All posts by Clim Pacheco

About Clim Pacheco

Business management consultant with an aim to create brighter futures for individuals, companies and countries through transfer of expertise, life skills and insights gained from executive management careers in financial services (insurance and finance), transport, education (management and leadership) and engineering (power and transport).

The role of humans in 2066- Fifty years on..

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In fifty years, “3D printed food” will be the norm, robots caring for and transacting on everyday needs will be common place, the first humans will have settled comfortably on Mars, agribusiness will be totally automated, alternative green energy will power all our needs, auto-propelled and driven transportation systems will abound,and generally all “work as we know it” will no longer exist.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) in a 2015 report stated that 40% of Australia’s current workforce could be replaced by automation within the next 20 years.

In 50 years, this could mean the end of work as we know it.

Money may no longer be needed as trading of services between robots will create an environment of bartering of specialist robotic services between robots rather than monetary transactions for rendering services.

With work being done by robots, and thinking machines taking care of all other needs, will humans have a role to play or will we be a species in decline and without purpose?

What will be the role of humans in a world dominated by robots and thinking machines?

There are many alternate scenarios for the human race but 2 contrasting scenarios could be:

Scenario 1: Robots dominate the world and humans are moved into reservations with no sense of purpose.

Scenario 2: Humans have a higher order purpose and will have an even more meaningful existence negotiating and interacting with robots.

Scenario 1 is a scary proposition and one we need to strategise into order to avoid becoming a reality.

We need to think about how Scenario 2 will be the norm and humans will co-exist with robots and thinking machines but still contribute to and be part of a meaningful world.

Humans will need to capitalise on their intuition, lateral thinking, feelings and emotions and delve deep into their souls and spirituality in order to enable peaceful interaction with smart machines and robots. The latter will be able to think in multiple dimensions as well as converse between themselves and arguably bring about a new world order devoid of the need for human beings.

The robotic world will however need mediators, issue resolution expertise, conflict resolution skills, reflection and a sense of well-being; all qualities that humans have and can bring to a mechanistic world.

Thus while the focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills is the current buzz, this will enable the creation of the ultimate thinking machines, and extend the meaningful purpose of humans for a limited time – probably till 2046.

Robots and thinking machines will think beyond humans and excel in the creation of mechanistic solutions for worldly problems – better than humans will in due course as the deeper levels of self programming will unleash higher order thinking machines.

Focus on the non-technical and arts skills as well as the esoteric creative skills, reflective innovation, well-being and happiness, mediating and conflict resolution skills and being in touch with the inner soul and spiritual sense of calm, will be key to humans still be able to contribute to the world in 2066.

Indeed life will be very different in 2066, but let us contemplate how humans will still be an integral part of that world and skill ourselves to be higher order beings with purposeful existence in the brave and challenging new world of the future.

Let the thinking begin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But you are not Bill Gates…

The climb

“But you are not Bill Gates”. Those words were uttered by Arlene, my wife, three years ago  in April 2013 when I told her that I wanted to give up a successful life in the corporate world and pursue my new-found burning passion to work on “creating brighter futures” for others by working on social and community causes. Arlene followed her first statement with “And you do realise that you are now 60 and social and community work is a low paying industry”.

And so true Arlene’s words were.

We did not have wealth nor enormous savings, had all the mundane expenses of a normal household, four kids, and needed a flow of funds in order to meet the daily expenses of life. Added to this, although I had undertaken management and leadership programs in the social and community arena, I was still an unknown in that area.

Yet the desire to launch into this unknown but needy space defied logic. I considered the definition of “having enough” was relative. After all, I had lived in Africa and India, and remembered that wealth is a state of the mind. Material wealth can open doors, but if I was to make an impact in this new endeavor, I would have to improvise and think differently.

