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In 2017 GAIA Insights team has been working around the clock and around the globe to pioneer new ways of leadership. So what does it take to pull this off when our entire team works remotely?

Our main focus has been working with a client who is a large multinational. Alongside nerves and excitement when trying to be the best version of ourselves for our clients, we embrace experiential learning experiences and diversity of geographic reach, participant size and participant requirements. So why are we doing what we’re doing? Our core team and global partner community continually come back to our Vision; Making the world a better place by shaping corporate leaders to lead from within. 

While our founder and CEO has been burning the midnight oil in Switzerland, our core team of six have been collaborating across three continents. GAIA Insights is a result of our wider partners network. It is this team who help us make magic by always putting our participants’ experience first.

It’s the incredible collaboration that has helped us meet with clients and deliver content to both up and coming and current leaders.

GAIA Insights Team & Partners Network at the 2017 meet up in France

As a diverse team, one of the most rewarding moments is when the team receives positive feedback from leadership participants as that is why we are engaging and planting seeds with them. GAIA Insights are a network business model and our coaches network is even more globally spread.

Our core team skype meetings often finish with colleagues quoting ‘Blessed everyday to work with this team’.

GAIA Insights Mission

  • To help organizations engage, develop and retain next generation leaders by sparking inspiration, decoding engagement, connection generations, and transforming talent. 
  • We personalize life-long learning to “wow” our customers and to develop authentic, courageous and inclusive leaders to maximise human potential and achieve greater impact together.
  • Through thought leadership and development journeys, coaching and consulting, our goal is to shape corporate leaders to lead from within. Because we care about people, planet and purpose.

Further information available on GAIA Insights and Values

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Generation Y by Lisa Mangelsdorf - 2M ago

After six years in business it’s time for GAIA Insights to freshen up, highlight our values and share why we do what we do? We would love you to be part of our brand journey as we continue to grow. Please vote on which brand you feel fits. Before you do, you might like to read our vision below.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

We would like to thank all of our global partners and coaches network for their continued support over the years.  GAIA Insights pioneers new ways of leadership development. We do that in the form of our 4 brands ASPIRE, IMPACT, GOLD and NEXTGEN. Our GenerationY website falls into our NEXTGEN brand.

GAIA Insights Vision

Make the world a better place by shaping corporate leaders to lead from within.

What we mean by that is to develop authentic, courageous and inclusive leaders who are aware of their responsibility in the greater ecosystem and to aim to maximise their potential by leading from the heart. We pursue our vision because we care about people, planet and purpose. 

GAIA Insights Values 

As an organisation we have four values; transparency, courage, positivity and passion.  We also promise our clients four distinct brand qualities; commitment, excellence, collaboration and sustainability. Furthermore you can read GAIA Insights Mission

Our core team hold ourselves accountability to work by these values and deliver these promises to our clients and partners. We do this is our regular team meetings which we conduct by skype. If these internal workings are of interest to you, we’d be happy to share more about what’s involved, just leave us a comment below.

You can watch how our first brand came to life in 2015

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Written by gettinggenz.com Photo by lifesimply.rocks on Unsplash

The Atlantic Magazine, September 2017 Has the Smartphone Destroyed a Generation?
Podcast: Radio Atlantic Episode 6, Are Smartphones Harming Our Kids?

Concerned about your Gen Z’s excessive phone use? If you are, read on. If not, you should be so put your phone down, and read on. Here are some highlights of an alarming study recently published by Jean M. Twenge, PhD in Psychology about teens and screens.

Has the Smartphone Destroyed a Generation, by Jean M. Twenge, a Professor of Pscyhology at San Diego State University and the author of Generation Me and IGen, proves that excessive screening is causing some serious harm to Gen Z including increase in suicide, increase in depression and anxiety and lack of sleep.

First, I’d like to clarify that the answer to the question – Has the Smartphone Destroyed a Generation? – is NOT YET. But YES, smartphones are harming our kids.  Excessive use is particularly harmful:  according to Dr. Twenge, screening more than two hours per day is harmful yet the average teen spends 6-8 hours on their smartphones per day. Dr. Twenge recommends no more than 90 minutes per day.

Fifty million students in the U.S., including 15 million high school students, are going back to school about now and 70% of them will have a smartphone in their hands. Use of this empowering yet addictive device has never been stronger, so strong that studies show screens have many detrimental effects on teens’ social development, effects caused by texting, screening and “snap crapping” on their smartphones in most of their free time during theses crucial years of social development.

