Sponsor Disruption 2: Upskill

The Future of Work will be heavily disrupted. If you want to survive / prosper, you should try to sponsor it.

My five sponsorship requirements:  <Model> <Upskill> <Bulk-Up> <Polemicize> <Show Up>

Today, let’s Upskill!

Industries / occupations change at varying paces. MarComms, mine, changes at warp speed (it seems to me, at least) and at exponential warpiness. Obsolescence has become a close personal advisor to me. At any time, I have 3 years to reinvent my skillset. This cycle will tighten further, I am sure.

Constant R&D

We try…

What can one do? Work harder – for sure. Be smarter – why not. My preferred framing: CONSTANT R&D. This means carving out time every day to read, reflect, consider and reconsider, share, discuss, challenge and be challenged.

In my work team, this is how we roll – we use Yammer as our intranet, and on it we have a private group in which we post ideas and conversations and stir the MarComms pot every day. There is rich learning therein – very flat, archival, fast-moving, iterative, supporting and driving decision-making.

The work we do for our organization has fundamentally changed over the last 3 years; and already 2013 looks very different to 2012. We could not manage this changing landscape without a daily injection of “How about…” or “What if…”

Aside: I presented at a Social Intranet conference about how hard I worked to R&D every day and was asked how I managed it.  I explained that a) I needed to; b) my 
manager understood the need; and c) the positive impact it had on my work. Her 
response: 
"I do not think my management team would support that." 
We all felt a little bit of life force leave the room. It was sad.

Edge Thinking

Consequently, we can drive edge thinking into the organization. I will write more about this later, but the edge today becomes the core some day, for more and more people and industries. Find and befriend edge thinkers like CAWW and others (hey, you have an internet connection, find ‘others’ yourself…).

Those unprepared or uninterested in learning will, simply, fall by the wayside. Harald Jarche (definitely an edge thinker), amongst others, talks deeply and profoundly about personal knowledge management  [PKM] and how organizational learning models must evolve to encourage personal over corporate learning objectives. Rather than pontificate more on this, I recommend anyone who needs more fire in their belly about this to go here.

“The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write. It will be those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler, Futurist

I have co-opted Jarche’s mantra that work is learning and learning is the work. It is at one and the same time rather stressful – “who knows where tomorrow will take us?!” – and profoundly liberating – “who knows where tomorrow will take us?”

As long as you are constantly upskilling, you will survive (at least) and prosper (with a little luck and application).

Good luck; good application.

←This Much We Know.→

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