Illiterate of the 21st century…

February 11, 2008

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler

I found this quote very much true.  It is becoming more and more important in today’s work environment for employees and organizations to change their traditional mind-set and evolve. 

Have you seen people who are worried about their jobs as the technology they know is now obsolete? People had been working very hard and did not focus on upgrading their skills as market was going through change.  

I want to stress that you are in charge of your learning opportunities.  It may be soft skills, new language, new technology, new way of doing things or any combination of things that will keep us marketable in this century.  We got to be flexible in terms of learning new things, unlearning of old concepts and some times relearning of (back to basics) concepts.

Thanks and have a great day!


Leading Creative Employees

February 1, 2008

There are always some special people in teams who are very much techie, creative and loaded with specific knowledge.  Lets call these employees creative people in this post.

These creative people provide tremendous value to organization through application of their knowledge and expertise.  These really smart and creative people need nurturing environment and motivation. When leading these creative people, keep in mind that they may

  1. think they know more than anyone (or know everything);
  2. do not want to be led (know what, how and why);
  3. do not want to follow the process (think its bureaucracy);
  4. want to discuss the solution with higher authority (by-pass chain of command);
  5. expect people to come and ask for help (until then they keep quiet);
  6. show their exceptional knowledge in group meetings;
  7. become poor listeners and jump to solution (feel they know problem already);
  8. dislike to say thank you for any assistance;
  9. feel attached to the solution they offered (won’t accept alternate);
  10. stop contributing if ignored;
  11. want praise and recognition (not always care about position);
  12. want challenges and new things to work on.

Leading creative people require smart leadership.  Smart leaders will help these creative employee contribute by creating environment where they feel valuable while making sure that other employees also flourish. 

Smart leaders demonstrate their expertise and authority over creative employees quietly by not pushing them or by not showing them who is the boss.  Smart leader also makes sure that they know what organization’s strategic goals and objectives are; but does not dictate how to achieve.  These creative people can contribute beyond expectations when their leader becomes their coach-cum-mentor-cum-guardian.

Not all the points may apply in any given situation and there might be other examples as well.  I am interested to hear your thoughts on this.  Please leave comments.  Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!


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