Metacognition and reinvention: the 21st century career paradigm


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This is the current version of my metacog pitch. I presented this to Anne Nelson's New Media and Development class at Columbia on 11.30.11.

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  • My name is Christopher Bishop. I am a currently working as a communications specialist in IBM’s Global Financing organization. I am delighted to be here. Let me give you a sense of what I am going to speak about this morning…
  • Why me? Multiple careers over 35 years Kind of the poster child for 21 st century work model Graduated with a BA in German literature-minored in music – translated five short stories into English by eccentric post WW II German authors Took 16 th century poetry, dance classes, jazz, played in two symphonies, did gigs with my rock band at ski resorts
  • 6 months after graduating, I got a gig with McKendree Spring. 6 months after that I was touring England and Germany. Toured all over the US and many gigs in Canada. Recorded three albums – one at the Manor, Oxford England, Electric Ladyland- (Hendrix’s studio on 8 th St in New York) and Bearsville in Woodstock, where the Band, Bob Dylan and Todd Rundgren among other made records…when the band broke up I moved to New York City REINVENTION
  • Moved to NYC in 1976 and worked as a freelance musician –played in dozens if not hundreds of bands over 16 years – Robert Palmer, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Skunk Baxter On a rooftop in NYC in 1981 with Baird Hersey (class of 73) pop-rock band MATSUO-BEBOP REINVENTION I was also playing in on average 12 different bands at the same time in styles ranging from country to rock to punk to R&B to jazz MOVE TO JINGLES_REINVENTION
  • Wrote music for radio and TV commercials using a Synclavier – state of the art (at the time) digital musical instrument – Gimme A Break – Kit Kat spot MOVE TO COMPUTERS - REINVENTION
  • REINVENTION – MOVE TO WEB Worked at several seminal interactive agencies in New York – CKS Partners, Eagle River Interactive, i3 Media – made the transition by learning, reading, talking to people
  • REINVENTION – VARIOUS ROLES Hired as an Account Manager in Corporate Internet Programs in 1998, have worked in Web production, business strategy development, and communications NEW TECH
  • When I graduated in 1972, there were no: no personal computers, no World Wide Web, no cell phones, no Facebook, no DVDs’ also - no hybrid cars, no blogging, no texting, no Leet Speak, no cloning, no mapping the human genome, no space shuttle, no microloans, no wireless power, no black president, Tell BlackBerry story Surveying a shattered employment landscape, they summoned the optimism to regard looming obstacles as opportunities for scenic detours. "There are definitely downsides to it being harder to get a job," says Alex Lavoie, a 21-year-old junior from Avon, Conn. "But it's forced people to look harder at what they really want to do instead of following a standardized path." Read more:,28804,1898024_1898023_1898101,00.html #ixzz1aCHHmoWD
  • Globally interconnected Data from embedded devices Driving new and evolving business models
  • 12/05/11 15:57 Newer technologies have been taking hold at two and three times previous rates Years to reach 50% in marketplace adoption – Radio – 38 TV – 13 Internet – 4 iPod 3 Facebook - 2 200 million users of My Space as of Sept 2006 –If it were a country it would be the 11 th largest in the world – between Japan and Mexico Number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the number of people on the planet 40 exabytes (4.0 X 10 19 th power) of new information will be generated this year-more than in the previous 5000 years it’s a good time to be having this discussion about the changing nature of innovation. Because as this chart illustrates, there’s simply no doubt that the pace of innovation, and the time between important new innovations, is changing. Today, new technologies are taking hold at double or triple the previous rate. Compare the penetration of cell phones in our society with the telephone. The invention of the telephone took nearly 40 years to reach the same societal penetration as cellular technology has in five years. All of which comes with implications for about ability to absorb, adapt and respond to the policy and ethical implications that always accompany technical advances.
  • 12/05/11 15:57 Every 40 – 60 years over the past three centuries, society has witnessed a great surge of business innovation sparked by technological advances which usher in a revolutionary new era . Each follows a predictable pattern of two distinct periods of 20-30 years. There have been five such surges in modern history according to Carlota Perez, who teaches at Cambridge University, wrote a very important book called "Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital," about how the world economy has developed. She found a consistent pattern in how these phases emerge, I’m going to spend a little time on this historical approach, to give you a sense of the basic logic, because the same pattern plays out time and again. We see this pattern around every major new technology . Something new emerges, and all of a sudden we need to go back and deal with some of the societal infrastructural issues . Then the technology can take off. In the late 1840s, investors poured money into new railways with little regard for where they were routed, how well they were designed or how many rail lines the market really needed. And there was no thought given to standards, so when two lines approached each other, they'd find their tracks didn't line up. - To some, this period is a much more boring affair. All the quick bucks have been made. The emphasis is no longer on raw technology but on how to apply and capitalize on it. Period of invention generates wholly new products, markets and industries and a new infrastructure to support its growth. Speculative capital inevitably leads to a bubble, an economic meltdown and a correction. Market adjusts, resulting in extended period of "deployment“ The same pattern occurred with steam railways in 1829; with steel, electricity, and heavy engineering in 1875; with oil, autos, and mass production in 1908; and right up to the present era, which she calls information and telecommunications, starting in 1971. that we're just starting the deployment phase of the information and telecommunications era, which will take perhaps 25 to 45 years to get really baked into our society.
  • Data is everywhere and easy to find
  • They don't teach that in B school — at least not yet. In fact, Rob Carter, chief information officer at FedEx, thinks the best training for anyone who wants to succeed in 10 years is the online game  World of Warcraft.  Carter says  WoW,  as its 10 million devotees worldwide call it, offers a peek into the workplace of the future. Each team faces a fast-paced, complicated series of obstacles called quests, and each player, via his online avatar, must contribute to resolving them or else lose his place on the team. The player who contributes most gets to lead the team — until someone else contributes more. The game, which many Gen Yers learned as teens, is intensely collaborative, constantly demanding and often surprising. "It takes exactly the same skill set people will need more of in the future to collaborate on work projects," says Carter. "The kids are already doing it." Read more:,28804,1898024_1898023_1898086,00.html #ixzz1aCFsj5SM
  • 12/05/11 15:57
  • Globally interconnected Data from embedded devices Driving new and evolving business models
  • Globally interconnected Data from embedded devices Driving new and evolving business models
  • You will be doing jobs that have not been invented yet You will need to learn and master new skills quickly You will have to collaborate with team members form all over the globe-different cultures, different backgrounds, different skills, different perspectives You will see breakthroughs in how technology is applied to business and pace of global socio-cultural evolution
  • To be successful, I have used the same skills across all of my careers…
  • Read the Journal , Huffington Post, embrace technology, go to meetings – be aware of trending ideally in all fields not just the one you are interested in, Virtual Worlds It all connects in various ways, to varying degrees, but it all does
  • Mike Brecker story Formerly the domain of movie stars, athletes and the occasional politician – but now it is everybody a brand is a promise, a perspective, a uniqueness that differentiates you from the rest of the pack Facebook write, compose, paint, draw, post! You are what you do and think and write Just as companies have brands you have a brand Need to always be thinking of your own brand STORY: Mike Brecker in the studio
  • Describe breaking into the jingle business – 3x5 cards in a box written in pencil Critically important in a global integrated economy ACT! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Plaxo, Xing, ACT, Google docs, other contact mgmt tools Note cards, yellow pads, whatever works
  • Metacognition and reinvention: the 21st century career paradigm

