Stop, Collaborate & Listen: 3 Things Vanilla Ice Got Right About Work in 2016

3 things vanilla ice got right about work in 2016

I’m a huge karaoke fan… I believe everyone should have a go-to karaoke song. I’ve also been known to tell people that my secret to being a good public speaker is karaoke. If you can rap “Ice Ice Baby” on stage, you can give a speech.

Although I could go on and on about karaoke, this post isn’t really about it (I’ll save that for later). Let’s talk about Vanilla Ice.

Long before he was dancing with Whitney Carson on this season’s Dancing With The Stars and long before he was fixing up and flipping houses on the DIY Network's The Vanilla Ice Project, he was rapping some serious lyrics and inspiration that we can still learn from today. He really was a trendsetter.

Stop. Collaborate. Listen

A lot has changed since 1991, when Vanilla Ice’s hit, “Ice Ice Baby,” hit the airwaves. However, the lyrics, “All right stop, collaborate and listen," are still trendsetting words that, when applied to the workplace today, can change the way we work.


STOP being stringent in how you expect people to work. Workplace flexibility will continue to lead the trends in employee satisfaction. Companies will stop demanding that employees be in the office during certain hours, however, the expectation of being available when needed will continue.

It’s been well documented how millennials value flexibility over salary. We now have the first wave of Gen Zers entering the workplace, and research shows that members of Generation Z are even more entrepreneurial, loyal, flexible, and realistic in their approach to careers and purchasing. They choose opportunities for growth and work-life balance over salary when selecting what company to work for.

Luckily, with the rise of telecommuting, technology tools, and co-working space, it’s much easier to be flexible. And you’ll have much happier employees.


Collaboration is all about teamwork. With the rise of workplace flexibility, companies will have to pay close attention to the office environment so employees can be more productive and happier at work. Collaboration software and tools will be necessary to manage and maintain collaboration, especially when everyone is not working in the same location.

This also means the fall of ‘open-office’ trends and the end of assigned seating, replaced by a more decentralized approach. These types of work environments help foster collaboration when employees are in the office and help companies save millions by shrinking their office space.


Listen. With over 3 million Baby Boomers exiting the workforce in 2016, new leaders are emerging, including many females. These new leaders don’t work from a traditional ‘top-down’ hierarchy and are focused on listening, engaging, and inspiring the workforce. This is very important for the new flexible, collaborative environment that Gen Y and Gen Z need.

Vanilla Ice was a trendsetter in 1990, and his words are still inspiring trends in 2016.

Stop. Collaborate. And Listen…

“Word to your mother.”