My measure of success would not be the well trodden ROI, but a new one – EPL (Enriching People’s Lives). Not dipping into savings would be a bottom line indicator – my KPI. The Business model and activities for the company I created (Business Transformation Solutions) would have to be self-sustaining with a growth target in order for me to continue on the mission. I quickly thought of the need for an “Earning, Learning and Giving” model as volunteering (“Giving”) my expertise in management, leadership, risk and strategy in the social and community field was going to be a key plank of the new life. “Learning” had to be an integral part of the offering as currency of expertise is critical. “Earning” had to ensure that the business was self sustaining.

I also knew that lifestyle had to be a key ingredient of the new career.

The emergence of the 3+1+1=10 Prosperity Model ( http://www.climpacheco1.com ) was the way I would conduct my newly chosen vocation and career.

Fluidity in thinking and adapting to the challenges that have to be confronted has been a wonderful learning experience and this shows that small business is deep into the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity- US Army War College, 1990’s ) world. The entrepreneurial skills that are gained through operating at this level  has been phenomenal.

Social media is such a boon to small business and has enabled spread of the purpose well beyond what was possible in past years. Networking (both e-networking and person to person) has been expanded through use of social media and technology and these are relatively low-cost investments for small business. Creativity and lateral thinking is facilitated through the new contacts made and the innumerable conversations over a cup of coffee, as there are so many people with brilliant ideas and also looking for new models of work and life.

Volunteering has amply nurtured the primary purpose of working in the social and community and been such a spark as well as lit new secondary purposes. This is a low-cost venture with phenomenal benefits. The gratitude from the organisations has been uplifting and the impact of giving ones skills to organisations doing extraordinary work globally means that your contribution to strategy, leadership and management is an enabler for the organisations to focus on their core purpose and excel in it. Learning through volunteering has been a two way interchange. In many ways, volunteering has enabled a one-person business to spread its contribution to the global environment through the organisation being served.

Earning will always be the key pain point for small business. Having a portfolio of offerings has ensured the revenue pipeline to be sustainable. Thus consulting, lecturing, and mentoring are key to gaining new business. The networks created through volunteering, social media connections and one-on-one meetings has enabled word of mouth marketing.

The 3+1+1=10 model fits so neatly into the Japanese “Ikigai” concept on the “reason for being” as it is the confluence of doing “What you Love, What the World Needs, What you are good at, and What you can be paid for”.

The 3+1+1=10 model is also an attempt in finding the “sweet spot in work and life” and in a microscopic way seeking a new work life paradigm in line with the “Gross National Happiness” concept that the former King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, proposed in 1972 and promulgated for the State of Bhutan.

Indeed, it is a case of “But you are not Bill Gates..” but minor steps to make the planet a better place can be made by anyone with minimal outlays.

Our purpose needs to be “enriching the lives of others because we cared and did something about it” – even if is a tiny drop in the ocean. That must be our legacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should the 5 day working week be consigned to history?

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The origins of the 5 day working week trace back to the 1920’s when Henry Ford established the 5-day, 40 hour working week for his Model-T Ford workers (Mikael Cho, blog.crew.co).

Henry Ford instituted the change from a 6 day, 48 hour working week with the desired outcome to be one where, in his words,

“Leisure is an indispensable ingredient in a growing consumer market because working people need to have enough free time to find uses for consumer products”.

Almost hundred years on we are still tied down to the 5 day working week.

Is this appropriate for a world where population growth will far outstrip the number of job opportunities?

The current world population is 7.413 billion people (Worldometers, 4 April 2016) and growing by the second.

  • Will there be enough full-time work for those ready for the job market? 
  • Will there be exploitation of those who are unable to find full-time work through the explosive increase in the marginalisation and casualisation of labour, with little hope of them ever re-engaging in the full-time workforce?
  • Will there also be exploitation of those who are in full-time work with the result that the latter work far more than the 38 hour week with little breathing space to “smell the roses”?

“Japan is witnessing a record number of compensation claims related to death from overwork, or ‘karoshi’, a phenomenon associated with the long-suffering “salary man” that is increasingly afflicting young and female employees” (The Age, 4 April 2016, p.15).

