Chevrolets and Clock radios

Chevrolet recently sent a memo to its employees asking them to now refer to their brand by the original name "Chevrolet". The company wanted to anchor themselves to the traditional perception. This raised the cockles of those who affectionately call their vehicles "Chevy". In fact, the more contemporary name "Chevy" has become a part of our cultural milieu that the shift made news in the New York Times. 

Also highlighted in the New York Times was the replacement of the clock radio with it's antiquated time expression through the glow of digital time on it's face. They are now being replaced with something much more sophisticated: an internet enabled, multi-functional device that can wake us up not only with music from the radio but with news reports from cyber-space.

The point? We live today (as we always have) in the tension between holding on to what was past but familiar and moving ahead into a future that is novel but uncertain.

We must straddle this tension with discernment toward the future and empathy for the past. It can be a delicate balancing act but one that is never going away and will only intensify in the days to come. So how do we do it?

Letting go of what's going away entails grief. Allow yourself to grieve and lament the passing of an entrenchment known as nostalgia. You cannot go back to the "way things were". Our culture won't allow it nor will the reality of the movement of time. Grieving is appropriate in order to move ahead to new realities that will themselves, over time, become nostalgic and be worthy of grief.

Posted in adaptation, Change, Current Affairs, Digital, grief

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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