It's autum time and maybe you ask yourself, what to read next. I often read 3-4 books parallel, something for your business mind, to stay tuned, some easy going crime story or novel for after 10 pm and some actual, relevant political topic, to get a deeper view besides newspapers.
So whats new and helpfull, if you are in HR, Consulting or entrepreneurship to read in times of future of work, smart work and digital transformation you can find here.
At the moment our biggest challenge since 5 years is the transformation process, I think. Tools and Apps have been evaluated by myself from 2011 - 2013, but since 2014 the biggest challenge was to evangelize people for smart work and just to do it, use it and don't just use the buzz-words of smart work and innovation all the time, but having no clue, what it is exactly and still working in the 90ties behind your big marketing bubble, that you are an innovative company.
Why is everybody so scared to give up his old creapy workflows, writing emails to 50 people and starting an email discussion, instead of using collaborative software tools, sales pipelining software, instead of excel sheets or is filling out old CRM database webforms to collect the data, instead of using recorded video interviews and LinkedIn web cliper to parse the data ? Because we are used to it and we won't give up our old habits. You all know this old cartoon with the wagon with the square weels and the people, who don't have time to change the square weels against the round ones, bcause they are to busy... ;-)
And this transformation process is still ongoing for many, many companies and departments for the next years. To reset your mind for the future of work is essential and to think about your own, smart, digital process and transform it into something new, which saves you time, money and keep your nerves. "If you digitalize an 'bullshit process', than you have in the end an 'bullshit-digital-process' ", said Thorsten Dirks, CEO of Telefonica Germany and I agree for 100%.
The important point is to push the reset button in your mind, concering your 90ties workflows, you are still used to from 1990 - 2016, keep maybe 30 - 50% of it and transform it into a new process mixed with new tools, apps, software, workflows and smart work behaviours, which are now common at Startups, Google, etc pp. .
Hm, that's easier said, then done, you might think and I agree, but getting sratted is the only and important point, which will boost you in the end out of the smart-work & invation buzzword-bubbel. Now it's the time to move, we have talked long enough.
So take you time, read some of these books and there are a lot more on the market, which are helpful too, so just do it, now !
Reading List with Amazon links:
Job-dreams of the generation x in 1998, robotic-employees and how to start a start-up in 2016,2017,2018,....
The last 5 years are the years of innovation, startups and new technologies, in Austria, in Germany and worldwide.
The silicon valley & innovation buzz-word boom is there since some years and attracts the millenials, the generation x,y,z but also ex Mc Kinsey, Accenture and Roland Berger consultants in their 40 and 50ties, who have the money to start-up and looking for individual fulfilment.
Companies and entrepreneurs are going to a prilgrimage to Silicon Valley since 2012 to learn from the smart american startups and try to adop this then e.g. in good, old Germany or Europe. Kai Dieckmann from german Bild-Zeitung did it, Kasper Rorsted (Henkel), Peter Terium (RWE), Tim Höttges (Telekom), Johannes Teyssen (E.on), uva. .
So Silicon Valley has become now the new Tech-Ballermann in 2016, and the smart tech companies there, have problems to handle all this pilgrims. :-) > (vergl: http://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article155792053/Silicon-Valley-ist-der-Ballermann-der-Tech-Szene.html )
Today startups are not anymore for nerds in a garage, who have no other friends than their computer. No, they became trendy and for everybody as same as nerd glasses from Austin Powers. Sometimes, we 40 somethings(generation x) look back to our own teenager age, the time where only nerds founded startups and we were reading books, traveling to asia and middle east as packpackers, had parties at the beach and were thinking, that the more you know, experience and read, the best job you will get.
We grew up without war with parents who were childs during WW II., who teached us to study, learn and read a lot of books, because knowledge is power. And now ? Do we rule the world ?
No, it came in another way, as we thought, because knowledge in history of art, literature, middle eastern science, sinologie or islamic art is nice to have, because you are an intellectual person, who could understand cultures and people worldwide and it sounds good, but irrelevant for your job today, even in politics.
It's funny to compare your goals & plans from 1998 with them of 2008.
