You don’t need a new plan, you need a new mindset!
The world is overflowing with data – and knowledge. In fact we’re drowning in data. We know so much and yet we understand so little. A statement that may sound odd given our dramatic progress over the years. But think about it – if we really understood and used all the knowledge acquired over the centuries and all the data collected and stored, would we still be killing the planet?
mindset3.org is about understanding the dynamics between technology and business. Not particularly focused on climate change, but acknowledging it’s part of our challenge. And the example is just too tempting – illustrating the consequences of acting without understanding: We’re senselessly pouring poison into the ground, microfibers and chemicals and garbage into the oceans and all kinds of pollutants into the air. Until recently we didn’t understand the consequences. Slow (or fast) suicide does not come natural to human beings. Neither does ignorance, but that’s a different discussion altogether.
So, all these resources – data, knowledge, experience – are of limited value because we don’t understand them. Not their value, not how to use them and not why we need to use them. Sticking with the pending climate catastrophe as an example: We have tons of environmental data from all kinds of sources and many ages. We’re using them to create fancy graphs and important looking bulletlists, while not understanding (or purposely ignoring) that those very same data – and the accompanying knowledge – can save the world from climate disaster – and humanity from extinction.
Scaled down to our own local environment, business and domestic life, the situation is exactly the same. Not so much about survival, although that too is increasingly becoming an issue, but understanding enough about ‘being digital’ to create a sustainable balance between ‘digital’ and ‘real’. A path not only to survival but (continued) prosperity.
Part of the problem is that – while we’re totally dependent on our digital services and helpers, we understand litte of them – and less over time. Because they evolve faster than our ability to comprehend. Instead of figuring out how to get in sync, we brush off the issue, thinking it’s too complicated.
It isn’t. This isn’t about technology, math, algorithms and ‘cyber’, it’s about wanting to understand life. And accepting the basic premise – valid since the dawn of humanity – that what we understand, we can change. What we don’t understand, turns us off, scares us – makes us complacent, turns us into ignorant zombies.
Thus – by not wanting or even trying to understand our digital lives, we surrender to those who do. A very scary path indeed. Is this what we want? Wasn’t technology supposed to be liberating, a new dawn for democracy, choice, freedom?
A mouthful indeed, and this is my motivation. Create, build, increase understanding, connect the dots. Use knowledge, creativity, experience and energy to first understand, then convey that understanding in ways and terms that open eyes, create interest instead of distance and scepticism.
If this sounds like a formidable challenge, it is. But there are many out there attempting to put sanity and sense back into the equation. You don’t have to understand math to see that most of crypto is a scam. You don’t have to be a chemical engineer to see that the battery industry is threatening, not saving the world. And you don’t have to be an electrical engineer to see that the power grid (distribution) is much more of a problem than the power capacity in many countries.
Which brings us to the bottom line – and back to mindset3.org. The ‘3’ is there for a reason. Over the past few years I’ve repeatedly observed 3 profound elements that individually and combined make up the foundation of our mindset challenge. In the discussion above we’ve been through all of therm – directly or indirectly.
The first is acceptance that the world is different – dramatically different from what we faced yesterday – and the day before. Acceptance that yesterday isn’t only history, it’s rapidly becoming ancient history. And that next year is as far as anyone can see – reliably. 3 years ahead is as far as anyone can see – and even that’s a stretch. This is also commonly referred to as the ‘speed factor’. Using history as guidance or metric may be useless or even dangerous, sending us down the wrong path.
The second element is understanding. Undervalued and extremely important: Regardless of level, profession, age etc., understanding is what moves us forward, the foundation of enthusiasm, interest and creativity. The opposite is also true. Lack of understanding creates scepticism and nay-sayers.
Such understanding doesn’t come by itself, it must be actively sought. Whether we’re a truck driver, teacher or a C-level manager, it’s our responsibility to acquire sufficient understanding to do the job, act responsibly, make the right decisions. Not the details, leave that to the experts, but sufficient understanding to connect the dots that are important to our job, our life.
The 3rd element is action, execution if you like. Gather the strength to turn acceptance and understanding into forward ‘movement’. To make the changes, be creative, ask the questions, be adaptive and expect others to be the same.
In short – accept the speed of change, understand the consequences, take action.
This is what mindset3.org is about. Loud thinking about change and changes – those around us and those needed on the inside. Driving understanding, discussing action. Challenging your mindset – and mine.
You’re welcome to join the journey.
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I’m available for side collaborations and talks – pandemic situation permitting. If you want to chat about technology, strategy, security, trends and business opportunities, don’t hesitate in reaching out.
Please join the Saturday Mindset newsletter.
Over the years, I’ve written more than 10 books about technology related subjects raging from security and open source to strategy, tech management and networking.