration--that I believe is the most important force shaping global economics and politics in the early 21st century. Giving so many people access to all these tools of colaboration...ensures that the next generation of innovations will come from all over Planet Flat. The scale of the global community that is soon going to be able to participate in all sorts of discovery and innovation is something the world has never seen before." To set this in context, Friedman is explaining how technology is enabling more and more people to enter the global economy. No longer will the Big Corporation hold all the power in this rapidly changing century. The ability to communicate and share information now rests in the hands of anyone who has the tools. The two bold words in the paragraph are important for understanding the changes that are occuring. This change is NOT about technology and the Internet. Those things are not the point. The point is this: It is about habits and participation. It will not take long for people to realize the power that is available to them through this shift and as a result, will never want to go back to the old heirarchical economy. Once a person finds this out, the next step is to give themselves permission to take the risk and step into the game. The flattening of the world is going to affect everything in its path. Heirarchies won't cease to exist, but individuals will begin to pose a greater competitive threat to them because the individual will now realize the possibilies of participation. The direction this will lead us is mind-boggling.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Songs in the Dark

Here is a link to our latest recording. As stated in the book below, technology is making it possible for people like us to create high quality products at a fraction of the cost in years previous. In this case I am limited by my skills, not by equipment. Now that the tools are in place, one can grow into them at their own pace and not be rushed by deadlines or budgets.

An Army of Davids

A great book I am currently reading is called "An Army of Davids." It tells how technology is empowering the individual and smaller organization, enabling them to compete with the Big Corporation. Very inspiring as I consider the implications for the church of the future. His opening stories about making beer and recording music at home connected with me right off the bat. To think that I have equipment in my basement that I can use to produce a high quality product is pretty amazing. Producing my own music would not have even been possible a few years ago. It would have been too costly for the average person.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Initiating Change

One problem I am running into as I seek to initiate change is misperception. Change is threatening. Anytime you ask someone to change, or speak of change that you are involved in, it always implies that the way things have been done in the past is wrong. Over the last 25 years, alot has changed in my short life. When I was in college, all the guys in Sager House wanted to type their papers on my Commodore 64 because you could type it all, then correct later. Who cared if the printer wouldn't print decending characters. It was hot and hip and I was on the cutting edge. Since then, we've experienced so much change, its hard to imagine that 64K was as good as it gets. Now everyone has a computer, email, internet access, more desktop power than NASA in the 60's. We have cell phones, credit cards, Google, and SouthPark. Look at all the change that you have experienced in the last 5 years, the last two years. 40gig is now small for my kids needs. With all that change in technology, the culture has changed with it. New questions accompany all this technology. New ethical dilemnas exist now that we didn't experience. Is sharing software a sin? How about sharing an MP3? Why do you think the Terry Schiavo case got the attention it did? We would not even have heard about it 5 years ago. We live in a different world and we have got to be able to navigate in that world if we are going to be effective as leaders, fathers and men of strength. But change is not necessary if there is not a problem. I am ready to admit the problem as I see it and lead toward change. It does the family no good to not tell Grandpa he has cancer. Cancer is his problem. It has to be dealt with. It doesn't mean Grandpa is a bad person. It just means he's got something he needs to take care of. Rush (the band, not Limbaugh) clearly stated in the song, Tom Sawyer, that "changes aren't permanent, but change is." Those who understand this need to help lead the way. watchman