I am looking for my mouse
Clay Shirky at Web2.0 Expo tells the story of a 4 year old who gets bored looking at a DVD and crawls around the back of the screen: “I am looking for my mouse”. This is the story of child brought into a technological age where we expect to participate in whatever we do. “Looking for the mouse” is the mark of a generation who expects to take initiative.
Who moved my cheese?
Just ten years’ ago, we were delighted by another story, an allegory, Who moved my cheese? This story is about a generation who does not expect to take initiative. Indeed, it resists taking the initiative. It wants to ‘put the clock back’.
We spend a lot of time crying, “we want the cheese to come back.” Or, words to that effect. We celebrate the past rather than the emerging future.
The positive message of this allegory is that once we can move beyond fear, we are free to move on, and find fresher, more interesting, more enjoyable cheese.
My advice is “follow that mouse!”
I live a double life as I have said before. In my one life, I work with Zimbabweans who are frozen in terror about the changes going on in their country. Their fears are real, and justified. So too, is their desire to go back to a time when cheese was there for the taking. Their liberation will ultimately come when they stop protesting the unfairness of it all and start to explore their future.
In my other life, I work with HR professionals who are also frozen in terror. In the case of HR, there is a little cheese left, but not much. The world has moved on to work patterns where there are new demands and new generation who says “I am looking for the mouse”?
For Zimbabweans and HR professionals, I am looking for my mouse has a sadder meaning The mice have already detected the dwindling cheese supply and have left.
My advice is “follow that mouse”!