The Great Shift
Several major things in the market place are changing right before our eyes. This has been going on for some time, but the cost of oil, the sub-prime housing crisis, inflation, and the growing national and personal debt are accelerating this change. Add in a media frenzy that lives on bad news amplified by an election year, and suddenly the landscape looks remarkably different, and scary.
What is the “real” great shift?
Where are the opportunities?
Why should I remain positive?
The “real” great shift. One of the benefits of what I do is the ability to communicate with thousands of individuals from thousands of different companies and industries. Ninety-eight percent of these people are fixated on their particular problem. On the surface these challenges seem unique, but when pulled together they explain the great shift.
Summed up, employees, the self-employed and corporate leadership are saying the same thing:
Technology + Globalization + Changing Workplace Values = The Great Shift
Technology (the Internet and the ability to do business differently), globalization (new competition made possible by technology), and changing workplace values (older workers retiring being replaced by under 30 workers) are creating a great shift in the market place.
The opportunity. The old guard (those that are 60 plus and are the current leadership in business today) have lived though many economic cycles and technological advances in the past and for the most part they are under the false assumption that they can live through this one as well without having to change the way they operate.
The problem is technology is taking away their ace in the hole – their exclusive access to essential knowledge to get a deal done. This fact, combined with the reality of hundreds of very knowledgeable competitors from all over the world instead of just a few they used to know by name, is making their contribution to the organization much more uncertain. Add to the equation that the younger workers in their organization have different value priorities and at the same time see the shortfalls in their leadership, and it makes it very difficult for the old guard to be effective.
The opportunity is pretty straightforward and complex. Organizations and people that are winning in the great shift are focusing on leveraging the wisdom of the old guard with technology and building a bridge based on common values to the younger workforce. It’s complex because the foundation of success is based on relationship building around values that make the organization successful, and something the old guard has never really had to deal with before.
The old guard entered the workforce and did what their boss told them to do just because they were told to do it. Their number one priority was their work, and they pretty much worked as much as they had to in order to climb the company ladder. Now the old guard is leading younger workers whose number one priority is not to work, and who want to know why they have to do something! “Because I said so” just doesn’t cut it anymore.
It is ironic to me that the old guard have wisdom and great values like honesty, work ethic, and discipline, but have misplaced their priorities and don’t understand how to build relationships. It’s ironic to me that younger workers understand technology and globalization, have more balance in their lives and their priorities make sense, but their values are too often driven by entitlement and selfishness, and their lack of experience shows up in their short-sighted decision making process.
Summed up, the opportunity is to build the bridge between the old guard and the younger workers.
Why should you be positive? You have an awesome opportunity! You can either be that bridge or help build that bridge! In fact, why not do both?