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Clippings and Musings – Helen Duval – September 2019

Today there seems to be a real lack of trust. Intergenerational mistrust has probably never been so disparate as it is today. In an ideal world, surely we want to create an environment that allows people to grow and do well.

Selling promises of delivering a better and more relevant future is something that younger generations simply do not believe any more. With issues like housing and skills shortages still reflecting negatively, the world must seem a pretty grim place for many millennials.

Developing a culture where individuals can flourish and thrive is about taking a positive direction and embracing change to encourage a younger, perhaps poorer, generation to succeed.

Many companies in this sector provide training for every employee at every level across an entire business. Developing talent from within, and listening to younger voices creates a trust where people can share views in an honest and open way that will result in greater positivity all round.

So much trust has been lost in politicians and the leadership of this country, that there seems to be a genuine crisis – particularly when it comes to inspiring graduates and young people within the sector. People appear to be skeptical about the credibility of politicians and it really will take an exceptional leader to win general trust across this multi-generational population. There can be few who would have expected the credibility of government officials to have fallen so far in the last 5 years.

Of course, life circumstances do play a huge role in anyone’s perceptions. Skepticism is a by-product of political and economical instability – people will trust leaders far more if they are experiencing good times and much less during bad.

Excessive levels of executive pay for senior bankers and business leaders probably does not help, as the disparity between the wealthy and the poor seems to ever widen. This is of course more controllable than the country’s overall economic situation. Taking the initiative and providing the next generation of builders and installers with ways to improve career opportunities and provide routes for achievement will build greater trust and a better society all round in the future.

Financial industries and the banking sector seem to be two of the least trusted business areas with national media not far behind. So it bodes well for glass and glazing!

Social media has allowed the credibility of us ordinary mortals to rise above traditional media routes, but with the more recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandals this arena too is now tainted. Traditional media avenues have lost their control on how things are perceived. Manipulation of the masses is a disturbing truth that is alarming but it is the social platform that is still something people rely upon.

There is an addiction to social media which interconnects pretty much every generation. Instagram and Twitter are highly valued as tools to connect with Instagrammable experiences shared with family, friends and followers, as much of an every day habit as breakfast and sleeping.

These platforms still have exceptional credibility and power for so many people. Businesses are catching up on the selfie trends, and that high rise buildings have their place in them too.

Observation decks have drawn crowds for decades on some of the world’s tallest buildings. This trend is continuing with tourists wishing to visit many of the most modern skyscrapers to gain a selfie ‘in the sky’. Glass floors have been installed in numerous sky rise buildings, which have been deliberately designed to add to the excitement of the visit to an otherwise mundane building.

In Seoul the Lotte World Tower enables visitors to look down at the city through the world’s highest glass bottomed observation deck. It makes money out of it too with a fast pass ticket costing around £34 each.

It is not alone as the Rockerfeller Centre will cost a minimum of £29 today and with over 3 million visitors every year that is a cool £87 million just gained from the viewing platform. Meanwhile The Empire State building observation deck brings in £49million annually whilst our very own Shard costs £32 per ticket and gives a 360 degree view of the Capital.

So there is a lot of potential for processors to expand business opportunities as a supplier. Providing glass flooring on skyscrapers with ambitiously designed viewing platforms, will help the developers and business owners to gain some revenue from hosting visitors onto an exquisitely designed observation deck, particularly one that has been created with glass as a pivotal feature. It is an investment that could bring a good ROI for many years.

As an option for processors, that really does demonstrate a powerful belief and trust in a company and its products.

Helen Duval 2019

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