This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

March 14, 2007

Perfect Memory Storm

If you have experienced memory challenges, you are not alone. Key trends have come together to create the “perfect memory storm” for civilized humanity. According to THG consultant Bill Jensen, author of “Simplicity”, “the most conservative estimates show business information doubling every three years, and at some companies, it doubles every year.” Plus, most of us have an increasing desire to learn and know more and studies have shown that using our brains will help us avoid Alzheimer’s Disease.

Add to these trends, the increasing complexity of our machines, like PDAs, computers, and cell phones. That increasing complexity means that we have to remember more, just to operate these “indispensable” devices.

At the same time, there are more distractions than ever before, inhibiting our ability to concentrate. We are constantly bombarded by media from advertising, news, music, and data streaming, on our radios, televisions, computers, iPods and even in virtual worlds. Often, we can not escape this media, even when we make an effort to do so.

Combine these trends with a major skills shortage and every year or two, we need to double our ability to figure out what’s important, then synthesize, understand, prioritize, and use everything coming at us. Add the technology revolution that pushes all this information at us at ever faster rates and you have the perfect storm for knowledge workers and everyone in an information-based society.

This non-stop exposure hinders our ability to retain the facts and information that we crave. We tax our memories beyond their capabilities. This overtaxing is not only a problem for the Baby Boomers, but people of all ages. According to the Natural Marketing Institute, close to Philadelphia, “nearly three-quarters of consumers are currently using supplements, foods, or beverages to prevent memory problems”.

This "Perfect Memory Storm" is already affecting the health and well-being of people globally. Our forecast is that this confluence of trends will highlight the value of “simplicity” and consultants like Jensen will enjoy full employment. Wise employers will retain these consultants to streamline processes and systems to help them retain and optimize their valuable intellectual capital.

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