Most existing systems (organizations, cities, careers, governments) are resilient to external shocks. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t still be here. Earthquakes, edicts and emergencies come and they go, but the systems remain.
And yet, it’s the emergencies we pay attention to.
No single event demolished the music business. It was a series of slow changes over the course of two decades, all the way back to the CD.
Smoking killed far more people than terrorists ever did. It’s just not as dramatic.
No single technology destroyed the business model for newspapers. Sure, Craigslist hastened their demise, but the writing has been on the wall for a decade or more.
Your career won’t be made or broken on the back of one interview, one meeting, one sales call. Sure, it might help (or hurt), but the sudden impact of one event isn’t sufficient to change everything forever.
The slow changes in the media landscape are accelerating and virtually every pre-digital system is in danger. The slow changes in the marketing landscape are in their second decade and these changes will have their effects on every business and cause as well.
Cultural shifts create long terms evolutionary changes. Cultural shifts, changes in habits, technologies that slowly obsolete a product or a system are the ones that change our lives. Watch for shifts in systems and processes and expectations. That’s what makes change, not big events.
Don’t worry about what happened yesterday (or five minutes ago). Focus on what happened ten years ago and think about what you can do that will make a huge impact in six months. The breaking news mindset isn’t just annoying, it may be distracting you from what really matters. As the world gets faster, it turns out that the glacial changes of years and decades are become more important, not less.
SETH GODIN has written twelve books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.
American Way Magazine calls him, “America’s Greatest Marketer,” and his blog is perhaps the most popular in the world written by a single individual. His latest book, LINCHPIN, hit the Amazon top 10 on the first day it was published and became a New York Times bestseller – http://www.sethgodin.com/sg.