Changing Times and Timing Change

Changing Times and Timing Change
Climate change therefore, is amongst other things rewriting the future of human growth. New disciplines will emerge and new lifestyles will be around the corner

It is common sense to recognise that everything changes. People change, context changes, the environment changes, even the nature of the material changes over a period of time. It is, therefore, important to have some insights into understanding how to cope up with change. The more complex problems are those that have to do with the internal changes within us, about us and above all changes in the way we think. These are subtle and at times elusive propositions. The trickier aspect is the search of continuity in this change.

When it touches business, it acquires ramifications which can be quite fundamental and at times shattering. The almost abrupt extinction of a product line can be devastating not just for the line of business but also the wellbeing of the affected parties,including the investors. A case in point would be how the recording-disc-manufacturing and indeed the industry itself got phased out. Not only convulsions were caused across a cross-segment of the population – both user and otherwise-but so much data was equally abruptly lost. If any messages were distilled out of this experience it has still to reach the public domain.

Life has a unique attribute to keeping on with the movement itself, often ignoring those who fall by the wayside. To say that this is sad would be perhaps one of the most grotesque understatements of the times.

Life requires not only keeping up with the changes but with keeping pace with it. It is the second which is the bigger challenge of the era one lives in.

There are other forms of changes. The importance of minerals in the global economy was never so large as in the present set up. The importance of minerals is nearly as old as human civilisation and for millennia it has been one of the corner stones of so-called progress. Zinc and Copper mining goes back thousands of years. Gold and Diamond have, also, been the corner stones of the means of storing wealth. Other examples can be found. The oncoming of the industrial revolution widened and deepened the quest of minerals and metals. A point seems to have been reached where what was first written off as barren, arid and desolate is today being acquired for control in an unprecedented manner. It is what lies hidden beneath the surface of the earth is what is being chased. It is not as if every piece of land has some rich deposits but that the possibility that every piece of land may have some concealed riches that captures the imagination. The story goes on especially in parts of the earth which have a structure going back into thousands of millennia.

As the climate change becomes an experience of household existence there are other deeper changes taking place. The ice in the Arctic is reported to be melting. Huge chunks of ice are reported to be floating through the oceans to unknown destinations. That itself is an unprecedented phenomenon. The full possibilities of this process have yet to be grasped.

In the meanwhile, the grab for territory in the Arctic region has already gone up. Eight nations have, reportedly, a presence there. For the rest of Arctic, jostling is underway. There is perhaps, some reluctance to declare, monitor and ensure that remaining of the Arctic gets institutionalised as ‘common territory’. New bidders are, reportedly, wanting to enter that domain and how it will unfold remains to be seen. Closer to the ‘lay of the land’ is the story of the ‘lay of the land’. The nations who have got there earlier seem to be keen to preserve their dominance.

It is common assumption that the land structure of the Arctic’s must have unique minerals and metals .Indeed there may be minerals there of a unique variety which may have unprecedented use. The possibilities are huge.

Climate change therefore, is amongst other things rewriting the future of human growth. New disciplines will emerge and new lifestyles will be around the corner.
In all this the search for constancy, familiarity and the cosiness of the known may become increasingly limited in potential and possibility. These are unprecedented times of change. The basic question remains what would be the limits of human change: physical, emotional, cognitive or more? It is possible that life scripts themselves may need redrafting.

Business will only remain a subset of this. The context requires the recognition of the seminality of the current times. It is not only that the fittest will survive – which is true= but also, that there may be new forms of survival.

Being human will require the emotional wherewithal and the ability to hold each other’s hand through all this.

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Dr. Vinayshil Gautam

Internationally acclaimed management expert. Chairman, DKIF

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April 2024

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