First, the good news:

  • Less socializing means Gen Z is safer at home, having less sex, resulting in fewer teen pregnancies and drinking less than teens of previous generations
  • It’s not too late to moderate use while they live under your roof. Dr. Twenge suggests 60-90 minutes per day.
  • You’re not in this alone. Parents of 50 million Gen Z’s are pioneering this technological landscape with you

Second, the not so good news: 

  • Smartphones make them unhappy. Gen Z is on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades.
  • Gen Z is socializing less, which has stunted maturity and development
  • They’re less likely to date, sleep, work, or drive
  • They have more free time (less homework, fewer working than 1970’s), but waste it.

Third, what you can do:

  • Keep them out of their screen caves as much as possible. According to Twenge, “They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.” If they are screening alone in their rooms, keep the door open
  • Set screen limits and follow them even if “their friends are on screens all night”. Dr. Twenge recommends 90 minutes per day.  Personally, I allow 30 minutes after school, and after 1-2 hours after homework is done.

“They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.”  The truth hurts. Join the movement to teach Gen Z and your peers how to moderate phone use before it’s too late, before, as Dr. Twenge notes, they become depressed, isolated or socially immature. Have serious conversations with your teens and your peers – parents, friends, employers, Millennials, teachers – about screening.  As I tell my peers, “You’re the adult, they want guidance from you.”  So plan a day with your Gen Z that moves them outside the screen cave: Gen Z likes personal interaction and will appreciate the attention.

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Can you caption this image and tell us what you observe, think or feel about the upcoming generations?

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Jealousy of another woman’s success is stupid, pointless, and beneath us as women. It’s time to stop! Read on to learn why.

Written by Marne Platt, VMD MBA, President for Fundamental Capabilities Inc and author for Living Singlish: Your Life, Your Way.

It’s Saturday morning, and you’re drinking coffee with your friend Courtney, celebrating her big promotion. While you make happy noises for her, there’s an undertone. ‘What’s so great about her?’ you think. Somehow, it’s hard for you to be unreservedly happy for her. Why?

Society teaches us that there can be only one winner, that success is zero-sum game. Competition starts young. In school, we cut down successful or popular girls (remember the Burn Book in Mean Girls?) As we get older, we undercut the successful woman at work, or trash talk a friend.

It’s stupid, pointless, and beneath us as women. And we must stop.

Jealousy of another woman’s success is a safer way of expressing dissatisfaction with your own situation. It’s like redirected aggression in cats. One cat is upset that the more dominant cat takes her favorite sleeping spot. She can’t attack the dominant cat, so she attacks their owner. It’s a ‘safe’ way to show her frustration.

In the same way, jealousy over Courtney’s success is not about her. It’s about you, and what you don’t have. Why waste energy being negative? Focus instead on improving your own situation. Use her success as a spur and inspiration. 

That’s the core of Shine Theory; the women around you inspire you to achieve more than you think possible.

Shine theory is about women lifting other women up, instead of tearing them down. It’s not a scientific theory; it’s common sense.

When I shine, you shine
Ann Friedman was the first to use the term. She posited that when you surround yourself with accomplished women, some of their ‘glory’ reflects onto you. Friedman says ‘surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison, it makes you look better.’

Surrounding yourself with superior achievers inspires you to up your game. Hang out with fashionista friends, and learn to build a more flattering wardrobe. Listen to your money-savvy friend talk about her investments, and learn to make your money work harder for you. Learning from each other, sharing experiences…isn’t that what friendship is all about?

Surrounding yourself with the best people makes you look better, not worse.

Taylor Swift, who shines brightly herself, believes in shine theory. “I surround myself with smart, beautiful, passionate, driven, ambitious women,” Swift said. “Other women who are killing it should motivate you, thrill you, challenge you and inspire you rather than threaten you and make you feel like you’re immediately being compared to them.”

Shine at Work
Shine theory is even more important at work. Like it or not, other people consider your business network part of who you are. As women, we are often reluctant to seek out new contacts or tell people about our accomplishments. Hiding in your office is a good way to be left behind! Instead, we need to network -and not just with the people we see every day.

Find the women (and men) in the roles you want to have, doing the things you want to do. Get to know them, and try to work with them. Their expectations will drive you to do better work, which will improve your profile. Picture one of these powerful friends behind you, telling you what to say when you ask for your next raise. You might do better than you thought!

