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Meet Gen Y: Five videos, ten minutes and a lot of insight

Meet Gen Y: Five videos, ten minutes and a lot of insight

Raymond de Villiers is TomorrowToday’s Gen Y guru. He works hard to understand today’s young people, and then make sense of them for you and me and our businesses. He’s packaged some of his insights into short “thought bullet” videos that I am sure will be valuable to you. Here are a few of my favourites (if you can’t see the videos embedded, just click the titles for a link to YouTube):

Meet Gen Y, and the two key forces that have shaped their world, and them:

Here’s a slightly longer extract of an hour long talk Raymond did recently on generations, in which he introduced Gen Y:

My favourite label for this generation actually helps to make sense of them: Digital Natives:

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Recent media mentions

Recent media mentions

Graeme Codrington has appeared in the media a few times in recent weeks. Here is a sampling of his contributions:

Speaking on Gen Y at the British Hospitality Association annual convention, Graeme focused attention on the impact that a younger generation is having on an industry that needs to employ significant numbers of young people to succeed. His presentation and contribution to a panel discussion was captured in the June/July 2014 edition of Hospitality Today (page 24-25): read it online here.

Graeme spoke at an Extended Knowledge Conference for Baloise Insurance Group in Germany recently. Here is a summary of the session.

Graeme was recently interviewed on CapeTalk 567 radio, on how to future-proof our children. Listen to the 15 minute interview on SoundCloud here.

A number of the TomorrowToday team have been featured on yourBusinessChannel’s Inside Finance TV channel. See their briefings videos here. We especially like the video on “Blowing Industries Apart”.

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[Video] Behaviours and values are generational

[Video] Behaviours and values are generational

Later today I am involved in an event where a number of young people are competing for a public speaking prize. I’ve been asked to do my talk on different generations, “Mind the Gap” as a ‘warm up act’ for this event. It’s one of my favourite topics, and still the talk I enjoy the most.

The heart of the message is simple: the era you were born in shaped you as much as other factors (like religion, culture, gender and personality). And the era that shaped you defines your generation as well. People roughly your age share a similar worldview to you. That’s why today’s young people feel so different from us who are a bit older.

People older and younger than you see the world in very different ways, and have different expectations of work, life and the world. By understanding the impact of different generations, inside and outside your organisation, you can improve sales, customer relationships, the productivity and interactions of your teams, and any other issue that depends on getting the most out of other people. And you can improve the interactions between young and old.

Here’s a video I recorded late last year that introduces these concepts just a bit more:

For more information, see TomorrowToday’s website on “Mind the Gap”.

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The Potential – and Problems – of Being Generation X

March 24, 2014 Graeme Codrington Generation X and Y, Generations, Talent, Video No Comments
The Potential – and Problems – of Being Generation X

Generation Xers are becoming middle aged. And some of them are not doing it in style. They’re also causing some chaos in their workplaces with their emphasis on family, flexibility and their own goals above those of their companies. In this brief video, I outline some of the potential – and problems – of being a Gen Xer:

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The biggest problem in business right now? I.T.!

The biggest problem in business right now? I.T.!

Over the past few weeks, in a number of workshops and interactions with clients I have become increasingly bold in my pronouncements about IT. Most companies’ information technology departments are now holding their companies back. They are protecting outdated systems and policies. They don’t have the resources to run ahead of their organisations – they’re doing all they can to hardly even keep up. Many are nothing more than techie solutions departments. And almost none have a future-focused orientation, with resources to experiment, play and discover new technology that could push their organisation forward.

Some IT departments are like this because they are lazy. It’s easier to just say “we can’t do that” than to create complexity in the system (for example, in allowing a ‘bring your own device’ policy, or in creating multiple levels of security access so that some people in the company can actually watch YouTube videos). But mainly it’s because IT departments are under resourced and have budgets that are not nearly adequate for the technology age in which we live. Who knows why companies do this to themselves right now. But then, IT departments are often complicit in these budget processes, not standing up for themselves or presenting an adequate case for what they should be doing for their businesses.

Whatever the reason, the state of IT is dire right now. And that means most companies are not living up to their potential in the digital age.

Here’s a video I recorded recently where I talk about this problem. Feel free to share this as the starting point for a conversation in your firm about the correct role of IT right now.

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Business reasons for taking the environment seriously

Business reasons for taking the environment seriously

A number of years ago, our team wrote a short white paper on nine business reasons to take green issues seriously. You can read and download it here. We still believe this. The recession has meant that environmental issues have been put on the back burner by some customers and consumers, but we still think that the trend is clear into the future: being more ethical, being more environmentally friendly and being more green will be a good thing.

In this video, Graeme Codrington outlines some key reasons to take the environment seriously.


This video of Graeme Codrington was recorded by our good friends at Your Business Channel as part of their ongoing work to capture the best business insights in video format. See more video at our TomorrowToday TV channel.

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Video: Technology replacing professionals in 10 years

If you had told a farmer a century ago that he would not need labourers, and would be able to harvest and manage his farm using machines he would have laughed at you. If you had told factory bosses the same thing about sixty years ago, they would have been equally dismissive. And yet, we’ve gone from 40% of the workforce being formally employed in agriculture in 1900 to less than 2% today, with over 400% increase in output during that time.

So, we should not be surprised that people have been predicting the demise of white colour workers, middle management and service jobs for many years. It was probably Tom Peters who made the most high profile predictions around the turn of the millennium, when he suggested 25% of all office workers would lose their jobs by 2015. As with most future predictions, his timing was somewhat out, but the content is likely to be spot on. Jobs and careers are being disrupted as never before – see what my colleague, Dean had to say on this topic just last week.

