Recently a phenomenon that’s become global and a big headache for companies is the “the great resignation”. Since April, a record number of US workers, the overwhelming majority in low-skilled jobs in the service sector, have quit, no longer concerned that they will struggle to find a new position. (ST, 10 Dec 2021)

Who is affected? Which sectors are affected? Types of jobs?

What is the cause of this great resignation?

What can we do to mitigate this?

When I say “we”, I’m referring to both companies, as well as career counsellors, government and even individuals in our job search.

Understanding the cause or reasons can help in the most important question, solution.

Traditionally, labor economist look at demand and supply conditions, say the economic recovery, and the short labor supply, and conclude that salaries should increase. This is true.

But is that the only perspective?

A very useful piece by Jeremy Engle to look at this Great Resignation as a discussion piece to brainstorm critical thinking in class which I’m using in my 3rd year Human Resource Management course.

Some have called covid-19 the “The Great Realisation” and the number of deaths and surreal happenings have pushed people to either an emotional meltdown or treasuring relationships more than status and significance in their career ladder.

A friend of mine, decided to move his family back to Canada, to be near his aging parents and help his young son enrol in a better education experience. Both him and his wife decided that they will put in their best efforts to make changes in their career.

Reflections

What are your thoughts on the Great Resignation?

What can companies do to help employees navigate this Great Realisation of work-life harmony?

How will this impact the Future of Work?

A recent HBR article dated 21 Sep 2021 proposed some retention measures, what are your thoughts on these measures? Do they resonate with you? Any that you might suggest instead?

“The Great Realisation” by Tom Foolery (aka Tomos Roberts)

“Tell me the one about the virus again, then I’ll go to bed”.

“But, my boy, you’re growing weary, sleepy thoughts about your head”.

“That one’s my favourite. Please, I promise, just once more”.

“Okay, snuggle down, my boy, but I know you all too well.

This story starts before then in a world I once would dwell”.

“It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty,

Back before we understood why hindsight’s 2020

You see, the people came up with companies to trade across all lands

But they swelled and got much bigger than we ever could have planned

We always had our wants, but now, it got so quick

You could have anything you dreamed of, in a day and with a click

We noticed families had stopped talking, that’s not to say they never spoke

But the meaning must have melted and the work life balance broke

And the children’s eyes grew squarer and every toddler had a phone

They filtered out the imperfections, but amidst the noise, they felt alone.

And every day the skies grew thicker, ‘till you couldn’t see the stars,

So, we flew in planes to find them, while down below we filled our cars.

We drove around all day in circles, we’d forgotten how to run

We swopped the grass for tarmac, shrunk the parks ‘till there were none

We filled the sea with plastic because our waste was never capped

Until, each day when you went fishing, you’d pull them out already wrapped

And while we drank and smoked and gambled, our leaders taught us why

It’s best to not upset the lobbies, more convenient to die

But then in 2020, a new virus came our way,

The governments reacted and told us all to hide away

But while we were all hidden, amidst the fear and all the while,

The people dusted off their instincts, they remembered how to smile

They started clapping to say thank you and calling up their mums

And while the car keys gathered dust, they would look forward to their runs

And with the skies less full of voyagers, the earth began to breathe

And the beaches bore new wildlife that scuttled off into the seas

Some people started dancing, some were singing, some were baking

We’d grown so used to bad news, but some good news was in the making

And so when we found the cure and were allowed to go outside

We all preferred the world we found to the one we’d left behind

Old habits became extinct and they made way for the new

And every simple act of kindness was now given its due”

“But why did it take us so long to bring the people back together?”

“Well, sometimes you’ve got to get sick, my boy, before you start feeling better

Now, lie down and dream of tomorrow and all the things that we can do

And who knows, if you dream hard enough, maybe some of them will come true

We now call it The Great Realisation and yes, since then, there have been many

But that’s the story of how it started and why hindsight’s 2020”

‘No Regrets’ Is No Way to Live https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-regrets-is-no-way-to-live-11643385936

The last two years of pause, unearthed deep reflections in the way we live. Some, celebrated the brevity of life. Others, deep regrets, especially with relationships that grew apart or is no longer possible. Business which fail, opportunities lost.

Daniel Pink’s latest book “No regrets” is a recommended read as we think about opportunities, gains and losses.

Pink cites experiments by Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California who found that writing about negative experiences or talking into a tape recorder about them for 15 minutes a day substantially increased people’s overall satisfaction and improved their well-being. Better than merely thinking about those experiences.

Reason according to Pink is that using language, whether written or spoken, forces us to organize and integrate our thoughts. Describing regrets converts abstract feelings into concrete, less fearsome words. Language captures emotions in our net, pin them down and begin analyzing them.

I just may pick up journaling again. It also explains why I always feel lighter after a group prayer session where I say out prayers rather than think through prayers by myself.

Pink also cites Tina Seelig who found , “The act of documenting your errors allows you to move on much more quickly, as opposed to dwelling on them, and results in a lower likelihood that you will repeat the same mistake,”

“The act of documenting your errors allows you to move on much more quickly, as opposed to dwelling on them, and results in a lower likelihood that you will repeat the same mistake,”

Another useful activity is “Psychological Distancing” whether through time travel or social- through using third person perspective or physical and cultural distance.

Whether we deep dive like a scuba diver or to zoom out from problem like an oceanographer, changing lens helps reframe a problem and see opportunities.

Finding a coach helps this white-board reframe of a problem/ concern.