As Mia Holt, founder of The Lift Up Project says: ‘When I listen to podcasts or read books or see business run by women, it empowers me…if they can do it, so can I.’ Take that attitude into your relationships and you will see a difference. It’s far more positive than thinking ‘she’s successful – I hate her!’

This doesn’t mean choosing friends and business associates strictly by their net worth, their looks, or their job title. Find people that you genuinely like, especially outside work, who have made it to where you want to be.

Success is not a zero-sum game

When I Shine, You Shine
Success is infinite. Despite society’s outdated messaging, it’s not a zero-sum game. When we help other people succeed, we create new opportunities for everyone.

We’re all powerful women, and we become more powerful when we help each other succeed. If you feel envious of a friend’s success, admit to yourself, then let it go. Think about what you can learn from her path. One day your positions may be reversed. Think ‘When I shine, you shine’

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Want to learn more about Shine Theory? Try this episode on Stuff Mom Never Told you.

I have built a great life but I made some mistakes along the way that you don’t have to make.  I realized that there are lots of young women like I was, and a few simple principles to follow. So I wrote it all down for you!

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It’s time to think about Generation Z very differently. As adults, these ambitious Gen Z will have a favorable impact on the global economy, particularly as consumers. This article is written by gettinggenz.com

The generation we define as today’s tech-savvy kids is no longer just a bunch of kids who love their phones.  Born in 1995, the eldest of this unprecedented generation of 2 billion globally are turning 21 this year.  As adults, these ambitious Gen Z will have a favorable impact on the global economy, particularly as consumers.

Growing up with infinite access to global issues and opportunities, Gen Z anticipates the day they become financially independent adults.  Personal independence gives Gen Z a sense of control among uncertainty and the freedom to choose how they spend. That day is here.  By 2020, Gen Z will comprise 40% of consumers in the US and is positioned to become the single largest group of consumers worldwide. The average US salary of an adult Gen Z will go from $16.90/week allowance to $50k-$70k/year salary , driving the $44B buying power up to $200B in a few short years.  With the burn to earn a high salary and passion to consume information, products and experiences, Gen Z is becoming an influential and lucrative consumer segment.

So fellow marketers, 2016 is the year to stop speculating and start strategizing on how your brand will connect with the emerging Gen Z consumers.  Here are a few of my latest consumer insights into Gen Z:

1. The Phone is The Third Eye
Think of digital access as the third eye, a sixth sense, a body part or an antenna. Since many were born into digital life, Gen Z knows no other life than a Wi-Fi life. Their world is seamless and fluid.A brand should be omnipresent with one consistent brand personality.  Look at Spectacles by Snap, Inc.

2. Human Scanners
Gen Z has a 4-8 second filter that scans and critiques info from up to 5 screens at a time. This puts them in a“constant state of partial attention”. Yet self-directed Gen Z scans the many screens with an intention, becoming experts at cutting through extreme clutter, whether it’s digital or physical. With brains processing information at rapid speeds, a brand needs to feed the Gen Z mind very carefully and strategically:  keep the content lean, make it visual and try to make an outstanding statement about your brand.

3. Lifestyle Seekers
A brand needs to earn Gen Z’s interest and one way is to represent a lifestyle that resonates with a Gen Z. Self-educating is so easy and because they are so inquisitive, they will learn what your brand stands for before choosing a specific brand or experience. They want a brand to inspire them to do something new, wear something different, and even live someplace new. Two examples of a lifestyle:  Luka Sabbat models brands for the Steez lifestyle (style with ease); Chubbies’ short shorts provide a playful lifestyle.

4. “Stuff” & Experiences
Growing up through the Great Recession, Gen Z is skeptical of corporations and brands which is one reason Gen Z is as experience loyal as they are brand loyal (Uber). They’ve spent their allowances on food, technology and experiences. But higher purchasing power will enable independent Gen Z to buy more stuff – household items, clothing, accessories – without the financial concern they’ve grown up with. Gen Z consumers will purchase more items but seek out a newsworthy brand (Cover Girl) or an engaging brand experience. As Gen Z’s wealth increases, they will spend more time associating with premium brands and invest in luxury brands.

Any day now, your favorite Gen Z will be earning a good salary and living the independent adult life they’ve been working so hard to achieve.  With all their ambition, need for validation and passion for consumption, Gen Z is destined to have strong earning power along with deep pockets. Marketing to Gen Z can be very challenging but if you develop marketing plans based on these behaviors, you are more likely to get Gen Z’s attention now that will translate into loyal consumers for the long run.