Worker stress is on the rise and there does not seem to be a circuit breaker for the growing strains of working longer hours in order to hold on to jobs and meet the ever-increasing demands for increased productivity and the need to do “more with less”.

Technology has extended the working day to far beyond the traditional 9 to 5 as one is connected with work through smart phones and the like.

Leisure is often crammed into the 2 day weekend, with one of the two days being focused on home activities.

The Millenniums have got it right. Work needs to be balanced with having a good life, and doing this simultaneously.

Could there be a compelling reason to advocate for a three-day working week?

  1. With the increase in population, and the ever-widening gap between those with full-time work and those marginalised through casual work, there may be merit in reducing the working week to three days (or so) thus enabling work life balance for all and enabling at least two days or so full-time work for the marginalised.
  2. Society will be the better for enabling more people to engage in the workforce and having some guaranteed income for all on a weekly basis rather than creating an underclass of people.
  3. Governments have been grappling with unemployment and underemployment and one of the current employment definitions is “people …..who usually work one hour or more a week” (www.abs.gov.au). Thus although the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Australia in February 2016 is 5.8%, the above definition clearly indicates that the underemployment rate is far higher. Going for a three-day working week may increase the probability of those underemployed to gain at least two days work per week.  
  4. Going for a three-day working week will enable companies to retain the very best staff as the new worker wants a balanced lifestyle– one where work with purpose is balanced with social and community causes, travel and the like. Millenniums and the generations to come will demand change.
  5. With innovations in technology such as robotics, smart machines and the like rapidly eliminating the need for labour, companies will need to think of ways to rightsizing their human resources and looking for ways to retain loyalty through innovative work life offerings. The 3 day working week could be an option.
  6. Baby Boomers may be quite content to reduce their working days in the twilight of their careers, thus enabling greater opportunities for Generation X and Y to take on higher positions currently held by the Boomers. A 3 day working week may enable this transition to occur. It also reduces the resentment often caused by generational biases towards older workers.
  7. Governments are increasingly finding it difficult to fund pensions for retirees and the pensionable age is creeping up. Hence, older workers find themselves needing to continue to work longer. The three-day week will enable older workers to still continue working and being less of a burden on government funds.

Human nature and the world of materialism and self-advancement however, imposes some barriers to this transition occurring. Working full-time is craved by most, and often society frowns on those who do not have full-time work.

There are no models to transition to, and hence a three-day a week model needs to be created that is viable, enables enough revenue to sustain the desired life style and also fulfils the need for a balanced life.

Change is needed and thinking about how to enable this transition from the current five-day working week will be inevitable.

Hence, in order to set the ball rolling, I have conceived of the 3+1+1=10 model and established Business Transformation Solutions on the 3 day working week model.

It is based on 3 days a week “Earning”, 1 day a week “Learning” and 1 day a week “Giving”.

It is a work in progress and is strengthened by my feeling that the days of the five-day working week are numbered.

Time will tell.

For further information on the 3+1+1=10 model refer to the website below:

http://www.climpacheco1.com

 

 

 

 

Does corporate leadership need a dose of spiritual leadership?

The increasing reports of unethical practices and scant recognition of the moral obligation to the client and consumer by companies, corporations and individuals at the local and global level begs the question- is damage to the reputation of the corporation enough to discourage executives from their bottom line and shareholder focus, and steer them to doing what is right, moral and ethical?

Are the governance and risk management systems in companies and corporations adequate to prevent fraud, unethical conduct, immoral behaviours, disregard of consumer rights, or do they encourage a winner takes all attitude and a singular focus on return to shareholders with minimal collateral damage?

What is the deterrent to such unacceptable behaviour?

In a world where return on investment, increased profit margins, attaining ever stringent and upward driven KPI’s,  and the need to be supreme leaders in the business, executives and leaders are at times in the very uncomfortable position of examining their consciences and making tough decisions on doing what is right for the company versus what is right for the common good of society at large.

