What do you do to make sure that the brilliant young talent that walks through your door stays in your company and has the space to be as brilliant as they are? You would like to give them more responsibility perhaps, more capacity to make decisions or propose new ways of doing thing. You can’t make them senior managers, they don’t have the experience. On the other hand, if they don’t get a position that allows them to work their magic, your company is not getting the full value.
Lost Boys decided that the proverbial corporate ladder gets in the way of innovation and customer service. They are a marketing company and social media is their playground. Lost Boys is inspired by the story of Peter Pan, and the land where boys and girls never grow up. Lost Boys combine serious play with fierce rule-breaking and a unfettered focus on innovation. Now celebrating their 18th birthday, and noted on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, Lost Boys has found a way to thrive as an organization by giving their youngest employees the space they need.
The youngest employees are astronauts. They go out and discover planets. They play with social media. They imagine new possibilities and go for them. The senior people are ground control. They make sure the astronauts land safely.
An impossible dream? Apparently not. Lost Boys has also given up on other forms of hierarchy. They have teams. Clients are part of client teams. There are mobile teams, service design teams, branded content teams. And facility teams. The teams have platforms for working together. They have to be clever at sourcing skills – it is impossible to think that the people you employ will have all the skills you need on any particular project. Sourcing skills stands and falls on having great networks.
I learned all this today at a lunch event at the Hub. Lunch events are designed to inspire. I am inspired, particularly because my focus is on providing young people with the networking skills NOW that they will have in 25 years time. Imagine the force that will be unleashed in companies and social change organizations when young people have the possibility of bringing all of themselves to their workplace. It will be magic.
Talk to me about the network training I am offering to people under 30 (or thereabouts).