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It’s possible that either one or two of the words in the title of this article fill you with dread or, at the very least cause you to sigh…’Networking’ and ‘on-line’! However, more than ever we need to be considering both in our professional lives – networking and our on-line profile but also, how we combine the two.

Firstly the why regarding networking on-line – life is busy and we all have many things to do in a day and don’t always have time to do face-to-face networking, yet the need to make new connections, as well as build existing ones up further, whatever our role and situation, is of paramount importance. There is also an expectation now that we have an on-line presence so bringing the two together shouldn’t be too hard, right? I want to make sure this is the case and provide some top tips to help you network on-line with ease.

To make this simple, let’s look at networking on-line from 2 perspectives, with tips on how to do each. However, before you do either, check your on-line profiles say what you want them to about you professionally and that appropriate settings are in place to keep more personal information locked away.

The ‘warm’ scenario What this is – when you’ve met people already in person, so networking on-line is all about building that relationship further, by creating opportunities to reconnect. Consider the scenario when you have met a potential new team member or candidate for a role. It makes sense to connect in this way, so you can find out more about them and they can find out more about you. This is particularly useful if there isn’t an immediate opportunity or the current one doesn’t work out (but they are still a good candidate), it enables you to maintain a connection with them easily, without having to email them directly to do so. Also, when you are later searching people of a certain profile they will come up and be easier to connect with, as they know you already.

How to make the most of this:

  1. Send personalised invitations on LinkedIn to people you meet in person – at events, business meetings, new colleagues. Top tip – do it immediately or it won’t happen.
  2. Review LinkedIn regularly – even if you just diarise 15minutes a week to do so – read the news feed and like/comment/share interesting articles you read. You might also want to congratulate people on new roles and work anniversaries.
  3. If you read an interesting article on-line that is relevant to someone in your network, then send it to them. This worked well for me this week – 2 of my workshop clients had anxieties about presenting – the next day I came across a great ‘top tips’ guide and sent it to them and so strengthened the relationship. It took me 2 minutes!
  4. Diarise reminders to keep in touch with key contacts, even if it’s just a “hello” email.
  5. Invite contacts to receive useful and relevant bulletins/newsletters from your organisation (never just sign them up without asking). If you are trying to attract a highly rated candidate for a role then sharing more about your organisation in a light touch way can be a gentle way of them getting to know you and your organisation better. You could email but the lighter touch way would be sending it to them via LinkedIn or if they are regular users, they will see it in their feed.

The ‘cold’ scenario What this is – when you are actively looking to build connections without having had any previous link to them and certainly not having met face-to-face.

How to make the most of this:

  1. Identify people on LinkedIn who would be good for your network/business:
    1. Invite to connect directly, if you can personalise an invitation with a good reason why you’d like to connect. If it’s because you think they have a great profile (as an employee or a candidate, if you are a recruiter) then say this, it is much better than them seeing a standard invitation – they are more likely to accept.
    2. If this is difficult or their settings don’t allow a personalised invitation, then look at what groups they are in and join relevant ones. Participate in these groups, they will hopefully become aware of you and even if not, it gives you the ability to invite them and give a good reason why i.e. you are in the same group! Always think about how you can help people and where they are at, not just about what you want from them! For instance, it might be worth connecting with potential candidates who have been in role at the typical ‘itch’ point for your industry, rather than 2 months after they start a new role. Think about relevancy.
  2. If someone mentions a person to you but doesn’t connect you, find them on-line and contact them explaining where you heard about them and why you want to connect – via LinkedIn or a website. This is likely to make the potential candidate far more likely to connect with you.
  3. If relevant, follow relevant people on Twitter, this may then give you a reason to connect more closely if you can refer to what they tweet about. Remember on LinkedIn you won’t be able to see what they share, for the most part unless you are connected, so Twitter could be a good starting point, albeit a slightly longer route! If for instance you are looking for a legal candidate, follow relevant organisations and then see who follows them.

Overall, remember on-line networking should be a great support to in-person networking but equally could be the starting point before you’ve had an informal coffee or more formal meeting.  In fact, it is a quicker and easier way to identify potential candidates for roles. Just make sure you differentiate yourself with how you do it, as people are very used to being approached about roles on-line. There really is no excuse, even just spending a few minutes a day can help you build your network, without even having to move from your desk!

