SwansongGetting over the shock and disappointment of the outcome the Brexit vote in the UK has a number of connotations for myself. Firstly it is where I spent the first half of my life, secondly it has been noted that my home town Sunderland recorded the highest percentage of people wanting to leave the European Community. The final key fact the greatest percentage leave voters were my generation the baby- boomers, probably has even more relevance for my life and work today.

It is not for someone like me who decided to leave to sit in judgement over their decision, the British people will have to live with their choice in the coming years.

What is really concerning along with the sweeping level of popularisation that is occurring at this time judgements are being metered out by older citizens who seem to be hell bent on registering their anger by way of their final swan-song (2023 brings retirement of that generation). This is not only being seen in this recent episode but can be witnessed to an even greater measure in the United States. In our case (Australia) we have seen similar behaviour but thankfully to date we have not witnessed such extreme consequences.

Our challenge is somehow to make the transition from one generation to another, across our institutional structures, political, academic and corporate where the existing divide is widening rapidly. This will not be a short term fix indeed this will involve a whole new way of thinking, leaders old and new to adopt to an environment which we have never experienced if we are to avoid evolving into a nation with the malaise plainly gripping many western countries.

Speaking bluntly to date we have failed miserably to address the looming issues that confront us, “She will be right” is as outdated as “Take a Bex and have a lie down”, the problem will not just disappear.


Ken Wood

People Specialist

25th June 2016