Thomas Friedman articulates this fascinating list of the seven categories of skills he’s identified that the global workplace will need as it evolves and changes. From the exclusive interview at YaleGlobal,
One is great collaborators. When so many more things are going to be made in global supply chains, the ability to be a great
collaborator, to be able to work cross-culturally and multinationally,there’s going to be a huge number of jobs around managing and coordinating these global supply chains.
Second are great leveragers, people who can leverage technology, so one person can do the job of
twenty. Rather than competing with India or China, where twenty people might do the job of one, you make up for the labor cost by leveraging
Third are great explainers. Boy, there’s going to be a whole
industry in explaining. Because there’s enormous complexity out there, so whether you’re a teacher, a manager, a journalist, the ability to explain this complexity is going be in huge demand.
Fourth, I would call great localizers. Great localizers are people who can localize the
global. What does that mean? They can take the power of this global
platform and turn it into a local business. Now that’s everything from
the eBay entrepreneur, […] to the garage owner in New Haven, who goes online one day and says to his partner, "Hey Bill, did you see this? We can get out hubcaps for half-price from Romania at half the cost that it would take us to
get them from Rochester." So they’re leveraging the global platform, by localizing the global.
Fifth, I’d say, are gonna be people who are great adapters. People who can stay one step ahead of the forces of digitization and automation.
And that’s going to apply to a lot of people in a lot of industries.
Sixth would be what I would call people who are passionate personalizers. If you can bring real passion and a personal touch to any
vanilla task, there’s going to be a job for you in the flat world.
Seventh I would call anything green. Nayan, anything green, and there is
a job for you in the twenty-first century. Because green technology is going to be the industry of the 21st century.
In short, excellence in
- Leveraging (Jugaad? Make it happen?)
- Communication (explaining complex concepts with clarity)
- Localization (understanding users? )
- Adaptation (design thinking? tweaking of prototypes based on user feedback?)
- Passionate Personalization (Empathy?)
- Sustainability (solutions bubbling upwards?)
I hate to say this, in fact, I’m almost embarrassed to, but it seems to me that Thomas Friedman is describing ‘design thinking’ or the various facets of the design process (regardless of whether it’s used by a person holding a design degree or not) here. In fact, would you say that it’s yet another articulation of the whole conceptual age/left brain – right brain/ whole brain/empathy age meme?