A young man goes out and buys the best car available: a brand-new Ferrari 550. It is also the most expensive car in the world, and it costs him $500,000. He takes it out for a spin and stops for a red light.
An old man (about 75 years old) on a scooter pulls up next to him. The old man looks over at the sleek, shiny new car and asks, “What kind of car ya got there, sonny?”
The young man replies, “A Ferrari 550. It cost half a million dollars!”
“That’s a lot of money,” says the old man. “Why does it cost so much?”
“Because this car can do up to 320 miles an hour!” states the young dude proudly. The old man asks, “Mind if I take a look inside?”
“No problem,” replies the owner.
So the old guy pokes his head in the window and looks around. Then, sitting back on his scooter, he says, “That’s a pretty nice car, all right… but I’ll stick with my scooter!”
Just then the light changes, so the young guy decides to show the old man just what his car can do. He floors it, and within 30 seconds the speedometer reads 160 mph. Suddenly, he notices a dot in his rearview mirror.
It seems to be getting closer! He slows down to see what it could be, and suddenly, WHHHOOOOSSSHHH! Something whips by him, going much faster.
What on earth could be going faster than my Ferrari?! the young man asks himself. He floors the accelerator and takes the Ferrari up to 250 mph. Then, up ahead of him, he sees that it’s the old man on the scooter.
Amazed that the scooter could pass his Ferrari, he gives it some more gas and passes the moped at 275 mph. WHHOOOOSSSHH!
He’s feeling pretty good until he looks in his mirror and sees the old man gaining on him again. Astounded by the speed of this old guy, he floors the gas pedal and takes the Ferrari all the way up to 320 mph.
Not 10 seconds later he sees the scooter bearing down on him again. The Ferrari is flat out and there’s nothing he can do.
Suddenly the scooter plows into the back of his Ferrari, demolishing the rear. The young man jumps out; unbelievably, the old man is still alive!!! He runs up to the mangled old man and says, “Oh, my gosh! Is there anything I can do for you?”
The old man whispers softly, “Could you unhook… my… suspenders… from… your… side-view… mirror?”
Like the high rate of speed in the story we too are faced with a rapid speed, the rapid seep of technological growth. Futurist Ray Kurzweil said – “We’re entering an age of acceleration . . . Because of the explosive power of exponential growth, the 21st century will be equivalent to 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate of progress.”
With that in mind, we (as a county) will have to be able to become much better at embracing change. We can no longer use phrases like – “We have always done it that way!” or ‘”You just don’t understand how we do things around here.’ Or, worse still: ‘We tried it that way once and it didn’t work.’
It’s time to seriously examine the way in which we all operate in today’s rapidly changing environment. If we want to keep up with the speed of change we first need to be open to listening to new opportunities.
Hang on to you scooter – it’s going to be a wild ride.