Future Friday: A Wrap up of #SHRM14

FreiedmanIn keeping with my Future Friday theme I wanted to talk about Tom Friedman’s keynote address and the picture of the way work is going to be in the coming decade.

Gutenberg moment

Gutenberg pressFriedman said in his introductory remarks that we are in a “Gutenberg” moment at this time, meaning that the shift that will occur is similar to the shift that occurred when printing expanded the opportunity for people to read.
The use of the Internet and social media is making jobs both easier and more difficult. The job of being a leader is more difficult. Leadership used to be a one way conversation. Today it is a two-way communication with tens-of-thousands of voices giving the leader feedback.

Difficult for employees

This advance is also making it difficult to be an employee. Knowledge is no longer sufficient. Employers are increasingly not interested in what you know, they are interested in what you can do with what you know. He said Google has over 10% of its employees that don’t have degrees.
He declared that “average” is over. Every job is being pulled in three directions. First is up, meaning that jobs require ever increasing skills. Second is every job is being pulled out, meaning there are many more ways to get the work done. Robots are milking cows and driving cars. Third is being pulled down, meaning that routine work is disappearing.
Even though the routine work is disappearing, the non-routine work is not safe. Non-routine work, according to Friedman, must today be creative to be safer. You have to bring a unique value proposition. There will no longer be any middle skill high wage positions.

Must create your job

Friedman also said job hunting for kids will be difficult. You will no longer be able to go out and get a job you will have to go out and create your job. Hence you must have a unique value proposition and set of skills. He said the digital divide is disappearing because of mobile technology. The major divide will be in motivation. In the future you must be self-motivated. The days of being kicked in the butt as motivation are gone. To be truly successful you must think like an artisan and proudly sign all your work.

My conclusion

Friedman’s remarks match what I have written several times. We are moving to an age of entrepreneurs who will create their jobs and proudly display what they do. They will move from job to job and will only answer to themselves and their clients.
Should be an exciting world.

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