Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Saturday, September 23, 2006  

Creating a Position: the Most Rewarding but Hardest to Buy

Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

"Every action contributes to the total experience being staged. Business performances must rival those featured on Broadway and in ballparks. Theater is not a metaphor but a model. Whenever employees work in front of customers, an act of theatre occurs. Managers must leverage some service dimension to stage memorable surprises. Frequent purchase programs serve to commoditize offerings."

B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, “The Experience Economy”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. The most enjoyable job for you is one you create in the quality-of-life community you’ve chosen and now call home. You must do all the heavy lifting required to translate your passions and most enjoyable skills into a compelling ideal description, to identify emerging trends, needs and economic opportunities, and then to craft a proposal.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: What if there isn’t any job available in the resort community I’ve targeted – or for that matter in the second or third region I’m interested in?

Explorer: You may have to create it.

J2020F: How do I do that?

Eagle: The entire process can be summed up with the answers to six simple questions:

1. What skills do I have and enjoy?

2. Where do I want to market those skills, in terms of the highest premium value I can command – in changing industries, markets and types of customers, clients or users?

3. What kinds of organizations can I focus on in terms of my goals, passions and use of my skills in my geographical area of preference?

4. What are the names of those potential organizations?

5. What are their problems at the level I want to work?

6. Who there has the power to hire me? Who do I know in my growing “rolodex” who can introduce me?

Explorer: As you zero in with answers to those questions you'll find one of three options.

J2020F: One has to be that you can find a position in one of your targeted companies, right?

Explorer: And if not, you may find a position that doesn't exist in your target, but does at other companies, or better yet at one of their competitors.

Eagle: And one that doesn't exist yet but you can create. The hardest, yet most rewarding option is the third. We call it being an intrapreneur – an entrepreneur inside a company with a de facto internal customer base.

J2020F: Now that makes sense. But If I wanted to, how would I go about it?

Eagle: It’s a matter of timing. An executive team is in the early stages of recognizing the need for reinvention, but doesn’t quite know how to pull it off and wonders if they’ve got the right set of talent tribes in place, for instance.

Explorer: So, you’ve got to make a lot of educated guesses and dig deeper into information about your target organization to better customize your approach.

Eagle: And you'll need to think through how to present your strategies in a simple to understand (and buy) manner.

Explorer: And how to persuade the decision-maker -- often a visionary or early adopter -- to take a risk with you by collaborating on cost/ benefit calculations together.

J2020F: All of that research, presentation and preparation is for a build-from-scratch-job creation. Isn’t there another way you mentioned?

Explorer: For your second option, frequently in your survey of contacts, you will be able to find another organization that already has the type of position, by title, you want to create in your target organization.

Eagle: You still must convince the decision-maker to create a new position, but you can point to a competitor's success as a proof point.

J2020F: You said from a survey?

Explorer: Of course, you're looking for introductions to someone who is already doing what you plan to propose to your target.

J2020F: So, what you are saying is networking can turn into a survey of jobs already in other organizations, but not yet in the one you are targeting?

Eagle: Just change your perspective slightly as you interview for inside knowledge and business intelligence. Your role is to interview that person to identify specific challenges and problems that are currently being addressed.

J2020F; You'll want to find out what is working and what isn't, so you won't have to reinvent the wheel, if I get the point of this “survey”?

Explorer: Yes. And, most importantly you'll want to find out where they came from before the position, how they sold themselves into the position, and where they see their career going in the next several years.

J2020F: Why?

Eagle: You will still have to sell yourself with a proposal, but now you can frame your presentation based on the results of your survey.

Explorer: You can show how other organizations found the role less risky than they first imagined, so you bring value based on your survey to your target organization.

Eagle: You can also emphasize that you and your target will encounter less resistance when you implement your bright idea, because you know all about the landmines and pitfalls that the other company paid their executive to learn in their “knowledge lab.”

J2020F: I can see that the third option – finding a publicly advertised opening --feels more comfortable, but in reality has the most competition because it is known.

Eagle: Exactly. Creating a position is the most rewarding, but most difficult to sell. Finding someone else already performing it in another company you surveyed makes it easier and faster to approve.

J2020F: But, isn't all this networking stuff just a smoke screen? Doesn't everyone else know you're just looking for a job?

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

7:25 AM

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