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    Entries in knowledge (4)


    3 Things to Future-Proof Your Career

    Are you thinking for a living?

    When demographer Bernard Salt presents, he's always sensemaking for us; making sense of complex data, trends and information, no matter the topic.
    At a presentation on Jobs in the Knowledge Economy, he said with the rise of machine learning and constant technological developments, we might wonder if knowledge jobs (where you 'think for a living') are under threat or it's an even bigger opportunity waiting to happen.
    Constant change and daily disruption are familiar themes in the world of work and business today; the big upsides I see are there for the makers, artisans and creators.
    This is not about hippy art, pastels and macrame. It's about the way we think, design, engage and create things for customers, clients and each other.

    It's becoming easier to be a maker today. As Salt says:
    ‘the tools of production
    have become democratised’
    We've got greater access to a host of tools to make, create, shape and inspire change – whether that's in an analogue and/or a digital way.
    Entrepreneurism too is becoming even more accessible where you can adopt the thinking style of an entrepreneur, even if you're in a job role. I see this as the path for the future.

    Being entrepreneurial is no longer the thing you would 'fall back on' if your career path wasn't quite working out. Rather as Cameron Herold explains in his TED talk 'Let's raise kids to be entrepreneurs' (read the transcript) we have an instinctive drive to create, make and share. 
    In business we need to work smarter to adopt a culture of enterprise – and with it, a culture of failure. Failure is still hot right now in talk, yet I don’t see nearly enough leaders encouraging experimentation, inspiring curiosity or allowing and fostering ingenuity in their teams.
    Though digital might have brought the 'death of distance', Salt says we humans still crave connection. Our ability to start and maintain interpersonal relationships is still crucial to our future careers. 

    So how do you future-proof your career as these changes and disruptions continue?

    These three things will do it:
    • Fluidity
    • Agility
    • Mobility
    That means we need to be malleable and to 'go with it'.
    We need to adapt and respond. Swift-like!
    And we need to move... and be willing to be moved. 
    We need to upskill, reskill and soft skill and to adopt an easy-goingness that makes us approachable. This is a type of affability that keeps you friendly and outgoing... so that people want to work with you.
    Being social will get you far.  Whether it’s social face-to-face, online, remotely or however else you can connect, engage and be human with other humans... do that. 
    Fluidity. Agility. Mobility. And while you're at it, upskill, reskill, softskill.

    Affability will take you well into the future of work.

    Do you know what the future of work will look like? 

    Can you imagine the effects of teaching computers to understand? It's happening now... not just thinking computers but understanding computers. 

    What will that mean for the future of our work?

    At the REMIX Summit in Sydney recently, the focus was on the future and the intersection of technology, culture and entrepreneurship. There will be more freelancing - so how do you hold a culture together in that type of environment?

    We'll need to be stronger leaders. 

    Fast, small technology is proving to be both an enabler and a disruptor. Look at that 'smart' phone you've got there and what its capable of. 
    Despite us not being able to exactly predict human behaviour, we've got to remember that work is about us... it's about people... humans.

    A great deal of our work is knowledge work and knowledge knows no borders. In the future, you'll see your career as a lattice... not a ladder. Careers, opportunities, jobs, roles and pathways will criss cross and complement; they won't be straight up and down.

    Workplaces will need to be more attractive experiences that bring people together, evolving into vibrant 24/7 precincts that aren't just about work. 

    Pass me my bathrobe please!
    One of the Remix Summit speakers suggested the 'hotel experience' would come to workplaces, where we feel welcome at work, where we are less of an employee and more of a guest. 
    What does the future of work mean for leaders leading in these environments that are uncertain, changing and complex? 

    Leaders will need to be sense makers... everyday.

    At the heart of it, leaders will need to make quicker and clearer sense of things, for themselves, the people they lead and for others they interact with. They'll need to engage across even more diverse interests and cultures and they'll need to be aligning and realigning their teams to the strategic shifts that become constant and frequent. 
    For some more detailed reading pleasure, CEDA the Committee for Economic Development here in Australia released their Australia's Future Workforce Report today and you can get hold of it here. 

    How will you keep adapting for the future of work? How will you keep the team connected, the culture thriving, the workplace adapting and the competition afraid of your bold responses?

    In a quote from the Remix Summit:
    The work of the future will be at the edges of what we know.

    Keep looking, learning and pushing the edges of your work. You're gonna need it for the future. 

    That little step between knowing and doing

    'Thanks for the reminder'.

    'That's a great refresher'.

    'Yes, good to bring those points to the front of mind.'

    If you've heard - or made - these comments when you've re-visited something you already know, it certainly IS a great reminder. A reminder of the v-a-s-t amounts of things you know.

    And the gap between those things you know... and those you actually do.

    You know how it goes; you start with great intentions but after a day or three, the new habit or the new behaviour or the great idea gets dropped, stopped, dumped.

    Insert guilty face? No, leave that guilt and glum over there. Let's look at that little step between knowing and doing. 

    In a hyper busy world, we've got to 'hack'. We've got to find a game, a technique or a way around, to be more productive and get to do the things we want to, need to or wish to.

    We've got to find our own 'outta the box' solutions - even if they aren't slick or sharp - as long as they work for us, we are hacking the problem or situation or challenge.... to find a solution. 

    You've got to unravel the Gordian Knot that is between what you know and what you do. 

    And rather than thinking it's a big messy knot that you need to work on for hours, get a pair of scissors and cut the knot! That's a hack. Not so elegant, but super-functional, practical and ready to go!

    Even when you think you don't have time to find a solution, look for a hack; that rough but productive work-around that will get you from knowing to doing.


    Be a Learner, Not  Knower

    The topics of innovation and thought leadership are blending together at AMP this week at the Amplify Festival in Sydney, Australia. 

    As I watched the livestream of CEO Craig Dunn's presentation, I heard so many gems about innovation, creativity and what organisations need to do to innovate to survive.

    When there's a flood or a firehose of information like that, you need to sort and clarify it quickly.
    It's called 'cognitive load management'. I help my working memory process it swiftly by using visualisation - words and images.

    I've captured the essence of the presentation to give you a one-page visual map of the takeaways.

    As Craig Dunn said, shift happened, we have to innovate to survive and to drive productivity, growth and outcomes. So step out !