Are You Ready for the Second Machine Age?

The beauty of competition is that one persons threat is another persons opportunity. It is this truth that ensures the presence of evolution everywhere. Throughout life nothing is truly stagnant and even decline can be a sign of an impending incline.

That is the fascinating premise of the Worldpost article Are You Ready for the Second Machine Age?. Explaining three key factors that are colliding to create potentially a huge burst of prosperity for years to come.

I couldn’t agree more that the current wintry financial climate of recent years provides its own benefits. I have to thank my education for teaching me that adversity can provide the best opportunities to think outside the box.

I learnt about a Brazilian company facing a severe recession with most companies failing, unemployment rising and investment drying up. Seeing the problems the chairman found a novel solution. He put ALL his workers in charge.

His message was that everyones job was on the line. If the company failed they all failed. Ideas, solutions and their delivery mattered. Not job titles. So he opened up the books, provided training and resources and said to them all. We will get out of this as a team. You have access to the company books, financial details, contracts, the lot.

The result was double digit growth in a failing economy. Workers motivated and happy. With a purpose and clear mission. Free and bold thinking wasn’t just allowed but encouraged. Everything you hear about the success of Silicon Valley or any other financial success seemed to occur at this company.

The answer always comes down to seeing extreme conditions as a challenge and opportunity, something to teach you. Adopt that attitude and success invariably comes. It’s much easier said than done obviously but it’s always important to remember that life exists and even thrives in all situations. Much like polar bears and seals want the planet colder than we do so they can thrive economies have their seasons too.

I notice a different attitude to risk in this downturn. Of course spending money freely has stopped but then accountability has grown. It feels as though the climate has focused back on what matters, delivering and finding solutions. Not just throwing money without expecting a return.

It’s certainly not perfect but delivering is now an important part of the evolutionary process with less financial energy flowing. A time of plenty encourages more varied species but also a lot more of what went before. Failing is less common and frowned upon  Sometimes when you’re going to fail anyway it doesn’t seem so strange or risky to go the whole hog and do something totally outside the box. You’re so used to risk that you’re not afraid, it’s just part of daily life.

In an economy where failures are common failing better becomes the norm. If you don’t win you learn. Sometimes it’s easier to learn quickly the hard lessons of success in a bad economy because there is no shame in it. Producing tougher more competitive companies.

That’s what I’ve experienced anyway and how I prefer to view it. I can’t control the economy but I can control how I perceive it.

Check out Are You Ready for the Second Machine Age? and let me know what you think? I for one am kind of excited.

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