CHAPTER 16

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THE FUTURE AND CHANGE

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

—Charles Darwin

NO WONDER WE FEEL OVERWHELMED

Back in 2006, the people at IBM Global Technology Services predicted that by 2010, the world’s information base would be doubling every 11 hours.1 It is uncertain if the authors of this paper factored in the creation of YouTube in late 2005 and the proliferation of pet, young child, and stupid people tricks videos. If not, the available information in the world might have doubled in the few hours that it took you to read this book.

INFORMATION DOES NOT EQUAL CHANGE

A wealth of information is no guarantee that anything will change. Companies continue to bungle change efforts, treat employees poorly, and make bad choices about their strategy despite a never-ending supply of books, articles, and presentations.

We have yet to solve the problems of homelessness or significantly upgrade the overall quality of public education in the United States despite numerous studies suggesting solutions. We don’t even actively engage in efforts to change when we have ample information and a desire to do so. The Gallup organization reported that only 10 percent of Americans approved of the job the US Congress was doing in August 2012—less than 90 days before the 2012 general election.2 With that level ...

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