Unprecedented Change, In Our Time & Musashi’s Time

On October 21st, 1600 the battle of Sekigahara established the Tokugawa Shogunate, a military dictatorship that effectively ended centuries of civil war in Japan. Over the next generation clans were merged, territories acquired and military budgets consolidated. As a result, countless samurai were dismissed from their positions as their services were no longer required. They were in effect, laid off from their jobs.

The word samurai means ‘to serve’ and without a ruler and/or patron to serve they were said to be Ronin or masterless samurai. It also meant no money so many became mercenaries or changed professions all together. This was a world in transition, a world going through unprecedented change. This was the world that Miyamoto Musashi would have grown up in. He would become a rare example of a samurai who would thrive his entire life as a Ronin. Like Leonardo Da Vinci and Benjamin Franklin, he was a self-made made in a world in flux.

The Tokugawa Shogunate would organize Japanese society like a well run corporation and rule in relative peace for over two and a half centuries. The remaining Samurai, however, would become a redundant element as firearms, artillery and ordnance technology would reshape the notion of combat in Japan. Less and less, battles would be fought with bows and swords. The Samurai would essentially be reduced to a cross between military police and ‘middle management’ of society. By the Meiji Restoration in 1868, both the Samurai and the Shogunate were officially rendered obsolete. They were all out of a job and once again the country went through both an economic and cultural transition leading up to World War II.

Cultural transition, unprecedented technological change, mergers, acquisitions and lay-offs, does any of this sound familiar? The Western world has gone through many similar periods of transition, much of the current rhetoric suggest that we live in one today. The recent article in Business Insider below serves as a good example. What does that say for the modern business professional?

Source: Bill Ford: The auto industry is going through ‘unprecedented change’ – Business Insider

Economic Evolution – Got Adaptability?


History has proven this concept to be true with:

  • Cultures
  • Governments
  • Corporations
  • Professionals

Some are uncomfortable with references of any kind to so called “Darwinisms”.  The reasons are varied, not the least of which have historically been horrific acts committed in the name of “natural selection” or “survival of the fittest”. It’s important to remember though that like so many throughout history, Darwin has been often misquoted or his ideas taken out of context to suit other agendas.

It’s safe to say that whether you’re an opponent or a proponent of Darwin, change is one of the constants in the universe and very much so in the economic universe.

Are you Adaptable??

SALES, Up for the “dirty word” challenge?

A well-respected business mentor(who happens to be my father-in-law) has always maintained;

“Whatever the profession you happen to be in, ultimately it’s sales.”

In his latest book, “To Sell is Human, The surprising truth about moving others”Daniel Pink brings forward significant empirical evidence to support this claim and validate what many have always intuitively known about the term “sales”. The book is also  a fun and easy read, giving some historical perspective on where sales has come from in the 20th Century to specifics on where it’s headed in the next decade. Not to mention that it also serves as another great example of the ENMEI concept of “Economic Evolution”.

If you consider the term “sales” a dirty word and believe that it has nothing to do with your profession, you should read this book. If your profession falls within the category of sales, you should definitely read this book.


So now for the CHALLENGE:

Think of a profession, any profession, that you believe has nothing to do with moving others (hence sales) and post in the comments section why you believe it so. I will do my best to counter that challenge and others are encouraged to join in(just remember this is for fun, please play nice in the sand box).

Forget 2016. The Pivotal Year In Politics May Be 2020 : NPR

And Politics is just the tip of the Iceberg…By 2020;

Those at the tail end of the Baby Boom will be in their 60’s and looking to retire

There will be a quantum shift in the workforce in the United States

Organizations will be struggling to find leaders that can live effectively in both worlds

The digital age will have caught up to industrial manufacturing

Consumer sentiment will have all but killed off, “one size fits all” philosophies

The Global Economy will be well into a major phase of Economic Evolution

Forget 2016. The Pivotal Year In Politics May Be 2020 : NPR.

And those who choose not to prepare through the remainder of this decade….Could face extinction in the next.