Sunday, January 27, 2008

Holy Mackerel, The Times They are A-Changing!

Over the past few weeks, I have had a sense that we are living in the middle of a time that will look like a critical transition in modern history, when historians look back on it. It's not just the U.S. Presidential race that prompts me to believe this (though I have to admit the "Change" positioning of one candidate seems to be catching on), but rather a series of events that have been more personal.

I really started thinking about this because, among others, two friends in the press have taken major leaps in their careers because of their focus on things international:

Steve Hamm of BusinessWeek, who is one of the most seasoned, thoughtful technology journalists around -- having written on many topics from chips to software to the business of outsourcing and many others -- with authority over the years, clearly became an important "influencer" because of the publication his book Bangalore Tiger a year or so ago.

And just last week, it was announced that Stephanie Mehta of Fortune, who has covered telecommunications and many other technology subjects with substance and insight for a decade or so was named the "Global Editor" of Fortune.

These are people who are steeped in long success and who have seen that the dynamic and balance of the world is changing pretty fundamentally (and fortunately for them, they are at the front of the curve).But of course, the real point here is not to talk about Presidential Elections or congratulate friends for their successes.

The real message is that even those of us with experience and great track records have to throw off the shackles of "how it's always been done" and see the world in new ways. We like to think about client challenges this way: there is merit to past models; but we now live in a world where new ways work as well. This is, of course, a delicate balance, because the point isn't to say: everything done the established way is bad and everything done the new way is good.

I like to give it a different name: creativity. It's fun to thread the needle in looking at start-up company communications strategies and find ways to accomplish their goals by combining new, old, international, domestic, and other perspectives to find just the right balance that will optimize success.

Here's to our changing times.


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