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28 BUSINESS EXCELLENCE  SUMMER 2011-12
“I wish he would stop Facebooking
his friends!” the manager gasped,
exasperated at what she saw as diminishing
productivity in his office. When questioned,
the employee said he had simply been
‘crowd sourcing’ on that IT project due in a
few days and was finding a quicker solution
from experts in the field.
Whose perspective do you take?
While this scenario is obviously multi-layered,
it is a salient example of the changing work
environment we are confronted with.
Most CEOs and senior managers of
organisations are in furious agreement that
they must be ‘prepared’ for the future,
however it is difficult to know where to start.
If nothing else, let the following points act
as catalysts for stimulating discussion and
debate around the water cooler and board
room table.
Talking about my
generation
By the year 2020, we will have five
different generations in the workplace all
competing to make their mark. This is both a
sobering and exhilarating fact.
THE FUTURE IS HERE, SO GET
ON BOARD
the workplace of the future
FEATURE
THE ‘GAMIFICATION’ OF THE
WORKPLACE, ‘AUDACIOUS
LEADERSHIP’ AND A WORKFORCE
SPANNING FIVE GENERATIONS.
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE.
BY LIZ LOR.
BY liz lor
SUMMER 2011-12  BUSINESS EXCELLENCE  29
The generations include the traditionalists
(born prior to 1946), the Baby Boomers
(born between 1946 and 1964), Gen X
(1965 to 1976), Gen Y (1977 to 1997) and
Gen 2020, born after 19971
.
For human resources teams in
organisations large and small, the issue of
a multi-generational workforce is top-of-
mind. Not only will organisations need to
consider how they recruit employees but
also how they retain and engage employees.
In their book, The 2020 Workplace, Jeanne
Meister and Karie Willyerd ask us to consider
whether our company’s brand appeals not
only externally but also internally to each
generation in the workforce. They ask us to
source Gen Y workers not through career
fairs but through social networking such
as Facebook, LinkedIn and microblogging
sites. In relation to Baby Boomers, we are
also often urged not to forget the rich
corporate memory that this generation
possess as well as their ability to share ‘war
stories’ through conversation and discussion.
Similarly, we know that Gen X grew up
during the dot com boom and often have an
entrepreneurial bent.
The take-away here is that employers
need to be aware of the commonalities and
complements among the generations and
then find solutions that will respond to these
differences.
Go forth and be audacious
In his book, A Whole New Mind – Why
Right Brainers Will Rule The Future, Daniel
Pink2
argues that the ‘Information Age’
has been succeeded by the ‘Conceptual
Age’ where workers are not hired for
the knowledge or information they have
acquired but because of a certain disposition
or temperament. Many would argue that
the ‘questing’ disposition or the ability to be
audacious and creative are keenly sought
qualities3
.
Why are these skills so revered in the 21st
century? Much of the answer lies outside the
organisation where the macro environment
is complex and solutions to work tasks are
non-linear and involve hypothesis.
No longer do mining organisations simply
dig minerals out of a pit and no longer
do retail organisations only have to worry
about engagement with their market simply
through bricks and mortar.
A senior executive in either of these sectors
will need to understand the downstream and
upstream implications of his/her decisions
beyond the next quarter.
John McWilliams, Senior Lecturer in
Organisational Behaviour, Deakin University,
explains the audacious disposition in the
following way: “It’s about having a sense of
adventure, an outgoing sense of confidence
– that’s where the idea of ‘Audacious
Leadership’ comes from.” Dr. McWilliams
runs a course in 'Audacious Leadership'
that involves taking participants out on a
Trans-Tasman voyage from Melbourne to
Hobart. The course challenges participants,
previously unknown to each other, to
engage to solve urgent problems within
the constrained physical environment of
a sailing ship. Participants are continually
encouraged to have an audacious and agile
mindset, which they can carry through to an
organisational context.
It’s all about playing games
Jay Cross is well known as the person
who coined the phrase ‘e-learning’.
