Generation Cohort: The Postnormal Shift To A Holistic Workforce

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Information about Generation Cohort: The Postnormal Shift To A Holistic Workforce
Business & Mgmt

Published on October 13, 2012

Author: fspencer4



A Kedge keynote presentation detailing a shift from the traditional concept of generational warfare in the workplace to "Generation Cohort," a new generational idea in line with the shift to a postnormal economy and age.

Generation CohortThe Postnormal Shift to a Holistic Workforce

How many books do you think there are on the subject of dealing with the generational divide in the workplace? With this many, the problem is solved... right? Kedge, LLC

Of course, we’ve all heard the differences between the generations: what motivates them, how theyview authority, how they learn, and how they communicate. Most of us can recite this information like Kedge, LLC And as we all know, this has been framed as another of the many “wars” that we fight. canon.

Have you ever played Bingo? Does this information - tagging the generations with the commoncharacteristics and making sure that we are covering all of our bases in the “war in the workplace” - seem very much like playing this game?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Albert Einstein This quote, often credited to Albert Einstein, speaks to this endless game of Bingo that we play in an attempt to solve thepuzzle of “generational warfare” in the workplace. Could it be that the way we view generations is as much a product of our Kedge, LLC thinking as any perceived “war” or literal divide? Is a shift necessary? Is that shift already underway?

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We have entered the... Postnormal Economy {“All that was ‘normal’ has now Complexity evaporated; we have entered Chaos postnormal times, the in Contradiction between period where Open-Sourced old orthodoxies are Disruptive dying, new ones have Networked Collaborative not yet emerged, and Uncertaintynothing really makes sense.” Resilience Imagination Ziauddin Sardar, The City University, London

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Kedge, LLC Photo courtesy of not quite a photagraphr via Flickr

Kedge, LLC Photo courtesy of Marcin Wichary via Flickr

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Kedge, LLC Photo courtesy of andreas.hopf via Flickr

In this Postnormaleconomy and age, we are The Creator Economyexperiencing a VUCAenvironment. Many aredescribing our new era asthe Molecular Age (ever-increasing nano-based and The Knowledgeshrinking/pervasive Economytechnology), the HumanAge (a focus on humancapital and a citizen- Thecentric viewpoint), the HumanKnowledge Economy Age(moving beyond a simple TheInformation Age into the Molecularcross-pollination of Ageknowledge and Kedge, LLCqualitative/open creativityacross sectors and disciplines; a post-disciplinary age), or the Creator Economy (the popularity of a DIY and maker-centric landscape in which the population desires more involvement with consumption). With the accelerating change across domains and sectors, this is becoming our “new normal.” What does this mean in terms of changing the way we see and approach the concept of generational theory, generational knowledge transfer, innovation & creativity and generations in the workplace?

Welcome to Generation CohortGeneration CohortThe transformational shift in society and business along with the convergence of emerging technology, social change, and entirely new landscapes of complexity are causing the well-defined concept of the socio-historical generation to begin to fade. Generations are giving way to passion-oriented cohorts. Kedge, LLC

In this new world where resilience and flexibility are king, the meshing of social tech and collaborative communities is not only allowing open-source ideas and grass-roots initiatives to thrive, but is rallying individuals from acrossWhat the generations to activities of like-passions.Does Generation Cohort This Boomers, Gen Xers, While there are stillMean? Gen Y, and whatever the next generation is being called, the lines are increasingly blurring. Kedge, LLC

Generation Cohort Generation Flux, which was highlighted by FastCompany, is an excellent example of the Cohort trend. Generation Flux share many common characteristics likeresiliency, adaptability, and the desire for passion-specific career paths (but not age). GenFlux often boast non-traditional education and a unique propensity to exploredisciplines simultaneously.Kedge, LLC

The People Collaborative Linked Open Ubiquitous Disruptive The ubiquitous, resilient, and open nature of Generation Cohort resembles the concept of Cloud Computing.This shouldn’t be a surprise, as the Postnormal Age is being driven being the co-development of technologyLLC Kedge, and culture, side-by-side. The acronym CLOUD helps us to understand the drivers & power of Generation Cohort.