Working on the development of an executive leadership program within a global faith based community organisation has led me to consider the merits of elements of spiritual leadership and the impact it could have on the development of leaders in the corporate world.

The growth of leadership models and concepts including ethical leadership, authentic leadership, conscious leadership, follow-ship, etc. all point to the increasing search for leadership with a conscience.

Spiritual leadership starts from the concept of doing what is right, having moral and ethical values, having a strong conscience and believing in the universality of what is good and inherently right for people and society.

Whilst spiritual leadership looks at an almighty being for guidance, corporate leadership should strive to think of what the universe laws of conducting ethical and moral business for the benefit of society are, and how they will conduct their businesses with this at the forefront of decision making.

Just as spiritual leadership is looking at corporate leadership for sharpening their business skills, corporate leadership has a lot to learn from spiritual leadership as that may be the only deterrent to corporate greed and unethical practices.

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Let’s not underestimate the role of management in the workplace.

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The focus on leadership in the workplace may underplay the role that management has in the smooth functioning of organisations.

There is no doubt that leaders inspire others to do things that the latter might not have otherwise thought of or thought possible. Inspirational leadership creates an environment that encourages innovation and creativity.

But what if the work environment only had leaders and no managers?

Managers take the great ideas (and indeed have inspiring ideas of their own but sometimes may not have the courage or the encouragement to take the ideas further) and direction set by the leaders, to make the idea real.

They know how to look at the detailed requirements, are familiar with their staff as well as the local environment, and manage the change to the new paradigm.

Great managers often have the pulse of the organisation, can make or break the culture, love the challenge of making things happen and at all times are aware of the impact of the change on their staff and work closely with them to ensure that the new reality will work for all.

Great managers also have very good project management and risk management skills and bring this to bear when faced with new vision from leaders and the need to change the focus of the team and organisation to the new direction.

Covey, Peter Drucker and  Warren Bennis, stated that “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Organisations therefore need both leaders and managers in order to realise the ultimate vision.

Is there a place for P-BHAGs in our lives? I believe so.

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In the 1994 “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” book, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras coined the word BHAG- Big Hairy Audacious Goal, for organisations to pursue a “10-to-30 year goal to progress towards an envisioned future”.

They stated that ” a true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organisation can know when it has achieved the goal- people like to shoot for finish lines”.

Great for organisations, but is there a place for P-BHAGs- Personal Big Hairy Audacious Goals in our lives?

I believe that each of us has had P-BHAGs but have not identified them as such – just lived them. May be we ought to take some time in reflecting on our lives and our P-BHAGs.

On 28 July 1962, I stood on the shores of the mighty Lake Victoria, at Ripon Falls, Jinja, Uganda. It was the centenary of the discovery of the source of the Nile by John Hanning Speke. Without any preamble, my dad put his hand on my shoulder and said “Dream your life, Clim”.

I was taken aback by this request. As a nine years old, one did not spend too much time on reflection of what life has to offer. Indeed life in the wild African jungles and the adventures that presented themselves were enough dreams for me.

Never did I realise that at that very moment, I would be creating my P-BHAGs. I would hear about Collins and Porras and BHAGs years later.

P-BHAGs 1 and 2:

I stated that I would one day become a hydro power systems engineer (P-BHAG 1), and also one day, go to the other end of the River Nile (P-BHAG 2).

Small dreams for my youthful life.

The former dream was influenced by the fact that our very close family friend was the chief engineer of the Owen Falls Dam and hydro-electric plant in Jinja, and a person I admired for his strong personality. Engineering seemed like fun.

The latter dream was one of curiosity. If John Hanning Speke was keen on locating the source of the River Nile, yours truly was keen on seeing where River Nile ended. The reverse explorer.

