Nowadays, we face more rapid change than any other generation before. Leaders in every aspect of our society are working hard to keep up with this pace of change. The value of an expert is shifting a lot today. Company leaders. Leaders of non-profits. Leaders of schools and their districts. Parents and teachers.
Consider that product cycles have shortened unbelievably. Many advances have sped up the pace of innovation across almost all industries. Examples are artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, 5G communication, and biotechnology. That trend is continuing. Never before have we seen this pace of change.
The need to stay current is equally pressing. Berny Dohrmann, in his book book “Super Change: How to Survive and Thrive in an Uncertain Future”, calls this phenomenon “super change”.
Two Key Questions
That brings up two key questions.
- “How can we educate our kids and prepare them for a successful and happy future when we have little clue what that future will look like?” By the way, in April 2020, I raised that question in a proposal I submitted to a school district in Texas.
- “How can we keep our companies and non-profits relevant and on the cutting-edge?”
The Future of Work
I invite you to take a look at this video “The Future of Work”
Inc. Magazine predicted in 2016 that half of the S&P 500 companies will be replaced within a decade, i.e., in five short years from now. The fact is companies of all sizes are fighting to stay relevant. They are looking for ways to reinvent themselves. They are reorganizing. The rate of mergers and acquisitions is sky-high and brings many challenges. This is what super change looks like in our current reality. This was true even before the pandemic struck.
- The amount of data in the world is doubling every two year
- The half-life of engineering information is now only four years
- Sequencing of the human genome takes one hour (it took 13 years in 1990)
- Machine learning enables computers to drive, write, make calls, detect diseases in X-ray images, and more
- Many of today’s jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago (social media manager, app developer, big data scientist, …)
- It’s predicted that 65% of today’s grade schoolers will hold a job that don’t yet exist
How To Prepare Our Kids For the Future
What is the answer on how to teach our kids to prepare them for the future? We have no clue what jobs they will be doing or what businesses they might be creating. I think beyond teaching our kids values we need to teach them five things:
- Learn how to learn and be confident that you can learn anything you set your mind to – that way you can pivot and adapt no matter what is coming.
- Learn to think critically, independently, creatively and laterally
- Have good social skills (“soft skills”) – humans dominate the earth even though we are not the strongest species on earth. That is because we are social beings and we are able to communicate and coordinate. In that way, we can make much greater use of the innvoations we create.
- Embrace interdiscimplary approches to solving problems
- Develop an entrepreneurial mindset and skills including financial literacy, marketing, and sales
How Do Adults Stay Current in Business or Any Organization?
- The points I mentioned for teaching our kids stand. They apply to adults in the same way.
- Rethink your position on what it means to be an expert.
- The expert’s role used to be to solve all the hard problems noone else can tackle. An expert used not to share all that much of their expertise – because then their value would go down. Let’s call that model Expert 1.0.
- But nowadays, the expert’s value is shifting.
- The expert ammassed expertise, experience and wisdom (how to apply what she knows). I call that “brilliance.”
- An expert who applies their brilliance on a daily basis without putting it into training systems, is at a severe disadvantage. They wear “handcuffs” because noone can do what they do. Thus, they HAVE to do it. That means less time and freedom to look up above the rim of the bowl and see what is coming. In a world of superchange that will not go well for long. Polaroid didn’t see digitial cameras coming.
- The new expert’s value is create brilliance, make it trainable, and then create more brilliance. I’m naming this expert Expert 2.0.
My Prediction: The Value of an Expert is Shifting
I predict that going forward Expert 1.0 will become largely obsolete.
In contrast, Expert 2.0 has a ton of fun and success.
- Create Brilliance.
- Extract that brilliance sooner rather than later.
- Make it trainable for people to delegate it to. That makes it immortal at the same time.
- The resulting knowledge transfer systems are living and breathing; they get updated as we learn more on how to do things even better.
- Create more brilliance. And so on. How fun! That is the expert process of the future (which has already begun).
What are your thoughts about this topic? Please let me know.
P.S.: I appreciate you commenting and sharing this with others. Thank you!