I was in Madrid to address the “First International Conference on Self-Empowerment” and the entire transaction – from their search to find me, to emails and Skype conversations determining exact needs – all of it was carried out over the Internet. Suzy and I even booked and paid our airline tickets and made hotel reservations online, and our client deposited the retainer directly into our bank account the same way. Times sure have changed!

Aside from the excitement I feel when I visit one of the world’s great cities, I was struck by some of the major differences between European attitudes and those in America on issues like global warming and other concerns. In Europe, the messages are everywhere and major issues are being discussed at every level – from TV reports to fact-filled articles in newspaper and magazines to opinions in smoke-filled Tapas bars.

People know that they have to embrace change. Damage reports make the daily the news and stories about successful adaptations are shared. I was struck with discussions on all kinds on ways to re-green the Earth and how this is a wondrous economic opportunity. In one town, every bus and taxi now runs on propane; in another, rooftop gardens absorb pollution while cooling and supplying foods and useful herbs. There was so much more.

People are talking about the collapse of the old system and the co-creation of a new one. I even saw former British Prime Minister Tony Blair say that unless we change immediately –
reversing the course of progress as we know it - catastrophic results will not be felt in some far off time but in the course of his own life. And he'll soon be 60 years young.

Now that kind of talk stirs my creativity. I know that Nature promises survival to the wise who adapt to new conditions. The rape of the Earth is no longer an option – new ideas and ways of doing, innovative managing strategies are needed right now.

And you know they won't come from Government or from the old guard. We have to do it ourselves. We have to insist that everyone climb aboard. Delusion begins when we think we can keep doing the same things, in the same way, and yet somehow arrive at different results.

Even the rules of business are changing in significant ways. Here are 7 examples:
  • Old rule #1: Big Business owns the market. New rule: Agile is best. Innovation is key.
  • Old rule #2: Banks are supreme stakeholders. New rule: The consumer is king.
  • Old rule #3: Be lean and mean… cut, cut cut! Are you there yet? New rule: Add to your structural capital, your client capital and your creative capital.
  • Old rule #4: Aim to be #1 in the global marketplace. New rule: Find a niche and cultivate it with something new, needed, better.
  • Old rule #5: Rank people as players in a hierarchy. New rule: Hire and nurture passionate people and form self-managed teams.
  • Old rule #6: In times of fear, maintain the status quo. New rule: Develop courage and, empowered, lead change.
  • Old rule #7: Admire the high and mighty. New rule: Admire the creative thinkers and authentic leaders.
Contrary to what we might be telling ourselves, we are not a privileged species that fell here from somewhere else. We are born of the Earth ...and Nature plays no favourites.

The universal rule – Survive and Prosper – requires everyone to adapt to changing times. In my conferences, I remind people that 99.99% of the species that have ever existed on this Planet are EXTINCT today
because they did not adjust to changing conditions.