On 1 July 1976, in Karjat, India, about 4,973 kilometers from Jinja, Uganda and 14 years from the fateful day when I dared to dream, I commenced my hydro power systems engineering career in Tata Electric Companies Andhra Valley Hydro-Electric Pty Ltd.

My first P-BHAG became reality.

On 6 May 1982, in Cairo, Egypt, about 3,302 kilometres from Jinja, Uganda and 20 years from the day I dared to dream, I saw where the mighty Nile flowed towards the Mediterranean Sea- not quite the end of the journey, but almost there.

My second P-BHAG became reality.

Satisfied that the P-BHAGs were now completed, in the sandy deserts of Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates, I contemplated on the subtle driving force that those P-BHAGs had on me. I did not remember them, nor did I brood on them as a youth, but I am convinced that they were in my subconscious and surfaced when I had to make decisions on what I wanted to do.

Emboldened and motivated by the ability to dream and realise dreams, I decided to create some new P-BHAGs.

P-BHAGs 3, 4, 5 and 6:

The 30:45:60 goals

I decided to have a goal of changing my career from being a satisfied and fulfilled engineer at 30 and thereafter pursuing a career in management culminating in senior executive management by the age of 45. P-BHAG 3 was formulated.

I decided that at 45, I would change careers and pursue a career where I would give back something to society till 60, but I was not going to state what that would be. Indeed, I had no idea what that might be. P-BHAG 4 evolved.

I also decided I would, at 60, free-fall, and do whatever I wanted to do. Somewhere in that was the desire to pursue dreams, but again, there was no inkling of what that might be. P-BHAG 5 was thought of.

The final BHAG as I sat on the hot sands of Arabia, was that I would write my autobiography in 3 stages- the first at 30, the second at 45 and the final one at 60. P-BHAG 6 was envisioned.

The idea of writing the autobiography in stages, was that I would have a warts and all reflection on my life, aspirations, frustrations and happy moments, and not colour it with only one autobiography at 60 where my memory may have me jotting down the good things and discounting the not so good. Hence, there was never a desire to publish the autobiographies. And they have not been published- and probably never will be.

P-BHAGs realisation:

P-BHAGs 3, 4, 5 and partially 6 have all been realised. It has been a wonderful journey. It did not all go to a clinical plan, but was within a year of the target date.

I have enjoyed the exciting careers in power systems and transport engineering till 30 and the executive management careers in transport till 45 (P-BHAG 3), thereafter management and leadership education and insurance and finance education till 60 (P-BHAG 4). P-BHAG 5 commenced on 23 May 2013 with the establishment of Business Transformation Solutions (BTS).

P-BHAG 4 was embarking on an education career and helping students and managers Australia wide in the field of management and leadership. P-BHAG 4 also included pursuing an education role in insurance, finance and risk management with students in 30 countries and a membership reach in 50 countries.

P-BHAG 5 was pursuing a career working on social and community causes and resulted in setting up a consultancy business, Business Transformation Solutions to pursue this cause. It is also about pursuing a career in public speaking. It has been 2 years since it was established, and the energy and drive has not abated. There are challenges but they are there to build resilience.

Over the years, the exact nature of the P-BHAGs evolved as I reflected on what I would like to do, what I believed I could contribute to society and they became larger than life. I just had to pursue them. Reason and logic took second place.

P-BHAG 6 is a work in progress. The first autobiography was penned down at 30, in the deserts of the United Arab Emirates, the second keyed in on a desktop computer at 45 in the peaceful suburbs of Burwood East, Australia. The third is evolving via social media. It is still in the embryonic stage. Hence, the goals of 60 have just commenced.

A baby boomer may be forgiven for slowing down…but there can be no excuses for not having a continued purpose.

All of us have P-BHAGs. I have heard so many exciting stories of the lives of so many. They need to be told.

Will you tell your story?

I hope you do.

Is this the age of ‘U’niqueissance- Renaissance Mark 2 ?

Let us take a journey back to the hey days of the Renaissance,when the likes of Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci created masterpieces that we still marvel at.

