Today is a sad day for those of us who study trends and why things happen and what some people call “futurist thinking” as Alvin Toffler died on Monday. I am opening with some Toffler quotes and links to things I have written using Toffler wisdom.
“I got a realistic picture of how things really are made – the energy, love and rage that are poured into ordinary things we take for granted.”
“You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”
“We cannot cram the embryonic world of tomorrow into yesterday’s conventional cubbyholes.
Nor are the orthodox attitudes or moods appropriate.”
Alvin Toffler in 1980
Of course … I could be full of shit … but the thing about futurists is that we will not know if they are not full of shit for another 30+ years or so <heck … someone 30 years from now could read my shit and think I was a frickin’ futurist for god’s sake>.
The only two people I would consider viable futurists of any significance would be Peter Drucker and … the now deceased … Alvin Toffler <I could possibly add Howe & Strauss but they were more generational sociological analyzers>.
Toffler co-wrote the 1970 book Future Shock and also Power Shift and also The Adaptive Corporation <all of which I have sourced so often it is embarrassing>.
And while some of his writings were off base and some a little bit of a stretch … most of his writings were incredibly insightful and … well … we are living what he outlined today. He predicted the rise of the internet, the impact of the internet on the workplace, how technology would affect sociological norms as well as labor needs … and he even discussed the decline of the nuclear family.
In general … he foresaw the larger impact related to technological advancement.
And far too often we ignore what he wrote and had the foresight to point out.
Far too often today’s experts and pontificators act like what is happening today is some seismic shift reflective of an earthquake happening before our eyes.
They are wrong.
What is happening today is the tsunami occurring on our shores from the earthquake which occurred under some deep ocean decades ago.
And that is what Toffler outlined for us. And that is what I wish far more people would invest the energy researching to better understand why things are happening in the here & now.
I included links to things I have written doing exactly that … discussing what is happening now using Toffler to help explain … so you can see how Toffler had the vision to see what was happening and what would, or could, happen in the future.
Toffler writing should be mandatory for anyone who wants to discuss current trends and current business issues.
And you, and I, should demand that they do so.
To not do so is to commit professional malpractice.
At its least worst … it reflects intellectual laziness to discuss what is happening today without the proper background.
RIP Alvin. You were a mind for the ages.