The Library of Economics and Liberty has a pretty good overview of the concept of Creative Destruction and of the concept’s creator: Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950). You can read the whole post here.
The idea behind creative destruction includes the concept that for a sound economy to exist that “lost jobs, ruined companies, and vanishing industries are inherent parts of the growth system” The ultimate outcome of all of this chaos is a larger, better, stronger economy.
The challenge for the professional, and for our current environment is that with the technology of the information age, we are driving through these changes more rapidly than ever in history. Look at Nokia and Microsoft. From 7.2 billion and thousands of employees to nothing in about three years.
Interestingly enough, we are not creating the benefits as quickly as we are destroying the older institutions and the new organizations, as you would expect. This is the point where I could rant about the 99% of the population.. I could demand universal health care, or I could even discuss tremendously radical ideas like guaranteed basic income.
But that’s not my point. The reality of our world is that radical ideas, right or left don’t happen, or at least not very quickly. Our political infrastructure is lots of talk and very little real substantive action. It’s a little like the Shakespeare line from Macbeth “Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” My point is that change and destruction of jobs has been around since the beginning of modern economies. How many satellite TV salespeople do you see in the local strip-mall? I remember a time when every grocery store was in a strip mall with a dollar store, a pizza place, a Chinese food place, and a Dish Network store. Because of this we have to be aware of it and prepare accordingly. Christmas comes every year, it’s not a surprise (Ramsey), It get’s hot every summer (Giuliani).
So my recommendation: Spend a little time thinking about what you do and what you need to know for the possible disruptions coming your way. If you are a logistics manager, then make sure you are ready for managing fleets of autonomous vehicles. If you are in human resources, maybe it’ sa good idea to learn how to automate recruiting tests. It’s virtually impossible to retain any equity in your benefits, but maybe you can prepare to keep your downtime in between jobs to a minimum.
I would write more on this topic but I have limited time today and I think I need to spend some of it researching what it will take to learn how to program .