In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.
Consider all the seemingly small things we take for granted every day that have huge impacts on our lives and the world around us. From the water and electricity in our homes to the traffic lights that keep us from crashing into each other on the road. There are countless things that transcend to become more than the sum of their parts. The effect can be as little as making life more convenient to revolutionizing the way we live – true game changers.
This has never been truer or more prevalent than it is today. With the advent of the Internet and social media, we live in an ever-changing world where media is coming back into the hands of everyday folks. A world where a person posting a video of himself doing an incredibly stupid thing can end up on national TV, a blogger can earn a seven figure salary without ever leaving her house and social media tools are used to organize the overthrow of governments.
People make the mistake of thinking that in order to change or make an impact they need to take on huge projects or completely overhaul their strategy. Sometimes you do. But more often than not, small actions can have more positive impact than you think. The truth is, that huge task you have been meaning to get to probably seems so daunting that you might never actually get to it. Why not think about attainable actions your bandwidth will allow? Use emergence as your blueprint, do one small thing and then another and so on…before you know it…
As marketers, we have been taught to look for and/or try to invent the next big idea – the Marketing Holy Grail if you will. Odds are, most of us can spend our whole careers on that quest and will never come close. I know, you are going to keep looking – we can’t help ourselves. But, while your at it, spend some of your time exploring the small, extraordinary things and make them part of everything you do? You just might find your Holy Grail was there all along.
Every once in awhile, the stars align, a company is in the right place, right time with the right product and it changes the world in profound ways. But mostly, the world changes one small thing at a time – don’t wait, be part of it!