January 25th, 2014
I’m going to disrupt the Silicon Valley script. You know the one. Every talk or article coming out of Silicon Valley follows the prescribed template: start with a dazzling description of awesome new digital technologies and then proceed to explore all the wonderful benefits and opportunities that these technologies will bring to us.
I’m going to do something different. I want to explore the dark side of these technologies. The side that very few tech evangelists want to acknowledge, much less talk about.
What do I mean? It’s the fact that all of these amazing digital technologies are coming together to create a world of mounting performance pressure for all of us, one where the performance pressure will continue to grow and expand on a global basis for the foreseeable future, rather than plateau and recede. Let me repeat: this pressure is not going away. Far from it. It will continue to intensify. If we make the mistake of standing still, we will fall farther and farther behind.
Put it all together and it spells out a growing challenge. How do we keep up? How do we learn faster? How do we prepare ourselves for the cascades of unexpected events coming our way? How do we avoid mounting anxiety and the looming risk of marginalization and burn-out?
My last post on The Dark Side of Technology definitely seems to have hit a responsive chord. Many of us see evidence of this dark side of technology every day in the world around us. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In my post last week, I made the case that we’ll only be able to overcome the dark side of technology by re-integrating passion and profession. But this is only the first step. If this is all we do, we’ll be doomed to lives of frustration and discontent. Here’s the problem.
It’s fitting that we reach this third installment of my “What Is To Be Done?” series on Martin Luther King day. He’s an icon of the power of narrative and its role in building movements that can fundamentally change how we live and work.
Something to think about over the weekend (or longer).