Paddle in the News
Thanks to their penchant for selfies and social media and the perception that they feel entitled to jobs after years of incurring student debt, millennials are often dubbed the selfish generation. But for a generation that earned that moniker, it’s interesting that research shows that millennials are more interested in finding work with purpose beyond profit that benefits society.
You’re native to the world of constant information, social media, fake news and employment instability. You’re staring down 1,000 job opportunities in a sea of what feels like none at all. The famed linear career ladders of your parents and grandparents just don’t appeal.
I have no idea what I want to do with my career, and I feel like I’m not the only one. Paddle is basically a careers counsellor for today’s young people. It learns about you, figures out which aspects of a career you could find the most valuable and then gives you what you need to start learning about potential career pathways.
CBC feature on how Paddle helps train people to switch jobs and sectors given the rise of precarious work. Matthew Thomas, CEO of Paddle, says that people who embrace habits for coping with uncertainty are better prepared to switch careers, and make the most of those switches.
Going forward, it is essential that we see career development as an integral part of the academic mission of PSE. Metaphorically, this journey would resemble a double helix, in which the student’s career development and academic learning occur and progress in tandem rather than in separate silos.
On January 24th, my colleague Lyne Maurier and I held our first talk session at Cannexus, a major career development conference in Canada. We had a full room a very hot topic: digital practices in career counselling and career education. With that collaborative workshop, we wanted to collect ideas, thoughts, experiences and questions from the group in order to share that information afterwards.
Every day, more students are hearing about how they will likely have many careers that span multiple sectors. Those who enter college or university expecting to train for a specific career, and then be in that career for the rest of their working lives, are part of a shrinking minority.
‘I spent 30 years at McKinsey. In the course of my career there, we went from a situation in which all the most significant people were self-defined generalists and specialists were viewed as second class citizens, for want of a better term, to a situation where it was completely reversed. By the time I left, those who called themselves generalists realised they were dinosaurs.’
In today’s increasingly complex world, companies seek specialists, not generalists. But consultant Nick Lovegrove argues that’s a mistake: Complexity actually demands breadth, which means our organizations are headed in the wrong direction.
Indeed, it’s a potentially dangerous situation. He points to the financial crisis a decade ago, where wizards of finance – deep specialists – had little idea of the potential ramifications of the arcane investment packages they were creating.
Former Senior Partner Nick Lovegrove (LON, DCO 82-12) has strong opinions about the modern trend of “ultra-specialization.” This “trap,” as he calls it, fails to take into account society’s complexity and inter-connectedness. Specialization is, of course, needed, he says, but he thinks that we’ve taken it too far: “The "10,000-hour" rule [to become a true expert in a field] that Malcom Gladwell propounded is true – but it's not enough," Nick says.
At Common Impact, one of the joys of our work is facilitating the positive social change that springs from cross-sector partnerships. At its core, skills-based volunteering brings engaged participants from the corporate and nonprofit sectors together – connecting smart people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to solve a common challenge.
As consumers and citizens, we tend to place ourselves in the hands of technical experts. We all want to hear that our pilot has flown thousands of hours, our surgeon has performed hundreds of similar operations, and our architect has designed lots of beautiful buildings. In his best-selling book Outliers Malcolm Gladwell popularized the “10,000 hour rule,” which sees obsessive, linear focus as a means to realizing your potential.
Jay Shetty and Nick Lovegrove, author of "The Mosaic Principle," discuss the six dimensions of a remarkable life and career. Nick examines how Steve Jobs and Michael Jordan exhibit breadth in their lives and work, and provides career advice to people just starting out in their careers.
Paddle CEO, Matthew Thomas, examines the art of being a jack of all trades and a master of some. "Going broad gives you a unique way of seeing the world. It makes you more innovative, collaborative and adaptable. But the path to going broad should not be completely random. It needs to be guided by purpose, and designed with intention.
On April 8, CASE hosted a workshop on tri-sector leadership, the center’s theme of the year. The workshop, led by Matthew Thomas of Prospect Madison, was an interactive session that let participants work through their assessments of their own tri-sector leadership. Prospect Madison is a tri-sector leadership advisory firm aimed at enhancing collaboration across the business, government and non-profit sectors to address society’s most pressing issues.
This month’s CASE Chat features Matthew Thomas, CEO of Paddle. In this CASE Chat, Matthew explains how he views tri-sector leadership, why it’s important in today’s business landscape, and how you can develop a career across sectors.
Some of the most complex challenges facing Canadian communities today – like youth unemployment, barriers to accessing social services, and environmental degradation – can only be addressed by civil society working in partnership with government and business to develop sustainable solutions. Why? Because no single individual, organization, or sector has the capacity to resolve these issues on its own.
A decade ago Coca-Cola faced a major crisis in South India. The government and several NGOs objected so strongly to its water consumption that it was banned from soft-drink production in the region. The company uses water not just in the drink itself but also in the manufacturing process. Making a liter of Coke consumed more than three liters of water.
Ditch the corporate ladder and approach your career as Odysseus might, with brilliance, guile and versatility. This is the plea from author Nick Lovegrove in The Mosaic Principle: The Six Dimensions of a Successful Life & Career. In this part-philosophical, part-practical career guide, Lovegrove rails against businesses’ demands for greater specialisms, which tend to bind people into working lives of narrow experience.