In case you haven't noticed, the future has arrived.
You can't go through a day without receiving a message about a new movement.
The reinvention movement.
Cultures, individuals, and organizations are all deep into the reinvention process.
Scroll through Google, pick up a magazine, turn on your smartphone or TV, the word is everywhere. Reinvention.
Yes, the future's here, and it wants something back from you. It's inviting you to reinvent yourself.
Starbucks says they're reinventing coffee. Again.
Amazon claims to be the "reinventors of normal."
Apple reinvented how people feel about musical devices and mobile phones.
And with Windows 8, software giant Microsoft has reinvented Windows in an effort to regain tech market clout.
Politicians disgraced and hounded from office in one decade, are reinvented as elder political statesmen in another. Political campaigns have reinvented voter outreach using the social web to make meaningful connections.
The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) launched a website in 2011 to promote the Reinvention of Europe initiative, with its stated mission to "inject a new dynamic into the discourse around the crisis and questions concerning Europe's future at both national and European levels." One of the goals is to have an open debate on choices facing Europe in the 21st century.
It's clear how the ECFR understands how reinvention begins with examination, open dialogue, and assessing the current situation. Everything from the euro crisis, independence vs. interdependence, and taking concrete steps for reinventing Europe are posted and discussed in an online forum.
Political leaders in the United States have a lot to learn about reinvention from their European counterparts.
Pop stars fade into obscurity, and after rehab or a total breakdown, they reinvent themselves and return to the music scene and release a career-defining work. After the environmental tragedy of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico spill, BP has tried to reinvent its tarnished image with a new logo and a PR campaign.
Reinvention is changing the world's political and cultural landscape. And one thing is certain. At least for the foreseeable future. Reinvention happens at a quicker pace from now on.
You can dig in your heels and plug your ears, but as we all know, even resisting changes will serve to ignite reinvention. Ignoring the reinvention movement may feel fine for a while, but in the long run, it will prove to be the wrong choice.
If you don't adapt to the accelerated pace, you'll lose track of current trends in business and culture. Suddenly, you're living on a remote island, where you can barely hear the conversation. In this historical moment, reinvention is the overarching, relevant, and most vital concept for telling others about what you're going through. Technology is altering how we process information, communicate, and build relationships.
If you're not reinventing yourself, your business, your point of view, your multi-platform communications, and your Internet persona -- you're behind history's curve. In fact, the reinvented Internet is now the mobile web -- connections as destination, linking people through devices: think iPad, smartphone, tablet, big data, cloud.
Yes, the future finally arrived, right on time. We belong to a worldwide communication network, own lots of cool handheld communication devices, and rising oceans, melting glaciers, and recurring Superstorms seem like crazy dystopian futuristic planetary events you'd find in a science fiction novel. We're in the Age of Reinvention.
Maybe it's not the future brilliant sci-fi writers envisioned for us, but we have a 24-hour news cycle, countless sports channels, downloadable movies, and Google to keep us distracted.
The monetary and culture shifting shocks the world has adjusted to in the last several years have made individuals and businesses persistent, creative, and inventive.
In cities and town the road signs all have a single word on them: Onward. And, no matter who or what you are, the road ahead leads to many more cycles of reinvention.
We are wired to ingest and transmit stories, and we've built our culture around this built-in wiring. The act of communication alters us, from the first ga-ga to our last words. We are informed and transformed by words spoken aloud, words read on the page, on movie screens, and in person. Transformation is happening at a faster clip, and the tools for global communication are in everyone's hands.
We can instantaneously ingest and inject new knowledge, become inspired, pass along inspiration, deliver content, encourage, enlighten, or agitate a group of folks living on the other side of the globe.
If you have a deep desire to shake up the status quo, this is the perfect time to be alive. Tools are available, minds are ripe for being recharged, and social and cultural revolutions are ready to be ignited.
Follow Russell C. Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/digitalfirebook