I’m not 53. I’m 21 with 32 years experience!

I’ve to post that one 😉 Good message Louis!

This is not a rant.

This is not about how we did things back in our day.

This is about a real concern

An age concern.

Let’s put things into perspective here. With the recent and very welcome push for sexual equality, the time is also right to address the inequality of blatant ageism in design and advertising.

If you’re 18 to 30 years old, you may want to look away now. Ideas and creativity are not exclusive to the twenty somethings. Yes, you read that right.

You forget, we’ve been there and done that. In fact, don’t look at the wisps of grey hair and think we’re not still doing it. We are.

This is not a top trump competition between UX and Grant enlargers.

The key argument for the defence? Simply put: experienced creatives are still passionate but with pragmatism and discipline. More importantly, that experience brings a much bigger picture view to a brief.

There is definitely a right balance between hiring young and senior talent. That’s where senior talent is essential – guiding, mentoring, coaching, bloody well inspiring.

Peter Saville, Neville Brody, Paula Scher, Trevor Beattie, Stefan Sagmeister, Dave Trott, George Lois – amazing creatives that the whole industry, including the „kids“, look up to and yet the youngest one there is a young 55.

The past couple of years or so, I have witnessed this inequality first hand both in an agency role and when applying for other perm or freelance roles. I won’t name and shame just yet. I’m saving that for my memoirs when I truly become old and cantankerous.

And it’s not just me. I hear this every day from my many contemporaries. One very experienced freelance copywriter I know, looked after a luxury brand for several months with huge success only to be suddenly replaced by a junior team who pretty quickly realised they were out of their depth. If it ain’t broke…

So my message to creative industry is relook at creatives who are over 40, even older, and think about what they can bring to the table beyond Werther’s Originals.

You will get proven people who can bring experienced understanding and behavioural knowledge to your new technology – surely the perfect complement.

Well, I’m off to finish a design for a mobile AI chatbot. Seriously!

Louis Loizou (aged 54)

Say Goodbye To Knowledge Workers And Welcome To Learning Workers

In today’s workplace environment, does it matter what you know or how you know it? It turns out how we value workers is changing, and the emphasis now is on learning and adapting instead of coming into a job with the skills required to do everything.

In the old system of working, you were often categorized as a “knowledge worker” if you dealt with knowledge and information, which applied to most everyone working in an office. That meant workers basically fell into two categories: knowledge workers (in offices) and manual workers (in factories).

The idea of knowledge workers stemmed from the old-fashioned practice of getting knowledge from an apprenticeship. If you wanted to be a bookkeeper, you needed to apprentice with a bookkeeper; if you wanted to be a manager, you needed to apprentice with a manager. What gave people the power to be knowledge workers was the specific knowledge they gained from their apprenticeships. That practice has taken modern shifts through college learning and internships, with people gaining the specific skills they need in professional, university, and vocational training that translates directly to the workplace

But there’s one major difference in today’s modern workplace—we can instantly learn anything, anywhere. All it takes is a smartphone. Knowledge used to be a commodity that only a few people had and that was passed down through specific channels. Today, knowledge on just about anything is available on the Internet. Want to know how to change the oil in your car, organize your office in an efficient way, or learn a new computer program? It’s all available through social media, YouTube, Google, and many other outlets. These days, instead of being an apprentice and working your way up the company, all you need to be the smartest person in the room is a smartphone.

This new movement is the age of the “learning workers.” Yes, these people largely have college degrees and advanced training, but what sets them apart is their knowledge of how to learn. Instead of having a set of specific skills, learning workers have the skills to learn as they go, adapt, and apply their learning to new situations and issues. While an old-fashioned bookkeeper may have entered the workforce with knowledge passed down from a predecessor of how to work the systems, today’s accountants and bookkeepers are taught to think for themselves and apply the principles they learned to a variety of situations, continuing to adapt and learn as they go.

A learning worker is far more valuable to an organization because he or she can adapt with a changing workplace environment. While having specific skills about certain industries or technologies may have worked hundreds or even tens of years ago, these days technology is changing at too rapid a pace to be pigeon-holed by only knowing how to use certain programs or systems.

Alongside the growth of learning workers comes the growth of learning organizations. These organizations are led by learning workers who adapt and evolve as the industry changes. Instead of having a stiff business plan and set of processes, learning organizations value collaboration and innovation. As the future of work continues to take shape, learning organizations are the ones that will be leading the pack.

Transitioning from a knowledge worker to a learning worker can be difficult, especially because our working society has ingrained a certain process in us for so long. But as a new generation of workers enters the office and brings with them fresh perspectives and a thirst for knowledge and growth, their learning worker drive can change the face of the workplace.

What do you think of learning workers? How could you be a learning worker in your environment?

Source: Jacob Morgan

The Death Of Knowledge Work And The Rise Of ‚Learning Workers

During the past few decades we have spent a lot of time talking about knowledge workers and knowledge work. However today knowledge is nothing more than a commodity and to be the smartest guy in the room all you need access to is a smartphone. This is especially true when we consider that more “smart assistants” such as the Amazon Echo, Siri, Cortana, and IBM’s Watson enter our professional and personal lives.

So if knowledge is just a commodity then what’s the next evolution of the types of workers we need to see (and will see?) The answer is “learning workers.” That is, people who are able to learn new things and apply those learnings to various scenarios and environments. In essence being able to “learn how to learn.” This is far more valuable and crucial than “knowing” anything and going forward the value and importance of knowledge will only continue to decrease. We will see a new type of outsourcing but it won’t be about sending jobs overseas it will be about sending jobs away from humans and to robots / automation.

Source: Jacob Morgan