The Skill Set for Instantly Responsive Organizations

Posted on October 29, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

MIT has a research center that has come up with a set of skills necessary in the world of new media. I first came across this skill list in a blog by Marcia Conner at Fast Company.  These are a set of skills that the New Media Literacy center posits are necessary for success in the next generation.  Marcia suggests they are necessary for everyone.  Here is the list:

1. Play: the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving.

2. Performance: the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery.

3. Simulation: the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes.

4. Appropriation: the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content.

5. Multitasking: the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details.

6. Distributed cognition: the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities.

7. Collective intelligence: the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal.

8. Judgment: the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources.

9. Transmedia navigation: The ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities.

10. Networking: the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information.

11. Negotiation: the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.

12. Awareness: the capacity to mindfully see one’s self in the context of the larger world where people’s interests are not always compatible with one’s physical and emotional safety.

The 12th one is actually an additional one added by Denise Tayloe of online privacy advocacy group, Privo. According to Marcia, “Denise reminds us that online we’re creating a permanent public record of ourselves, and who amongst us wants to re-read (let alone share with others) the notes we passed or diaries we kept when we were young. She suggests there ought to be one more new media skill, awareness.”

I’m struck by how much this list summarizes the competencies needed by individuals who will succeed in the instantly responsive organizations.   MIT suggests that this is a list of what the next generation needs to be successful.  Marcia postulates that it’s a list of what anyone who wants to succeed in this new media world needs.  I agree with Marcia,  These competencies are a set of skills that are at the foundation of the instantly responsive organization.  Things like transmedia navigation help us collect information on stories that are reported in several different places.  Collective intelligence enables us to benefit from the wisdom of the group.  Judgment helps us identify the knowledge that is most credible and reliable.  As discussed in my blog last week, multitasking is critical.  What I like about this perspective is that multitasking is scanning the environment then focusing on the important details, rather than trying to continuously pay partial attention (which I don’t think is possible). 

I personally need to upgrade my competency profile. I can see that I have some learnin’ to do.  Do you?


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