This is a connecting-the-dots post. Jim McGee discusses Clay Shirky’s recommendation to start looking at how we can leverage “cognitive surplus”:
The first order of business for business is to immediately appropriate Shirky’s term. Organizations that care about innovation and adaptive capacity should begin talking about “cognitive surplus”. Look for ways to measure it, if only crudely, and increase it.
Dave Pollard also talks about the need to spend time making sense of data and that by 2020 this will become a full-time vocation for some people:
The main complaint from businesspeople and the public about information in 2020? This hasn’t changed since 2008 — it’s still information overload. But at least in 2020 the value of information intermediaries has been rediscovered — people who are skilled at (and have time to) ‘make sense’ of the raw information coming at us in unmanageable amounts. And as a result a little more attention is paid to the meaning, implications and possible actions that stem from all this information.
More people are working in creative fields today, because if your work is not creative then it will likely be outsourced to a cheaper labour market or done by a computer. That makes creativity a more valuable skill, but being creative isn’t something you can just turn on and off. Just ask any artist.
The notion of cognitive surplus now becomes a critical business attribute. How do I stay creative and therefore competitive? Some companies give you time to pursue other activities but the norm is to look busy while “at work”.
The notion that moving from consuming broadcast media to creating interactive media is now engaging a new generation is quite fascinating. Just think of all the hours spent watching TV that can now be used to generate ideas – some good and many bad – but they’re being generated on an enormous scale. Now take this idea one step further and think of all the time wasted in the workplace just consuming – listening at meetings; reading directives, waiting for someone else to make a decision; commuting; etc. Imagine what could happen when an entire organisation can use all of its cognitive surplus.