By Kim Browne
Listening to my kids arguing about the meaning of revolution was rather enlightening. “In history, a revolution means a complete change,” Zoe explains patiently to her 11-year-old brother Dylan. He counters that no, it actually means to go around in a circle – mathematically speaking.
I’ve never thought about it that way – but I guess “change” and “going around in a circle” can actually be the same thing.
Just take remembering stuff. We used to easily remember 20+ telephone numbers and be able to recite them easily. Nowadays, I sometimes can’t even remember my own phone number – but need to remember my 20+ passwords to access everything. Although, we do now have the help of neat, useful apps like Evernote to help you remember everything!
This got me thinking about how massively things have changed in business in my working career, but also how they’ve essentially stayed the same – or continue to go full circle. We get so caught up in the exuberance of change (let’s face it new stuff is always exciting and novel), we don’t consider what remains unchanged.
Take the telephone. We used to have those funny stick things on our desks with little pieces of paper for messages. And when we weren’t close to a landline – people had to simply wait for us to phone them back. Now, when the mobile network goes down (or internet connectivity for that matter – Grrr!) – it’s still frustrating to have to wait. Basically, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
This can also be said about hybrid marketing. Yes, it’s revolutionary and new in the way that technology and marketing are being used in exciting and dynamic ways. But it’s still essentially about communication. The same principles still apply. Relationships remain key and “word of mouth” is the holy grail – it’s just a lot more powerful, has more impact, reach and better frequency (through shares), enabled by a myriad of social media platforms.
The real key is adaptability and evolution. If you aren’t flexible and agile enough to embrace the new (and make your way around the round corners of the circle smoothly), you’ll find yourself out of the loop. Not good in any circles.
Balance is what we need to strive for. Yin and yang, old and new. The latest smartphones can do a lot of new exciting things – but you can also still just phone someone with them. We talk to more people, more often than ever before, in spite of having access to numerous additional ways of communicating. There’s nothing boring about it. Just ask a teenage daughter…
I guess it all comes down to the fact that humans remain creatures of habit. We like the comfort of what we know, but at the same time are enthralled by all things shiny and new.
Bring on the (business) revolution!