What is so admirable is that both of them and many of their generation engaged in and pursued their many talents during their lifetime – Michelangelo a sculptor, poet, painter, engineer and architect ; Leonardo Da Vinci a painter, inventor, architect, musician, mathematician, inventor, geologist, botanist and writer to name a few.

They did not appear to constrained by the “qualifications” that they earned (engineer, doctor, lawyer, environmentalist, etc.) and stuck in an office working in the same stream by virtue of what they had studied.

They were comfortable in pursuing their wide and varied talents and excelled in them. They might have been labelled rebels in their time – or trail blazers.

In essence, they were expressing their individuality in what they did and not who they were portrayed to be.

They probably faced criticism from peers and family with comments such as not being able to “hold on to one job” or “not fulfilling their promise” because they moved around so much.

And yet, today, their achievements still stand tall.

We look at them with awe and sometimes dream of an era when the free spirit and enterprise that they displayed will come back to the fore.

It appears that this era is on usThe age of ‘U’niquessance is here.

The essence of ‘U’ is what companies now look for. One’s uniqueness is what adds value and brings meaning in work, in our life and seamless integration of work and life.

More people are looking at the “why” in what they want to do, rather than focusing on “what” they do. The purpose steers the interest and the passion.

These are exciting times as one can re-engage with ones inner desires and dreams and create the work and role that will bring out the best in them.

Social media, technology and the connected world allows one to bring out that unique you and the rebirth of the new Renaissance Mark 2 : The age of ‘U’niquessance.

This has to be exciting!!!

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Is leadership a lonely journey?

Leaders are often driven by high ideals such as equality and justice for all, fairness, the thought of a better world, and raising the bar for the impoverished and disadvantaged – visions of a world that only the strong-willed are able to contemplate and do something about.

Often the fruits of their effort come years after they embark on the journey. Some, like J.F.Kennedy (man landing on the moon) and Martin Luther King (I have a dream), do not live to see the realisation of their pursuits.

Others like Mahatma Gandhi (independence for India), Nelson Mandela (end of apartheid in South Africa), Mother Theresa (serving the poor and destitute), Steve Jobs (launch of the iPhone), Bill Gates (launch of Microsoft, launch of the William H. Gates Foundation), Richard Branson (launch of Virgin Airlines) live to see their dreams come true – years after the painful and lonely journey commenced.

It is hard to imagine that these leaders did not have doubts at times, and despair at other times, and indeed loneliness at the thought of continuing on the path of leadership. The dark clouds of anxiety may have at times seemed insurmountable.

What appears to get leaders over the line is that whilst they may have times of doubt and indeed anxiety, these moments are overcome by their supreme belief in the cause, their drive and faith in humanity.

Leaders may be lonely, but they are not alone.

They are boosted by followers and other leaders who have enormous faith and belief in them, and nudge them along, provide moral support and energy for them to continue.

They are driven by the purpose and know why they must continue.

They create other leaders as a result of their passion.

At times, they may not know how to realise the dream, but they inspire others to provide the momentum, drive, social networks, solutions and numbers for the change to occur.

True leaders display qualities such as:

  • Tenacity
  • Resilience
  • Faith in humanity
  • Selflessness
  • Drive and passion

They do not give up. They believe in the cause so much that they are willing to sacrifice themselves and indeed many have done so.

Leaders allow us to dream of a better future, but they go much further and make the dream come true.

So do not be overcome by obstacles. Leaders find ways to surmount them.

Leaders may be lonely, but they certainly are not alone.

Entrepreneurship- one solution to longer life expectancy and unemployment?

The Federal Government’s 2015 Inter generational Report paints a sobering picture of Australia in 2054-55. Too far ahead for many to ponder but “life expectancy at birth in 2054-55 is projected to be 95.1 years for men and 96.6 years for women” (2015 Intergenerational report p.vii).

