It is widely acknowledged that there is a generational divide aided by the current age of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This reality has many Baby Boomers lamenting the apparent dissolution of foundational principles upon which they were bred.
While it is irrefutable that the giant steps made in science, technology, medicine, business and overall national development would not have been possible at scale without ICT, the accompanying culture of intolerance, indiscipline, and entitlement has not gone unnoticed. Is this all bad? Not necessarily, however juxta positioned with increased traffic accidents, incidents of violent crimes, lack of empathy and trust, it seems that re-examining and addressing our life-forming habits may help to provide the balance needed in this new age.
The pivotal role of the home, church and community is a given. There are several organizations which offer support and coping mechanisms for various cohorts, mostly to intervene where challenges are detected. Clearly, these are all crucial and have been known to produce desired results when appropriate solutions are matched with the specific situation. Consideration should however be given to complementing this approach with more broad-based, transformative methods as these are likely to aid in bringing about sustainable changes in all spheres of life.
Many of us may recall receiving as a child, the strident warning: “You are going to do it until you get it right” accompanied by corporal punishment being meted out. While not condoning some of the severe physical punishment of days gone by, the message of repetitive action to yield a desired result has merit. Simply stated, establishing and nurturing habits which are positive, practical and appropriate may pave the way for the change we wish to see.
Habits for effectiveness
Leaders in communities, organizations and Government are expected to demonstrate attributes and results which inspire confidence, motivate and set examples for others to model. Sadly, this is often lacking. To address this, training, coaching and mentoring are now standard offerings in most organizations designed to assist with areas such as time management, communication and people management. It is however conceivable that interventions which are premised on inculcating certain core principles are likely to evoke a paradigm shift in how we view others, our tasks and deliverables. The best seller 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey provides a menu of practical habits which begin with assuming responsibility, goal setting and collaboration…. all of which are central to being more effective. These habits, when cultivated, will impact our behaviour and performance, not only on the job, but in all our interactions with family members and bully drivers alike. Done right, cultivating new (or renewed) norms in our daily lives is likely to spawn a new breed of political, corporate, and family leader, equipped to optimize the invaluable technological tools for effectiveness. As a bonus, we can expect a gentler, more considerate and productive country.