High Frequency Change
Feel like your head is spinning?
In High Frequency Change I explain why it feels like change happens faster now, and what people and organisations can do about it.
- What causes this sense of acceleration?
- What does it mean for businesses and brands?
- What do we teach our children for tomorrow’s world?
The idea that change happens faster now than in the past has been popular for over a decade, as the pace of technological change appears to increase. It feeds the belief that we are approaching a technological ‘singularity’ where machines begin to advance beyond human control. But historians frequently reject the idea of accelerating change, pointing to previous periods of dramatic change, through the industrial revolution, the shift from horse to car, and the advent of domestic automation.
In High Frequency Change, I aim to settle this argument. I suggest that change is too complex to be described as either ‘fast’ or ‘slow’ and propose what I believe is a better heuristic, describing change in the form of waves with both amplitude and frequency. The connected computing revolution is another low frequency wave with high amplitude (impact) and long wavelength (duration), just like previous technological revolutions. But it has enabled high frequency changes, which have a lower overall impact but rise and fall incredibly quickly.
Neither people nor organisations are prepared for high frequency change. We don’t have the tools to deal with it, so it is incredibly disruptive to our ability to plan and operate. We need a new way of thinking about business, and our own careers, if we want to build sustainable success in this age of high frequency change. This is what I try to offer in this book.
TalkRadio Business Breakfast
James Max, host of TalkRadio’s Business Breakfast, invited me on the show to talk about High Frequency Change, acceleration, and what it means for business leaders. Listen to the segment here.
“The World Is Not Speeding Up, Despite All The Theories”
I spoke to Forbes contributor Phil Lewis about High Frequency Change and what it means for the widely-held theory that we live in an accelerated age.
The Extraordinary Business Book Club
I spoke to the wonderful Alison Jones, founder of the Extraordinary Business Book Club for this episode of her podcast. We spoke about the themes of High Frequency Change, some of the stories in it, and the writing process. Check it out and if you like it, subscribe. It’s a great listen.
“Entertaining, illuminating, clever. Balanced, stimulating, absorbable…. What Tom has done is give some legitimacy to futurism as a faction of change management for the the 21st century.” Perry Timms, founder of PTHR, reviewing High Frequency Change for HR Director magazine.
“This book reveals a lot about how companies are thinking about the challenges they face today, with lots of examples drawn from Cheesewright’s own experience. It is structured into very easily digestible sections and seeks to be practical rather than merely kicking around the theory.” Keith Dyer, editor, reviewing High Frequency Change for The Mobile Network
Praise for High Frequency Change
“Tom’s critical analysis of the past provides fearless insight into the future.”
Phil Williams, Broadcaster
‘Tom skilfully guides us through the reasons why organisations need to be ‘athletic’ in their nature to cope with the high frequency of change in our external environments. An essential read for any business leader looking to navigate through the noise and create a relevant business culture to meet the demands of the future head on.”
Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director, Brother UK
“In a world of uncertainty and rapid change Tom’s book provides some great insight on how to navigate this to achieve success and build resilience.”
Nazreen Visram, Head of Charities, Barclays