The report states that ” ‘active ageing’ presents great opportunities for older Australians to keep participating in the workforce and community for longer” (ibid p.viii).

Of concern too, is that the AMP NATSEM (National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling) report that states that Australia’s youth unemployment is 27.2% and is 4.5 times higher than the rest of the population (ABC news website,Business reporter Michael Janda, 17 Nov 2014).

The ABS (Australian Bureau of Stastics) estimates the current seasonally adjusted unemployment rate Australia for February 2015 is 6.3% (ABS website, Labour Force, Australia, Feb 2015) .

The above statistics coupled with the displacement of workers through technological advances, robots “taking over menial as well as not so menial work” and the general slowing down of some global economies, calls for rethinking about what work will look like for the current Gen Y, Gen X and indeed Baby boomers in the years to come.

Jeremy Rifkin in his thought provoking book “The End of Work” published in 1995, stated that the “world is fast polarizing into two potentially irreconcilable forces; on one side, an information elite that controls and manages the high-tech global economy; and on the other, the growing numbers of permanently displaced workers, who have few prospects and little hope for meaningful employment in an increasingly automated world”.

That was predicted 20 years ago – and how true and worrying it is. The statistics prove the need for rethinking work and its new form.

Can entrepreneurship be the answer for some?

Should people be banking on the traditional forms of employment – working for someone else or for companies that are looking for ways to reduce the workforce – or take control of their destinies?

I believe the time has come for individuals from all generations to ponder the possibility of working for themselves and offering their unique services and skills either through consultancy services or contracting.

One should not be thinking of a “working for one company” strategy, but “working for multiple companies” strategy, and offering different skills to different companies or individuals.

This allows for longevity in work and one can continue working well into the twilight years without facing the judgmental voices of “when is this person going to retire or move on so that I can move into their role?”. Every generation will face this question.

It is a powerful and liberating feeling, with its share of challenges, but certainly worth considering. Business Transformation Solutions (BTS) was created 2 years ago based on the above entrepreneurial concept and hopes to create a model for others to consider. So far it has been an exciting journey.

If the future is a life expectancy of 95.1 years for men, and 96.6 for women, no government can ever be able to support any pension scheme and the current superannuation model is not sustainable with such life expectancies.

One needs to take control of life now.

Is it time to think about it?

Welcome to the journey.

Would the insurance and banking industries gain more from stakeholder management rather than shareholder management?

The stability of the Australian economy is strongly influenced and anchored by the strength of the insurance, superannuation and banking industries. There is no question that the wealth of these sectors is necessary for the continued prosperity of Australia.

This was clearly evident during the Global Financial Crisis and now in the post mining boom era. Australia came out of the former relatively unscathed.

However, there appears to be a preponderance of attention, by the banks and the insurance companies and to a limited extent the superannuation companies, on their shareholders rather than the main stakeholders in their wealth supply chain- namely the individuals and businesses that engage with and are the main suppliers of the “wealth”.

The latter are dependent on the fair and equitable conduct of the banks and insurance companies, and this should go beyond good customer service to caring for their welfare.

A stab in the right direction has been engagement by these companies in corporate social responsibility and the swell in corporate volunteering, workplace giving and sponsoring of workplace programs. This is a great step in the right direction, but it often does not focus on the individuals and businesses that directly engage with the banks and insurance companies.

There must therefore be a concerted effort to get back to basics and provide true benefits and care for those struggling individuals and businesses who are now affected by the downturn in the economy.

Those stakeholders were the mainstay of the banks and insurance companies in the good times and it is time that they were afforded special assistance and support for their loyalty in the not so good times.

This social conscience aspect would go very far in raising the profile of the banks and insurance companies and arguably result in regaining the trust and confidence that may have ebbed in the era of economic rationalism.

It is time for human rationalism and arguably, this move to stakeholder management from shareholder management, might actually result in a stronger and more robust economy- because trust will have been re-established.

Financial gains will follow.