Future-proofing Ourselves.

By Restoring the Soul of Business Archives
Cover image for  article: Future-proofing Ourselves.

Earlier this month:

“Meta Platforms Inc. tripled its profit and posted sharply higher revenue in the final quarter of 2023, boosted by a rebound in digital advertising as well cost cutting and layoffs in what CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the “year of efficiency.””

Meta increased revenue by over 25 percent from a year ago with nearly 25% fewer employees.

In the first six weeks of this year according tolayoffs.fyi 157 tech companies have laid of 39,608 employees a rate faster than anytime in the last few years.

In the much smaller media content sector the rate of job losses is the highest it has been with at least 8,000 job cuts made in the UK, the US and Canada last year, include 300 jobs lost in the collapse of news startup the Messenger; 70 at Business Insider; about 30 at Time; 115 at the Los Angeles Times; about 50 to 100 people at NBC News; and 12 at Condé Nast’s Pitchfork.

Three forces are fusing and re-sculpting employment and the workplace. 1) Technology. 2) Unbundled and Distributed work. 3) Just in time global marketplaces.

A board room that is not planning on how to leverage some combination of the exponential productivity power of AI, the ability to hire talent anywhere due to unbundled distributed work, and the availability of global marketplaces for just in time resources from talent to technologyto re-imagine, re-think and re-invent their business will soon lose their board seats or control of their company.

Why would anyone run a company in 2024 the way they ran it in 2019? If one launched a firm today would it look like the firm of 2019?

As the cost of knowledge goes to zero and it becomes clear that AI is significantly under-hyped every knowledge workers job will change before the end of 2024.

The rate and impact of change of new workplaces, new markets and new tech feeding off each other will drive greater change much faster than seen in decades.

This is not the time to wish for the best, keep our head down, hope that we can retire before the tsunami hits or wait for our company or boss to help transform us.

Delegating our future to anybody else is not a good strategy.

Starting right now we must invest time and resources to hone, sculpt and architect the six key skills will be essential in the future to complement machines, co-exist with change, and ensure continuous re-invention.

Three of these have to do with individual competence (Cognition, Creativity, Curiosity) and how we connect with each other and the world outside our minds including new AI agents. (Collaborate, Communicate, Convince).


Cognition is simply learning to think and keeping our mental operating system and skills constantly upgraded.

It is no longer good enough just to be up to date.

We need to be up to tomorrow.

This requires deliberate practice and sustained work. Improved cognition is achievable.

But one must work at it and many of us are so swamped with keeping up with our daily workload that we do not invest in growing our skills and expertise. This proves to eventually lead to irrelevance as the needs for yesterday’s skill sets erode and one has not replaced them with a new set of skills for the future.

If we cannotupgrade our mental operating systems we will become less relevant.

Start using and leveraging Microsoft Co-Pilot or Gemini Advanced or the Open AI set of tools. Buy the paid version since they are six months ahead of the free version and far superior. The increased productivity and time savings will be multiples of the fifty or sixty dollars a month one might spend to subscribe to multiple resources and free up the time we all claim we do not have.

Also begin thinking of operating like a Company of One by combining skills, reputation and collaboration that your existing company would want to hire or partner with.

The more you have options the longer you will stay in a company you love. Maximize career optionality to ensure long term career in one place. Read how to become a company of one.

And here is a step by step way to learn how to learn and to unlearn.


Creativity is connecting dots in new ways, looking beyond the obvious and this skill will be key as AI powered computers, data crunch and co-relate faster than we ever will.

To be human is to be creative.

Creativity is at its heart the way we deal with a world of change by adapting, evolving, and re-inventing.

We need to learn and feed this inside us. The future will be about data driven storytelling and not just data or storytelling and the ability to leverage modern machines and algorithms to unleash connection and meaning will depend on creativity.

This requires every one of us whether we are creative or not to start using the latest tools that will turbocharge creativity. If you wish to see what is possible spend a few minutes looking at how you can create video with text in seconds without having any coding or video or traditional creative skills here: https://youtu.be/HK6y8DAPN_0


Curiosity is simply being alive to possibilities, questioning the status quo and asking what if? Today the key competitor or opportunity in any category comes from outside it.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but the lack of curiosity killed the careers of many people. When boundaries between industries shift and our minds are like champagne corks swelling and no longer fitting into the past the key is not to accept but question the status quo.

AI co-relates and connect dots and look back but rarely anticipates forward and what is next. Humans ask why? As well as why not?

By constantly upgrading our cognition, expressing our creativity and feeding our curiosity we seize tomorrow versus fearing tomorrow.

The 3C’s of Connecting

Being cognitively up to date, creative, and curious will not be enough since we are living in a connected world where eco-systems, teams and linkages are how ideas are born, value created, and long-term careers forged. For these we need to hone and build and train for three other skills which are collaboration, communication and convincing.

The parts of our job that are built around collecting and arranging information and data, or monitoring, allocating and distilling is rapidly going to be done either by machines or someone in a market far away but the ability to work with people, write and present and be a world class sales person taking the data and new resources to build new stories will remain relevant.

The machines and the markets will not be the differentiator it is how we work with them, present and convince others will.


Collaboration is key to work in a world where API’s (Application Protocol Interfaces) are not just about handshakes between software/hardware but between individuals with different skills, teams in different countries, partners, suppliers and much more.

As the world re-imagines and re-configures itself we need to be like Lego pieces and learn to fit and connect and combine with others to transform ourselves and our companies.

Collaboration with others and machines which we will learn to complement is a way to ensure that EQ and HI (Human Inspiration) will add value to the IQ and AI of digital agents and algorithms.


Get better at writing. Enhance presentation and speaking skills.

It may be so old school but watch the people who succeed, and they are good at communication.

Combine the roots of old traditions of writing and speaking and human engagement with the new methods of AI and cloud marketplaces.

Learn to provide points of view not just data, provocation versus the both sides information dump that AI is engineered for, perspectives that combine past and future and math and magic.

Great communication skills will be the differentiator versus chat bots and virtual presences.

But communication is not a one-way street and as important as it to write, speak and present it is as critical to be able to listen, to hear and to understand what others are saying with an open mind and a sense of empathy.

Empathy and looking for the unsaid and unexpressed is what the machines cannot do.


Every one of us is a salesperson regardless of what we believe our title is. This is true even if we do not sell anything at work. We must convince colleagues of our points of view.

We all must learn to convince and learn to sell.

Humans choose with their hearts and use numbers to justify what we do.

Humans are stories. Stories are data with a soul.

Convincing is often a soup of facts and stories.

By investing and combining the Six C’s ( Cognition, Curiosity, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Convincing) each of us can thrive in the new future and help our companies and customers grow.

These skills will never grow old or out of date and will ensure that we can embrace the future, adapt ourselves and organizations to whatever comes and complement others and machines in ways that are synergistic

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

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The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.org/MyersBizNet.

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