My seven-year-old daughter came to me this morning. At that moment I had an image of a typewriter on my screen. Immediately the question came up: What is that? Reflexively, I wanted to answer: "a typewriter". But how would the child know what a typewriter is? So I began to explain how characters and numbers were put down on paper in the past, for example, to write a letter.
It did not last long until the next question: How does the machine work?
That was a little more difficult to answer. I felt unsure how to explain it in the most understandable and quickest way. My explanation with my hands and feet was hardly descriptive: pens which, at the touch of a button, put a stamp of letters on the paper. We watched a very short video. She said, but that's not the way you do things nowadays. I replied that in former times there were not so many electronic devices like TV or monitors.
I realized that I was talking about a completely different world. She grew up with a smartphone and a tablet. It goes without saying that she can chat with relatives or friends with video anytime. For her, a technology from 50 years ago must appear like from another planet. To make the difference even clearer, we watched two minutes of the first television debate between Nixon and Kennedy in 1960.
Not only was there no color. The picture quality and the equipment of television studios are different nowadays. Not many people had a television set in 1960.
At that moment the next topic came up. We don't have a TV. Luckily, she knew the concept of television from others.
I did my best to let her dive into the past for a moment. With pictures and words. Yet she could hardly relate to it.
In the beginning, there are words. Stories follow. They create images in people's heads. Maybe on paper or in a movie. That way the future becomes conceivable.
How do you immerse your colleagues in the future of your organization without video material? How do you build the bridge from now to the future? What questions will your colleagues ask?