Earlier this year, London Business School professor and Ososim Advisory Board Member Professor Lynda Gratton released her latest book.
Co-written with fellow London Business School professor Andrew J. Scott, ‘The New Long Life’ offers a practical guide to how we can all positively adapt to our changing world.
“Both a personal road-map and a primer for governments, corporations and colleges, ‘The New Long Life’ is the essential guide to a longer, smarter, happier life.”
We spoke to Lynda about her new book and its relevance for organisations looking to support their employees through the coming years.
Lynda, what is ‘The New Long Life’ all about?
“‘The New Long Life’ is a framework for flourishing in a changing world. Human progress has led us to achieve amazing things. Innovation in technology is changing our world every day. But our advances in technology have not been matched by the necessary changes to our social structures. Our world may have changed, but we haven’t yet discovered new ways of living in it.
Will our jobs be taken over by robots? If we live to 100, will we ever really stop working? What impact will this have on our relationships and the way we live our lives?
Drawing on our experience in economics and psychology, Andrew Scott and I have developed a simple framework to give readers the tools they need to navigate the challenges ahead.”
What tools can readers expect to find in the book?
“Our approach is based on three fundamental principles: Narrate, Explore and Relate. These offer personal guidance but are also hugely important for governments, corporations and educational establishments. They must understand how people are living in ‘The New Long Life’, to support them and embrace the opportunities that longer lives bring.
There are some ironies in how society currently operates. Some people sacrifice their own health in order to make money by working long hours, experiencing high levels of stress, living inactive lifestyles sat at their desks etc. The same people then sacrifice money to recuperate their health. We invite readers to rethink these approaches. For example, in longer life, people may want to consider how they use their leisure time, converting it from ‘recreation to re-creation’.”
Why do companies and organisations need to take note?
“Firms need to actively champion a learning environment. Obviously, this is to ensure that people are trained and able to use new technologies as they develop. By enabling new ways of learning, particularly using digital platforms, corporations can substantially lower the costs of providing training. Digital platforms also create opportunities for greater customisation in ways that can be more easily measured and monitored.
At a deeper level, engraining a culture of learning allows firms to equip employees with the skills that they need to carry out their roles and engage them in adapting to future challenges, throughout their (longer) learning and working lifetimes.”
What does the employee of the future look like? Will we really all be replaced by robots?
“Historically, technical competence was highly valued. A marketing degree or 5+ years’ experience in a marketing role might help a skilled marketer secure their next role. But we’re increasingly seeing that the most important attributes are the more complex skills of experimentation and risk-taking, experiential learning and collaboration and creative problem solving. These skills are more natural for some than others, but they can also be taught using the right learning techniques, such as business simulations. Particularly during a crisis like we have seen over the past few months with COVID-19, collaboration and creativity are key to finding new ways of working.”
“The book is full of insightful quotes on how we can all live longer, healthier and happier lives. The narrative on the importance of social change alongside technological change really resonated with me. As the text says, “Social ingenuity does not automatically flow from technological ingenuity. Without social ingenuity, technological ingenuity does not bring unalloyed benefits”. Both need to work in partnership to deliver real benefits that can actually enrich our lives.”
Ososim founder and CEO, Jonathan Knight
The New Long Life is available to order on Amazon in paperback, hardback, Kindle edition or audiobook.
Lynda was a founding shareholder of Ososim and has been a member of the Ososim advisory board ever since. She is a passionate believer in the importance of life-long learning and a strong supporter of the power of business simulations in accelerating personal development.
To find out more about how our business simulations can help equip your team with the skills they need to navigate this ever-changing world please contact us on +44 (0)1223 421 034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Ososim we help organisations to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Working in over 85 countries with major global companies, as well as government institutions, leading business schools and non-profit organisations, our digital learning experiences enable individuals, teams and companies to perform at their best.