Speed of change LO11701

Ian Saunders (tpians@cix.compulink.co.uk)
Tue, 7 Jan 97 10:15 GMT0

I would like to initiate a new thread that builds on a number that had
recently been running.

Speed of change - technology goes forwards very quickly whilst man changes
very (very very) slowly.

This became pertinent to me not long ago at a conference when in the midst
of a discussion on change where the general sense of the discussion was
'change is happening all the time, it is gathering pace, we have to try
and go with it etc', a quiet voice from the side of the discussion said
"we are not changing very quickly!!!"

It was a very provocative intervention, that caused the discussion to stop
for a few moments. I then asked if he would elaborate....

He said, "Technology is changing very quickly and man has hardly changed
in 2000 years." "At the fundamental level of man changing we have not
really changed very much at all. We have developed, moved out of caves,
accepted new technological ideas (often resisted them) and not actually

In summary he was suggesting that we need to be more careful with how we
talk about change. "THings around us are changing rapidly" "How we cope
with and benefit from these developments are crucial to us" "How we
develop to make best use of them is important"

AND "don't expect man to actually change very quickly because there is no
history for this"

It may be making a seemingly semantic point that it is things that are
changing not us and yet when we become involved in change programmes,
personal development programmes etc, we are trying to get people to
develop, even change. At best this will take time, lots of it and whilst
this is going on technology races forwards compared to our crawl.

How do we reconcile these differences of pace. We generally seem to want
the benefits of technology and I continually find it difficult to get
people to acknowledge their need to change (especially at senior levels)?
How do we learn to cope with, manage, make best use of,
'things/technologies' that make us learn and change faster than we are
comfortable with?

I think that this may be a big subject, I may have described it in a
muddled way. At the time this guy made his quiet intervention it made me
stop and think (and continue to think about the idea) that we are changing
very very slowly whilst having to respond to ideas and especially
technological advances (are they!!) that seem to go ever faster.


Ian Saunders
Transition Partnerships - Harnessing change for business advantage


tpians@cix.compulink.co.uk (Ian Saunders)

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>