And don’t think this will affect just the low level office worker. No, it’s likely to affect professionals just as much. It’s already happening. The best example I can think of is on the trading floor of investment banks. Just two years ago, the traders who handled huge daily trades (especially in currencies) were some of the highest paid people in the business world. Now they’ve been replaced by computers. Just like that.

A few months ago, we read reports of a legal firm in the USA offering a web based service where you can type in the details of your legal complaint and the system automatically finds the legal precedents that will determine whether you will win or lose your case. All without a human lawyer involved. We’re sure that other professionals will face a similar fate – if they’re generalists.

In this video, Graeme Codrington talks about how even your family doctor will be replaced by a machine by 2020. Unless he or she does things that computers can’t do. But I’ll talk about that more later this week.


This video of Graeme Codrington was recorded by our good friends at Your Business Channel as part of their ongoing work to capture the best business insights in video format. See more video at our TomorrowToday TV channel.

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TomorrowToday Signposts: short video insights on the changing world

Our team is remarkably privileged to travel all around the world, working with hundreds of interesting clients every year. We obviously learn a lot as we do this, and insights into the changing world come thick and fast. We’ve decided to try and capture these insights in short videos which we’re calling ‘Signposts’. These will not be professional, studio videos, but rather will be taken on our phones, rough cut edited, and uploaded to our YouTube channel as and when inspiration hits.

The channel is now up and running, with a brief introductory video, followed by Keith Coats talking about an Abraham Lincoln quote and how it is still relevant to ‘the stormy present’. I’ve just uploaded a video of my new 3d printer, which I bought this past week for use in my home.

Head over to the YouTube channel, TTSignPosts and subscribe to make sure you’re notified whenever we add a new video. Also leave a message either here as a comment or on the YouTube channel if you have any requests for specific video topics.

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Video: Fujitsu’s 21st Century Leadership series

Video: Fujitsu’s 21st Century Leadership series

Recently, I spoke at an evening function hosted by Fujitsu in London. The theme was: “Who’s in charge? Leadership in the 21st century workplace”. Liv Garfield, CEO of BT Openreach, and myself shared the platform and a panel discussion, and were then interviewed by the Financial Times alongside some of Fujitsu’s leading thinkers. It was an excellent evening, and a short 6 minute video was compiled by the FT with some of our key thoughts.  Enjoy.

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Africa: the last frontier of growth and development

As the BRICS summit is currently underway in Durban, where the leading emerging market players of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (representing sub-Saharan Africa) discuss their strategic agenda for the next five years, it might be a good time to refresh your mind as to why we think Africa deserves your attention.


This video of Graeme Codrington was recorded by our partner at Your Business Channel as part of their ongoing work to capture the best business insights in video format. See more video at our TomorrowToday TV channel.

We have a presentation and can run workshops on Africa: The Last Frontier. Please contact us for more information.

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A round up of predictions of future forces shaping our world

A round up of predictions of future forces shaping our world

There are two types of future predictions: one looks to try and predict specific events and technologies, the other attempts to look beyond specifics at the causes of change and the forces that will shape the future. In a sense, the first looks for the milestones while the second attempts to find the general direction in our journey into the future. Both are important. Both are interesting. But they require different skill sets, and are meaningful in different ways.

Our company, TomorrowToday spends most of our time and effort on the second type of prediction, seeking out the disruptive forces and trends that are shaping the world around us, and especially the future of work in the next few years. Part of our research methodology includes meta-research as we track other researchers, futurists and insight companies.

Here is a selection of some of their recent insights into the forces that are causing change in the world. Read the articles we’ve linked to for much deeper analysis.

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Video: Principles of the digital age

March 6, 2013 Graeme Codrington Future Trends, Social media and web 2.0, Strategy, Video No Comments

I was asked by a US based client to record a few videos for them to get their team thinking about change and success in the digital age we are entering. I thought I’d share one or two of these with you. This one is 9 minutes long and is a simple overview of the principles that underly the development of the digital age.

The question for you is simple: how do these principles play out in your products and services? The message is simple: you must do more and more of these things. How are you doing?

The principles for success in the digital age that I outline in the video are:

  • Mobile (Convergent)
  • Community
  • Social (communal)
  • Customisation
  • Immediate (Current, contiguous)
  • Conversation
  • Consistency / Constant
  • Clever, quirky, fun

This is not a comprehensive list. What would you add to this list?

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Primary Blog contributors

The main contributors to this blog are:

Dr Graeme Codrington, co-founder of TomorrowToday, author, speaker and expert on the changing world of work
Dean van Leeuwen, co-founder and CEO of TomorrowToday UK & Europe, speaker, consultant and Chief Intellectual Adventurer
Keith Coats, co-founder of TomorrowToday South Africa, leadership development guru, speaker and author
Professor Nick Barker, director of the Asia Pacific Leadership Program at the East-West Center in Hawaii, leadership development expert
Markus Kramer, marketing director for Aston Martin and brand building expert
Keith Holdt, Visionary Enabler of business growth and change, currently works for LDC as an investment executive.
Dil Sidhu, Chief External Officer, Manchester Business School; Executive education specialist.
Dawna MacLean, expert on fostering meaningful change and creating authentic experiences through transparent and trusted partnerships.

Click here for a full list of contributors

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