May 27, 2020

Great Place to Work Institute Report on Google

Great report on why Google is so attractive to young recruits:

Grab the report here by the Great Place to Work Institute.

Navigating the Badlands by Mary O’Hara Devereaux

I read a lot of books, and most don’t really affect me.  I’ve read them all before (or it seems like I’ve read them all before).  But there is one book that I cannot put down and is waking me up in the middle of the night:  Navigating the Badlands:  Thriving in the Decade of Radical Transformation by Mary O’Hara Devereaux. News Image

Devereaux is a futurist, and she and her colleagues point out in the book that we are about 50 years into a 75-year stretch of turbulence (probably one of the most turbulent times in history).  During this 75 year stretch, some people will move forward in the world, and some just won’t, and participation in innovation and new approaches to leadership is not optional…it will be required in order to move ahead.

I won’t go into all the details about the book, but the one thing I want to point out is that Devereaux believes (and I agree with this position, because it is already happening) that the majority of tomorrow’s knowledge workers will come from Generation Y and that most will come from China and India.  A deep understanding of cultural and generational issues is critical to success as we navigate through this rough terrain. 

If you have not read the book, pick up a copy.  Until then, I want to provide you with a few steps to take to start moving in the direction of being able to move through these times:

1) Stop trying to resist the chaos in the world.  Chaos is a sign of innovation and growth.  The more you resist chaos, the more you will stay stuck, the more exhausted and frustrated you will be.

2) Start reading everything you can get your hands on about the next generation of leaders (both Gen X, Gen Y and about Tweens).  If you are going to lead, you have to know who your future followers are and what makes them tick.

3) Act daily.  Get up each day and take 3 big action steps every day in the direction of growth.   Drop your perfectionism and move on.

4) Do the right thing.  In this day and age, the public is watching every move you make.  When in doubt, step back and make sure that you are making an honest, truthful decision.

5) Stop spending time or doing business with people who don’t share your values or who are stuck in the past.  Design your personal and professional relationships based on your core values and by all means, don’t do business with people who lie, cheat or steal your stuff (including taking your ideas and claiming them as your own).

6) Move forward or just get out of the way.  If you are stuck, stop trying to get other people who want to move forward caught up in your old ways of thinking and living.  If you are one of these people, you will know it, because the people around you will be pushing you away (trying to get you out of their forward path).

7) Innovate constantly.  This means that you will need to be taking risks, and I don’t mean draining your bank account.  Write new ideas, take a stand for something innovative.  Be irreverent.   Try a new approach…do something creative and then put it out to the world

8)  Listen to the clashes and complaints.  Inside a clash or complaint is an answer to growth.  Don’t fight a complaint…listen to it and find out what message you need to learn.

Millennial Leaders.

Trends for 2008

As we move into 2008, there are some important trends to consider. Trend has some great information on this topic.  If you purchase their report, you can learn more about the details of all or just go grab the highlights of the 2008 briefing here.

The one trend that I want to talk about today has to do with Gen Y and the expectations they hold.  I had some conversations this week with James Sun, Arel Moodie and Bert Gervais of The PlaceFinder and Scott Neuberger and Josh Kowitt of, and they all pointed out the incredible expectations held by younger consumers and how to grow your business based on meeting customer demands and addressing their complaints.  (Yes…we have been discussing this for the last two years, and Dr. Jean Twenge and Dr. Carolyn Martin also point to this in their work). 

Here is the deal…as the quality  of products and servcies continues to improve and customer service continues to get quicker and the experience gets greater, the more young consumers expect…it takes better quality, quicker service and a greater experience to keep Gen Y’s attention (or to get it in the first place).   And…it is going to be critical in 2008 for business owners to think seriously about how to start reaching this growing demographic of consumers.  In order to make this happen, both corporate and business leaders will be called to look not only inside their industries but outside their own industries in order to bring super cool products to this audience.  If you only stay inside your industry, you will develop copycat versions of what your indsutry is doing, and Gen Y will get bored very quickly.  As an example, the Trend Watching report highlights companies like Philips and Swarovski who are combining efforts to bring high end data transport tools to users so that they can have an “experience” of first class: From the public’s eye, these two companies don’t seem to have a great deal in common, yet they did what the trendsetters are suggesting…to get out there and combine efforts to bring a brand new cool product to the public.

So…to help you out with this, here is what our Gen Y experts and authors suggest you do:

1) Develop an open network (lots of variety in your network, all ages from all corners of the globe and a variety of industries) to help you expand your reach into markets you may not have considered with a new approach you may not have considered (some people call this a blue ocean strategy from the book
Blue Ocean Strategy

2) Attend a wide variety of events (from art to music to hiking to snowboarding activities) to see what’s really going on in the world…not just what’s going on in your world!

3) Watch a wide variety of movies (movies can really stir an idea…watch the hard ones, funny ones, tough ones and dark ones).

4) Read a wide variety of journals (I read an article on Fuel Efficient Fishing yesterday in Sport Fishing Magazine…really has me thinking differently).

5) Take a camera along one day and photograph 50 shots you have never taken.  When you look behind a camera and something you have never studied before, the mind opens up.

6) Interview 20 people who you find interesting (but who you know nothing about).  Talking to people and learning about them is really amazing and can bring new, fresh thinking into your business.

7) And finally…get out there and spend time with young leaders between the ages of 18-30.  Listen to their stories and their language…you will learn so much about what the future holds for business and life. .