When I wrote about tweetable career advice, Andy left a comment suggesting one: "Don't look for the job you want. Create it." Sage advice. Because in spite of all the doom and gloom around I still believe that there is amazing potential for self-generated opportunity out there.
I've been reading The Element by Sir Ken Robinson (who recently delivered one of the best talks I've ever seen), which speaks of how important it is for the sake of individuals and for society for us to connect with our true talent, fulfill our creative potential, find the meeting point between our natural aptitude and personal passion. Being in your element combines these two features (aptitude and passion) with two conditions (attitude and opportunity): "The sequence goes something like this: I get it; I love it; I want it; Where is it?"
The new world of work happily aligns circumstance, environment and tools to make self-generated opportunity easier than ever before. The ease, for example, in being able to connect with other likeminded people who share the same passions and have a common sense of purpose. The attractiveness and accessibility of collaborating with others, setting up your own company, making products and services that the world really wants.
In this new world, and particularly in technology, the advantages of speed and agility are beginning to trump the advantages of size. It's never been easier for David to beat Goliath, especially when David doesn't play by the rules. When he changes the rhythm.
If you believe Chris Anderson, this crisis is not just cyclical but the end of an era, an era which has been witness more recently to the "growing diseconomies of scale", and in which the next new economy will favour the small.
Increasingly, I can't help but think that big organisations will be defined by how they respond not only to this challenge, but to the very real (and often overlooked) challenge of attracting the best people. To quote Paul Graham:
For those organisations, the thing to appreciate is that this is not only an operational challenge, it's a cultural one too.