Lastly, move forward. What lesson does it teach? What would you advise doing next? Now follow your own advice.

Recently, one of the hinges of my bedroom door was spoilt.

We tried to change the hinge ourselves. A door is supported by 3 hinges which are in turn supported by tiny screws.

When a screw is loose or a hinge is misaligned, the doors of opportunity do not swing.

Aligning my heart, my thoughts, my feelings and my emotions to the Creator to listen actively for opportunities.

Unlocking creativity, shifting mindsets by Michael Roberto

Time travel into your future self

What would your future self want to see? Jeff Bezos and Amazon staff use ” time travel” frequently to stimulate innovative thinking about new products ane services.

Andy Jassy of AWS explains that developers do not begin writing software code for a new project until they have drafted a hypotetical press release for their new product offering. Of course these press releases are not actually published for months or years.

Process is described as working backwards.

How do you shift perspectives?

Recently, I conducted a 20 yr future self visualisation at a workshop. If you are interested, link can be accesssed here.

Some participants fell asleep. Some younger participants had a peek at themselves at 40 yrs old and assured that all will be well, yet chose to keep future a mystery to be discovered.

One of my clients, Patricia, who was in her fifties, visualised herself in her seventies.

She later shared that her mother in law was currently in her 90s. Alive but flat on bed. She was so weak that she cannot sit up on her own and needed help with her waste disposal. She was on many pain relieving medication. Not knowing how to read or write, her days were spent lying in bed watching television, most of the time with deep anger and bitterness. She had no religion to provide comfort nor to deceive her.

Patricia learnt from this activity that if she were to have an active lifestyle in her seventied, she needed to plan for the unexpected possibility that her days might be longer than we hope for. When we say “life is short”, and live with expectation that death comes swiftly, the irony with modern medicine is a long slow death in spirit, emotion and body.

It changed her perspective on the investments she planned to reskill and keep in touch with active age-rs.

What short term, long term, infinite term planning are we willing to put in?

#future self visualisation

#short term

Wishing you a blessed and prosperous Chinese New Year!

A nice Chinese new year blessings in Proverbs:

🍊心想事成 Ps 37:4 God will grant us the desires of our heart

㊗万事如意 Rom 8:28 In all things God works together for the good of those who love Him

🍀岁岁平安 Phil 4:7 The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ

🍊事业有成 Jer 29:11 God knows the plans for us to prosper us and give us a future and a hope

👣步步高升 Eph 2:6 God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus

💖金玉满堂 Prov 15:6 The house of the righteous is filled with treasure

🍊红运当头 Deut 28:13 God has made us the head and not the tail (as a result of Jesus’ shed blood)㊗笑口常开 Ps 105:43 God brings His people out with rejoicing, and His chosen ones with shouts of joy.

㊗笑口常开
Ps 105:43 God brings His people out with rejoicing, and His chosen ones with shouts of joy.

3 inch golden lotus feet

Bounded 3 inch golden lotus feet.

Would you believe that mothers used to bind feet of their daughters during the Qing dynasty so they will be of marriageable quality?

This pair of decorative shoes was gifted to me by my mom. But a hundred years ago in China, they were functional.

As I reflected on how older women used to bind the feet of younger women, a thought crossed my mind.

How are we binding the feet of the younger generation? With fear, doubt, negativity?

While our feet are no longer bound. Our hearts and minds are still bound.

Time to be free from this bondage.

Time to forgive the older women who did not know better.

Happiness is having big feet and shoes of peace to explore.

gratitude is a CHOICE, not a feeling.  Like any habit we want to develop, it takes practice.

How may I develop a *habit* of gratitude?

Today, I went where the pain is. A very controlling lady whom I didnt like very much, came to my mind. Practicising gratitude was tough.

But during the day, thoughts of how I first met her, and how her decision not to impose a decision on the group allowed me to do more research instead of coasting.

Biggest time waster for me in 2021 and before is spending an hour being angry and repeating same angry thoughts daily for 10 years.

Points of You Coaching Game

What is it time to start?

What do I want?

Wade and Shane (2020) uncovered a pre-COVID-19 digital transformation failure rate of 87.5 per cent. (Wilcocks, University  of London Subject Guide, p226)

Four main reasons why digital transformation fails: 

  • Lack of strategic digital leadership and investment prioritisation
  • Lack of large scale project management capability
  • Unrealistic expectations, limited scope, poor governance and underestimating cultural barriers. (Wade and Shane, 2020)
  • Lack of detailed digital strategic vision

Ross et al (2019) suggest five building blocks (really organisational capabilities) needed for digital success.

First, shared Customer Insight where Schneider Electric experimented and placed digital offerings before customers to learn what they find valuable and involved them in co-creation.  

Second, build an operational Backbone such as LEGO simplifying 13 interdependent global supply chain process with standardisation, integration of processes into other business functions and process automation. 

Third, building a Digital Platform is a technologically-enabled business model that create value by facilitating exchanges between producers and consumers, data and infrastructure (IMDA, 2021). API (Application Programming Interface) linkages allow seamless exchange of data. 

Fourth, build an accountability framework e.g Spotify has project managers that retain ownership throughout a component’s lifecycle. Metrics that record progress and release software continuously as well as collaboration built on trust. 

Lastly, build an External Developer Platform, e.g. DBS Bank in Singapore offers its outside partners more than 200 API digital components e,g, customer spending patterns, to develop synergies and complementor, collaborating with competitors.