In Robert Safian's "Generation Flux," the subtitle reads, "The future of business is pure chaos. Here's how you can survive—and perhaps even thrive." While I think he nails some critically important topics in his article, I disagree that the future is "pure chaos." Instead, I believe it is complex. Complex systems are characterized by interdependence, emergence, self-organization, and acute sensitivity to surrounding conditions. I agree that the future cannot be controlled, nor predicted with certainty. However, complex patterns can be described and assessed, leverage points identified, and intentional attempts to influence implemented, helping Generation Flux pioneers move confidently into an unpredictable future.
Westampton, New Jersey
Health Is Calling
This is an excellent glimpse at the possibilities of e-medicine ("Open Your Mouth and Say 'Aah!'"). I'm an RN and can attest to the need for patients to have a readily available, trusted interface as they become overwhelmed with complex health-care financial systems, technological advances, and clinical data. Physicians, nurses, and other health-care professionals must become adept at using and explaining the significance of the information these devices generate as well as being able to respond rapidly with follow-up. The current health-care system is too ensconced in bureaucratic processes to effectively utilize these wonderful opportunities. A whole new day will need to dawn in the staid practice of health-care administration before these applications can make a meaningful impact.
Orange County, California
As an RN, I can say that many individuals would benefit from knowing their daily blood-glucose or blood-pressure levels to better manage their health. Millions of people suffer long-term effects of a single acute episode simply due to the fact that they didn't know they had high blood pressure. More people would seek medical attention proactively or talk to their doctor if they had "proof" something was wrong. Instead, many ignore their symptoms.
Smartphones . . . what can't they do?
A New Set Of Wheels
This offered good insight on how Veda Partalo and ad agency Fallon are subtly changing the image of Cadillac ("She Drives a Cadillac?"), which has been on an upward trajectory for years now. They’ve ditched sex appeal and suggestion in favor of tapping into more complex emotions and desires of car buyers—almost exclusively male car buyers, it seems.
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A version of this article appeared in the April 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.