Sunday, November 15, 2020

g-f(1)27 Your Career in the Age of Uncertainty: The forces of change will eventually find us all

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Your professional success hinges on recognizing signs of volatility and having the skills and fortitude to act on them.
Host Paul Michelman and author Whitney Johnson discuss the keys to managing your career in an era of constant change. 
  • As industry distinctions become less clear, company life spans shorten, and the nature of competition continually shifts beneath our feet, it has become almost impossible to manage a fully predictable career.
  • What you want is you want a skill that works across industries. But also you want to keep that skill of knowing how to learn, that willingness to disrupt yourself, to be at the bottom of a learning curve not knowing how to do something — to keep that muscle very, very strong.
  • The more expert you become within any sort of domain, that muscle starts to get flaccid.

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  • We all understand that the lifetime contract between companies and employees expired decades ago. Today, we are faced with an ever-starker challenge: managing careers against the oxymoronic backdrop of permanent uncertainty.
    • If you look at the 500 companies that were in the S&P 500 at the beginning of the ’90s, only 70% of those were still in the S&P 500 at the end of that decade. What’s interesting is that during the 2000s, that survival rate dropped from 70% to 60%.
  • Whitney Johnson, author of the book Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work has been studying the relationship between disruptions in industry and what it means to us as individuals for more than 20 years.
  • What’s the upshot for individuals trying to thrive (and survive) amid all the upheaval of our digital world?
    1. Be on the lookout for signs of volatility. It’s now a career-management mandate. It’s on you to see the change before it happens. 
    2. Look for opportunities to apply your talents elsewhere within your industry — this expands your network and your breadth of experience. 
    3. Never stop developing new skills. The world as it stands lasts but for a moment. You need to change with it, or you’ll find yourself out in the cold.
  • Paul Michelman: I think we all recognize that we live in a volatile world. But just how volatile? Is this a unique moment in history, when the world really is unprecedented in its unpredictability? Or are we caught up in the moment a little too much? No. It’s real. When it comes to business, the numbers don’t lie — at least not in this case: Volatility is increasing.
  • Whitney Johnson: What’s fascinating is that we as individuals, we know how to think strategically about the products that we’re selling, the services that we’re selling, or even the businesses that we’re in — but it is often very difficult to do it for ourselves, to really think: OK, if I’m in an industry that could get disrupted, I need to also consider the possibility that I myself can get disrupted.

Category 1: A new, better world for everyone

[genioux fact extracted from MIT SMR]

Authors of the genioux fact

Fernando Machuca


How to Manage Your Career in the Age of Uncertainty, Podcast, Host Paul Michelman and author Whitney Johnson, October 01, 2019, MIT Sloan Management Review. 


Paul Michelman is editor in chief of MIT Sloan Management Review. He tweets @pmichelman. Over the course of his career Paul has worked across every form of consumer media, including books, magazines, video, audio, and all aspects of digital publishing. Prior to joining MIT SMR, Paul was editor-in-chief of Safari Books Online, where he served as principal curator of Safari’s 40,000-volume library of articles, books, videos, and digital courses, as well as its lead editorial voice. His portfolio of responsibilities spanned content strategy, acquisitions, original-content development, and guiding the customer’s editorial experience. As Harvard Business Review’s executive editor and director of new editorial products, Paul launched a suite of digital initiatives that today comprise the core of HBR’s online brand.

Whitney Johnson is the leading thinker on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption. She cofounded Rose Park Advisors, a boutique investment firm, with Clayton Christensen, and was an "Institutional Investor"-ranked analyst for eight consecutive years, including at Merrill Lynch. She is a frequent contributor to the "Harvard Business Review," and the author of "Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream" (Bibliomotion 2012). She was named a Future Thinker Finalist by Management Thinkers50 in 2013, and one of Fortune s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter in 2014. Johnson is cofounder of the Forty Over 40 List, recognizing women who are reinventing, disrupting, and making an impact. She is represented by the New Leaf Speakers bureau, along with other key thought leaders in innovation and business.

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