‘Business Report’ Publisher: Publisher: Bob Dylan was right about times changing

    Come gather ‘round, people

    Wherever you roam

    And admit that the waters

    Around you have grown

    And accept it that soon

    You’ll be drenched to the bone

    If your time to you is worth savin’

    Then you better start swimmin’

    Or you’ll sink like a stone

    For the times they are a-changin’

    This classic hit was written 55 years ago by songwriter Bob Dylan, and it’s just as true today, writes Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister in his latest column. 

    With innovation and technology, the pace of change has quickened. Disruption and digital transformation overwhelms CEOs, employees and industries. Most are becoming “drenched to the bone.” The examples are all around us every day with Amazon, Uber, social media and smartphones. If you haven’t started swimming, you could be the next stone.

    If you think that this sea of change won’t get you wet or even drown you, think again. 

    Some examples of change:

    LSU was founded 159 years ago and today has roughly 30,000 students on campus. What if I told you that student number could double in next 10 years. Crazy? No. Sasha Thackaberry is vice provost of digital and continuing education. LSU’s goal is to have 30,000 students enrolled in online programs.

    If you wonder why we all must keep learning, think robots and artificial intelligence. Don’t laugh. A recent report by Oxford Economics concluded the U.S. has lost 260,000 jobs to robots since 2000. Louisiana shared the No. 1 ranking with Oregon as the states most vulnerable to automation.

    Remember the cartoon, George Jetson and his flying car? (Some of you are too young.) Well, it is here. Yes, flying food delivery and flying taxis. Uber is testing drone food delivery in San Diego. McDonald’s sends food to a drop point, where a driver will receive and hand deliver it to your door, and Uber Air is testing a piloted drone in Australia that could carry four passengers to the airport in five minutes for $70 each—a trip that could take an hour in traffic.

    In 1964, musician and poet Bob Dylan had no idea of the internet or a smartphone, or driverless cars or drones—he just saw the changes happening in the tumultuous ’60s and warned us all to start swimming or sink. That’s still wise advice in 2019. 

    Also in his column, McCollister talks about a video he came across of Alabama coach Nick Saban saying this about winning teams:

    “The big part of being a team is you have to be able to communicate with other people and you have to work with other people. You can never have any team chemistry for this reason: Mediocre people don’t like high-achievers—and high-achievers don’t like mediocre people. So if everyone doesn’t buy into the same principles and values of the organization at the same high standard, you’re never going to be successful.”

    McCollister also says that if you read the story in Business Report’s recent Top 100 issue about BREC golf course and Baton Rouge Zoo usage, you might see the market has changed and some folks refuse to change with it.  

    BREC should close and convert City Park and J.S. Clark golf courses and maintain the four remaining 18-hole courses. That would consolidate play, lower expenses and reduce the losses. Golfers would still have sufficient tee times from which to choose, as other non-BREC courses in our area allow for public play as well. Golf trends are changing across the nation and Baton Rouge is not exempt. 

    Read the full column for McCollister’s in-depth take on change, BREC golf, and the wisdom of Nick Saban, even if you hate when the Tigers lose to him. Send comments to editor@businessreport.com

    View Comments