At this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival, we were pleased to host a Knowledge Exchange panel exploring the idea of “the new professional.” Our moderator Heidi Moore, New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for American Public Media’s “Marketplace” led the discussion. The conversation focused on changing values, skills, and the continuous need for individuals and companies to adapt. Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, stressed the need for professionals to be more self directed and take “responsibility for their own evolution.” He talked about adaptability being the new stability. He was joined on the panel with Deirdre Stanley, executive vice president and general counsel for Thomson Reuters, Mark Penn, worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller and Susan Peters, vice president of executive development and chief learning officer for General Electric Company.
Three big themes emerged. Technology and the reliance of networks and communities for information, distributed teams that bring multiple cultures and diverse thought together, and the true value of this new professional class emerging in terms of our ability to problem solve, interpret data and put into context. (more…)
From Assembly Line to Assembled Knowledge
In the 1950s, the assembly line was a conveyer belt we gathered around, each employee with a single task and a hope for years of service to the same company.
The new assembly is about connecting information, continuous learning, evolving skills, critical thinking, technology, networks and communities of diverse thought and contribution. We will assemble and reassemble and no longer accept stasis. The new professionals will assemble their worlds around adaptability.
In addition, the new professional life is no longer a hyphened life. Life is the frame. There is no longer a conflict between values at work and values at home. Life is merged, and the new professionals are structuring their lives based on mission and values. And many more, due to the economy or necessity, are choosing to be entrepreneurs, opting to start their own businesses.
The rapidly changing landscape and the need for our businesses to create a culture that cultivates curiosity and innovation and learning will be essential for the strength of our companies and strength of our economies. The new professional will fundamentally change how we think about organizational development, advancement, contribution and teams. Current cultures will be challenged.