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The Future Of Business – We’ve All Got The Industrial Age Disease

We’ve All Got The Industrial Age Disease, it’s sad, but it’s true. Back when I was in high school, we were told, when you graduate, you MUST get a full time job. So we took a job at the mill, because it payed better than F. W. Woolworth. Today that’s changed, today people want full-time wages for part-time work. We were told to sit down and behave, to pay attention, and how to think… we made a mistake…we settled for something we new deep down within, wasn’t what we wanted. We did it because we were told to, we did it because we felt safe, we did it because we felt comfortable, and then it became our comfort zone, our sense of normal.

Unlike the Matrix, we believed in something that today is no longer true, we believed the Industrial Age System(s) would look after us to our last breath, just as we have in governmental systems. We justify our place in the world based on those systems, the factory model, the school system, they were designed to educate you in such a way that you would fit into that factory model. We went to school, we went to University, being taught how to fit in, not how to disrupt, not how to find a better way. But another way has been making itself known, and only time will tell if it’s a better way. This new way of business may be a replacement for the Industrial Age, it’s called the connection economy!

Seth Godin speaks of the Connection Economy in his book called, “The Icarus Deception”. Here is an excerpt from the heart of the connection economy:

“I don’t care how many friends you have on FaceBook or how many followers you have on Twitter. Those are not actual friends or truly followers. I care about how much people will miss you if you’re not back here again tomorrow.

Connection involves a complex swap of information, expectation, and culture. It involves opening ourselves to others, creating vulnerable moments that frighten us. It requires humanity and generosity, not the rearranging of digital bits.

The swap means that it’s no longer completely up to us; it’s a partnership, not an announcement. When we give up control over the outcome of our interactions, we allow others to connect with us and with one another.”

The biggest difference today, over the last century, we have access to more resources and information than we have time to consume. The Industrial Age forced us to memorize, to conform, to fit in, today we merely need to know where to get the information, we don’t have to memorize it. We no longer have to conform to an old system, we now have the freedom to learn and create new ways to accomplish what the Industrial System doesn’t want changed. Hence, we don’t have to fit in, we can now choose not to comply, we can do that which we were meant to do, we can stand out. We were meant to connect, to share, to make the world a better place.

This new economy feels weird, it feels scary, it feels unnerving, it’s not for the weak of heart, it does however give us a freedom we’ve not had in the past. It’s not perfect, and that’s a good thing, we finally have a cure for The Industrial Age Disease.

  • KathyS

    Owen, many of us didn’t get ‘The Industrial Age Disease’ We were products of the 60′s and 70′s and developed autonomous and self-directed styles. We carved out a mix of work, developed skills, read voraciously and shunned both herding along with the joining the consumption society that is cracked today like a 30 year old sidewalk. This new economy feels good, feels like somthing I’ve been saying since 2000: I grew up through the ranks of the Humanities and its our time!!

    • http://owengreaves.com/ owengreaves

      Hey Kathy,

      Thanks for your input. I think you and I would agree that the majority of the population has the disease, it would be impossible for most to escape it : )

      Thanks for visiting.

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About Owen Greaves

Owen Greaves

I’m a Futurist, I write, speak, and teach the open & free business model, and the future of business. Create. Differentiate. Deliver. It’s a paradigm shift, I help you increase profits by changing the way you think about business.