had the pleasure of listening to futurist and author David Houle as he
described the future ahead from his new book The Shift Age, which I understood to
be the shifting social, cultural, political and economic planes around which we
are all globally interconnected yet remain highly individualistic. Virtual organizations like TIAW use technology to facilitate these interconnections,
and aggregate knowledge for sharing.
While technology will clearly continue to play a significant role in the
way forward, we as leaders must also help others on a personal level to find
their way in the midst of unending and escalating change.
who survive crises are those who balance financial performance with
authenticity, honest communications in tough times and good, and integrating
their efforts with others.
other words, this global social revolution is best met by many personal
revolutions. Mr. Houle mentioned a few specific
things that I believe impact us as leaders.
workplace, we will be challenged to integrate and absorb multiple generations
of workers with disparate values, life goals, and working styles. We must fully understand these generations in
order to the build the collaborative workforce of the future. I believe that our understanding will come
from a reshaping of our own leadership abilities and aptitudes. My favorite resources are author Daniel Pink
(A Whole New Mind) and Howard Gardner (Five Minds for the Future). We will have to master critical knowledge,
integrate differing ideas into strategy, question effectively, appreciate
differences, and be socially responsible.
It’s a daunting task, but there is no alternative for success.
financial markets, we know that crises are not restricted to individual
exchanges but globally integrated. It is our duty as leaders to be fiscally
responsible wherever we have influence, including home, work, schools, boards,
or public service. We must do our best
to be economically savvy and financially astute, so that when we are able to
use our voice or vote, we do so with integrity. We have great tools at our disposal: education and training, obtaining and using
research, engaging in sustainable practices, and concentrating on the fiscally
responsible growth of our own businesses. For those that may be worrying about
diminishing public philanthropy, please remember that creating jobs is the
premier form of philanthropy. If you own
a business, keep your business financially sound and your employees
secure. If you don’t, please assist
your employer in maintaining your job security.
Once those priorities are met, give wherever you can to benefit your
community and it will return to you many times over.
world, we will be challenged to be collaborative global citizens that work
together on sustainable energy policies and practices. In the sustainability realm, we can act
effectively as individuals, workers, employers and advocates. We do what we can personally do to minimize
our energy consumption and then we effect change wherever we have influence. My company recently became Florida’s first certified
green screen/digital printing facility. Our first step towards certification was understanding
how we are impacting energy consumption, commonly called a carbon footprint,
and then determining how to reduce our consumption. Understanding comes from
awareness followed by questioning, and then acting on the desire to be
accountable for our energy use. It was
not a surprise when Mr.Houle arrived at the end of his “Shift Age” presentation
by stating that he believes that this new age will be defined by consciousness,
and though this consciousness flows out in a global way, it also will reflect
our keen individuality. For example,
people want to buy from companies that they think are socially responsible
because those behaviors resonate with their personal values. I see growing numbers of people differentiate
between doing (tasks, a job) and being about something. As a final example, think of the global
awareness that has built up around sustainability, yet we as individuals are
also embracing personal responsibility.
your part to navigate the coming age. Be
a leader of hope, who recognizes and does the right thing by others. It matters.