I used to work in the IT business and we were always on the look-out for the next “big thing” to cash in on. It was things like moving from mainframes to open systems and onto Microsoft Windows, relational databases, business intelligence systems, OLAP reporting and CRM systems.
Sowhile I was travelling home from Sydney (around 1995) after a weeks consulting, I read about the next big thing, it was called the World Wide Web. This was going to be big, bigger than big. People working in IT should get ready to cash in onthis next big growth market. Turns out to have been more than right, but the article didn’t go BIG enough!
And how the world has changed. In the olden days (pre-WWW) my options to get information were limited. Today I can access just about anything directly on my computer. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but working in such an information rich environment does have its challenges.
I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of options, methods and approaches I can choose from. There does not seem be a part of human existence that someone hasn’t studied, developed a methodology and written a best selling book. I struggle to know which to believe or which to follow. Every year there are new crops of ways to solving problems, things like Blue Ocean/Red Ocean and Good to Great. So I have come-up with a way to deal with information over-load
I recently went into a second-hand book-shop and couldn’t believe my luck. I managed to buy a first-edition copy of the Tom Peter’s classic Thriving on Chaos for only £1. I don’t think the copy I bought had ever been opened let alone read! What Tom offers is a series of about 40 lessons in management & leadership.
So here is what I do. Along comes the next radical break-through innovation that will completely change the world, just like the World Wide Web. I thumb through Thriving on Chaos to see how it was done back in 1987. It’s my baseline.