J.Walter Thompson just released a significant and expensive report on the “Single Age” in which they link individualism, with a massive trend for people to remain single for life. They write:

“Individualism is on the rise, bringing with it a new set of values. In an age defined less and less by traditionalism and more by self-expression, independence and authenticity, singledom is a natural evolution alongside job hopping, coliving, sexual openness, digital connection and a nomadic workforce. The Single Age explores the shifting habits and expectations of this growing global and multi-generational cohort; the cultural groundswell reframing single people as they really are—confident, fulfilled and empowered; and the implications for brands and marketers.

J Walter Thompson

How Will this Impact You?

More of your team at work, potentially your children, and friends are going in the direction of individualism. Self expression, independence, and authenticity are going to be valued more and more. This will have significant impact on your business career:

  • People will not tolerate leadership that stifles contradictions in opinions. You are going to have to deal with more creativity, diversity of opinion in the “best way to go” in most areas of life.
  • You’re going to have a significant increase in errors in your process as individuals strive for independence they will be wanting to learn for themselves and hence by experience.
  • Fake will not cut it. Good hearted, well balanced and respectfully mannered people will rise to the top while the arrogant and bullish old style of rude and crude, but we make it happen, will be “a part of history” the “dinosaurs of business” will be left in the past.

What does this mean for your personal development?

  • Your understanding of human nature must stretch beyond the dinosaur models of “Maslow, Personality tests, Age categorised behaviour models (millennials) etc. It will be too complex to define individuals by any such antique approach to human development and work performance. A more holistic approach to human nature is needed that cuts across age, gender, era, style … in order to embrace the individualism that all teams will experience.
  • You will need to know yourself much better than ever before as the microscope of authenticity will bounce back directly at you. This means the old “you can’t really see what’s going on in my private life” will be extinct and you’ll therefore have to “turn up” even if things aren’t going perfectly “off the ball” at home.
  • You’re going to come up against systems that refuse to change due to old school networks of “partnerships” and “old boys” where individualism is seen as disobedience or non conformity to strict cultural norms. This means greater dexterity and skill at managing upward.

What does it mean at home?

  • Less tolerance will be given to extended periods of “out of balance” as lost respect by family will lead reactions and rejection of your guidance. Disharmony with children will be accentuated if you are not really living your true self. (living vicariously through children will have greater consequences than ever)
  • Resolving work conflicts at home will no longer be viable. Your family and friends will no longer serve as the churn room for personal problem solving and option development. All high performance business exec’s will therefore need objective sounding boards and independent coaching from outside their firm and family. This industry will be a significant growth market.
  • Happier, balanced and calmer individuals will thrive as leaders. They will be the individuals with massive soft skill capability applied firstly to themselves and secondly to others.

What to do about it?

  • Learn how to explore yourself and others with “total human awareness” – the whole person comes to work and therefore needs to be considered in a more human way for performance management.
  • Break away from scripted formula for group management and rather skill up on bringing more of your total humanity to work. Results must be balanced with process.
  • Learn to detect trouble early. Individualism comes with mighty problems. It can lead to undetected mental and emotional health issues going unchecked, it can lead to group poisoning by those with the biggest personal troubles masked under individualism banners, and it can lead to excuses for poor performance such as blame validated under the banner of pride and free speech. Smaller voices need a platform other than conflict and aggression to be heard.

Next steps?

  • Shorten the waiting period between emotional, mental and personal problem and resolution. Learn new skills in self-management for fast, conscious and sustainable mind, mood and heart happiness.
  • Be clear on your long, medium and short term ambitions then set and forget. Once ambition is set, focus on process – make it heart driven.
  • Fully study “Total Human Awareness” so as not to be reactive to partial information.
  • Hire continual personal coaching to both educate on prevention and move process for trouble shooting before respect is lost in order to maintain authenticity.

Individualism and your High Performance Self Management for Business training

For many years Corporations have made the mistake of compartmentalising the development of people with the aim of increasing productivity and yet, the total human being, the heart, quality of life, relationship and other aspects of the human condition have been ignored. As we enter an era of hyper accelerated decision making the demands on individuals to bring their total capacity to work, including their heart, creativity, inspiration and non rational intellect, means we need a new understanding of “the Total Human Dynamic.” We are people first and fragmentation doesn’t exist. We must restore and preserve that awareness.