Hyperlocal networks and collaboration have begun toskyrocket in popularity, opening the door to sharing andinnovation across worldviews, disciplines, andgeographic boundaries. Hyperlocal The concept isn’t new, but the idea of a well- designed community whose primary focus is directed toward the concerns of its residents is custom- made for the connective mindset of the internet generation. Collaborative

A number of recent studies have shown that in many developed countries,including Japan, happiness is not proportional to economic wealth. Thisis leading some to seek the development of a new economic model based on principles of happiness and well being. Collaborative Gross national happiness is no airy concept. It helps us better to understand what makes a qualitative difference in people’s lives and, in turn, can improve national competitiveness in the 21st century. Many national statistics offices already collect this type of data, including Finland’s Findicator and Australia’s Measures of Australia’s Progress.Gross National Happiness Photo courtesy of imaphotog via Flickr,8599,2110914,00.html Kedge, LLC

Photo courtesy of Marc_Smith via Flickr.comKedge, LLC

Certification vs. Reputation The accelerating pace of change is making mosttraditional degree and certification programs worthless. In fact, for many disciplines half of what a student learns as a freshman is obsolete by her senior year. The declining value of formal education coupled with the growing popularity of social media has shifted the emphasis from “what you know” to “who you know” and an individual’s network (if it’s expansive enough) could trump tenure or traditional experience measures.Kedge, LLC

LinkedBy 2020, half the global talent pool will be available to companies located anywhere in the world. Casting a Wider Net In order to remain competitive, companies willneed to cast wider nets in that global talent pool. Kedge, LLC

Linked The Global Balance of Power The nature of globalization ischanging, largely due to a shiftin the global balance of power to developing nations. Over the next 20 years, the global working population will increase by 21%. Developingcountries will see an increase of 931 millions workers or 24%, but the workforce in the developed world will contract by one million. Globalization 2.0: The Global Balance of Power is Shifting – Hay Group, 2011 Hays Oxford Economics Global Report, April 2011 Kedge, LLC Photo courtesy of Roland Urbanek via Flickr

Kedge, LLC And speaking of a global balance of power... do our traditional concepts of generations even apply acrossinternational lines and societies? What happens if we retain the old concepts, and have to deal primarily with workers outside of our culture?

Photo courtesy of Ted Van Pelt via Leveraging thePower of the Cloud McAfee did somethingtransformative to their service exchange by using social.McAfee formed a strong bond of commitment with the hundreds of unpaidtechnical experts in the larger marketplace. They invited these "McAfee Maniacs"to participate in much of McAfees web-based technical support.McAfees competitors were spending between 3-7% of their overall SG&Aexpenses on service; McAfees became virtually zero, directly boosting the dollarsthey could contribute to R&D and other innovation efforts.Kedge, LLC

Learning Former Boston hedge-fund managerSalman Khan stumbled upon the idea forhis free web-based academy while tryingto teach math to cousins in New Orleans. In an effort to bridge the time and distance gap, he started making 10- minute videos of math lessons and posting them on YouTube. Much to his surprise, Khan found his cousinspreferred learning from him via YouTube to learning from him in person. Quickly, the videos gained an online following, grew like wildfire, and today Khan Academy has delivered more than 42 million lessons. Kedge, LLC

The Open Office From flattened hierarchies to open- plan offices,Open-Sourced organizations across the globe are realizing that in order to encourage collaboration and inter-generational knowledge transfer, openness is not a “nice to have” but Kedge, LLC must have.

Photo courtesy of courosa via Flickr.comKedge, LLC

The Gamification of Work Businesses are using gaming techniques to motivate their employees, and as a tool in recruitment and screening. Some 70% of the worlds top 2,000 companies will use game techniques as a behavioral motivator to recruit, train, and enhance employee performance, as well as to encourage new ideas. Photo courtesy of .reid. via, LLC

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VirFlex (Virtual/Flexible) Work Models Technology is not the only factor accelerating the People Cloud trend. Changing demographics and family models are also encouraging the adoption of employment models in which employees need not be physically present for work.“Our work practices and cultures were built during thetime of the single-earner family. We expect modernworkers in a variety of life situations to conform to thistraditional standard.” Kedge, LLC

