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Saturday, February 18, 2006

From Frozen Static Views To Dynamic Balances

John Hagel provides some excellent perspective post WEF meet @ Davos on integration and jobs. Commenting on the general call for integrating more, he points out that boundaries are healthy – he goes on to call them as the catalyst for innovation. Boundaries help bring forth different experiences and perspectives to bring to bear on the issues confronting us & he calls for more boundaries and more friction across boundaries. Constructive friction whereby we need to have more respect and willingness to engage constructively across boundaries would become a source of great richness. He also brings forth the point that the western world ought not to be concerned about jobs, but the more fundamental issue is talent development. If people don’t develop appropriate talent and don’t continue to refresh that talent, there will be no sustainable jobs and certainly few, if any, high value jobs. Reframing the issue as talent development also highlights the increasing importance of talent as a source of comparative advantage in global markets. Asking not to confuse talent development with education, he highlights that education is becoming more marginal as the bulk of talent development occurs outside of traditional educational institutions. This echoes Mark Twain’s famous statement ,” I have never allowed my schooling to interfere with my education”. He is on the dot when he points out that talent development is a continuing process and not confined to one stage of life, we will have to broaden our view of the institutional platforms required for talent development. All public policies - from immigration policy to intellectual property rights should be assessed through this lens.

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