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fast change Archives - Garrett's Change Management Blog

Fast Change Around Us- Disappearing Buildings

I am not sure if this falls under Fast Change or crazy, innovative and creative design.

Apparently there is a trend now to make buildings as close to invisible as possible.

Disappearing Buildings

Here are four examples:


Curbed has the most amazing example at “Here Now: 14 Vanishing Buildings From Around the Globe”. Scroll down to the last image in the serious and play with the pull bar.

The explanation:

“…Incheon International Airport tower, soon mankind will literally be able to make skyscrapers disappear—no muss no fuss. Tower Infinity, designed by GDS Architects, will rise 450 meters (1476.38 feet) in the air and feature “a cutting-edge LED façade system that allows visual information behind the skyscraper to be captured and simultaneously projected from the tower’s surface.” The building, in turn, will “blend into the background like an enormous, crystalline chameleon.”

This is funny for me because just the other day I started working on taking pictures from my desk out the window to stitch together and then spread across my three monitors. I thought it would be so cool to almost eliminate my monitors to see what I would if they were not in the way. And here they do the same thing with a skyscraper!

So our Fast Change Around Us future is a world with buildings that we can’t see until we run into them. Oh and some very, very scared birds.

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Fast Change Around Us- Modern Outhouse

Every time I see one of those majestic pictures of monasteries and strange places to live in the sky I think, “no plumbing equals no bathrooms”. I’m not sure I want to know the answer to the hidden question for this place:


Fast Change Around Us has happened again. There is a solution for that substance that will not be named.


Call it the Solar Poop Fryer (oops named the substance).

This guy is “testing” it!

And this guy is holding the fried remains!

That little charcoal piece is sanitary and your (or somebody’s) garden will love it.

Almost makes you want a cabin off the grid to buy one, test it out and grow a vegetable garden with a story. (Although in keeping with the need to be patient with people when it comes to change you might want to hold off on the back-end story for a while).

All kidding aside when you have a Fast Change that could benefit upwards of 2.5 billion people (those without proper sanitation in  the world) that couldn’t possibly have too many resistors, you have what might be called non-disruptive change. Or maybe positive-disruptive change?

From garden to mouth, out, fried and back to the garden. The modern outhouse is on its way.

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Fast Change Around Us-Electricity Everywhere


Today’s Fast Change falls into the, “this is totally practical” category.

So you have a hybrid or, better, a fully electric, car and you neglected to plug it in last night. In the future (as in now, of course the Google execs are already using their own version), not to worry, the MANHOLES will charge your car! So basically every time you sit at a stoplight or park your car in just the right place, you get some extra juice.

This is funny because a few months back I put my WII remote on the conductive charging pad and thought, “how cool would it be to do this with an electric car”.  Footfall for electricity was my other thought that ended up happening.

I know where you are going with this manhole cover for power thing. That would be way too expensive. Just another thing to add to the price of my next car. Who is going to pay for the electricity? I can just imagine the jerk who won’t move on a green light.

All change starts with an idea. Defining the idea begins the change process. When one or two people beside the idea originator say, “that’s cool” or “that just might be possible” actual change has begun. Fast Change Around Us- Wireless Manhole Covers.

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Fast Change Around Us-Perfect Pizza Cutting


It had to happen.

Pizza cutting absolutely HAS to be accurate.

When I create a pizza from scratch (even the dough- impressed?) I want my slices to come to the guests in front of the TV Laser Perfect.


(Actually not, but I think I need this tool).

Finally we have the tool for that.

Sometimes change just does not come Fast Enough.

Behold the laser pizza cutter!!

I wonder if we could use this or at least something with laser on it for change?
  • Cut through the pile of solutions to get to root causes.
  • Aim the dot at that one stakeholder that is bound to hold this thing up and then cut a path to participation.
  • Cut out all of the things that are historical and extraneous to the future (in perfect disposable slices).
  • Cut off a big slice of executive pay- this disparity really has gotten extremely ridiculous.
  • Cut out a slice of down time for everyone in perfectly spaced increments.
  • Cut out all the overlapping technology.
  • Cut out the middle people (I guess I should be careful with that- theoretically I am a form of a middle person).
  • Cut out the whining, into little teeny slices that we could just fling into the wind.

The Laser Pizza Cutter! We SO needed this. Fast Change Around Us has come through again.

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Fast Change Around Us- The Stylus


On my return from a speaking engagement recently my kids made a bee line to my brand new conference bag. (You know the one that goes straight to the goodwill pile). Kids KNOW there will be tchotchkes in there! My oldest found the conference pen that, “OMG has a stylus, that is SO cool!”.

She spent a day or two running around with that stylus pen texting all her friends.