    1. 1. Christopher Bishop Columbia University November 30, 2011 Metacognition and reinvention: The 21 st century career paradigm
    2. 2. AGE YEAR 1970 1980 2009 1990 2000 Graduated from Bennington McKendree Spring NYC session musician Jingle producer Web producer Business Strategist Comms Specialist 20 30 40 50 60 Academia 70 ?
    3. 3.
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    8. 8.
    9. 9. Technology… is making geography … history
    10. 10. Technology adoption continues to accelerate Internet 0 25 50 100 125 150 75 Years 25 50 100 Electricity Radio Television VCR PC Cellular % Penetration Metaverse YEARS Automobile Telephone
    11. 11. Five historical cycles … Invention Innovation The Industrial Revolution Age of Steam and Railways Age of Steel, Electricity Heavy Engineering Age of Oil, Automobiles and Mass Production Age of Information and Telecommunications Frenzy Synergy Deployment Maturity Panic 1797 Depression 1893 Crash 1929 Collapse <ul><li>Formation of Mfg. industry </li></ul><ul><li>Repeal of Corn Laws opening trade </li></ul><ul><li>Joint stock companies </li></ul><ul><li>Industry exploits economies of scale </li></ul>Current period of Adoption <ul><li>Separation of savings, investment banks </li></ul><ul><li>FDIC, SEC </li></ul><ul><li>Build-out of Interstate highways </li></ul><ul><li>IMF, World Bank, BIS </li></ul>1 2 3 4 5 Source: “Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital”, Carlota Perez, 2002 Panic 1847 1771 1829 1875 1908 1971 1873 1920 1974 1829 Crash
    12. 12. Increasing technology advancements foster decentralization
    13. 13. Increasing decentralization makes motivation, creativity and flexibility more important than ever
    14. 14. Workers are not being rewarded for carrying out orders efficiently, but for figuring out what needs to be done … and then doing it again
    15. 15. <ul><li>Estimates are 85% of the jobs today’s learners will be doing haven’t been invented yet </li></ul><ul><li>they'll be using technologies that don't exist </li></ul><ul><li>to solve problems we don't yet know are problems </li></ul>
    16. 16. U.S Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs… by the age of 38!
    17. 17. Many  top in-demand jobs  in 2011  did not exist  in 2005! <ul><ul><li>iPhone/iPad app developer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>wireless marketing director </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>microfinance infrastructure designer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3D content developer for movies, TV </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social network manager </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deploying technology into the cloud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>organic solar cell development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>digital image management </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Future jobs we can't imagine <ul><ul><li>Nanopharmacist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metaverse event designer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lunar tour guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Holographic content designer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual lawyer </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Metacognition Thinking about thinking Learning what to learn Reinvention Learning needed skills Applying them to go forward
    20. 20. <ul><ul><li>Creative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deal with ambiguity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Passionate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-directed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resilient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work across disciplines </li></ul></ul>To be successful…
    21. 21. secret ingredients 1. antenna - what you want to do+what is happening in the world 2. brand - defining and assessing your own brand 3. network - find people interested in your focus area, ask them to point you to other resources
    22. 22. 1) antenna <ul><ul><li>Chase the maelstrom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spidey-sense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust your instincts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow your bliss </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. 2) brand <ul><ul><li>Essence of who you are </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What makes you unique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything you say & do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishes your expertise </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><ul><li>It’s not what you know, it’s who you know </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lifelong job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strangers with expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share your perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the tools! </li></ul></ul>3) network
    25. 25. What’s next? <ul><ul><li>Off to the future… </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. [email_address] Second Life: Christopher Express THANKS!