Back in September 2018, I wrote an article about how we create value through connection, not in isolation. Little did I know that 18 months later isolation would take on a whole new and literal meaning. However, I believe this statement remains true. Connection now is more important than ever.
James Gleick, in his book, The Information, talks about the introduction of the electric telegraph. Gleick says that in 1852, the ‘idea of connecting Europe with America, by lines extending directly across the Atlantic, is utterly impracticable and absurd.’ The impossible was accomplished by 1858.
As Nelson Mandela has been quoted as saying 'It always seems impossible until it's done.'
Information that just two years earlier had taken days to arrive at its destination could now be there – anywhere – in seconds. This was not a doubling or tripling of transmission speed; it was a leap of many orders of magnitude.
Queen Victoria exchanged pleasantries with President Buchanan. The New York Times announced “a result so practical, yet so inconceivable." The social consequences could not have been predicted, but some were observed and appreciated almost immediately. Fire brigades and Police Stations linked their communications. Proud shopkeepers advertised their ability to take telegraph orders. It was like the bursting of a dam whose presence has not even been known.
This ability to connect instantly across space and time has been possible for more than a century and a half. Today's circumstances have made geography almost irrelevant. Whether it's next door, or across the world, we are finding new ways to connect.
Many things in our world may seem absurd or inconceivable. Problems may appear impossible to solve. In many cases, they are only impossible if we try to solve them alone.
How are you creating connections to help you accomplish the impossible?