Long gone are the days where we need a practical skill to make a living. These days the most useful ability is to know your way around an iPad or MacBook and you will rival most in any job. I would pride myself in being somewhat competent on computers and technology, however even I am being taken over by the 4-year-old just starting school! But is this a good thing? I’m not so sure. What are children really learning? Are they becoming less in touch with their human nature and become robot-like talking in code and hashtags?
The children that are starting school today wont start work until at least 2030. A world we can’t even contemplate. Politicians may have a 10-year plan on tax and healthcare reforms, but really, do they even know? How can you start to predict what out planet will look like with the rate of change we have seen over the last 20 years. The world has changed unimaginably: Internet, computers, phones – things that are so integrated into our lives we wonder how we ever lived without it. The ‘babyboomers’ - post war miracles, but in no way prepared for the developments of the 21st century. And why would they be? – There was no warning in 1948 to say that there was going to be a technical explosion in 50 years giving teachers a heads up to get them ready for Googleing, Facebooking and Tweeting (all of which are not real words, I know). With that being the reality of the pace our world, how can we prepare our adults of the future for what’s ahead?
The basic education many years ago wasn’t focused on education and grades and test results and avoiding failure. It was about living on the land, organic relationships and being in touch with the fabric of life. The essence of being human. Maybe the future isn’t as forward as we expect, maybe the future is about being connected to the quintessential finesse that every single person has without it mattering if you are a man or women, black or white, republican or democrat. In the end, we are all just humans trying to find our way through this muddle of a world in the best we can by following our beliefs and ideals.
What does the future bring? I don’t know, nobody can know. But I think that instead of preparing our youngest to be wiz computer kids, we should be letting their inner abilities shine through. Encourage dancing and singing and drawing. Letting go of results being the only indicator of success and see what these kids are really made of.
A storm is brewing; changes in the economic, demographic and all the other ‘ic’s’ you can think of are charging at an unstoppable rate. Restyling the political system, the working world and what and how necessities are being bought: in fact most things about everything are being shaken up by the tempest. Even if you have had your head stuck in the sand since the millennium you will have noticed a few shy differences to the world, firstly the expansive use of the internet all across the world which in turn gave way to the likes of MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn leading the way for the social media revolution. Okay, so if you missed all that, not to worry because soon enough the outlaws accountable for these distractions are going to coming into your work place, bringing up the next generation and becoming our world leaders. So you may as well sit up straight and listen, because no matter which far away desert you choose to dig your hole, the millennials are coming and you can’t escape.
The urban myths that swarm incessantly around millennials; they are lazy, unprofessional, lack concentration and have a necessity for technology may inform your opinion of the technically savvy scallywags that are forcing you to use online banking, digital television and throw out your flares. But the revolution is upon us and you need to start changing your ideas about this new generation (and pretty rapidly if you are still rocking your shell suit). This generation are prosperous and evolving, they are developing and creating innovative ideas that have potential to create new jobs, communication channels, equality, rights and giving people a voice who have never been heard before. These people are less discriminative, more pro choice and have an abundance of opportunities for you and your business to seize.
Welcome the millennials
The Olympics has rolled round to our TV screens again and the top quality sporting performances will be at our disposal for the next two weeks. Reaching new heights, running faster than seemingly possible, undercutting the top dogs and new names thrown into the spotlight of stardom – all the sort of entertainment we expect to see, and I can’t wait! The Olympic Games first started in 1896, and now in 2012 it’s a global sensation. How has it maintained such a high profile event for over 100 years? I’m sure we each have our opinion on its organisation, but fundamentally it will draw in 8.8 million ticket holders to Britain and they will spend 2.1 billion because everyone wants a piece. Nice. But it’s not all about money, the Olympics can give us a handy heads up on how to be better leaders and strengthen our organisations.
Your Brand: As we have found out in the last 5 years, once the deal has been accepted it is all go on the Olympic front. A continual update of how building work is developing, transport is being improved and how athletes are preparing is thrusted at us from all angles of social media; television, newspapers, social networking sites: the lot. All in preparation for the final product, the clincher, the decider: the opening ceremony. The Olympic brand has managed to endure war, revolutions, terrorism, and yet still every year it’s getting bigger and stronger and more impressive. Across nations, cultures, continents, political ideals and religion the Olympics has created a brand that is accessible for all those who want it to be. How can your business do the same?
Performing under pressure: The Olympic committee spent years organizing and creating the Olympics for London 2012 but even with all scrutinizing and detailed planning, changes have had to me made on the day; for example, selling unused company tickets on the cheap. Why is it only being sorted now, argue some people, I don’t know the answer to that but it’s a great example of being able to perform under extreme pressure from the media and public. The Olympics is almost a tactile example of world-class leadership, innovation, management, security – somewhat debatable – and planning. Running alongside these productions is the athletes. Pressure from a whole country on one persons shoulders for their moments of glory and yet still they manage to break records, succeed and conquer. These super humans are the don at performing under pressure. Does your organisation remain cool when things are heated?
Sustainability: Can your organisation last the test of time? The Olympics has been running for over a century and successfully developed in synchrony with the current times and trends throughout history with regards to cultural, social, political and economic changes. The Olympics has clear goals, values and missions with a strong leadership and management strategy in every country to ensure its lasting existence. How can your leadership style and organisation use the values from the Olympics to develop and move forward?
The biggest obstacle to finding solutions is not the complexity of the presenting issue. It is cohering the available talent and intelligence of your board to focus on the issue. There are clues to how to do this - Edward De-bono with his 6 hats is powerful the Belbin inventory is also extremely useful and there are other useful methods. However, having been present at both good and poor board meetings the role of the chairman or facilitator is key. It is crucial to combine process with brightness, to provide rules and structure with creativity and innovation and perhaps the biggest challenge is put ego's on hold and apply the direct force of intellectual and emotional collaboration