We are living in a revolutionary age. Moreover, our digital revolution promises to be the equivalent of the industrial revolution that transformed industry long ago. In today's workforce, many people are this generation's blacksmiths and just don't realize it yet.
Today, iteration, transition, and even evolution are methodologies no longer fast enough to keep pace with the shifts in the marketplace. We are living in an age of logarithmic change, as Ray Kurzweil states, where even the rate of acceleration is itself accelerating.
Adoption curves are contracting as laggards now are adopting with the pace of the early majority. Industries that have dominated categories are now more vulnerable to market shifts. Moreover, product lifecycles are shrinking as even high-cost products like consumer electronics are being considered high churn and disposable.
20th-century strategies, such as leaving innovation to smaller startups and then acquiring them, are proving more and more risky. This digital revolution makes scaling and access to markets simpler, easier, and exponentially cheaper.
Despite marketing's position on the frontline of this revolution, as an industry and as a profession, we've been slow to move. In fact, when we speak to marketers around the world or lecture to postgraduate students, we are constantly surprised at the level of the conversation and even the texts proffered as tools for the future.
Marketing's role, in connecting companies to customers, has never been more critical nor more exciting. However, we need to adopt the mindset of the revolutionary if we are to not simply manage change but to drive it.
So how do we begin to think like business revolutionaries?
1. Learn to hold an impossible thought