Opinion Editorials

So worried about tomorrow, you forget about the now


The business climate is different in a post-recession era, and people are looking left and right in order to find the way forward, but I’m betting the future will look a lot like the past.

Worried about tomorrow? You’re not alone.

Business professionals all over the world are scattering to figure out what is going to happen tomorrow, whether it’s technology, the global economy, or a competitor who’s just applied for a permit just down the street. We all do it, one eye on the competitive advantage, and hopefully the other on the opportunities that are right in front of us.

Many businesses are depending heavily (and rightly so) on the new digital age, the rise of social media, and mobile web to answer many of the problems businesses face today, and tomorrow, and the truth of the matter is that tomorrow’s (thanks to the aforementioned) news comes at us at the speed of a button. It’s an advantage in many cases, but in some cases it’s a distraction.

What’s old will be new again

If history tells us anything, what’s old will be new again. It may not quite look the same, feel the same, or function the same, but it (whatever it is) will find it’s way back into the business playbook, and the it we should all focus on is human touch.

The more it goes away in the brick & mortar, the more an app attempts to create it, but fails. Many of today’s tools (even socially) will require some form of human interaction, be it a phone call, a Google Chat, or even a face to face hand shake and a meeting of the eyes.

I’m betting on the future looking a lot like the past.

There is no rotary phone in my kitchen, but where it once sat happens to be where I plug in my cell phone, and I no longer get up to change the channel, rather, just pick up my iPad mini to peruse the channels, and rather than a typewriter, I’m keying this in on my desktop computer keyboard, which although wireless, looks exactly like my old typewriter but is simply faster. The point is that many of the advances we’ve made still lead us back to the old, so why do we so desperately believe that gaining a consumer requires some magic new app when the truth is, the app just helps you reach faster and further.

So tomorrow, someone’s going to tell you that there’s something new you must do to survive in business, and I might agree with them to some degree, but reality says the tenets of business remain the same, the course of action is still the course of action, and while the way you accomplish them may be different, nothing will ever take the place of boots on the ground, a desire to succeed, and a willingness to get belly to belly with the person standing in front of you right now.

You cannot forget the now worrying about tomorrow, or your business may not have a tomorrow.

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