Dinosaurs are not often thought of, in the twenty-first century, outside of the boundaries of science and folklore. However, the lessons they teach still have a place in today’s world of modern technology and business. In this fast-paced digital age, it has become necessary that businesses keep up with and even surpass their competition in order to survive. Failure to live out this Darwinian principle of ‘the survival of the fittest’ is why the dinosaurs are not here today. Teaching modern businesses that failure to adapt is being successful at dying out as a viable player on the contemporary business landscape. Conversely, these prehistoric ancestors also teach that modern is not always best.
To survive in their world, dinosaurs, both carnivores and herbivores, lived in family groups. Whether the pack lived or died depended greatly on their ability to live together, fight together, and to supply one another with food and water. The rise of technological innovations has enriched modern-day lives with easier, faster, and more efficient ways of performing tasks that are germane to daily lives at home and at work. Conversely, technology has robbed the modern-day world, particularly that of modern business practice, of a basic unit of problem solving, risk analysis, and information exchange. That basic unit is socialization.
In the world prior to the early 1980s, it was not uncommon to see group huddles at the office–men and women discussing problems and concerns related to clients and projects, as well as pooling their talents, thoughts, experience, and abilities to find workarounds and solutions. These collaborative efforts sometimes resulted in modern inventions enjoyed today such as the light bulb, irrigation systems, air travel, as well as the personal computer. Modern technology has replaced this up close and personal collaboration with individualized cubicles of enclosed and intrinsic intelligence. While things like video conferencing, webinars, Skype, and the Internet have their place in modern business methods, each of these electronic conveniences has redefined social interaction in business. There is a reason dinosaurs still have a place in the modern world and why the California condor, a direct descendant of the pterodactyl, still exists in today’s world. They learned to adapt and live together in the modern world.
Dinosaurs also teach modern humanity that it is not blissful to be ignorant. These prehistoric creatures were unaware of the cataclysmic death that loomed over them with their world’s changing climate and landscape. Likewise, it could spell certain and painful death to a business for its owners, operators, executives, and employees to be ignorant of the evolving intricacies of their trades and professions. Therefore, continuing education programs have emerged, particularly from online universities such as Drexel University and the University of Phoenix, to help employers provide affordable, on-the-job training for their employees. Unfortunately, in-depth critiques of these programs reveal that they still, at worst, neglect or, at best, gloss over the significance of social interaction in business. In turn, this stifles the importance of building effective relationships in business, so as to spend more time teaching employees the latest strategy, advancements in technology, or modern business methods in an effort to fatten the bottom line.
Finally, dinosaurs still have a place in the modern world by teaching that as with their world and existence, the modern world lacks stability and permanence. Dinosaurs were once very powerful creatures, however, they are now extinct. Their extinction is a subtle warning that man’s place in the wider universe can still be swept away if he does not begin to weave together the fabric of survival with the necessary threads of technology, knowledge, and old-fashioned human cooperation fueled by common ambitions.
By Tiffany Cook