Living the shift



It’s my job, and great privilege, to sit down with people every day and listen to what drives them and what their dreams are. Noticing now how the drivers are changing rapidly, cross generations, it’s clear we are living through a major shift of society. Things that were status in life some ten years ago, are not today.

Instead what I hear in those meetings now is that the time has arrived when we are ready to perform the transformational actions needed to ensure a healthier planet and a sustainable life for generations to come, and also build businesses and HR-strategies around that. 

Here is why: 

All members of the United Nations have adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals focusing on the transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies to be reached in 2030. 

If you are a business not currently pushing for any of those goals, or not currently aligning your strategies and operations with principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, you are sorely outdated as an employer, producer and buyer of goods and services. 

Economist Daly said, “The current national accounting system treats the earth as a business in liquidation.” In 2019 however, the climate crisis and the notion that the worlds resources are finite is making countries stop obsessing over productivity increase and gearing for growth of the economic system at expense of the ecological one. Instead we are focusing more on alternative measurements on national level such as clean air, clean water, self-perceived health and overall happiness and satisfaction with life. 

The digitization as a driving force in society is evening out the game plan between those who can work the traditional face-time, corporate ladder- work week, and those who can’t. It’s now possible to work anytime from anywhere while raising a family, living in the country side, or both. 

The digitization is also reducing the cost of market entry to zero, evening out the game plan between those who have money and those who don’t. If you have a smartphone, the internet and a LinkedIn account, you can start your own business and communicate directly with the decision makers and potential buyers of your services the same way as big corporations. Old hierarchy is dying – new wierarchy is winning. 

On an individual level, work-force surveys show we still want a high steady salary. However the bonus culture, climbing the corporate ladder and getting the fancy title isn’t a driver today the way it used to be. Affluence and an exciting lifestyle are not even close to making top of list of any survey. We are longing for other things in life. Family security, freedom and flexibility, inner harmony, a sense of accomplishment and contribution, learning and close companionship, to mention a few. We also want the businesses we work for to be a force for good. 

With drivers like that, how can we possibly fail to build sustainable societies, companies and careers in the coming years?

Anna Lensmar-Friedman I Founder of FAIRPLACE*

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