Women in Tech: Lessons from Silicon Valley- a leadership event and reflections on serendipity

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What is it:

This last post of 2014 is about the power of serendipity. I went to an event in November titled Women in Tech: Lessons from Silicon Valley. The event brings together a range of executives to the UK to talk about their experiences in the work place. The speakers were:
• Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President

• Margaret Gould-Stewart, Director of Product Design, Facebook

• Angela Lin, Head of YouTube Education, Google

• Catherine Mohr, VP of Medical Research, Intuitive Surgical

• Crystal Hutter, Founder & CEO, Edmodo

• Liz Dickinson, Founder & CEO, MIO

How is it different?:

It was an inspiring event, as it gave you access to people you don’t normally get to meet every day. All on the panel were very candid. The panel spoke about insights they had learnt on their career journey, their lessons as well as advice they wish they had known early on.

How can it help?:

I said this post was about the power of serendipity and I’m going to tell you about that now. When I went to the talk the speakers on the panel shared lots of interesting lessons and even more so in the after drinks session where you could talk to them one on one. For instance one of the speakers recommended a book on the growth mind-set (I did a review here). This isn’t a book I had come across before and I have done a lot of reading on the topics of personal development! Even though these individuals may feel superhuman, through power of networking, I myself learnt lots of new ideas. Very helpful. Even powerful. Its an endorsement of placing networking high on your to do list for 2015.

Enjoy networking and serendipity in 2015!

The Women in Tech: Lessons from Silicon Valley, was a Leadership event. The talk was part of a series called Silicon Valley comes to the UK. More details can be found here.

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Workforce trends of 2030

What is this about
In this video we zoom out to look at the macro level: global workforce trends. The speaker is a Human Resources specialist called Rainer Strack. Rainer’s speciality is to help business to think about emerging trends.

How is this different
I have chosen this video because we often think about work at the individual level. We focus on CVs, our appraisals and job hunting skills. We often forget about larger scale developments, so much so it could be called a blind spot. While these big trends may feel invisible, they have a real and lasting impact on what happens in our day to day work. They are worth considering in more depth.

How it can help
Rainer is talking from a HR perspective and therefore looks at what business can do to attract employees, but there is plenty of insight for employees themselves. Rainer helps us as employees to keep an eye on workforce trends as we are developing our one, three, five or even ten year plan. As we are thinking about where we want to be, Rainer helps us to see how trends may impact positively or negatively on our ability to achieve these goals. What I see as Reiner’s top trends are highlighted below. Draw your own conclusions.

1. Labour shortages in specific sectors
2. Labour surpluses in specific sectors
3. Distribution of shortages/surpluses across countries
4. Skills missmatch -especially for high skilled workers
5. Impact of automation- replacing and creating jobs

Enjoy!

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future by Seth Godin

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future

What is it

This is a book about work in the modern age by Seth Godin. Seth is a prolific writer and blogger who talks about how the workplace has changed. He sees the industrial model of a job for life, producing the same thing over and over on the factory line as over. Seth calls us to action,  to adapt to succeed. To do this we need to care, to give and to produce gifts at work. To be a linchpin.

How is different
This isn’t a book about doing less or downsizing. His hypothesis is: coasting is risky. If your not giving your best you will be left behind. It’s an interesting notion as we ponder the New Year ahead.

How it can help
Seth asks us to accept that coasting is a waist of our time.Seth doesn’t just set a challenge, but sets out an alternative, a road map to be a linchpin, to produce art and succeed. A constitution of ideas if you like. What I took away as his top 5 cornerstone ideas are set out below. What are your thoughts?

1. Be different and create something that matters to you and the company- give emotional labour.
2. Create and ship. Beat the resistance.
3. There is no map, or people to tell you what to do. Make your own map. Lead.
4. Always give more than was asked, give gifts
5. Make mistakes, learn from them and keep giving.

Enjoy!

Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential by Carol Dweck

Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential

What is it?
This is a book about success. Written by Carol Dweck a Stanford Professor.
The author looks at achievement in an unusual way. Based on years of scientific study the author describes what she calls two world views. First , is the fixed mind-set and the second, the growth mind-set. One sees ability as set at birth. The other views aptitude as a response to effort . Success therefore is our ability to learn. To make mistakes. To reflect. To adapt. To continuously improve.

How is this different
This book is based on 16 years of research but refreshingly, is written in a down to earth style. Carol gets a nice blend between scientific research and human interest stories. It’s a real pleasure to read. Insightful and well written.

How it can help
I don’t want to give too much away. I want you to experience these insights first hand. What I will share with you is this: This is a wonderful book as 2014 draws to a close and, we start to reflect on our progress over the year. This book will not ask you to reflect on you’re levels of perfection. But on the strategies that got you places and the strategies that didn’t. It will challenge you to understand the real and often hidden drivers of your success- personal tactics. This should be a very inspiring messages as we going in 2015. The power is in your hands- your ability to learn.

Enjoy!

 

P. S- Carol did a recent ted talk video, check it out here: The power of believing that you can improve