Tag Archives: godin

A better path from college to work?

The workforce is constantly changing.  Old guard are retiring and new recruits are joining from high-school and college.  The latest set of business recruits are classified “GenY”.  Due to the technology they grew up with, they are quite different even from those who entered the workforce just a decade earlier (GenX).

GenYers seek variety and meaning in their work.  The want significant responsibility sooner rather than later.  Business culture today includes starting at the bottom, doing the grunt work, and working your way up as fast as you can.

I see many posts about how to “deal with GenY”.  However, very few organizations are actually changing their DNA very much.  Chief Learning Officers are perhaps the exception.  The GenY newbies are one of their biggest target markets so you would expect change there.  But, what about organizational structures?  Job rotations?  Performance reviews?  Etc… 

I expect that companies focused on Future Business will begin creating strong apprenticeship programs for their strongest recruits.  The best people will not take a classic start-at-the-bottom grunt job.  It will be interesting to see how programs are structured.  Hopefully, they are more than extended orientations.

Seth Godin is one of the premier business thinkers right now and, true to form, he is shaking things up a bit with his latest offer: a 6 month apprenticeship. 

Each day would roughly be structured as

  • 1 hour of classroom/group discussion style learning
  • 4 hours of working for Seth doing whatever he needs
  • 3 hours of working on your own projects

The catch: no pay.  He will not pay you and you will not have to pay him.  He guarantees it will change your life and I have no doubt he is right. 

There are two ways to look at this

  1. Why should I give my time for free?  If you add the time up at a conservative $20/hr, that is $10,000 worth of free work.  Note: the people that he is likely to select for the program might be much closer to or above  $100/hr
  2. How much would I have to pay to learn as much anywhere else?  Probably $20,000.   Or, for that matter, is it even possible to learn what you could from Seth in an MBA program or elsewhere?

Even if we use the higher $100/hr, the age-old MBA value calculation comes into play.  Namely, how much more will I be able to earn going forward because of the experience?  The $50K in lost earning might get paid off quickly.

So, now “Free” sounds pretty fair.  I expect that he will receive triple digit applications for the program.

We started in this country with an apprentice culture.  I remember reading Johnny Tremain when I was a kid.  Johnny was a silversmith apprentice in the 1700’s.  How/why did we get away from that?

What do you think?  Will Future Business include a different entry point for early employees?  It will certainly cost businesses money to come up with and execute these types of program, but I believe they will enable Future Businesses to attract better candidates and pay lower starting salaries.

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Future Business Tribe Building

Seth Godin’s recent blog post about what makes a great blogger got me thinking, who is my tribe? I initially started this blog in order to help organize my thinking and progress my ideas beyond meandering thoughts. But, MS Word could have done that. There is another reason why I blog. I am hoping that like minded people (my tribe) will find my posts interesting enough to want to dialogue on these subjects. Thereby, taking the ideas to another level.

So that brings me back to Seth’s question which is, “who is my tribe?”. After thinking about this, I believe that my tribe is made up of those who are passionate that the way we do business can/should be improved. That may be too broad for a tribe, but I am hoping not.

My life on the road to “Future Business”

  • Started with a general interest in IT as a means to do things more efficiently
  • With the the advent of the web I turned to eCommerce as a great new channel through which to sell
  • Late 90’s I focused on Systems Requirements Analysis and Process Consulting as a way to turn business goals into realities
  • Around 2000 I realized the power of Knowledge Management as a game-changing concept and have been hooked into various flavors of it ever since

Any of this sound familiar? Are you a part of this tribe?

Marcus Buckingham wrote a book called “Now, Discover Your Strengths” and with it you get access to his StrengthsFinder application which, after a 100 or so questions, will tell you his interpretation of what your strengths are. Mine always comes back as #1: Future Focused. Anyone else get that in the top 5?

I am just a novice tribe builder and while I am just as happy joining other tribes, I do like to be a leader wherever I go. Any tribes that you suggest I should join based on the info above?