Yes, that’s Rosie the Riveter, in the classic WWII poster, leading the charge to change. And on our cover, we feature an updated Rosie to make the point that, in a time of change, your job is change. Change, learning, and leadership are the big three of the new economy.
Let’s start with change. What happens when change itself changes? What happens then, argues Robert B. Reich, is that “Your Job Is Change.” It’s no longer enough to see yourself as a change agent: The new pace of change and the new style of change make change insurgents of us all.
Learning follows change for the simple reason that, when it comes to change, learning is the only strategy that works. For companies as well as for people, the capacity to learn equals the capacity to change. First, in “Learning 101,” our Unit of One feature, you can sample the wisdom of 16 of the brightest learners we could find. Then, for an advanced course, you can learn from the masters: Take a lesson from Tom Kelly, Cisco’s Quick Study, and then go to school with Judy Rosenblum, who asks, “Will Companies Ever Learn?”
Finally, there is leadership. As we approach the first U.S. presidential election in this millennium, we decided to take a special look at the first collision of the new economy and the old politics. How does the new economy affect the job of the president? To find out, Fast Company interviewed Vice President Al Gore and Texas governor George W. Bush. And, at the intersection of the cyber-economy and the government, we discovered “America’s Top Cybercop”: Jodie Bernstein, a 74-year-old lawyer and crusader. The challenge that she faces as director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection serves as a reminder that change, learning, and leadership go hand in hand (in hand).
After all, in the new economy, you never know what to expect — which makes the future both rosy and, um, riveting.