11 June 2016

Breakpoint and Beyond: The Naivety of Change...

The discontinuity of our society, our governments, our weather and the digital innovations of this modern generation creates simultaneous paths of challenge.  One of crisis and another of opportunity.

Yet without a thorough analysis and comprehension of the discontinuous change before us, how can you manage the Operational Risks that occur, at any point in time?  What path will you choose...
World English Dictionary

— n , pl -ties
1. lack of rational connection or cohesion
2. a break or interruption
3. maths
a. the property of being discontinuous
b. the point or the value of the variable at which a curve or function becomes discontinuous
4. geology
a. See also Mohorovičić discontinuity a zone within the earth where a sudden change in physical properties, such as the velocity of earthquake waves, occurs. Such a zone marks the boundary between the different layers of the earth, as between the core and mantle
b. a surface separating rocks that are not continuous with each other

"Discontinuity of Change" is a subject well understood by the average person walking the streets of Anacostia near the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, DC, San Bernardino, CA or Orlando, FL.

Perhaps those walking down Saeb Salaam in the heart of Beruit, Lebanon as refugees  also can comprehend, as they become vulnerable to arrest, detention and deportation.   Learning about change itself and the underlying systemic nature of the phases of change, can provide people in the middle of crisis or opportunity, with new found context.

In 1992, this blogger had the fortune to spend a significant amount of time with the authors of
Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today.  Dr. George Land and Dr. Beth Jarman wrote an extraordinary book and created an organization to teach what was inside it's covers.  To help us all make better sense of change and to discover our own ability, for innovation and creativity:
In our over four decades of research and work across many cultures, we have found that practically all humans have a vast capacity for imaginative, creative thinking. Although this ability has been dampened by social forces, it can be reawakened. We have also found that people have the capacity to put judgments and fears aside and work truly creatively and collaboratively in diverse and even divisive groups.
The path of crisis or opportunity is not a choice in what direction, it is a better understanding of change itself.  The systemic nature of the three phases of change and the ability to know where you are in the growth curve of the system, is the core.  Yet to innovate and to leap beyond a breakpoint to master the future, requires finding your own creativity once again.

The creativity that we are all born with, begins to dissolve at an early age.  Once we reach our teens and early adulthood, our cultural systems have stripped innovation from our potential known capabilities as a child.  As we grow older, our aspirations to be creative is subjected to influence by our parents, friends, teachers or by the 1 or 2%, in our particular ecosystem.  Is "Out-of-the-Box" thinking a good thing where you live or work?  Does your environment encourage divergence or convergence?

You see, the "Discontinuity" in society creates breakpoints.  The "Arab Spring" and the forming digital systems social revolution before us, creates new crisis and simultaneous opportunities.  Both are challenges for people, business, governments and global economies to analyze and rationalize.

Will you innovate?

If you are a policy maker in your organization, what are you doing to innovate?  Do you have new solutions for the changing operational risks encountered, as your employees travel the globe and make decisions for the enterprise? If you are the main policy bodies within your government, what have you done lately to find new creativity to address the potential opportunity before you?

In either case, the speed of change and the ability to rapidly innovate, will certainly decide your future.  Did you make it beyond the bifurcation and breakpoint?  Here is a great scientific example:
The miniaturization of electronic devices has been the principal driving force behind the semiconductor industry, and has brought about major improvements in computational power and energy efficiency. Although advances with silicon-based electronics continue to be made, alternative technologies are being explored. Digital circuits based on transistors fabricated from carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have the potential to outperform silicon by improving the energy–delay product, a metric of energy efficiency, by more than an order of magnitude. Hence, CNTs are an exciting complement to existing semiconductor technologies12.
Mastering the future today, is about better understanding the discontinuity of change around you. Managing "Operational Risk" is simple.  Continuously grow or die.

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