I’m flippin’ tired of all the bad news. My twitterstream has been a surreal mixture this year of enterprise software (#EnSW) developments, HRM happenings and insights (#HRM) and all things related to HR technology (#HRTech) along with the end of civilization as we’ve known it brought to me by the global media. And it’s not even full-blown hurricane season yet in SW Florida!
Globally high unemployment with no real solutions in sight. Soaring 3rd world food prices causing even more starving and often displaced families. Horrible prognostications about shrinking water resources, overpopulation and the obvious impacts of global climate change to go along with Japan’s nuclear meltdown’s pouring radioactive water into our already fragile oceans. Civil wars, uprisings, rebellions, drug wars, unrest of all kinds, and that’s before the islamist militants take over a variety of failed states. Budget impasses, financial meltdowns, and striking everybody, while the already wealthy are doing quite nicely.
Why haven’t we got a cure for cancer yet or, better yet, a couple of vaccines? I know detection and treatment are much improved, but this awful disease has taken and continues to take a terrible toll on my family and closest friends, not to mention on the rest of mankind. And did I mention that aging is quite literally painful?
When was the last time that we faced something other than intransigent problems amid a polarized society? When was the last time we really pulled together in ways that made you proud not just to be an American but to be a member of the human race? Whatever happened to that wonderful feeling of putting a man on the moon, of the Berlin wall coming down, of the eradication of polio? On a more personal level, when was I last on top of everything expected of me and that I expect of myself? And when was the last time I felt truly accomplished, like the feeling I had after swimming a measured ocean mile for the first time, sailing successfully off the anchor (and shifting bottom sands) of Anegada’s treacherous anchorage, or declaring a major systems implementation go-live an unadulterated, on-time, on-budget success with a team doing high-fives?
If we’re all so damned smart, connected and armed with nearly endless technology, why the hell can’t we solve some of our global problems? For all the gamification, consumerization, mobile, global, analytics, etc. that we’re hot to incorporate into every bit of enterprise software, will that next generation of enterprise software make a dent in the politics of self-interest, the brutality of tribal warfare, the damn debt? Call it a crisis of confidence on my part, but it sure feels like we’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic rather than saving the world. And those of us who came of age in the 60’s really believed that we could save the world.