Thomas Friedman: Average is Officially Over

2013 Economic Summit Keynote: Thomas Friedman

In a thought provoking keynote during the Maryland Competitiveness Coalition’s Economic Summit, best selling author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman discussed how the merger of globalization and the IT revolution is impacting the economy and the future of work.

“If you cannot justify your singular ability to add value every day, you will be in trouble,” Friedman said. “That’s the big difference between us and our kids. We got to find jobs, they will have to invent them.”

Friedman offered five tips for today’s workforce:

1. Think Like an Immigrant: Friedman said we are all new immigrants to the hyperconnected world, and he described new immigrants as paranoid optimists. “I better understand what world I’m living in, what the biggest trends are and pursue them with more energy, vigor and persistence than anybody else,” he said.

2. Think Like an Artisan: Historically, artisans produced every item individually, and the best artisans provided so much value add, and took so much pride in their work, that they carved their initials into it. “Do your job everyday as if at the end of the day you brought so much value add you wanted to carve your initials into it,” Friedman said.

3. Always be in Beta: ”If you ever think you’re finished, you’re finished,” Friedman said. “Always see yourself as a work in progress, constantly engineering and reengineering yourself.”

4. PQ + CQ > IQ: ”You give me a kid with a high passion quotient, a high persistence quotient and a high curiosity quotient, I’ll take them over the kid with the high intelligence quotient seven days a week,” he said.

5 Think Entrepreneurially: Regardless of your spot on the organizational chart, search for a way to provide extra – find your unique value add. “Be relentlessly entrepreneurial in whatever you do,” he said.

Legislative Issues Tag: Competitiveness

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