Changing at the Speed of Light

 In Blog

At Christmas this past year, my son Steven and dear Anna (his girlfriend) gave books to everyone based on their interests. I received “Thank you for being late – The Optimists Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations” by Thomas Friedman, the NY Times reporter and editorialist and author of the book “The World is Flat.”  Steven and Anna hit it out of the park in choosing this book for me.  It is 460 pages of fascination.  My next few blogs will address fascinating quotes and excerpts from the book that inspired me.

Friedman is interviewing Eric Teller CEO of Google X.  They are talking about the accelerated rate of change causing a feeling of dislocation – that feeling when you cannot keep up.  Teller offers up his opinion of innovation in an environment of rapid change: “Innovation, Teller said, is a cycle of experimenting, learning, applying knowledge, and then assessing success or failure.  When the outcome is failure, that’s just a reason to start the cycle over again.”  “Fail fast,” Teller tells his teams. “I do not care how much progress you make this month; my job is to cause your rate of improvement to increase – how do we make the same mistake in half the time for half the money?”  If we could “enhance our ability to adapt, even slightly…it would make a significant difference.”  Every institution has to keep getting more agile- it has to be willing to experiment quickly and learn from mistakes.”

How can the cycle of learning feed a better outcome next time around?  How can that be applied to your business?  That is worth taking the time to think about.

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