In 1998 my friends and I, all from intellectual families, thinking the more you read and learn, the easiest it is to become a Journalist, Theater Director, Embassador, Secret Service Agent, DAX Boss or Author. Our idols were our grandfathers/parents, born between 1920 and 1945, who were intellectual entrepreneur pioneers and a special species, you find rarely today in politics, entrepreneurship and and other economic job field.
Then their children came to power in the 90ties(the baby boomers), who have grown up without war and sometimes less intellectual mindset, than their parents, but on the other hand with the power of a dazzler, the time of Jack Lucas Radioshow(The Fisher King movie), Frank Abagnale and Lehman Brothers had begun.
2008 was the time, when we woke up from our knowledge dream,
because only 10% of us came in positions they have dreamed of by vitamine B, all the others became consultants, accountants or sales people and started from scrach, but with a degree in sinologie, middle eastern science, theater science, litarature or history of art. So we started to find our new job for the 2nd part of our work life(first part was exploring the world and studiing), and a few of us joined during this time the startup train and became Sergej Brins and Reid Hoffmanns, the others not. So the last goldrush in Silicon Valley started in 2005 and became ordinary in 2012, when everybody wants to be there and make money.
Now in 2016 some of us are in a vacuum, because we 40 somethings are a generation living between 2 worlds, the oldschool intellectual world without internet, just with handshake business quality, books and personal relations (but are these skills really relevant for todays business??!! - hopefully in 2025 again ! :-) ) and the new social media world, with blogs, young lucky-punch-millionairs and startups with governmental boost.
Knowledge and being a thinker-skills are nice today, but I have the feeling that deep research and knowledge becomes more and more irrelevant for the society and fast business. Populism is on the run everywhere. Not the person with the best arguments, experience and knowledge becomes the leader of a company or a state, more a person who is loud, trendy and a degree in appeasement politics to keep the mass under controll. "Everything is ok on the Titanic, we need just some more Human Rescourses!"
And in the end, we were lead or ruled by people with a blinker view, a deep focus to money without humanity or social skills. Employees became numbers, are replaceable and are measured just by numbers, than by social skills, bright knowledge or humanity. Companies like to use young people, who work like robots for cheap money, being proud of wearing a suit now. But when they become adult, they leave and will be replaced by new youngsters, again and again and again...
on the other hand, the 40 plus generation(x), some of them have a family and kids, is in a trap, because they need the job and the money to pay the bills, and so they have to keep calm, flecmatic and self-abasing, not being replaced soon too, by a student. About the 50+ generation I havn't talked yet...
This is the devil circle of life in 2016 to work with cheap people around the globe and send the 50+ generation to hell.
This are the reasons and chances, why we have this startup boom today and a chance for all, who want to move something. I am sure, that every working human being from 25 to 60 is looking for individual fulfilment in work, which wasn't possible in the old-times, but now, we do have the technology and the freedom to work smart from everywhere, anytime with everybody worldwide and not only from 9-5 in the office.
If you find people with the same DNA, a same understanding of business and adopting knowledge fast, than you will succeed with your team as a startup.
If you have to start to evangelize your team, than it's the wrong team, which just costs you time and nerves and in the end they won't understand at all, what you mean and what mojo means. So, try to find people with a similar mindset,mojo and experience and also don't forgett the diversity, then you have the best basis for a successfull startup team, if you are 20, 40 or 50 doesn't matter, it's never to late, but when you start to evangelize, it is.
This was a more personal and philosophical blog-post, but it summarizes my experiences from the last 2 years, when I have talked to many candidates and business people around the globe from 20 to 55 years old, who all felt, that there is a business transformation going on, which is soemtimes not healthy. Some of them turned from pro-active employees to silent employees doing work-to-rule from 9 to 5 or left companies for this reassons.
This seems to be ok for some, because everybody is replaceable, but I say:
NO, he/she isn't, only if he is a robot and not a human being.
Holocracy, experimentation and fast adoption are the 3 important things in times of price-dumping, globalisation, competition and modern-employee-slavery.
So, let's getting started !
Picture source: http://mysupremacy.com/minimum-wage/
Best regards, TZ from
www.breadhunter.org + www.talentor.com
Thomas Zahlten is