It turns out the stylus has some history:

  • Egyptians used reeds from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for styli. In some ways clay tablets are not so different from screens.
  • Up to the late Middle Ages you could use a stylus on a wax tablet.
  • Styli are used for pottery, tracing designs on carbon paper and embossing.
  • Remember those styli that gave us music?

And, of course, the kind we think of, computer styli.

First the stylus was an actual writing implement, then drawing got added as a use, computers came along and it became a tapping device, then drawing got added, now you can tap and draw (and letter if you want) on the same device.

The fast change for the stylus used for a phone is kind of comical:

I remember my first Treo had an oh-so-cool slot on the side of the phone to store the stylus!

Then styli disappeared (when was the last time you saw someone use one?).

Phones had to have styli because they were so small, then screens got bigger so they were not needed. But the keys stayed about the same size (why is it that women seem to be texting more than men? Gender or finger size?). It takes forever to hunt and peck (an antiquated term for typing) with a stylus, but is much more accurate than the three-key-with-one-finger method.

First those styli were cool. Then they were not. Now they are, but only if you are 12. (and not likely for very long at that).

Fast Change Around Us- the stylus that appears, disappears and reappears.

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Fast Change Around Us-Foot Power


As an intermediate school kid I wrote a science fiction story about a world where humans were able to generate electricity through walking on special floors and exercise on machines that stored the power (treadmills, rowing machines etc.). A totally whimsical made up idea. Today I thought, “could this be possible”? Expecting some long physics explanations about how this is not possible (which I found) I got a gem, for different reasons than you may think.

The power of footfalls.

First, good for Elizabeth for taking a scientific shot at this. Second, (go to the link) why are people so cranky? Read the comments. Either a lot of snooty scientists or people who like to shoot down ideas. Scientists out there give us some examples of things that overturned the physics of their time…

I made the mistake of looking at the dates of the comments. 2008. So the idea died (right after that 7th grader wrote it down?).

Aha! Good for Google (and shame on you nasty comment people from the past). It actually happened. Fast Change Around Us footwork!

This could have been a Wednesday Wonderfully Disillusioned post heavy on the wonderful.

The second half of my mini 7th grade book was a world where people were hired to create energy for others. They were the modern Greek athletes toned and leaned to perfection. The more efficient their bodies were the more money they made and the more famous they got. Hey I was a 7th grade boy it was a fun end state!

Fast Change Around Us naysayers beware. You might just be proven wrong and petty in your stubbornness. Foot power is a good example.

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Fast Change Around Us- Time


Guess what lots of people around you now never use?


I know, right?

Surprised me too, the first time someone brought this up.

Then I started looking around. No watches.

(OK to be fair, no watches on anyone less than 40).

I keep looking and almost feel sorry for those people I find that do have watches. That is like being fully clothed at a nudist colony. Or finding yourself in a crowd unclothed.

What happened? What caused this Fast Change Around Us?

Screens. Screens all over the place have time on them. Phones certainly do. All of our fancy computers do. TV’s flash the time for certain things. We still have clocks everywhere (they will likely have some staying power).

Really, honestly, there is very little reason to have a watch anymore.

Except as a statement. Which brings us right to change and change management.

A watch will always be able to satisfy the function of time keeping- anywhere (even under water or in space). A watch will always be a fashion (whether it is fashionable or not is debatable). So, someone will ALWAYS wear a watch. And some people will ALWAYS wear watches.

Think about watches and then think about some things that become change initiatives. Is that new technology a quality functional replacement? Will the new function destroy previous form (is someone going to always want to wear a watch)? Does the new change have a form of its own? Can that become fashionable? Are you forcing everyone to “take off their watches” knowing that they will now have to carry a phone around (that is about 5 times bigger)? Can you justify adding things against that which is different?

If I don’t use all the stuff on my phone does it just make sense to have a watch?

Which, of course, is the drumroll for the Dick Tracy watch-that-is-a-phone. Cue Apple (of course).

Are you wearing a watch right now? If not you are part of the watch-less fast change around us movement.

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Fast Change Around Us- Navigation


Perfectly packed I was, for a first week away at a client site. Or so I thought. No belt (I know, guys don’t wear belts anymore, but there is still a little bit of a business dress code).

This is my favorite fast change (after cruise control):


How cool is it to be able to say to your phone, “Target” and have it tell you in that pleasing female voice exactly how to get there. And with fun moving video to boot!

Have you noticed there seems to be just as many Target stores as Starbucks?

