Friday, November 06, 2009

Hard Work

Having information freely and universally is an idea that is still taking some getting used specially for those who are from a time before this happened. The co-founder of Flickr, Caternia Fake's take on hard work is a telling example of the shift in thinking this necessitates.

I particularly like the part about seeing patterns and putting oneself in the right place where information is flowing freely. Nothing is more critical to success in the information technology business. In most poor to mediocre IT shops, hard-workers are available in abundance but few if any consider "Seeing patterns. Seeing things as they are rather than how you want them to be. Being able to read what people want. Putting yourself in the right place where information is flowing freely and interesting new juxtapositions can be seen." as Fake advocates.In not looking for patterns or worse not recognizing them, these hard-workers don't see their efforts result in better outcomes, a superior product or service.

This is not merely about working smart but being present and aware at all times. That is hard work too but not in the traditional sense of the term. Being able to make the connections between ideas that don't naturally confluence requires vision and insight which are far rarer traits than raw skills or knowledge even. It used to be that a select few in organizations and society as a whole were expected to be "visionaries". The rest were destined to muddle along and hope they would end up okay. With information becoming free and ubiquitous, it no longer takes a special kind of prescience to detect patterns and the cost of failing to do so is significantly higher.

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