In 1972, mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz suggested that a Brazilian butterfly’s flapping wings could set off a chain of meteorological events that results in a Texas tornado. This attempt to explain the unpredictability of the weather has come to signify, in popular culture at least, the concept that small things can trigger momentous change.
As the new CEO of FamilySearch, I have been asked about my goals. My answer is simple: I want to be a small part of the continuous efforts of FamilySearch—and the whole industry—to discover small and simple things to spur exponential growth in family history. I want to find those butterflies, and get their wings flapping!
We are all indebted to Dennis Brimhall. In “The Fantastic Four” years he has been at the helm, Dennis has pioneered a number of small and simple things that have generated exponential growth and opportunity. The simplicity of starting first with heart-warming photos and stories has engaged thousands of new people on FamilySearch and other sites. With a simple stroke of a pen, his vision of bringing key players in the industry together to forge partnerships has given millions of people access to billions of more records to enjoy.
To continue on and honor the path Dennis blazed, my question is “What are the next small and simple things—the multiplying innovations, discoveries, and collaborations—that will bring great things to pass for all of us.” I am extremely curious by nature and it is that pursuit that excites me as we work together to discover the future of family history.
In our discovery I hope we will all shine a light on the life-changing nature of family history. All of our family and friends need to personally experience the emotion, understanding, and joy that comes from discovering family, both past and present. Let’s work together to make connections that strike us to the heart and fill our lives with a sense of heritage and purpose. Let’s find the accelerators that will exponentially inspire the family history industry and engage the growing community that loves it. One butterfly flap at a time.