He has been called ‘the Johnny Appleseed
of informal learning’ as he has been a strong
proponent of the ‘70:20:10’ philosophy
where 70 per cent of learning can take place
on the job, 20 per cent through coaching
and mentoring and 10 per cent through
formal workshops4
. He has gone as far as
saying that “an overemphasis on formal
learning in organisations is dysfunctional,
uneconomic, bad business and not a whole
lot of fun”.5
DeakinPrime concurs. While its
foundations lie with Deakin University and
the richness that a lecture-style approach
brings, it should be remembered that Deakin
University has always been at the forefront
of introducing learning technologies and
encourages each and every student to
enrol in at least one online unit. The online
unit enables the informal to meld with the
formal through real-time discussion forums
and syndicated group analysis of project
questions.
When it comes to online learning, the
real challenge is around what the discrete
elements of informal learning may comprise.
When it comes to less formal online learning
for example, many have been talking about
the online ‘gamification’ of the workplace
as a way to accelerate learning across the
enterprise.
Gideon Gelbart of the Deloitte
Leadership Academy says it has plans to
release an “upgraded capability development
portal” in 2012. “The upgraded portal will
enable users to receive virtual badges after
completing training courses,” he says.
They will also be able to engage in
simulation activities which parallel their work
lives but in a virtual context.” This fits with
tech industry firm Gartner’s research which
estimates that by 2014, as many as 70 per
cent of large companies will use one form of
gaming technique for at least one business
process.6
So, where to from here? Perhaps the
question is not to ask where but how.
It seems that sometimes the journey is
more important than the destination.
The destination is always changing but
it is about taking the journey boldly and
getting everyone to hop on board. CEO of
DeakinPrime, Jules Cauberg, comments:
“Ultimately, it is about getting people to be
happy to come to work every day. If we can
create the right environment, and by that I
mean physical, intellectual and social, then
we are laying some great foundations for the
future.” 
Liz Lor is Alliance Director, DeakinPrime, the corporate
education arm of Deakin University.
1
Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd, The 2020 Workplace:
How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop and Keep
Tomorrow’s Employees Today, 2010
2
Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind – Why Right Brainers Will
Rule The Future, Riverhead Books, 2006
3
John Seely Brown, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating
the Imagination for a World of Constant Change, 2010
4
Michael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichinger (1996) The
Career Architect Development Planner, Lominger Limited,
Inc.
5
Jay Cross, Overcoming Bipolar Thinking, October, 2010,
www.informl.com
6
Rachel Emma Silverman, Latest Game Theory: Mixing Work
and Play, Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2011
the workplace of the future
FEATURE
If we can create the right environment, and by that I mean physical, intellectual and
social, then we are laying some great foundations for the future.

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VECCI ARTICLE_The Future Is Here So Let's Get On Board!_2011_2012

  • 1. 28 BUSINESS EXCELLENCE  SUMMER 2011-12 “I wish he would stop Facebooking his friends!” the manager gasped, exasperated at what she saw as diminishing productivity in his office. When questioned, the employee said he had simply been ‘crowd sourcing’ on that IT project due in a few days and was finding a quicker solution from experts in the field. Whose perspective do you take? While this scenario is obviously multi-layered, it is a salient example of the changing work environment we are confronted with. Most CEOs and senior managers of organisations are in furious agreement that they must be ‘prepared’ for the future, however it is difficult to know where to start. If nothing else, let the following points act as catalysts for stimulating discussion and debate around the water cooler and board room table. Talking about my generation By the year 2020, we will have five different generations in the workplace all competing to make their mark. This is both a sobering and exhilarating fact. THE FUTURE IS HERE, SO GET ON BOARD the workplace of the future FEATURE THE ‘GAMIFICATION’ OF THE WORKPLACE, ‘AUDACIOUS LEADERSHIP’ AND A WORKFORCE SPANNING FIVE GENERATIONS. WELCOME TO THE FUTURE. BY LIZ LOR. BY liz lor
  • 2. SUMMER 2011-12  BUSINESS EXCELLENCE  29 The generations include the traditionalists (born prior to 1946), the Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), Gen X (1965 to 1976), Gen Y (1977 to 1997) and Gen 2020, born after 19971 . For human resources teams in organisations large and small, the issue of a multi-generational workforce is top-of- mind. Not only will organisations need to consider how they recruit employees but also how they retain and engage employees. In their book, The 2020 Workplace, Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd ask us to consider whether our company’s brand appeals not only externally but also internally to each generation in the workforce. They ask us to source Gen Y workers not through career fairs but through social networking such as Facebook, LinkedIn and microblogging sites. In relation to Baby Boomers, we