At the Annual HR Conference almost two weeks ago now, the morning keynote speaker, Seth Mattison, had some very thought-provoking statements. I would like to share a few of them with you, along with my thoughts on each one.
1. Youth are not changing the world, they are revealing to us how the world is changing. This really provoked me to think about how we look at today’s youth and specifically, millennials. While it finally seems to be fading now, for a while all we heard about was millennials and how different they are and how “they are changing the workplace.” But are they really just showing us how the workplace and world around us are changing? I think that youth and younger generations are more open and accepting to change; therefore, they are typically the first ones to embrace new technology or new thought processes.
2. Culture is the formal or informal agreed upon attitudes, behaviors, and values that inform how things get done. This is one of the best descriptions of culture I’ve heard. Culture isn’t about ping pong tables or snacks in the kitchen. It’s about how decisions are made in an organization, how people treat each other, the corporate structure, and the service standards all employees embrace. Is it a culture of autonomy or very hierarchical? Are team members encouraged to speak up in meetings or expected to remain quiet? Are employees encouraged to get to know one another or stick to themselves? These are the things that truly effect a culture and can have a strong effect on employee engagement.
3. Own the I. This was my favorite quote of the day, “Own the I.” Owning the I means not saying something like, “The company really needs to have someone create minutes to all these meetings.” Instead, one would say, “I think it would be beneficial to start having minutes taken at each meeting. I’ll volunteer to do all the minutes for this meeting.” I’ve always encouraged my team to give me solutions, not just the problems, and this phrase encapsulates that thought process perfectly.
4. What would my future self do? I find this one a little more difficult to think about, but it’s a good way to always be improving. Asking this question can prevent acting impulsively and really think about the person or leader you want to be. It helps you think about the future impact of an issue, rather than just the “now.” This reminds me of the famous research experiment where they put children in a room and offer them one marshmallow right then or two marshmallows in 15 minutes. Most children take the immediate marshmallow. This same behavior carries through into adulthood, and it’s reflective of the inability to connect with one’s future self. When you connect with your future self, you’ll make better long-term decisions.
Do you have any inspiring thoughts you’ve read or heard recently? I’d love to hear them. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.