I had a conversation with one of my software developers and he reminded me of how we in IT need to challenge ourselves to be change agents and leaders.

He mentioned the famous quote by Henry Ford – who when asked why he didn’t get more feedback from customers he said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

When marketing experts at Apple asked Steve Jobs if he had market tested his Mac ideas – he said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

If in 1962 Bob Dylan has asked his fans what they wanted, they would have said better folk music played on acoustic guitars, with lyrics from old stories.

If you lived through the Dylan in the ’60s and 70’s – you know that the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, and many other artists derived their work from Dylan’s leadership.   And also, it’s not hard to understand the impact he had and still has on modern music and literature.  He took the art form of music and showed it could be used for social change.  And music has never been the same.

Dylan’s prophetic poems, The Times They Are a-Changin, Dignity, and With God on Our Side set to powerful music helped us become a community and talk about our shared tragedies and humanity.

If you listen, you can hear why the Iraq war failed, why Black Lives Matter, and why we finally have a Black President.

But now we have weapons of chemical dust
And if fire them we’re forced to, why then fire them we must
One push of the button and a shot the worldwide
And you never ask questions when God’s on your side

And now as I leave you, I’m weary as hell
The confusion I’m feelin’, there ain’t no tongue can tell
The words fill my head and drop to the floor
That if God’s on our side, he’ll stop the next war.

Somebody got murdered on New Year’s Eve
Somebody said dignity was the first to leave
I went into the city, went into the town
Went into the land of the midnight sun
Searchin’ high, searchin’ low
Searchin’ everywhere I know
Askin’ the cops wherever I go
Have you seen dignity?

Someone showed me a picture and I just laughed
Dignity never been photographed

The line, it is drawn, the curse, it is cast

The slow one now will later be fast

The present now will later be past

The order is rapidly fadin’

And the first one now will later be last

For the times they are a-changin’.

It’s easy for us to become insulated in our daily jobs and lives when what we’re working on isn’t necessarily linked to the major events of our times. Something that Dylan has always made me feel is that that isn’t ever the case. And in fact, to be a thought/action leader and innovator, one has to believe in the interconnected nature of life, work, business, family, and humanity… Upward Technology is proud of the work we do and the people we help every day. We have clients that we believe are truly making the world better. And if we can innovate and improve how we work, it means we’re also impacting our clients in that way. And assure that the times, keep a’changin… for the better.