Here's a guide to flourish in turbulent times
Evolution happens over time and is a slow process, until one sudden breakthrough which has always been difficult to adapt. While embracing change, the ones who don’t adapt to change are then replaced by a new set of talents that bring more to the table. Why is this essential to know? Because we live in a period of rapid change with rapid adaptation challenges in HR and organizations.
In the last few decades, organizations have witnessed a time of reasonable stability and a rising tide of prosperity which made people flourish and this is caused by a number of things; Globalization, different parts of the world opening to integrate economies, the rise of the internet, etc. Unfortunately, this period is ending for us to only enter in turbulent waters. Here are a few upcoming trends that have created the upheaval:
- Long life: Living longer has incredible implications which are talked about in the book, ‘The 100 years Life’ by Lyna Gratton. The book states the 3 stages of life, where one learns till 20, earn till 60, and enjoy life post that. Working till 60 might not give us enough time to save money that one will require to make ends meet when one retires. We would surely need a job even after retirement, or something that keeps us occupied. This is when we will have to reinvent ourselves many times along the way and handle many transitions to make sure we fir the workforce.
- Changing nature of work: The 4th Industrial revolution we are under is way bigger than any other industrial revolutions. It is not about software, IT or so forth but physical system, software and life itself are beginning to integrate creating unimaginable possibilities. While this is an enriching time for a data scientist, entrepreneurs, and individuals with relevant skills, it will squeeze out the jobs in the formal sector and companies are going to have compulsive changes. As a result, employers are becoming more transactional in their policies and approach to employees. With learning being employees responsibility, it creates a new age bias. Further, this will create a two-tiered workforce; one which is enthusiastic, happy and well-compensated and other, people who are unsatisfied, with no job security, compensated less.
- Liquid modernity: Everything once was solid and bedrock is melting down to fluid be it jobs, relationships or identity, values, and institutions. This ends in low trust society, which gives birth to insecurities and anxiety. But you need to take charge of your own life and learn to tackle these problems. See yourself as a freelancer who is working on different projects, your job should be treated as a project. This mindset will enable you to switch jobs and companies easily.
Mindset: The genome of success
An individual's mindset will determine their future in terms of success or happiness. The old saying “Seeing is believing” can be very well changed to ‘Believing is seeing’ compatible with the new age. With the power of imagination, humans have the capacity to create them in reality. The ability to imagine, with self-belief can determine the future of an individual.
According to Ravi Venkatesan, Technology & Business visionary, Former Chairman, Microsoft India, Social Entrepreneur, “Human potential is unknown and unknowable.” People with a fixed mindset believe everything is determined at birth, people with a growth mindset believe that through work and tenacity one can achieve more, this determines one’s capacity of success and failure. Mindset is the most important thing that will define what will happen with one, both personally and professionally.
Biggest enemy of success is you: How to get out of your own way
People often become their own obstacle in success. Character plays a massive role in determining success as it becomes the competitive advantage people thrive for. How one leads themselves matter because it determines the boundaries of your behavior conduct. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the 20th Century, people started celebrating success rather than character, and how we achieved success became less relevant. Talent can only help one grow so much, after a point it is the character that helps you develop.
Strategize to succeed
Geography is not destiny that will determine your future as well; where one is located matters profoundly, which is why should move to opportunity-rich areas.
When you find a dynamic leader- Latch on
An individual should get to a point, by being exceptional where opportunities and head hunters are chasing them and not the other way round.
Reflection of success
The traditional definition of success doesn’t fit the bill anymore. No matter how big one is, there will always be a bigger or more successful person to compete with, making it relative. Success is also subjective to another person’s opinion, and lastly, it is transient, which is why one needs to define what success means to them.
There are enormously profound implications for an organization's functions and talent development which raise questions, like what kind of people an organization wants to hire, who should one be promoted, etc. An organization should look for candidates with a growth mindset and learning agility. HR policies should reflect on what type of culture and society they are creating; a mercenary opportunistic culture or high commitment and high-performance culture, an inclusive society or equal society. The HR needs a revolution.
(This article is based on a talk on 'How to flourish in turbulent times' by Ravi Venkatesan, Technology & Business visionary, Former Chairman, Microsoft India, Social Entrepreneur at People Matters Tech HR India 2019)