Monday, April 22, 2013

The future of work

This week I was interviewed about how to prepare graduate students to be 'business ready' when we know that the nature of 'business' is rapidly changing.  Indeed, the nature of work is changing.

Lynda Gratton of the London Business School has thought about this subject alot.  Her book, Shift and her  blog, The Future of Work, are focused on changes in the world of work -- what, how and why it will look different in the future.

Professor Gratton's TEDx Talk gives hints on how to prepare for jobs in the future.  She suggests:

1. Hyper-specialization: When the world is full of generic, superficial information, you can't compete with Wikipedia or Google, so focus, focus, focus on specific skills and knowledge.  I would add that 'context' is also important, so the killer app as it were are dynamic hyper-specialisation, those whose expertise can be communicated and applied to new problems and/or with new collaborators in new situations.

2. Collaborative skills: Coincidentally, this is one of things we are doing with our new graduate programme.  Your hyper-specialized knowledge and skills can only be maximised if you work and play well with others.

3. Creativity: In the future, work will still be the thing that gives us meaning in our lives.  And, work is most meaningful when we exercise creativity and play with the infinite possibilities available in a word which is far more interconnected than at any time in history.

And, now for something (that seems) totally different:
Reminding us in an amusing manner, why good is the enemy of great, in his TEDx Talk, Larry Smith tells us 'Why you will fail to have a great career'

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