Transforming Fear to Joy

For several decades, individuals, organizations and economies juggled the increasing impacts of global forces in their attempts to both understand and capitalize on these disruptive changes. As the dust from this chaos begins to settle, research suggests the following four drivers of change emerged as paramount for health and harmony.

Demographic Diversity.  With Millennials, Baby Boomers and multiple ethnic groups comprising the workforce, their accompanying new expectations, roles and belief systems complicate employee relationships. Add to this diverse milieu the fact that more and more daily work occurs in teams and you have the potential for conflict and destructive divisions. In order to be an effective, happy team member, our workplace relationship skills are being stretched to include patience, acceptance and appreciation of each other’s gifts and idiosyncrasies. Increased complexity with regard to our interpersonal relationships is further challenged by the way we do our work. Communication and information technologies are our primary tools for relating to others and executing our daily tasks.

Digital Technology.  Not only has technology allowed us to work anytime anywhere, but also our work experience has altered by how products and services are designed and delivered. On a personal note, as a sole entrepreneur, I no longer have the time or skills to manage my business requirements as I once did. Every business is now a member of the global community and therefore competing on this massive economic stage. As a small business owner, I can no longer be content with growing a local client base. The exponential increase in competitors necessitates new digital strategies (social media, behavioural economics, etc.) to tap into a larger, far-of-field pool of potential clients. In the past, I would have taken the deep dive required to learn a new skill, but the accelerated pace of changing circumstances necessitates a collaborative union with those already skill worthy.

Accelerated Change.  There is truth to the adage that as we age, time appears to speed up. For Baby Boomers like myself this experience is now combined with computing power that doubles every two years. The impact on our personal and business lives has been summed up as agility. We must quickly respond and reposition ourselves to meet the emerging and often new experiences. Our iVUCA (interconnected, volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world is not slowing down, but instead pressing us closer together often in unusual ways — wicked problems such as the global refugee crisis, pandemic diseases, poverty and homelessness.

A New Social Contract.  The term social contract is defined as “an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, for example by sacrificing some individual freedom for state protection.” In 1655,