During this Month of Gratitude, we at BBG are grateful for the ideas and insights we gained at last month’s CREW Network convention in Dallas and resolve to put them into practice in the New Year. CEO Diane Butler and Bruce A. Kellogg, Executive Managing Director of Strategic Initiatives, combined their notes to bring you the second installment of our three-part series on lessons learned from the speakers in attendance.
Thomas L. Friedman: Always Be in Beta Mode
The last decade has seen us go from a “connected” to “hyper-connected” global society due to globalization and the IT revolution, according to New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman. Whereas we previously lived in a world of walls, today we live in a world of webs in which we must “connect, compete and collaborate” to succeed. And it’s a fast-paced world at that, favoring those who innovate and evolve. As Friedman pointed out, things are moving so quickly that Facebook did not exist when he wrote his bestseller “The World is Flat” in 2005.
In keeping with the “world of webs” theme, Friedman advised his audience to always be in “beta mode” — a term applied to websites that have gone public while still in a process of experimenting and debugging. In other words, be ever-evolving — a permanent work-in-progress.
That’s not to say we should be inhuman. Friedman also recommended we think like immigrants and approach our work like artisans. The former are both paranoid and optimistic as well as persistent, and the latter take pride in their work — both the process and the outcome.