I was doing some work for a large corporate on the launch of its new learning and development programme.
The client is a progressive company that believes developed, engaged and happy staff are essential for their success.
The job was to give staff a briefing on the future of work and the context from all the latest thinking on the subject.
I designed four quadrants:
* work in the future
* the skills you need
* it is all about you
* you in charge of the future.
It was fascinating. The jobless society, Moore's law, technology, exponential change, artificial intelligence, the move to soft skills and the impossibility of planning for a world where the tectonic plates are shifting.
On a subject like this, books by Nassim Taleb, Malcolm Gladwell, Ken Robinson and Seth Godin are a must.
They are huge advocates for entrepreneurship, passionately pleading for you to become anti-fragile to be able to cope with the shocks to the system; following your heart and passion as the only way to achieve mastery (which needs the 10,000 hours) and as the only way to be distinctive in a hyper-competitive labour market.
'Selling', which has been a dirty word for a long time, becomes fashionable again.
Reputation management becomes important. LinkedIn and your behaviour on social media becomes important. Understanding technology becomes important.
One of the future scenarios (and there is a lot of research confirming this) suggests that increasingly people will start operating as entrepreneurs in the labour market, shifting careers on an ongoing basis, over a career that maybe spans not far off 100 years.
All of which is a long winded intro into start-ups. Exponential change creeps up on you. It is there before you know it. How well equipped and capable are you to operate as an entrepreneur? How anti-fragile are you? How adaptable are you? Are you following your passion? Are you putting in the 10,000 hours?
And are you planning for such a future? Which brings you to basic business planning. Not a CV, but a business plan for your career. Which will force you to look at you. Your passion, your purpose, your values, your personal pitch. Your vision for you. A happy, passionate you.
On smallbusinesscan.com we have a piece of kit that you can download that can help you with that. Have a look and if there is anything we can do to help, let us know.
People who are starting their business have a head start.
Like Rachel Saligari of Active Health Solutions and Richard Graham of Cloud Accounting NI.
They are already anti-fragile, they are following their dream and they are creating their own future.
When we researched the future of work assignment, we decided to research with this question in mind: if you would be advising your own children about their career, what would you advise?
And the conclusion is 'starting a business as quickly as possible'.
Ron Immink is the Co-founder of Smallbusinesscan.com