My 2019 word

 Jan 15, 2019 11:00 AM

2019: Too big for a single word

If you are like me, your social media feeds has been filling up with the latest resolution-replacing trend, annual key words. These words are supposed to provide focus and purpose for the year ahead. To remind us of why we do what we do, what we hope to share with the world and what we will look to receive in return.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against this practice. I think 2019 is a great time for gratitude. Patience is always a virtue. Passion keeps the blood flowing. Compassion keeps us human. I just don’t think I can sum up all that will be in 2019 with a single word. There is simply too much. For me personally and at Challenge Factory, work and life is bursting.

My 10,000-hour moment

I left my corporate career ten years ago this September and, according to Malcolm Gladwell, it takes about that long (assuming 4 solid, focused hours a day) to amass the number of hours required for mastery. It boggles my mind that so much time has gone by and, at the same time, as this 10th year is about to start I am amazed how quickly it flew. This year certainly feels like a whole new ball game (which I have also spent more than 10,000 hours watching, but that is a baseball story for a different article).

In June, I’ll represent Canada as one of 6 members of Team Canada at the International Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy. If there were an Olympics of the Future of Work, this would be it. At the northern tip of Norway, during summer solstice, delegations from 32 countries will convene to explore how countries and companies are challenging outdated career thinking and shaping a future we all want to see.

But first, my third book will launch in May. The Talent Revolution: Longevity and the Future of Work has been a labour of love for the past three years. All the models, tools and research that informs Challenge Factory’s consulting work is contained within its 233 pages. The first book of its kind, it helps organizations respond to and capitalize upon an ageing workforce.

Yet, even before the book launches, Challenge Factory is starting new projects with a financial services firm, an engineering organization and an automotive parts manufacturer. These clients don’t know each other, but they all share a common need to rethink retention, redraw today’s employee lifecycle and challenge outdated career thinking. Their managers need better tools and guidance to have useful career conversations with staff and get the most out of their intergenerational workforces.

And, while we plan for those corporate project kick-off workshops, new, individual career changers are starting courses in the completely redesigned and relaunched Centre for Career Innovation. Using what I’ve learned in all 10 years and 10, 000 hours of career development practice, we’ve consolidated and simplified our courses, streamlined our methodology and tools and presented more self-serve options that ever before. If you haven’t visited the centre in the last two weeks, you need to!

I am bursting with pride when I think about the team that is at Challenge Factory working on all these activities. From Cayla, who has been with us for more than seven years to Reia, Trevor and Bill who have joined us in recent weeks.

2019 is a big year that is off to an auspicious start. One bursting with unimagined opportunity, fantastic challenges and clients, like you, who are ready to contemplate a future of work that is human. We are bursting with potential, tools and insights to share and build upon together. Hmm, bursting. I guess that’s my 2019 word.



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