Preparing for the future of work with PKM

Hugh Macleod, one of my favourite cartoonists and someone who really understands the networked economy, recently asked; How Do You Best Prepare For The Creative Age?


Chris Jablonski at ZDNet identifies five trends driving the future of work as we get virtual, online and global [I think he misses “local” though, especially as energy prices continue to increase]. Trend 4: Adaptive lifelong learning the norm -“Ten years from now, relevant work skills will be shaped by the continued rise in global connectivity, smart technology and new media, among several other drivers.” This is linked to the Institute for the Future‘s graphic of Future Work Skills 2020 identifying six disruptive shifts as well as the skills necessary to deal with them:

  1. Sense-making
  2. New media literacy
  3. Virtual collaboration
  4. Cognitive load management
  5. Novel and adaptive thinking
  6. Social intelligence
  7. Trans-disciplinarity
  8. Computational thinking
  9. Cross Cultural competency
  10. Design mindset

The first four of these skills are ones that the personal knowledge management framework  has been based on. For the past two years I have offered full-day workshops on PKM  at the University of Toronto’s iSchool Institute, with the final one scheduled for 1 June 2012 (Network Learning: Working Smarter). Feedback indicates that most people would prefer to do this online, so I experimented with a workshop that just finished last week. Here are some comments:

“There is a saying that “when the student is ready the master (teacher) shows up” and that is how I see this course.”

“Without any coherent strategy I often was not persistent in my undertakings. This course gave me an excellent opportunity to evaluate my position and to work out an appropriate approach.”

Future PKM workshops will be either custom designed for organizations who want these onsite, or conducted online at the Social Learning Centre, hosted by my colleague Jane Hart. Here are the details on online PKM workshops.

4 Responses to “Preparing for the future of work with PKM”

  1. Cristina Andersson

    Dear Mr. Jarche,

    Thank you for your posts. I have read your articles for some time now, thanks to @raesmaa. I am very interested in future skills and work as I am together with Mr. Jari Kaivo-oja, one of Europe’s leading futurologists, writing a new book “BohoBusiness” that aims to help people win over the machine.

    To the list of skills I’d like to add:

    Meta-cognitive skills: we need to learn to think the thinking, invent the invention and innovate the innovation. In other words we need to think the big idea beyond thoughts in order to create strong intentions that empower actions that have true meaning and value.

    Co-patterning: Dialogue that allows us think and discuss the unthinkable that has not yet started to emerge but are bubbling under starting to shape into random words and images.

    Phenomenal learning: The skill to create, realize and be aware of phenomenons and to turn ideas into awesome phenomenons that have meaning and power.

    Mobilizing energy: In the new world we do not have the possibility to study and become familiar to everybodys motivations. New new leadership is about mobilizing energy towards the common good and common goals. To find out what makes people tick and creates movement sometimes in a very short time.

    One more thing: we need a lot more openness and acceptance for diversity and different people. I am also the vice-president of the Inventors Factory in Helsinki. We help inventors. Too often I hear from them how they (some of them are truly eccentric I can tell you) get rejected because the official systems are not prepares to confront the weird and the non-existing. In other words the system likes uniforms and past successes.

    Best regards,

    • Harold Jarche

      Excellent additions, Cristina. As you know, I talk about 3 key factors in enabling collaborative business: Narration of Work, Transparency & Shared-power. These are the organizational practices that support the development of future skills and enable a network culture of openness & diversity.

      network culture

  2. Cristina Andersson

    Indeed! Shared power is very important as well as narrating and transparency, we are aiming at same goals here.

    People often ask me about winning from the point of view of individualism and some sort of bulldozing. My answer is always the same a true winner is the one who offers her winning powers to the service of others. Nobody can win alone and the true winner knows that the fruits of great victories fall in common baskets. This, I believe, is shared power – energy that empowers and inspires.

    About narration – have you been thinking about transmedia? Social media will perhaps one day be bygones as people also need to communicate by the means of handcraft (post-its!) and use also other platforms than the internet and mobile. Is narration eventually a way to leave different messages in different places? In the future ubiquitous environments you can obviously leave quite an interesting track that forms a transparent story line of your thoughts and actions….


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