Goodbye Knowledge Workers, Hello Insight Workers!

Rich Lesser:  In our pockets today sits more knowledge than any one individual could have ever hoped to have in their lifetimes 15 years ago.  We’re already aware that there's a knowledge revolution on: we see it with children and how they do their homework at school; we see it in how we think about issues.  But in many cases it hasn’t yet translated into the work environment because it’s still relatively costly to accumulate, because there are engrained patterns of behavior, because it’s a complex world.  And so still today many, many of our workers, our employees are on the knowledge side.  They’re entry levels in accounting or in legal or in marketing, and most of their job is not to come to the big decisions about where to drive the business.  It’s to be an assembler and synthesizer of facts, mostly to be able to leverage knowledge.   

And yet the rate of change in information technology and the speed that it’s happening really makes me question how long until we start to see some of those activities being replaced?  We already see computers being used to process massive amounts of data that no one person could ever do.  We see many things in all of these communities being captured in storehouses of knowledge, but that’s growing exponentially in terms of the processing powers that exist, our ability to both accumulate and synthesize knowledge.  

Increasingly the next thing that will be the hardest to replace is not the ability to have the knowledge or to figure out which pieces are important and package it effectively.  It’s the ability to solve problems, to look across the boundaries, to work collaboratively to drive change, to bring real insight into situations that doesn’t just arrive from staring at the facts and doing an analysis.  That means we need to educate our children differently.  We need to provide different apprenticeship models to the people that we bring in where we give them broader exposure, more ability to think laterally, more ability to analogize and to recognize that over time basic knowledge stuff will be less important.  The ability to generate that insight will be more important than ever. 

Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

 

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

Videos
  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
popular
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less