Great work and fantastic workplaces in the 21st Century will have a high S&K Quotient.
As much of the core processes and activities of organisations are simplified, automated and outsourced the remaining work will be the high value added work that is innately complex and involves social interaction and persuasion. This work is relationship, trust and value based. It will be increasingly conducted through networks – where connections and knowledge flows dominate (rather than process).
This is the high end knowledge work of a creative economy which emphasises talent rather than labour – it is where traits such as passion, initiative and creativity are becoming highly prized. As these are the things that drive competitive advantage and cannot be commoditised.
If you, your activities or your firm are to avoid being commoditised in a globalised economy you will increasingly need to rely on your talents – as defined by your passion, initiative and creativity. You will be as valuable as your networks – their connections and flows. And you will be increasingly rewarded for your ability to build relationships, engender trust and deliver value.
In this context Serendipity and Karma matter. Serendipity is the new synergy. And it is a truism of human experience that how we respond to the world, in large measure, determines how the world responses to us – put simply, what we put out we get back – in other words Karma. Digital networks are innately relationship based. They operate on openness, transparency and reputation – hence what goes around comes around. (This most recently has been encapsulated in the saying “pay it forward”).
Relationships, trust and value all operate with a pre-requisite degree of serendipity and repository (karma). High functioning networks generate serendipity but require a degree of reciprocity or karma to be present. High value work and high performing connected workplaces therefore seek to orchestrate those elements and as such have high S&K Quotients.