Future workers: how they add value going forward

Five key characteristics of workers who will survive and thrive in the future:

  1. Present as experts.  Non-experts will get automated or outsourced.  Those with strong critical thinking and problem solving skills will thrive.
  2. Work with the actionable 2%.  The overloaded and overwhelmed won’t be able to keep up or add value.  Focusing on what matters is crucial.
  3. Have a pocket brain.  Nobody can hold everything they need to know in their head.  With a pocket brain they won’t have to.
  4. Are networked to other experts.  The expertise of a single person is very limited. All will be required to leverage the wisdom of their network.
  5. Are instrumented.  Gone are the days when knowledge workers were an intellectual black-box.  Transparency will reign and value will be determined by what employees know, contribute and apply.

These characteristics all point toward workers who operate at the insight-level, and are not overwhelmed with information/content.


The core learning and knowledge-sharing cycle is broken, and curated insights can fix it


Staggering loss of insights

We estimate the average employee spends 30 minutes/day consuming content, thinking and learning.  If we assume they gain a new insight every five minutes, that is 6 insights per day and over 1,000 per year.  Extrapolated to the average Fortune 500 workforce of around 50,000 employees gets us to 50 Million insights per year per enterprise.  

So, where the heck are they?

We have yet to hear a good answer that does not involve an insight curation system

What needs to change

The worker of the future will be a self-learning, high-performing critical thinker and problem solver who builds their own base of knowledge and can access and leverage the knowledge of others quickly and efficiently. This is only possible within organizations who fix the broken cycle by proactively moving from the as-is to the to-be be above.

Three ways in which insight curation can empower all employees to become experts

Transform bulky content into insights

  • Slash information quantity 50X
  • Drive up information value 50X

Unlock the wisdom of the crowd

  • Amplify expertise across a network
  • Access the insights of experts

Make it easy to connect the dots

  • Support business decisions
  • Form new ideas, knowledge & IP

Here is what the above looks like today in most organizations -- warning: disturbing graphic