Rethink or Reload

In his OP-ED column in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman briefly summarizes two books, “The Great Disruption” by Paul Gilding and “The Power of Pull” by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown & Lang Davison that each speak to the many social protests (a.k.a. The Great Disruption) we are seeing throughout the world—Occupy Wall Street is among these.  

The choice between Gilding and Hagel is not just one of threat versus opportunity (as Friedman contends), but of challenging the solidity of the foundation versus believing the foundation is unquestionably solid.  Based upon the summaries provided by Friedman, Gilding seems to be saying we must re-think the very precepts of what we are doing and Hagel is saying we must continue with the system and just up the ante (i.e. the Big Shift) to succeed—its re-think or re-load.

If Hagel is correct then our problems (e.g. inequitable distribution of wealth, unemployment, social unrest, environmental destruction etc) will go away because we will work harder together to learn faster and realize advances in technology that will overcome the ill effects of our actions.  But how do we come together when the system tells us we should care only about our personal material gain!

It makes little sense to try to turn a bad idea into a winning idea by increasing the investment in the idea.

If Gilding is correct (and I think he is and the argument in It’s the Econome, Stupid explains why) then following Hagel will only accelerate us toward committing suicide.

Friedman claims “my heart is with Hagel, but my head says that you ignore Gilding at your peril.”  It seems we ought to be using our critical thinking minds and not increase energy in applying the same system of orientation that caused The Great Disruption.

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