I have rivers on my mind today.  Maybe it’s because I spent a lot of time over the last couple of days talking about streams of information and of video.  The nature of media these days is that we’re on a mostly self-directed rafting trip immersed in these streams.  Except that they’re really rivers since “streams” speaks to something much smaller than the torrents of content with which we deal every day.

Coincidentally, I came across something in the Phi Beta Kappa blog that resonated on both the nature of our content world and our business world:

It was the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus who said that you can’t step into the same river twice, giving us a memorable illustration of the principle that things change. The very nature of things is change.

Amen.  I’m not the only one to have written about FOMO – the fear of missing out on something changing in your social or other streams because it happened while you weren’t paying attention.  There are lots of tools available to assure that doesn’t happen by sending you alerts when a significant person posts or an important bit of data comes to pass.  Nevertheless, I’m sure many of us feel a need to dip our toe in the river constantly, both to stay in touch as well as to take the temperature.

It’s more the change that occurs in business which is my focus.  I laugh when people talk about five-year plans.  Where were your video marketing plans back in 2010?  How about mobile?  Is what you’re doing today what you contemplated then?  I doubt it.  That’s not a complaint; it’s a recognition that the river keeps flowing and the water you photographed when you did your strategic plan is long gone by the time you’re ready to implement it.

Keep the notion of a river in mind as you approach business.  While it runs within the same banks it’s never exactly the same.  You need to embrace that flow and learn how to swim with a changing current.  There is a reason that so many songs and literary works deal with rivers as central to a community and to life.  How you deal with it is the difference between a wonderfully exciting ride or drowning.  Your call!

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