Let’s Not Leave
the Past Behind
RAFIH STYLE business
Okay: Let me begin by explaining my wacky title to you. About 25
years ago, in between creating and operating three businesses
and juggling babies, I decided along with a writer colleague of
mine (the illustrious Karen Hall) that writing a book would make
perfect sense. The intent was that our soon-to-be number-one bestseller
would include not only some of my favourite recipes and business tips, but
also a handful of Karen’s humorous tales of adventures and crazy, longforgotten
tidbits and trifles. Clearly, my aforementioned responsibilities
only permitted us to hold a small series of planning and outline meetings;
the rest, as they say, is history.
However, the book’s title – which is also the title of this piece – stuck with
me through several additional business openings and new career paths.
It popped into my head during a planning meeting for a potential new
business when I realized how relevant it still is. From a communications
and technology front, things are evolving at an unprecedented speed.
I remember sitting at my desk at the
brewery in 1999. I had engaged a
coach to teach me how to use (dial-up)
email. I got the hang of it, but it took three coaching sessions. Folks, that
was under two decades ago! Today, it is likely that you can email, text, and
tag faster than you can phone someone. Think about it: How often does
your phone even ring anymore?
While there appears to be no speed limit to the expansion of new
technological vehicles for communication, it’s important to remember
that nothing really changes from a business perspective. The good will
survive, and the weak will not. While the numbers may be more robust,
primarily due to a faster pace of entry for most, the end-user audience
is fairly quick to identify the businesses and technologies that best solve
their problems. Typically, these are problems that nobody knew existed.
Think of Uber, which has been totally disruptive to an historic industry.
Successful technologies along those lines will not only change the way
we think and work. They will also, in the end and for the most part, make
the world better.
This brings me back to my title. If you’re anything like me, I am certain
that you receive an abundance of new “solution vehicles” daily, or even
hourly, via the internet or other networks. I often wonder: If we had the
ability to eliminate the majority of these missives, or sift through them
more efficiently, how much more productive would our time be? While the
embrace of social media is unlikely to loosen, we should remember that
this new paradigm is still in the start-up frenzy stage. It has not yet evolved
to a productive maturity consumption level. This means, for business and
industry if not so much for the leisure audience, that our ability to efficiently
edit and/or participate is still in the fairly early stages.