July 14, 2010

Developing Hyper-Human Skills for the New Economy

You already know the pain in the marketplace as well as the dismal state of the economy.  What you really need to be thinking about and acting on is vital for your survival.  How will you prepare for the New Economy?  What does that look like?
A comparison would be to the early pioneers and settlers who journeyed across our uncivilized and harsh terrain just 150 years ago.  Most were not aware of all the new skills or tools needed to make that journey.  But as the journey began it became increasingly clear, it would take all that they could learn and then some to make it.  They also recognized that they needed the comforting safety of compassionate, well equipped fellow travelers and the right guide to reach their destination.

The wagon trails of those early pioneers were constantly reminding them of the harsh realities of the new terrain they ventured into.  There were bones, gravesites and many reminders of those who had gone before but didn't make it because they were unknowledgeable or unskilled in how to survive in that dangerously different environment. 

So, how do you survive as you journey away from the known and comfortable to the unknown and uncharted areas of our future?  Develop Hyper-human skills that are not automatable.    

In a 2005 article for THE FUTURIST, workplace expert Richard W. Samson wrote, "As traditional jobs disappear, people will need to develop their non-automatable skills to remain marketable and productive in the Hyper-Human Economy. In many cases, workers won't go after existing jobs, but rather create them by identifying problems to be solved with their hyper-human skills, such as discovery, creativity, and influence."  What he refers to as the 'Hyper-Human Economy' is what I call the New Economy.  It is a far cry from what we've known over the past 20, 30 or 40 years.

The first thing to recognize is that these hyper-human skills are learned.  They are not the skills that you typically learn in high school, college or even an MBA program. 

The hyper-human skills are both interpersonal and intrapersonal 'people skills' that are beyond the realm of robots, machines and anything man made.  You could say they are on the mental, social and spiritual level beyond cognitive skills.  They are defined as those characteristics and capabilities that make people unique, that make us alive, that cannot be automated or done by a machine. 

Along with the three Samson mentioned above, here is a list of some of the skills that will be needed in the New Economy; Integrity, Imagination, Adaptation, Intuition, Determination, Honesty, Judgment, Initiative, Ethics, Risk-taking, Inspiration, Vision and Visioning.
What does this trend mean for people trying to stay employed or move upward in the job market?  The "hyperjobs of the future," as Samson calls them, will be both enhanced versions of existing jobs and entirely new professions. Either way, they'll use uniquely human skills and expertise.  What are you doing today to develop these Hyper-human skill sets?

Go to Part 2

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