Wednesday, November 02, 2011

About serial mastery and social media

One of my interest areas is the professionalisation process of professionals. How do you become a master, an expert, a thought leader? What are the best ways to learn individually and collectively?

Shift- the future of work is already here

An inspiring book in that context is 'The shift by Linda Gratton'- a must read book if you are interested in the future of work. She is a professor at the London Business School and describes in her book what work and the jobs of the future will look like. The reason for her research and book was the quest of her sons to find a study areas, one wants to be a journalist and the other wants to study medicine. Is that smart? Will that earn that a living in the future? But it is not only an interesting read with the future of your children in mind, but also for yourself.

The new poor

Gratton's story is not sheer positive. She describes a process of globalization in which the 'new poor' and 'talented' can live anywhere. Your birth in the Netherlands, Europe or the US will no longer be a guarantee for a good job, we must increasingly compete with other professionals from around the world (not without reason that the tigers moms in China described by Amy Chua get so much attention). And ofcourse that's already happening. Hence a focus on self-promotion and branding rather than modesty will be normal for professionals. This too is a shift that you can already see happening. If you are self-employed like me, you can still function without a blog using your old networks and offline networking skills. However, increasingly you have an advantage if you know how to brand yourself online and to find your professional voice.

From shallow generalists to serial mastery

The book also talking about the shift from shallow generalist to serial master. A serial master has a deep knowledge and competencies in several domains. So you have to specialize, and you will need and discover a new domain of relevance every few years or so. Interestingly enough, that's like reading about myself, when I started as an irrigation engineer, morphed into an organisational advisor and I'm currently a specialist in the design and facilitation of learning processes. I typically had three-year contracts. This forces you to become a sort of serial master, because after two years if you have to start thinking what you would like to do next.

The new self-directed learning = Learning

I was asked to facilitate two workshops about the 'new learning' for career counselors. Below you can find the presentation in Dutch (in a prezi).


Mark Berthelemy said...

Thanks for this post Joitske. It fits in very well with a post I'm publishing this evening about how teacher are taking control of their own professional development.

Joitske said...

Great Mark- let me know the link- I can use it for a session end of November for teachers!