Everything Is Beta: A Provocation For Communicators (And, Well, Mostly Everyone)

I gave a presentation at a communications workshop / forum last week. When pondering what to talk about – alongside standard MarComms topics of social media and crisis management and intranets – I wrote:

Why all the communications skills you have worked so diligently to build will be for naught, and what you can do to remain employable by reinventing your service offering. Tips and tricks to buy you another three years of relevance!

I have written before about the communicator’s obsolescence cycle; I have been working hard to keep away from it (this blog being part of the solution).

So, I thought I should share it here too, for the sake of provocation and argument.

It starts with this: there is a whole world of hurt out there waiting for the unprepared worker.

FoW-FoC

The future of work is agile and lean, with collapsed hierarchies and dissipated boundaries. It is networked, freelanced, self-policed; an ecosystem that expands multi-directionally, often at logarithmic scale. It demands you move to the edge of your thinking and understanding, and make mistakes frequently and fluently. In the future of work, everything is beta.

The future of work is everything that a communicator dislikes.

Yet, it is right here, right now for communicators, as technology disrupts the controls and as social democratises the content.

Oh dear.

antifragile

What are we to do, then? What must we change or embrace or learn? At its simplest, I like Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s antifragility postulation. In his Heuristics paper, he shares

The general principle of antifragility: It is much better to do what you cannot explain, than explain what you cannot do.

Oh dear. Communicators are in trouble.

In the next few posts, I will share some observations of the problems faced by communicators (and, indeed, many modern day workers) as everything they hold to be true and right and proper is usurped, re-engineered, flipped.

←This Much We Know.→

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