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It may sound like something out of a sci-fi film, but technology firm Promethean recently trialled the use of an interactive hologram teacher in a London classroom. Known as a ‘HumaGram’ this holographic educator is touted as being highly interactive and extraordinarily lifelike.[1]

Everybody loves an ego boost. The word of encouragement from the colleague, the compliment from the spouse or the pat on the back from the boss work wonders for our sense of self-esteem.

Self-esteem is a very modern idea and one that is talked about abundantly within schools, workplaces and self-help books. The way we feel about ourselves is instrumental in affecting the way we treat others, the way we behave and the way we work. It has become the everyday individual’s responsibility to protect their self-esteem.

I’m sure we have all at some point felt the effects of bad conversation. Awkwardness, offence, miscommunication are all rooted in conversations that didn’t achieve what they were supposed to.

Core to everyday conversation, relationships, problem-solving, leadership and teaching is the ability to ask a good question.

Perhaps the biggest threat to the stability of big companies is the empowerment of their customers. As the everyday consumer is gaining a louder voice and greater access to both information and options, businesses are having to fight harder and harder for their attention.

What businesses may not have expected is the further empowerment that would be brought about by 3D printing.

Readin, writin’ and ‘rithmetic… I’m sure that if many of us Gen X and older were to return to our schooling days it may have resembled something like this. For generations, education has involved the rote learning of dates, formulas and quotes which are forgotten as soon as they are assessed.

If there is any industry prone to disruption, it is education. The fundamental place for future preparation, you would expect the schooling system to be ahead of its time with its eyes on the future, but as the world had changed rapidly in recent decades, it has proved itself prone to walking in the steps of the past.

In the world we are living in, it seems that by the day, information becomes more and more convoluted and issues become more and more complex.

Dealing with such a world demands a kind of depth of thought, discernment and understanding that we have previously not had to develop. Issues no longer come with a simple solution and information must be deciphered in order to uncover the truth.

Automation is a word that often strikes fear into workers who cannot help but feel threatened by its emergence in the modern world. Most of what we hear about automation surrounds the ways it will take our jobs and force the everyday worker into irrelevance.

However, there are many ways in which automation will work wonders for our jobs, ways of working and our economy.

If this time has offered any opportunity to us, it is the radical breaking of convention that businesses, brands and individuals have had to respond and adapt to.

It can certainly feel frustrating to have business teams scattered and separated by isolation – communication becomes challenging, the pace of progress is slowed and the sense of togetherness we aim for in a team feels somewhat lost.

However, there is a significant opportunity that comes with the scattering of a team that business leaders would do well to utilise as we slowly begin returning to regular routine.

‘Miriam is quick in the centre but loses heart. Joyce understands the game but could move a little quicker; Audrey places herself well but lacks height.’ 

I recently came across this extract from the sports notes section of the annual magazine from a girl’s school in the 1930s.[1]

Undoubtedly, for many of us, comments like this would sound completely foreign in the context of schools and workplaces as modern sentiment has steered us towards prolific positivity and away from the unfiltered responses of previous decades. Especially in schools, to speak of any student’s performance and potential in any way other than glowing is unacceptable in a modern context. 

As we all settle in to a new online mode of connecting with colleagues and friends from our living rooms and home offices, it seems we are all getting to know each other to a greater extent than ever before. As regular work conversations are now conducted to the background noise of children and kitchen benchtops are serving as the backdrops to Zoom meetings, we are being driven to a level of authenticity that we would potentially never experience in the pre-COVID corporate world.

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