Alvin Toffler wrote in the 1970s about how the world was going to experience change as never before. He was correct. Toffler he said that a primary concern would be what he termed, “Future Shock,” which happens when the amount of change faced by an individual or organization exceeds the capacity to assimilate it. People and organizations don’t shut-down when the they experience Future Shock, but they do begin to act ‘squirrely,’ and the level of stress and anxiety increases. At high levels they can become unproductive, even counter-productive. In organizations, it results in increasing levels of dysfunction.
I see this happening regularly in both individuals I coach, and in organizations I consult with. In most cases, it’s up to the leader to put in place practical mechanisms to reduce the stress and dysfunction. Those mechanisms work at reducing the amount of change the organization must process, or increasing the resilience and ability of the organization to assimilate more change. The two worst things a leader can do is to hope it goes away, or push the organization to handle it.
Chances are you are seeing Future Shock in your organization. What are you doing about it?
© Copyright 2016 Bob Legge
Bob Legge provides organizations with the ability to exceed their most ambitious goals. I work with leaders of Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. Together, we drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org