are also often urged not to forget the rich corporate memory that this generation possess as well as their ability to share ‘war stories’ through conversation and discussion. Similarly, we know that Gen X grew up during the dot com boom and often have an entrepreneurial bent. The take-away here is that employers need to be aware of the commonalities and complements among the generations and then find solutions that will respond to these differences. Go forth and be audacious In his book, A Whole New Mind – Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future, Daniel Pink2 argues that the ‘Information Age’ has been succeeded by the ‘Conceptual Age’ where workers are not hired for the knowledge or information they have acquired but because of a certain disposition or temperament. Many would argue that the ‘questing’ disposition or the ability to be audacious and creative are keenly sought qualities3 . Why are these skills so revered in the 21st century? Much of the answer lies outside the organisation where the macro environment is complex and solutions to work tasks are non-linear and involve hypothesis. No longer do mining organisations simply dig minerals out of a pit and no longer do retail organisations only have to worry about engagement with their market simply through bricks and mortar. A senior executive in either of these sectors will need to understand the downstream and upstream implications of his/her decisions beyond the next quarter. John McWilliams, Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour, Deakin University, explains the audacious disposition in the following way: “It’s about having a sense of adventure, an outgoing sense of confidence – that’s where the idea of ‘Audacious Leadership’ comes from.” Dr. McWilliams runs a course in 'Audacious Leadership' that involves taking participants out on a Trans-Tasman voyage from Melbourne to Hobart. The course challenges participants, previously unknown to each other, to engage to solve urgent problems within the constrained physical environment of a sailing ship. Participants are continually encouraged to have an audacious and agile mindset, which they can carry through to an organisational context. It’s all about playing games Jay Cross is well known as the person who coined the phrase ‘e-learning’. He has been called ‘the Johnny Appleseed of informal learning’ as he has been a strong proponent of the ‘70:20:10’ philosophy where 70 per cent of learning can take place on the job, 20 per cent through coaching and mentoring and 10 per cent through formal workshops4 . He has gone as far as saying that “an overemphasis on formal learning in organisations is dysfunctional, uneconomic, bad business and not a whole lot of fun”.5 DeakinPrime concurs. While its foundations lie with Deakin University and the richness that a lecture-style approach brings, it should be remembered that Deakin University has always been at the forefront of introducing learning technologies and encourages each and every student to enrol in at least one online unit. The online unit enables the informal to meld with the formal through real-time discussion forums and syndicated group analysis of project questions. When it comes to online learning, the real challenge is around what the discrete elements of informal learning may comprise. When it comes to less formal online learning for example, many have been talking about the online ‘gamification’ of the workplace as a way to accelerate learning across the enterprise. Gideon Gelbart of the Deloitte Leadership Academy says it has plans to release an “upgraded capability development portal” in 2012. “The upgraded portal will enable users to receive virtual badges after completing training courses,” he says. They will also be able to engage in simulation activities which parallel their work lives but in a virtual context.” This fits with tech industry firm Gartner’s research which estimates that by 2014, as many as 70 per cent of large companies will use one form of gaming technique for at least one business process.6 So, where to from here? Perhaps the question is not to ask where but how. It seems that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. The destination is always changing but it is about taking the journey boldly and getting everyone to hop on board. CEO of DeakinPrime, Jules Cauberg, comments: “Ultimately, it is about getting people to be happy to come to work every day. If we can create the right environment, and by that I mean physical, intellectual and social, then we are laying some great foundations for the future.”  Liz Lor is Alliance Director, DeakinPrime, the corporate education arm of Deakin University. 1 Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd, The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today, 2010 2 Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind – Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future, Riverhead Books, 2006 3 John Seely Brown, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change, 2010 4 Michael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichinger (1996) The Career Architect Development Planner, Lominger Limited, Inc. 5 Jay Cross, Overcoming Bipolar Thinking, October, 2010, www.informl.com 6 Rachel Emma Silverman, Latest Game Theory: Mixing Work and Play, Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2011 the workplace of the future FEATURE If we can create the right environment, and by that I mean physical, intellectual and social, then we are laying some great foundations for the future.