Getting Ready for 2020

Klinkowstein_Slime Mold Careers

“The notion of a career has changed. Whereas we used to have a career ladder, now we have a career jungle gym. Success in a career is no longer a simple ascension on a path of steps. You need to climb sideways and sometimes down; sometimes you need to swing and jump from one set of bars to the next. And, to extend the metaphor, sometimes you need to spring from the jungle gym and establish your own turf somewhere else on the playground.

And, if we really want the playground metaphor to accurately describe the modern world, neither the playground nor the jungle gym are fixed. They are constantly changing—new structures emerge, old structures are in constant change and sometimes collapse, and the playground constantly moves the structure around.”

[Reid Hoffman]

Yesterday morning I was sitting with two creative directors, a project manager, and a planner talking about how we would envision retail coffee experiences in 2020.  The host, Hyper Island, is in the business of helping individuals and organizations see, understand, and act upon the opportunities created bu digital and technological evolution.

Human perspective is the lens they open for you. Focus is on your network, your efforts, and the tools you need to unlearn, relearn, and reflect. Tom Klinkowstein took us on a tour of alternative futures where cross-disciplinary careers are in — the image above is an example of ethnographic profiles from his short deck. I picked the one that more closely resembled my profile (I shall ask Tom if Nicole is real, we should meet.) From Tom's deck:

All new technologies re-scale the relative importance of our human capabilities (senses, bodies, minds)…

…and the speed at which they function–leading to radically changed behavior.

We talked about what matters more and that is hybrid roles and careers as platforms, manners — a big one for me is respect, it fits within the larger concept of diversity of points of view, creative expression, etc. — and shared and caring intelligence.

Discussing coffee early in the morning made it tempting to go back on my limit to one cup of espresso per day. It reminded me of JavAroma, in Love with Coffee, and earlier group branding experiment, only we talked about two ends of the spectrum on jobs to be done by the coffee experience and book-ended by the conversation on sustainability of the coffee bean:

  • point of need coffee – delivered to you any time, any where
  • social object coffee – at the center of a communal experience (a first step in that direction exemplified in a Parisian cafe#)

Change is not linear, nor are careers anymore. Focus should be on body of work, including all those side projects that have informed the job through the years. To put it with McLuhan, many brands, agencies, and consulting firms still “drive into the future looking through the rear-view mirror.”


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