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Can we disconnect from the digital world, albeit just for a short time, and embrace our immediate surrounds and senses. Read some starting points from Penny Lane to declutter your families minds over Christmas

There is often reference to ‘fill your cup’ with all life has to offer but what happens when we overflow or increase our cup size to a point where our head space is a heavy overcrowded and sometimes stale place of storage? Is this constant heavy head a wake call to declutter our minds and refresh them with controlled priorities and some much needed space. This luxury to free our minds might be balance we are missing in a very overstimulating world.

Challenge yourself – can we disconnect from the digital world , albeit just for a short time, and embrace our immediate surrounds and senses. The overwhelming access to information, advice and observation is confusing and exhausting and we often lose our ability to filter what is of any relevance or interest to ourselves. There is a contact rapid stream of incoming information into our minds but does it get processed, utilised productively and discarded when it has expired?

It appears that with the rapid development of technology, in particular social media, comes the constant and exhausting pressure to be accountable in the public eye. This pressure, self-initiated or from social pressure, appears to often benefit some for just a moment in time and/or no-one as intended, so why not start being more accountable to ourselves. A starting point may be:

  • Instead of digitally capturing your latest master chef culinary creation invite your friends around for the real thing.
  • Watch a concert or priceless moment directly and not through the screen of a device, actually be in the moment.
  • Give your children a blank piece of paper & pencils instead of pre-empting an activity on the Ipad.
  • Use your own creativity to make, built or craft as opposed to using a search engine to dictate.
  • Replace ‘they say ….’ with ‘I say’ knowing that your experiences can benefit others not the information from ‘them’ (who ever ‘they are’).
  • Avoid the need to be constantly ‘busy’ and let your day evolve without direction.

Give your children a blank piece of paper & pencils instead of pre-empting an activity on the Ipad all the time.

Sometimes the most enriching experiences in life are those we have self instigated, designed or developed ourselves in a pure and organic form that remind us that we can be proud without the watchful eye and judgement from others. Sure there is always the chance you could have done it better by collating everyone else’s ideas but then our own imagination and self-worth is left unemployed and undervalued.
Perhaps we need to remind ourselves how we viewed the world through our eyes as a child – a blank canvas waiting for us to create our own masterpiece, not download or replicate one.

The digital era is here and is wonderful but we need to retain our innate ability to love our-selves, our achievements, our creativity, and our self-worth without the need for public accountability via social media and without being dictated to from cyber space. We are responsible for our happiness and that in itself is empowering.
So ‘fill that cup’ with life but learning how to filter so our head space to be balanced, self-managed, controlled and most importantly ‘ours’ might just be a refreshing intervention that is needed.

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Generation Y by Lisa Mangelsdorf - 5M ago

Your style image – Is It Important? Whether it’s in personal and professional life, the first impression is often one of the most enduring.

With the advent of video conferencing and more flexible working conditions, it can be easy to drop your personal image standards. You don’t always have to look your best every day, in fact it’s impossible, however, your next big client or friend could be influenced by how you first present.

Not everyone values style the same. Sometimes older generations may perceive an untidy style as not being worthy of respect. Whether we like it or not, we all make assumptions on how people present. Whether you are deliberately making a new contact or it happens out of the blue, the clothes you wear can determine how your message is received.  

It’s not about fitting in, but more about, not fitting out.  If we all looked the same we would be poorer for it. Presenting a good style image does not mean you have to wear a suit or buy a new wardrobe every season. It means taking a few simple steps and being organised. 

To iron or not to iron…. That is the question! A wise manager once highlighted the different style image between Baby Boomers and Generation Y. Her observations included how Gen Y didn’t seem to prioritise ironing clothes and that Baby Boomers did. Below are some tips on how to fit yourself out better. 

6 tips to help your first impression matter 

  1. Buy clothes that require minimum ironing. Many fabrics require minimal ironing.
  2. Hang your clothes out as soon as they are washed. To avoid wrinkles, shake out your clothes before hanging them out.
  3. Spend that little extra on a decent iron and board. A clean device and good temperature control will avoid scolds. 
  4. Do your ironing while listening to a podcast. One suggestion is Generations Based Marketing 
  5. Get someone else to do it. Connect with the older generations who like ironing.
  6. Or alternately, help stimulate your local economy by paying someone to do it. Is your spare time best-spent ironing or networking for your next big break. 

Share our Social Media Share – First Impression Last!

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