Yesterday’s fashion is essential in the workplace today

By WALE AKINYEMI

My daughter is a beautician and social media influencer who reviews beauty products for companies around the world. She has a niche group of followers who will pay anything for luxury beauty products.

Last week, I had dinner with her and her equally intriguing friend – a travel blogger and influencer, who gets paid to visit beautiful places around the world and showcase them to her hundreds of thousands of followers.

Ten years ago, if any of them said that what they were going to do in life was to take pictures of beautiful faces and beautiful places and post them on a website or online platform. line, few people would have taken them seriously. Today, they represent millions of people around the world working in jobs that didn’t exist a few years ago.

This goes hand in hand with talent management. Today, large companies no longer talk about training. They would refer you to their talent and learning managers in a heartbeat. But how can you handle something you have no idea? This represents one of the biggest gaps in the market today. It is the gap between the regulator and the regulated – between the manager and the managed.

Governments around the world have tried to clamp down on cryptocurrencies and social media, but are failing as technology continues to advance at a rate they cannot match.

The Nigerian government, for example, banned Twitter within its borders, but users tapped into virtual private networks (VPNs) and essentially operated from places where the state could not access.

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Similarly, during the riots at the end of SARS in Nigeria, much of the money brought in from abroad to fund the protests was not channeled through conventional means. In fact, it opened many people’s eyes to the wonders of trading crypto assets. Again, technology has proven to be one step ahead of convention and tradition. Governments are forced to concede this race as technology always wins.

The challenge with our system is that it is filled with people trained in analog conditions who want to effectively lead and manage people operating in a digital and cloud world.

Technology cannot be fought. It must be understood and exploited to our advantage. Likewise, the thinking of today’s customer cannot be fought.

You have to understand it. It’s a totally different mindset than the customer of yesteryear.

Today’s customer demands instant gratification, failure for which there is instant retribution against the company, product, service or manager. The consequence of this is the emergence of what is now called cancel culture where people band together and promote the cancellation of people, brands and products just because someone who has enough voice strong may have found it unsatisfying or offensive.

With that in mind, we meet Kurt Zouma, the French professional centre-back for English Premier League club West Ham United and the France national football team. A video of him kicking his cats around his house has gone viral and the payback has been brutal. First he was fined $338,000, then the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confiscated the felines; sponsor Adidas let him down as an Adidas brand ambassador and as fans – at home and the opposing team booed him when he played for his team against Watford, his manager, David Moyes is under pressure to drop it.

If not handled well, it could be the end of his football career. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in today. We cannot fight it. We must master it or we become vulnerable to its attacks. Cancel Culture is here to stay.

Wale Akinyemi is Head of Street University (www.thestreetuniversity.com) and Chief Transformation Officer, PowerTalks; [email protected]

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