Friday, September 3, 2010

Blogs are the new Black (Dads Version)

I guess the democratisation of the media should demonstrate the “Wisdom of Crowds”. Therefore opinion should migrate at some point to the eradication of a common interpretation of what is “Cool or Not”. Fashion for me has always bordered on a desperate attempt for affirmation, acceptance and the desire to fit in. To achieve the latter  …we have seen the mutilation and contortion of body parts which defies common sense.

Don’t get me wrong I absolutely appreciate a being well dressed, classic styles like Chanel has been evergreen because of its simplicity and elegance. The desperate attempt for “Being Cool” is obviously exploited by marketers who year after year change the standard of “Cool” and you have to replace your entire (or almost) wardrobe to comply. I think there is a conspiracy to impoverish all the “Fashion Passions”

I guess our desire to fit into the tribe will always remain but the rules are bound to change with the democratisation of media.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Will your hard earned Certificate / Degree get you the job THEY promised ?

The cost of education per student for a degree course is approximately – R 60 000.00 per year excluding the cost of books, travelling, food and clothing. Translating into approximately R 240 000.000 over a four year period.

Often students change courses a year or two into the programme, some drop out, or worse some persevere and graduate after 5 or 6 years. Only to find that the promised utopia of a well paying job and security is replaced by unemployment. With savings exhausted parents have to contend with angry, disillusioned young people with fractured self esteems, this in itself is a hotbed for other social problems.

The problem is not uniquely South African – similar trends exist elsewhere in the world but South Africa is still in a transformation phase and seems to suffer from this phenomenon more acutely.

Before 1978, China had a centrally planned economic system but that year, a market economy was introduced and the country opened its doors to foreign investment. Higher education, however, did not take account of this market-oriented policy and, even today, new enrolments at almost all levels are first arranged by universities and colleges and then approved by governments at various levels, often without a survey of market needs.

With demands in the job market changing constantly, the tension created by the gap between the supply of graduates and the demand of employers has intensified. Consequently, too many graduates have majored in accounting, Chinese language and literature, law and computer science, whereas jobs in these fields are limited. At the same time, many companies cannot find qualified employees working in specific technical fields..

Unemployment among graduates grew from 6.6% in 1995 to 9.7% in 2005, wrote researchers Kalie Pauw, Morné Oosthuizen and Carlene van der Westhuizen in a DPRU working paper titled Graduate unemployment in the face of skills shortages: A labour market paradox.

Yet it appears that graduates are not always employable. A survey by the DPRU of 20 of South Africa’s top companies revealed that they were not always able to use graduates to meet their skills requirements because:

- Graduates have the qualifications but not always the practical skills and experience.
-  The wrong types of graduates are being produced: there are too few technical graduates.
-  Frequently graduates are not suited to fill shortages at the management level.
-  Skilled staff are often poached by other companies or emigrates.
-  Graduates are not always of high enough quality.

Also contributing to graduate unemployment are oversupplies of graduates with diplomas or certificates rather than degrees. Also, there are too many commerce degree-holders (who account for 28% of jobless graduates) and an oversupply of black African graduates, whose numbers have grown massively and who accounted for 85% of the tertiary unemployed in 2005

So is it worth the slog ?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Your Dad's Career is Redundant! (Dad Version)

As a 52 year old I am always intrigued by the passionate defence of the old symbols that my generation use to define themselves. Existing business models are in serious trouble but more and more money is thrown at it - hoping that that one morning all will be forgiven and business will go back to “Business as Usual”

But there is hope when you see institutions turning on themselves and asking the right questions. One such forward thinker is: Professor Henry Mintzberg who is one of the world's most influential teachers of business strategy. He’s developing a new lesson plan: to change the very essence of business education itself asserting that:-
'You Can't Create a Leader in a Classroom.'

His argument is that the MBA is ineffective and redundant because its attempt to teach Leadership in class has failed. Don’t tell this to those who slogged long hours to obtain this qualification.. I have crossed paths with some of them and I must say the qualification meant more than the transfer of knowledge to the work place – which often was less than 15%. In my book this underscores Mintzberg’s assertion.

I agree and think that historic education are in serious need of change but its almost like asking “Turkeys to Vote for Thanks Giving” , meaning the very acceptance of the need for change can be the signing of your own death warrant.

But it need not be all “doom or gloom”, “us or them” because the convergence and adoption of new technologies to that merge “old brick and mortar” with the new are opening up new possibility. Letting IN those previously on the OUTSIDE

But we need a new Openness to doing things differently – don’t get me wrong a great deal of the old thinking is worth preserving

Blogs are the New Black

A confusing exists, does fashion emanate from the minds of a few fashion geniuses and filter to the collective hive of followers or has it become more complex in recent times. The democratization of fashion is upon us. What would cause any change if their possibly has been a change in thinking? The social networking and blogging phenomenon is taking the world by storm and this has created a collective conscienceness contained in the internet with ideas being shared across the world at a speed previously inconceivable a question has arised. Who is the new muse? Or has the masses become the muse to the design geniuses of the world.

With an endless resource of inspiration from any subculture and corner of this planet has being a creative fashion genius become easier, knowing that nearly every conceivable fashion concept is out there if you look hard enough.

That brings us to a platform created by 24 year old Yuri Lee and Jason Su. What they have inadvertently done is create a collective fashion consciousness of creative’s from every part of the world. Granted there are the followers in the pack of users recreating looks already imagined by others but there are those that have placed them on top of the creative pile and done just that create what wasn’t there before.

The war between bloggers and the traditional front row fashionistas has already begun much derision was heaped upon blogging demigod Tavi Gevinson after the realization of the status quo changing where she was seated in front of Paula Reed Grazia magazine’s style director, obscured her view with Tavi’s giant bow shaped headpiece. How is fashions hierarchy now defined?

To think that the designers and fashion editors of our time are not paying attention to these sources are downright daft. There are stylists and creative’s daily updating and hyping looks forecasting how the rest of the fashion world will follow.  

Already bloggers with talent are being given opportunities to style magazine features, being featured in magazines and already have taken the internet by storm. Soon magazines and publishers will realize that their needs to be a equilibrium between these mediums instead of war. The democratization of fashion is definitely here, time will tell to see how well designers begin to use this new found voice to their advantage.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Your Dad's Career is Redundant!

That is quite a statement and most would jump to defend those 20-30 years of experience. Let put this into context though. Think 50 years ago to possibly the work your grandfather was doing. Is any of that relevant in todays world. Granted their are professions, doctors, engineers and sad to say lawyers which are quite perenial careers in terms of standing the test of time.

The world we see today is so far removed from 50 years ago and things are changing at ever increasing speed. Will a time come when graduating from a university institution takes too long? Or has that already happened? Are the new generation being equipped to succeed in the new world or are they being educated with the ideals of the old world which don't exist anymore. Sales and Marketing strategy which were developed in a world before social networking, mobile phones with applications and blogs. Are they even relevant today?

Success in business today will be from innovation and forward thinking this blog represents the future of how things should work going forward. collaboration of the "now" and the "then", youth and experience with a dialouge between the two, the future lies....