According to Paul Bracken in his article Futurizing Business Education (Futurist magazine July-August 2008), there are four major characteristics of the turbulent world businesses are faced with today:

  1. Technology – rapidly and dramatically transforms industries.
  2. Political risks – decisions at a political have direct impact.
  3. Blurring of industry boundaries – businesses are chasing radically new markets beyond the bounds of their traditional offerings.
  4. New competitors with different strategic personalities – emerging economies like China and India spawns new players who work from very different angles.

I find the third one most interesting because it ties in with what I am doing with my own brand. Increasingly, we appear to be moving beyond traditional silos of specialist knowledge, into a world where skills like creative thinking, problem solving, fact finding, pattern identification, model (conceptual) making are increasingly valued.

There is still a challenge in how to define and market such skills at the moment though. Many businesses, and certainly many recruiters, are still far more comfortable with thinking of people in traditional roles. It is more comfortable to think of someone as “an accountant”, or “a project manager”, than “a problem solver”, or “an innovation enabler”.

This means the coolest jobs, and the most innovative people, are not to be found via traditional recruitment channels. And yet, according to Paul Bracken, “businesses need a ‘common operational picture’ across all silos of expertise within an organisation”, and such a viewpoint is less likely to come from someone within a traditional specialist silo.

Anyone interested in rebooting the recruitment industry?