Will things ever be the same?

“The future feels a lot more like marketing–it’s impromptu, it’s based on innovation and inspiration, and it involves connections between and among people–and a lot less like factory work, in which you do what you did yesterday, but faster and cheaper.”

Seth Godin

The high street is crumbling.

Long term employment will become the exception.

A portfolio career will be standard.

Entrepreneurship will become a taught subject (if that is not an oxymoron).

Social interaction via on-line tools will increase at an exponential rate – just look at the growth rate of Pinterest.

[Will this result in social mobilisation as opposed to interaction? Only time will tell.]

Doing projects where you control the flow, rather than looking for instructions will be where the action is.

And, importantly, we will have to get used to a simpler, more frugal lifestyle as the World’s natural resources disappear.

The trouble is that very few people are prepared for such a paradigm.

We all have grown up believing in the Industrial complex. In short, the pursuit of more. It is too simplistic to believe this is a hangover from World War Two. My parents (and theirs) wanted a better life but not, I would conjecture, to the extent where we grew drunk on excess.

I am not a pessimist. Nor do I feel the situation is hopeless, but we need to lift our eyes skyward and dream, think for ourselves and stop waiting to be picked. No one is coming to your rescue. Whatever government is in power, they would see it as political suicide to proselytize a message that was anything less than before.

For my part, I see the future as a brilliant opportunity to create art that has the power to connect people who are looking for more than a temporal fix.

Sure the new ‘lifestyle’ will be hazy in parts, stressful and Old School learning will be just that …old. But it will be more fulfilling emotionally, spiritually and, hopefully, financially.

One last thing. Business, of whatever hue, has to do a lot more to future proof their tenure in the market. This means tearing down the old models of ‘employer’ and ‘employee’ and look for something much more adaptive and synergistic. This goes beyond collective ownership or sharing of risk (forget John Lewis just for once). It must also positively transform lives.

I have three children (9, 13 and 16) and I see massive challenges ahead for them, but one thing I am determined to do is to make sure they look outside the lines of education, and consider the World their playground not the arc of Devon or the South East.

A challenge? You bet. But one I know they will be better equipped to cope with than my generation.

– Julian

Working with me

I am available for speaking, consulting and coaching on all things social media, excellence and brand you. Please feel free to email me at juliansummerhayes@gmail.com or contact me on +44(0) 7588 815384. You can follow me on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn,  Tumblr.

7 Responses to “Will things ever be the same?”

  1. Jim Rowe says:

    Great post Julian. Wish I was just leaving school now – Very exciting times

  2. julia says:

    Great post Julian and personally I couldn’t agree more. I look forward to the future with excitement and am just sorry that I’ll only see 50 years of it, if I’m very lucky! However, I doubt that many employed people feel the same way ….BUt mindset can change and very quickly. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t have seen the exponential embracing of social media worldwide – incorporated with social commerce and many other social solutions.
    Interestingly, I have 3 children of the same ages as yours (and 3 more!!) and we often talk about the fact that the job/ role they will have in all likelihood hasn’t been thought of yet!

  3. Julian Summerhayes says:

    Julia thank you for your kind response. For my part, I see the future through a completely different lens to the one my parents envisaged. Artists will rule, and whilst there will still be a space for Uber Companies, I think the way they ‘manage’ their labour will be entirely different.

    Blimey I can’t manage my time with 3. Not sure how you manage with 6…


  4. Julian Summerhayes says:

    Thanks Jim, and for your fantastic support on the blog and elsewhere.


  5. Mel says:

    Great blog post Julian. The ability to flow with change that occurs at a rate unimaginable now will be essential to the way we operate as individuals and enterprises in the future. Creativity and risk taking will challenge us but also spur us on to greater responsiveness as our lives are redefined. Blimey, that sounds pompous, but hopefully you get my drift!

  6. Julian Summerhayes says:

    Thank you Ann. I really appreciate the support and feedback.


  7. Vince Mcconville says:

    Great post Julian. Strikes a chord for the future!

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