The Opportunity Narrative
The following excerpt is based on the book Tomorrow’s Jobs Today, available at fine booksellers from John Hunt Publishers.
One of the biggest myths about tomorrow’s jobs is that unless you have a tech background, you are as doomed as the dinosaur. Forget that! Futurist Michael Jay Moon breaks down why a growth mindset eclipses both work history and formal education. Every single person alive has this completely unique perspective. And, as you read this book, you are going to see opportunity right in front of you, in this very moment. You will realize that no matter how technology changes life, the world is still going to be powered by the people who value fairness, discernment, decency, and flexibility. What are you waiting for?
We asked futurist Michael Jay Moon to write a little something for our new book, Tomorrow’s Job’s Today. Here’s just a little piece of his marvelous forward.
Our brain is wired to make sense of the world.
It scans the environment for any and all things novel, matching what it finds to an internal threat matrix.
It kicks the job of making sense of it upstairs, where a middle manager fits the impression to the best fitting narrative about who, what, where, when, and how.
If the impression fits a survival narrative, the middle manager hits the panic button, initiating a fight, flight, freeze, or feign/appease response. In rapid succession, our brain floods our entire body with adrenaline and other stress hormones, our heartbeat quickens, vascular system contracts, field of vision narrows, and so on.
However, if the impression fits an opportunity narrative, the middle manager hits the desire button, initiating a consideration or pursuit response.
Sensing no immediate threat and plausible upsides, the middle manager kicks it up to the chief executive officer to decide what will likely happen next and what to do about the commotion.
For the most part, this has worked pretty well for human beings. However, the process comes with a few exceptions and variables.
Delphic Curse – Most predictions are simply wrong. Digging deeper, those predictions that most people consider plausible are often the most errant. And the most implausible or far-fetched predictions often turn out to be most accurate. But, so what? Nobody believes them!
The More Things Change – To update the old and somewhat cynical French proverb, amidst our times of great change, a surprising number of things stand unchanged, immutable. Of course, most of these things hide in plain sight and require “piercing the veil of tranquilized obviousness.”
Shut-down Syndrome – Rapid change of environments overwhelm our brains’ ability to make sense. Unless we take measures to counteract this response, our brains will compel us to choose the familiar or mediocre option or to avoid criticism. In part, we can avoid this by learning from others about how they navigated the vagaries and vicissitudes of their lives.
Uneven distribution – The future arrives unevenly distributed. Some of us have already immigrated to the world of hyper-connectivity and intelligent assistance, putting surfboards into water with the aim of surfing the next trillion-dollar wave of innovation, wealth creation, and disruption. Some of us see the winds of change on the distant horizon, believing that we have the luxury of two to three years to make a change. Many believe their window has already opened and closed. Just like jumping from a skyscraper, they feel there’s zero doubt they’ll hit the ground. Still, others of us don’t see anything in our way, nor do we believe that anything bad will happen. We’ll continue to just keep on, keeping on. Who’s right? “Well, even if I knew, no one would believe me!”
Opportunity and Innovation Diffusion Curves – We can count on the fact that entrepreneurs and technology enterprises will continue to invent, innovate, and disrupt the status quo. For the foreseeable future, there will be jobs and careers for speeding the introduction and adoption of new technologies and building operationalization capabilities (accountabilities, workflows, and systems). Experimenters, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards will all have jobs to do. However, we will discover that we must now cycle quickly through all those jobs.
And that’s where this book can aid both the young professional and the seasoned executive.
Rafael and Abby have interviewed dozens of accomplished and forward-thinking industry leaders and innovators to present their observations about several technologies and trends. This alone will give you tons of insight and background on a burgeoning array of developments.
However, most of what they will say about YOUR future might miss the mark by miles. That’s a good thing: it will be only through your unique perspective that you will see opportunities that hide in plain sight of YOUR world.
What remains the same amidst all this change? Decency, dignity, fairness, discernment, and flexibility.
Now more than ever, the world rewards those who parlay small wins into stupendous gains, who play to their individual strengths, who learn how they learn, and who know that most of what’s good in the world resulted from high performing teams and their leaders.
To read more about exciting careers like Michael Jay Moon’s and change your life in the information age, buy the book today!