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In today’s world, the recognition that hiring for potentialrather than by skills alone is opening doors for thinking &innovation that isn’t limited by organizational culture orassumptions. Harness HackingThis approach also allows for new ideas that essentially“hack” an existing system, highlighting the weaknessesand opportunities that an organization would otherwisemiss. Kedge, LLC Photo courtesy of ramblingrovers via Flickr

In a VUCA environment, it’s no longer about “sustainability” because no strategy, product offering, or employment status is really sustainable. Instead, firms (and individuals) must focus on developing resiliency. Agility is the new leadership competency and Resiliency the talent to learn, unlearn, and relearn will be the most sought after skillset.DisruptiveKedge, LLC

As a result of this fundamental shift in business, technology, and culture - and the new way of thinking around generational theory in the workplace - we have the opportunity to seize a new holistic workforce. Yes, this will require a shift in organizational values and skills! Kedge, LLC Holistic Workforce

With individuals living longer, career paths are evolving.The potential for many people to live to the age of 100 or older is causing many to reconsider the industrial agemodel of retirement at 65. Longer career paths will mean that in the future individuals will more strongly consider pursuing their passions. Holistic Workforce The New Career Path Research on Gen Y in particular is already showcasing this trend – tomorrow’s leaders will want more than a career, they will want a calling.Kedge, LLC Photo courtesy of jimflix! via Flickr

Holistic Workforce A Triple Bottom Line Mentality Firms have begun realizing that leveraging social responsibility in development programs can significantly strengthen their talent pipeline. The result is a place like "P- Tech", a new high school in New York City thats the result of a partnership between IBM and the City University of New York.Kedge, LLC

Holistic WorkforceWhole Person Education Recently, the Ford Motor Company partnered with community leaders to create a public school designed to address the whole child.The school is also implementing a MicroSociety learning program.Students create their own society becoming sellers of goods andelecting officials while earning wages in the schools currency.Kedge, LLC

Holistic Workforce Sparking Innovation Motivated “solopreneurs” are quickly becoming the talent-of- choice for some of the world’s most successful enterprises, with leading edge corporations realizing that collaborating with start-ups can kick start innovation. Worldwide, 60% of entrepreneurs work in a corporate environment before starting their own business. Nature or nurture? Decoding the DNA of the Entrepreneur, Ernst & Young, 2011 Kedge, LLC Photo courtesy of f1uffster via Flickr

About Kedge, LLCKedge is a minority-owned foresight, innovation, creativity, and strategic design consultancy. We help our clients tothrive in a world of complex ideas and practices, uncover emerging trends on the horizon that will impact theirbusiness, and discover unseen opportunities for strategic advantage and development.Yvette Montero Salvatico, Partner/PrincipalHolding a bachelor’s degree in Finance and an MBA from the University of Florida, Yvette has over 15 years ofcorporate experience with large, multi-national firms such as Kimberly-Clark and The Walt Disney Company. Beforebecoming a partner at Kedge, she lead the effort to establish Future Workforce Insights at the Walt Disney Company,identifying future workforce trends and leveraging foresight models and techniques to assess potential threats andimpacts, emerging ideas, and exciting opportunities for the organization. Yvette is an experienced speaker,addressing large audiences on topics such as business policy, diversity, and foresight.Frank Spencer, Partner/PrincipalPrior to founding Kedge, Frank worked for 15 years as a leadership coach and developer with entrepreneurs, socialcommunities, networking initiatives and SMEs, helping them to advance human development, local and globalinnovation, and open-source collaboration. He holds a Master of Arts in Strategic Foresight from Regent University,and is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists and the World Futures Studies Federation. With astrong background in both business and academic foresight, Frank taught a course on futures and foresight fordeveloping solutions to wicked problems at the Duke TIP Institutes; is on the organizing team that is developing anMSc in Foresight and Innovation at ISTIA/The University of Angers in France; and has worked on strategic foresightprojects for companies such as Kraft, Mars, Marriott, and The Walt Disney Company. Yvette Montero Salvatico Frank W. Spencer, IV Principal, Kedge, LLC Principal, Kedge, LLC 2905 Boat Dock Road 12 Drake Drive Kissimmee, Florida 34746 Savannah, Georgia 31406 407-973-1172 912-660-6726 e-mail: e-mail:

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