Finding the employees of the future

by BN26 Nov 2011

Futurist Mike Walsh recently painted a bold vision for the future at PLAN Australia’s national conference. Here’s what he says top performers will be in the future.

  1. Super Synthesizers
    In the old days, smart employees gathered competitive information in traditional ways – phone interviews, focus groups and industry surveys. Basically – you were clever if you knew how to pick up the phone and make some calls. Now we have the opposite problem – too much information. Super synthesizers are people with the capability of scanning and processing huge amounts of information. They are like human meta filters. With enough technical savvy and familiarity with blogs, social platforms and search algorithms – they can assess the topography of available data, see patterns and collate them as trends, prioritize and then act.
  2. Hyper Connectors.
    One of these days we will laugh about the fact people used to get fired for using Facebook or LinkedIn at work. Hyper Connectors are people that know how to swiftly build and exploit relevant networks to get things done. They won’t necessarily have the largest collection of contacts, but they will know how to use digital platforms to find and nurture just the right set of people to reach their goals. These could be internal networks in a huge enterprise, or external webs of journalists, industry influencers and taste makers. You will recognise them in meetings because they are the first to say in the answer to a problem, ‘I think I may know someone who..’
  3. Change Optimists
    The final quality of the future super smart might sound a bit soft but in some ways it is the most vital personal attribute – positivity. The pace of change is accelerating and there are people for whom that is good news, and others who, if they are honest with themselves, view that fact with dread. You can reassure the change pessimists about the future all you like but believe me – in the end, when faced with disruptive change, pessimists fight for the status quo not for future growth. Your best performers may not know the future, but they should be happy to meet it head on.