Discover some ideas around the future of work and employment and educate yourself on organisational cultures through Richard Claydon’s insight. It’s essential that we are aware of changes so that the current generation and generations to come can prepare for “traditionalist v progressive tensions that are swirling around many workplaces and societies“.
- What is your full name, the company you work for and your position within the company?
Richard Claydon, Director of People, Culture and Change, CSC Asia Pacific Ltd / Co-Owner of The Ironic Manager.
- In what ways does the company you work for accommodate for graduates?
Not in terms of direct employment as CSC focuses on high-end consulting with people of a certain age/years of experience and The Ironic Manager is more of an intellectual project than a company that employs people. However, indirectly, my involvement in both addresses the future of work and how organisational cultures might be changed to accommodate the next generation without the traditionalist v progressive tensions that are swirling around many workplaces and societies.
- What is the current market like for internships, long-term careers and other opportunities? Please describe.
It’s not great because companies don’t really know what value they get from graduates. Work is becoming so complex that many companies don’t see graduates as being able to contribute without experience in the field, which they can’t get because people won’t take the risk in hiring them. That’s partly on universities, which are often fixated on delivering known knowledge rather than the critical and creative complex problem-solving necessary to the contemporary workplace. While some universities are doing great work in these fields, too many are locked into an outdated delivery and marking system which is alien to the contemporary workplace.
- Do you have any advice you can give to the current graduate market in your field?
That’s a difficult question. I don’t know many people doing what I do. My life only makes sense when viewed backwards. All the things I did eventually came together to form a meaningful whole when I hit 40. It was only then that I really knew what I wanted to do and understood my value.
Perhaps two pieces of advice. The first is from Mary Schmich (although made famous by Bz Lurhman) – The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.
The second is related. If you want an interesting life, try interesting things. Eventually, if you’re lucky, they’ll all make sense and you can make a difference. But even if they don’t, you still had a life worth living.
- Do you have any tips for students studying in your area of expertise?
If you want to study management, don’t get sucked into the narrow, prescriptive stuff delivered by very many business schools. There are wonderful ideas out there in the critical and pragmatic schools of management thought that get ignored by American-centric management systems.
If you are in it to make money, and nothing else, you can get by with the American managerial stuff. If you want to make a difference, read widely.
- Any final words/inspirations for students and graduates in relation to the world of work?
Nobody working today can tell you what the world of work will look like in 5 years, let alone 20 years. Will AI be an existential threat or will augmented humans with cyber chips in their bodies be ruling the world? Will we have developed technologies that make life a utopian dream or will society have crumbled into a dystopian hell? Or will it be somewhere in between with not much having changed? Will complex-problem solving, creativity and critical thought actually be the skills that keep you in a job, or will as yet unimaginable skills be the reason you are employed or on the dole? Will there even be a dole or will universal basic income have arrived? Or will it be a Humbger Games battle for survival if you lose your job?
Nobody knows. And if they tell you they do, they’re lying. It’s fun and important to imagine possible futures and the accompanying strategic clues that we are travelling down the right or wrong path. But we can’t accurately predict what will happen 3 months from now, let alone what the long-term future will look like.
As Richard Claydon said: “If you want to make a difference, read widely.” This is valuable advice from a professional, which should be taken on board by all students and graduates. No matter which industry you may be striving to be a part of, becoming more knowledgeable will only increase wisdom, awareness and understanding making you a much more valuable asset to any organisation.
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LinkedIn: Dr Richard Claydon
And don’t forget to check out The Ironic Manager Blog today!
Interviewed by Gemma Smith