Today’s guest post is by my friend and colleague, Dr. David Stehlik.
Are you a knowledge worker? Are your primary responsibilities the creation, assessment, management, reduction, or conversion of information? If so, you need to consider how the information boom and an ever-connected world will impact your career. However, before I offer some career-strengthening strategies, take an inventory of your response toward two world-shaking shifts.
What does that mean for you, the knowledge worker? As a result of these two changes, your challenges are likely going to increase. Why? Let the following list help you think through how these global shifts will impact your ability to compete.
These shifts are inducing a “chase effect,” where the processes required to reach particular levels of competency are shrinking (because of fewer steps or a shorter time-frames). We are experiencing the commoditization of existing communicable knowledge.
Perhaps you’ve already understood at least one of these implications. Simple dealings with information are becoming much cheaper. Organizations will expect it and demand it. If computer code can be written to routinely create the documents you make (with the information you use, without highly trained facilitators) then it will be! This is based on the assumption that low-hanging fruit always gets picked first. If information can be commoditized, then it will be commoditized in time. Whoever leads this endeavor will be rewarded, and that is likely to take place with automation’s aid. But, most of us cannot create the picking machines that catch that fruit. We are the fruit, and as a result that means we need to ensure that our fruit matures high on our trees.
How does one maintain a high knowledge worker desirability rating? The simple answer is scarcity. You need to change your scarcity setting. Where can a knowledge worker develop and/or demonstrate greater scarcity? Among other solutions, you can work on the following
Skilled knowledge workers must learn to rarify their skills. This will help them avoid the pending threat of the commodification information. It is no longer good enough to just know. Knowledge is becoming a commodity. Instead, 21st century knowledge workers must have rare expertise, efficiency and excellence in order to stand out.
Forthcoming posts will delve into ideas for developing your competencies to further rarify and increase the desirability rating for the knowledge worker.
Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Stehlik is an MBA professor in the domain of corporate and healthcare finance, equipping mostly mid-career professionals in stewarding the future with present financial savvy. His training and experience include personal & corporate strategy, foresight & social prescience, and leading change among others. He can be reached at email@example.com