Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: change

The Talent Development Centre includes advice for independent contractors in IT from one of Canada’s top staffing and recruitment agencies. See all posts about change.

Don’t Be a Luddite

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
Chairman of the Board at Eagle

This post first appeared on The Eagle Blog on May 18th, 2017

John Maxwell quote about changeDuring the industrial revolution the Luddites opposed change and fought against the notion that machines would be used to get around labour laws.

The term Luddite today is used to describe anyone who opposes automation and new technologies.

We are on the cusp of another breakthrough, similar in impact to the industrial evolution or the information technology age, and along with all of the benefits, it will spawn the next generation of Luddites.

This evolution will see Artificial Intelligence in many forms, impact our lives.

  • Jobs will be lost in the same way that typing pools were replaced by word processing technology.
  • The Internet of Things will come with the smarts to effect our daily lives in ways we can only begin to understand.
  • Robots and robotics will also advance with AI smarts to preform more complex tasks than previously thought possible.

We will continue to be impacted by the effects of globalisation, including the offshoring of jobs, the access to goods produced in low cost environments and the ability of entrepreneurs to enter foreign markets easily and quickly through the internet.

We are experiencing a huge change in the way we work.  The retiring boomers leave a big gap to fill and there are not enough people in Western countries to fill those gaps.  Skilled talent is in demand (the #1 concern of CEOs worldwide) and progressive countries are finding ways to attract this talent.  There is a growth in self employment, evidenced with the gig economy and the many enabling technologies that make this possible.  People work from home, and jobs are shared more often than ever.

“It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.”  W Edward Deming

So … how are we to respond in an era of such change?

Here are some thoughts:

  1.  Change is inevitable.  Fighting change is like trying to hold back the tide.  Embrace change and find a way to make it work for you.
  2. The industrial revolution ultimately resulted in more jobs, a better standard of living and better work conditions.
  3. Factors that will work in favor of job opportunity include:
    • the impact of demographics that will create job shortages,
    • the new economy jobs requiring more tech skills and
    • the opening of global markets that any company can now access.
  4. The way to protect yourself in this new world is not to fight change, but rather to invest in your skills.  Get “in demand” skills which might include any profession or trade and develop great soft skills, or better yet get involved with emerging technologies.
  5. In a world where we will see more and more shortages of talent, companies will hire for attitude first, and skills second.  Do you have a positive attitude and strong work ethic?  Find experience that will prove these assets!
  6. Companies need to be profitable in order to survive, so make sure that you are important to your employer.  Just putting in time will not make you a “keeper”.

With change comes opportunity.  I believe that this amount of change is going to create a ton of opportunity.

I also believe that it will not fall in our lap … and it will be easy to be left behind.

So … invest in yourself and learn new skills.

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”  Charles Kettering

Do NOT become the modern day Luddite, but rather focus on the opportunities.

“Hope Springs Eternal”

Cameron McCallum By Cameron McCallum,
Branch Manager at Eagle

Hope Springs EternalI’m a bit of a hockey fanatic and it has been fascinating recently watching the response of fans in a couple of Canadian cities to the hiring of key personnel in their respective organizations.  For those of us who love the Oilers or the Leafs, hope springs eternal!   Both once proud franchises are sad sack organizations with very little success to show for their efforts over the past decade(s).  So when the Oilers added ex-Boston Bruin GM Peter Chiarelli and ex-San Jose Sharks  coach Todd Mclellan and the Leafs went and “bought” Red Wing coach Mike Babcock, the twitterverse/blogosphere exploded with joy and renewed expectations of success for both franchises.

What is most interesting to me is that while these men are important cogs in their respective organizations, none of them will be on the ice and their past success is no guarantee that they will reproduce it with their new teams.  So what is driving all this excitement and outpouring of positive feeling.   It would seem to me that now more than ever, we’re all looking for someone to save the day, a bona fide superhero to reverse the negative, fix the problems and make everything better.  And this isn’t confined to sports only.  I remember the election of Barack Obama and the hope that brought to the people of the USA.  I even attended the inauguration in person because I wanted to experience that sense of change and positivity up close and share it with others.  And just recently, the electorate of Alberta swept aside the incumbent party and elected a brand new premier and in the tidal wave of support, a bunch of inexperienced candidates as well.  Change was the prevailing emotion behind this but not surprisingly, you also heard people talking about hope and that it was time for something new and positive.

So what?  What does it matter?  I guess I want to highlight something that I’m acutely aware of but not always a contributor to.

If you want change, there is no better place to start than with yourself.  In the staffing industry, we have all kinds of challenges and sometimes it’s just easier to place blame.  Maybe it’s the people or organization you work with, the candidates and their fickleness or your clients and their incessant demands.   Or is it that everyone else is doing it so why shouldn’t you?  But if you have hope for change and you want to be committed to it, just start with yourself.  Are you accountable, do you do the right thing when it comes to crunch time and difficult decisions have to be made.   If we want to work or live in a better community, then we are all responsible for making things better.  Unfortunately, there are so few heroes and life is full of situations where tough decisions are required.  But if we all strive to do our best, and not give in to the “easy out”, then we won’t need a superhero to solve things.  We’ll figure it out on our own.

So stay committed, don’t give up, strive to become the building block of hope and the agent of positive change.