The Times, They Are a Changin’

Diplomacy with Cuba.  More mobile devices than people on the planet.  Cyber-attacks, not bombs, are the biggest threat to national security.  Retailers such as Amazon delivering merchandise via drones.  TV networks advertising when they actually have a scripted show.

Who woulda’ thunk it?

Back in early January of 1964, legendary songwriter Bob Dylan prophesied, “The times they are a changing.”  He was certainly correct back then, on the verge of major changes such as the civil rights movement, the space race, Vietnam, the summer of love, and the cold war.  Of course, the times were also a chagin’ in the 70’s.  And 80’s.  And 90’s.  And 2000’s.

Today, the world is changing at a rate like none other in history.  Advances in technology, geo-political turmoil, shifts in consumer behavior, currency instabilities.  You name it, it’s a changin’.

The real question becomes: how fast are you changing?

Fluctuations create opportunity for those that seize them, while delivering turbulent misery for those that cling to the past.  History shows us again and again that standing still is riskiest move of all.  Today more than ever, living in a constant state of reinvention is mission-critical to your success in your company, career, and community.  Bob Dylan nailed it with these poetic lyrics:

Come gather ‘round people, wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a changin’

As you begin the New Year, commit to being an agent of change rather than a purveyor of the past.  Every morning when you wake up, the world has changed overnight.  How you adapt to those shifts will define your success in 2015 and beyond.  Change is inevitable; the sooner you embrace it, the more benefit you’ll derive.

The upcoming year can be your blank canvas of creative expression.  A blank sheet of music, onto which you can create your masterpiece.  Fluidity and adaptability will become your primary building blocks as you leverage the rapidly changing world to enable your best year yet.

Dylan’s words are as relevant today as they were 51 years ago.  Yes, the times they are a changin’.  Are you?

Read More

New Thinking for the New Era of Business

Albert Einstein famously noted, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used when we created them.” In our post-COVID world of ...

When an Astronaut Needs a Pen

Ever get stuck on a problem, only to realize you're solving for the wrong thing? That's exactly what happened when the rocket scientists at NASA ...

How Shake Shack Drives Innovation

Do you prefer the crispy mozzarella, tempura watercress, and black garlic mayonnaise cheeseburger or the pumpkin mustard, bacon, cranberries, and sage hot dog? For something ...

Lady Gaga’s Secret to Creativity

Just before she won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, I watched Lady Gaga dazzle the live audience with a pitch perfect performance of ...

Creativity: Does Size Matter?

For some reason, we’ve been taught that for creativity and innovation to count they need to have a magnitude the size of the 1989 San ...

The Lexicon of Creativity

There’s more confusion around the meaning of the word innovation than the chaos at the airline ticket counter after a cancelled flight. Is there a difference between ...

The Brain Science of Becoming More Creative

When we hear stories about iconic leaders like’s founder Marc Benioff, or widely celebrated virtuosos like Lin-Manuel Miranda for that matter, we immediately think ...

Correct the Overcorrect

When the misguided leaders at Enron, Tyco and Worldcom committed fraud and marred their shareholders with huge losses, the Securities and Exchange Commission rightfully swooped ...

Learning to Color

Fact: Creativity has become the most needed skill in business. It’s gone from a nice-to-have to becoming mission-critical. Fact: Creativity is a learnable skill. All humans have ...