Saturday, December 5, 2009

5 Minds for The Future and The Conceptual Age

Just read the post, 5 Minds for the Future in Darcy Moore's blog.

I have pasted the points here so that I can mull over these. I have added my response and reaction to each inline.

1. Disciplined – we all need to have mastered one discipline to prosper or run the risk of being limited to menial tasks.
My thoughts: With the advent of web 2.0, the concept of expertise has become diluted and highly distributed. This makes it imperative not only to master a discipline but also to keep up with the evolving "knowledgescape" in that field. A few days back, we had discussions around the core skills required by an instructional designer and how can one achieve that. The conclusion was that a formal training program coupled with a Personal Learning Network to facilitate collaboration and ongoing learning are the solution. Keeping up with the shifting and growing knowledge base in the field is a requirement to excel and stay on top today.

2. Synthesizing – traditionally valuable, now being able to synthesize from a ‘dizzying’ range of sources becomes even more invaluable or the individual will be personally and professionally overwhelmed.
My thoughts: It has become one of the core skills today. With information and data pouring in, it is very very important to be able to make sense of these, to be able to connect and see the emerging pattern. Again, web 2.0 with its collaboration platforms play a role here. It is only through shared and sharing of experiences that we can make sense of the data, weave stories and see the emerging patterns without getting caught in the trap of micro-details. It has become virtually impossible for anyone to keep up with the flood of information individually. It is whom we know, network with, who form our PLNs that will drive how easily we make sense of the seemingly endless data. Only then will data become knowledge. And this is why social networking is important. I wrote about this in an earlier post: Data, Information, Insight...A Fine Balance!

3. Creating – builds on the previous and allows the individual to step ahead, even of technology, so not to run the risk of being replaced by computers.
My thoughts: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink talks about this at length. I was reading this post , which talks about the book. The para below from the blog post struck me as very very relevant and mirrors my thoughts but says it much better than I ever could. I am pasting it here verbatim:
We are rapidly moving from an economy and culture built on the logical, linear, computer-like capabilities of the Information Age to one built on the creative, empathic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place: the Conceptual Age.
The original post is a must read!

4. Respectful – the need to understand others is fundamental in the home, workplace and in a global sense
My thoughts: The Information Age belonged to a certain kind of people as the post says. That is rapidly changing with organizations becoming flatter, knowledge flowing downwards as well as upwards, hierarchies blurring, creative thinking to come up with solutions becoming the need of the hour...The future belongs to the creative thinkers. And these creative thinkers demand respect and empathy. Mere material reward will no longer appease such people. They will move on to work where they have flexibility, respect, power to exercise creativity...

5. Ethical – going beyond self-interest and able to ponder the greater issues of existence if we are to flourish responsibly
My thoughts: This has probably been always desirable. However, in the Conceptual Age, where we are moving beyond hard numbers with their black and white connotation to areas that have plenty of gray, where it is not always easy to pin down accountability or hols one individual responsible, where collaboration is often the key to outstanding work, ethics play a major role. Moreover, unless we can see where our work/contribution fits into the larger pattern, the work we do will remain illusory and of not much use to anyone.



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