Sunday, October 5, 2008

Surviving in the new world

The world is flat or round, it is divided in Continents or close as Global Village, one thing is sure that it is changing on high pace. Globalization is not a new phenomena, people who had studies history knows that Roman, Persian or Egyptian empires was as Global as EU, USA or China today. The trade of Silk Road is the one of few well known examples. Residents of this world were exchanging goods and services from very beginning of the human race. The only difference between the Global Village of today and past is speed of communication and transport. In history it took generations to see the effect of innovation. Following are just few examples how the collaboration happen at Global level during different historic periods:
The Sumerians the first known civilization started farming around 9000 BCE. It took 2000 years to reach India, 3000 years to Egypt and 4000 years to China. About 2700 BCE, agriculture had come to America. It was the time period when it requires thousands of years to bring innovation from one part of the world to other parts.
The paper was produced as early as 3500 BC in Egypt. China started early paper making around 105 AD. Use of paper for writing was common in China in this time and later on in Middle East (Baghdad) around 700 AD papers was widely used for books. In this period adoption of an innovation from one part of the world to other part took few hundred years.
From 8th till 12th century technology and innovation took other leap frog under Umayyad Caliphate in Al-Andalus (South Spain). In this time if some thing was innovated it took less than 100 years to be spread around the world. The collaboration and sharing of knowledge gets faster around the world. The next era started from 17th century till 19th century, where it took just 10s of years that a new technology and innovation was known in entire world.
In 20th century it took just a year and specially in last quarter days for some thing to be invented in one part of the world and got known in other part. From last 10 years the information exchange around the world need only few seconds depending on Optical cable path and speed of light. Exchange of knowledge and collaboration was done world wide from the beginning of human race it is just the speed what changed over the period. I am sure it will not stop here, we will see during 21st century that communication can be done faster than speed of light.
It is to be notice that time of adoption gets shorter in the same manner as spread of knowledge and technology. Now the question is how it is affecting our life. A kid born in Sumerians time does not see a big change until his death due to slow movement of technology and adoption. Even until 18th century knowledge gain in early youth was enough to survive till death. So that normal jobs stays same in one to two generations. The people got retired 10 years before might have seen the same that the knowledge they gain during their studies was valid and useable. But they still needed some upgrades every 10 or 5 years. I am sure that the people started their jobs 20 years before see it completely different as they need to update faster and adjust them self according to new environment.
From human resource perspective now it does not matter how much experience some body have, what matter is the speed with which some one can learn some thing new. In order to survive in this ever changing world we need to learn how to adopt change and how to learn fast. A best employ is not who think to work until retirement in the same company rather a best employ is the one who can adopt to change. An employer needs to adopt processes where some one new can be integrated fast and leaving person can be replaced faster. The alarming part is our education system which is still build on 18th and 19th century principles. Governments and educationists need to reform the education system, and this need to be done every 5 years. The change will not slow down now rather the speed will increase. It might look bizarre but I think it is not far that we will invent the ways to communicate much faster than light. I agree with Lisa Randall when she says that there are many more dimensions than what we know today and I think next way of communication have to do some thing with one of new dimension we will invent.