10 Year Challenge
1) Passion & Purpose:
Work has become more about passion, purpose and making a difference. Ten years ago, a job was something you had to do. Workplaces were a much different thing. Now, it doesn’t matter if you are making executive decisions or mopping the floor, you have a purpose and are making a difference. The people who keep hospitals clean save lives just as much as every other part of the healthcare team.
2) Gender Equality:
Gender equality has come a long way in this timeframe. This is an incredible thing. Strong female leadership has always been a part of our team and has contributed greatly to our success. As a society, this task is really just getting started, but it is great to see the advances here.
Beyond gender equality, equality in general has taken root in work-life. Sexism, sexual harassment, racism and homophobia were just starting to become work place faux-pas’ ten years ago. We have seen massive change in this area. That being said, this job is never done and will always require that we are vigilant in ensuring that our workplaces are safe places for everyone. People are at their best when they feel safe and secure.
The idea of “culture” has become pretty trendy in recent years. Culture can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. I have always defined culture as a place where people can be happy and fulfilled. A workplace that strives to provide what we, as humans, need in order to feel valued, confident in our abilities and fulfilled.
5) Leaders vs. Managers
One very important change is the notion of leaders rather than managers. Though this transformation is still underway, good leadership is an incredibly important part of building work places that people want to be part of. In order to be relevant today, authority and power are given from below as much as from above. People deserve a say in who will lead them. While not all workplaces have replaced managers with leaders, this phenomenon is gaining momentum. At Ginger, our success, and with it, my success, is the result of the talented, generous, and wonderful people who make up our team. Above all, it is my job to ensure that my first priority is always putting our team first. Should I ever fail in this venture, they can easily vote by walking out the door. We are a team and when we win, we win together. When we lose, we learn together.
6) Remote Work & Technology
It doesn’t matter where you are, you can participate in the new global, digital economy, provided you have internet access. Remote work is the thing that can bring equality to every corner of the earth. Therefore, people can leverage their talents from anywhere. The world will certainly undergo some uncomfortable changes as the lines between the 1st world and 3rd world start to be erased. I think it is important that we think more about what the world stands to gain from this, rather than what we stand to lose as members of the 1st world.
7) Social Media
As a marketer, I love social media. As an entrepreneur, I love social media. As a proto-millennial, I love social media. I love it for many reasons, but primarily, I love it’s democratizing effects. Anyone can reach anyone at any time. Everyone is free to share their skills, talents and beliefs. It empowers us all, but at the same time, holds us accountable.
We are all accountable for our words and our actions. No one is beyond reproach. This type of behaviour simply has no place in the world today. In its place is one where leaders build culture out of kindness, respect and civility. Be nice to people, please.
9) Self-Directed Learning
Unless we are talking about doctors, engineers, etc, people are empowered to build their own careers. While post-secondary education is an incredibly important aspect of the modern world, the lack of formal education no longer stops a passionate and dedicated person from using the internet, and with it, access to the whole of human knowledge, to teach themselves. We are all free to grow, to learn and to become something more.
This is an interesting one. We often hear people from other generations talking about how we’ve built a world that is too soft. How we take the time to ensure that all children feel valued and special. Change is always a little bit uncomfortable for everyone involved. Where some people say “young people are too entitled”, I see a world where an entire generation has the self-confidence to stand up and say “I deserve better” or “we deserve better”. While every generation has those who may have a little too much self-confidence, I don’t think we should paint this entire generation with this brush. After all, for as far back as I can tell, the world wasn’t always a very nice place. It pushed people down and only those strong enough to crawl up would make it anywhere. However, nowadays, this “soft” world has created an entire generation of people with self-worth and self-confidence. If you can share my perspective on this, I hope you will also share my excitement about all of the amazing things the future will hold, as a result of people being fuelled by passion and the belief that they can make a difference, as they surely can.