Thursday, 26 June 2008
The disruptive wave of change
We know that the only inevitable thing about change is that it will continue, and that technological change is speeding up and continues to do so. People are affected by this change in different ways and to different degrees. It is often harder for those who have grown up with something constant to find in later life that it isn't true anymore. So it is assumed (sometimes incorrectly) that older people find change (and technological change in particular) more difficult to cope with. Often it is actually only that characteristics of the new technology dont lend themselves to the failing senses (e.g. seeing small screens on mobile phones in poor light when one's eyesight is deteriorating).
In fact it is often most difficult for those that have been on the bow of the wave of change to come to terms with either that or subsequent similar changes that follow, perhaps through distrust. And it doesn't just apply to technology. Those who were most disrupted by decimalisation of the UK currency in the seventies, people of my parent's age, found that more difficult than my own experience of it. For my parents it affected everything they bought and paid for. For me it affected my pocket money! And for many of those people like my parents who had direct experience of the change, it has coloured their view of any future currency changes (such as the Euro).
So as we go forward with new technology, there will always be a wave of those who are hit somehow by it in a way that makes them wary of following disruptions. But for the masses, who came before them or after them, embracing the change will bring great opportunities.