I passed eight (that I could see from the freeway) on the 3 hours commute. That may be some sort of fast change too…

Round two of the navigation adventure this week was the input of an address for temporary stay. I must have had Google Nav on some sort of “adventure setting” because that nice lady guided me through orange and plum and almond orchards- mist rising above the ground, sun cresting over the snow covered ridges- zigging and zagging me to my destination. Totally blue roads! (A reference to two lane roads off the beaten track, in case I just dated myself). This would have reversed the Luddite in even my own dad.

My kids, who now have their own phones after much arm twisting of the parental units, love to be the navigators. I started out old fashioned, thinking they would never experience the fun of charting family trips on an actual (using that word facetiously here) map.

This is so much better! They zoom in, they zoom out, they go right then left. They go all the way out to space AND back. No way could I have ever put my trip as a kid into THAT kind of context. Yosemite in relation to Mars. That is the ultimate.

Can we borrow from this for organizational change?

We can.

Many of the Fast Changes Around Us are actually some old things wrapped up in different packages. How is phone navigation any different than a map?…if the most important thing is getting to the destination. All those things you have to say about the paper map have to do with the experience. Same with the phone. They both work to get you there.

We have an important distinction here. Some change makes functional work easier. Some change creates a better experience. (Some rare change does both).

Differentiating and calling out function and form can make change more palatable and reinforce end states through use (function) and experience (form).

The map and the phone comparison is an easy way to show both. If you can show the phone provides form and function better than the map you are on your way to a more modern end state.

Look at the Fast Changes Around You. They may just help you put your own change, personal or corporate, into a different context. Navigation with phone or map is an easy Fast Change to start with.

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Fast Change Around Us- Monster TV’s


If you are in the market to place a TV in your living room that your neighbors and, quite possibly the people in the next town over, can view, Sharp is delivering.

90” of pure TV real estate.

Forget bragging about “diagonal size”, this baby gets to use (finally, speaking of fast change next to slow change) HORIZONTAL size. Because, of course, horizontal is all anyone really cares about!

At that size everyone on your couch is in the center of the TV (and the kids, the dog and the cat on the floor).

This is some serious change that will have people craning for years to come.

(An aside: what happens when they scale, you know they will, to say 10 feet or 12.5? How cool would it be to have a TV that did not fit in some ROOMS!).

This IS fast change.

I took my kids to a local museum and they had a sample living room set up from “days gone by”. The TV, a monster at maybe 19” (diagonal) screen inside a 6ft 8in wide cabinet (Ok that was an exaggeration to be funny, but not too far off). I was able to say that looks exactly like my grandmothers TV. And no I’m not that old.

Let’s get to the change.

Think about the number of times you now go to a friends and spread around the room for a party, sports, a movie, or an election.The TV, and the things it throws out, can be a magnet for socialization, sharing and dialogue (if you can get someone to be in charge of the mute and not mess up all the time). Perhaps the huge TV’s have opened up rooms? Or maybe great rooms call for big TV’s? The TV still creates a circle within the viewing range though no matter the size of the room.

Those circles are very social.

Sure you could do the same thing with a board game (that’s a shout out to the Luddites out there who still have their original TV…or none at all).

Or you could play a board game on the TV!

We have a blast clearing out our den of furniture and having adult/kids WII bowling tournaments.

From Pong to TV’s that cover a wall and do things when you gesture-Fast Change Around Us.

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Fast Change Around Us-Mice… and Keyboards


Personally I have never been a mouse user.

But I bet if you eliminated mice forever there would be a loud scream heard worldwide.

Every meeting has the one person with the wireless or prehistoric-corded version whose hand flies around while the rest of their body looks like a mannequin from a wax museum.

To be fair there are a few people like me that have wireless keyboards with touchscreens built in to turn desktops into laptop-ish things.

The broader point here though is that some Fast Change Around Us has to do with things showing up and then leaving just at the point where we are used to them (or clutching them as the case may be).

Sometimes those replacements are sort of the same thing while serving the same function. Now OUR BODIES are mice in front of the TV. Gesture up for volume down for silence.

Touchscreens turn the computer, or phone, into one big giant mouse.

Keyboards also have a little history of their own. Remember when you could hear someone working a mile away on those things called “typewriters”, our first keyboards? Now think about how the sound was gradually taken away until all we hear is the barely audible whoosh of finger across screen. Take that up a notch and you have the keyboards that project an image on any surface so you can type to your hearts content. This must be a godsend for habitual finger tappers. Hey you might as well get something done with that nervous habit!

Really though half the time I don’t need a keyboard I can just say things and the big or medium or little box in front of me converts into something I can share with others. I am not about to type an address and then another and maybe two or three more if I have a lot of stops. I just tell my phone to get me there!

Change is about adding. Change is about taking away. Sometimes change is about replacing with something a little better in some way. How do you type? How do you move your cursor?

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