Future Fit by Andrea Clarke [Book Summary – Review]

Have you vexed before that you’ll not be able to keep up with how everything transforms so fast? Or, that you’ll resemble a technophobic relative of yours one day, not knowing how a new phone works or not understanding how to do stuff on your laptop?

So, if you think about how the future of work is developing, maybe you should indeed be worried. With the consolidation of the AI into the workplace and changes in the conventional hiring patterns, we all have to remain up-to-date of new advancements. To remain up-to-date means comprehending these transformations before they take place, and reacting to them by taking action in advance.

Fortunately, it is possible for you to be poised for the future by means of some strategies. In the following chapters, you’ll learn what new facilities and attributes will stand out in the upcoming years, and what options lie before you to hone these skills and attributes to the best. You’ll learn that creativity will of paramount importance; leadership will need to adjust, and your ability to interact with other people will make you more successful. In order to be mentally poised for transformation, read the chapters of Future Fit.

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Chapter 1 – To be successful in the future, you’ll have to improve how you advertise yourself.

Enjoy it or not, everyone’s got a “personal brand. 

So, what does it mean to be precise? It’s everything about you. It includes your ways of undertaking things, what your values are and what you’re interested in, and the way others feel when they’re together with you and so on.

Considering these, this is all known by many people. The novel thing here is, however, is your personal brand’s significance and its prospects, while you try to get ahead in your career.

Everything is transforming fast. Due to technological developments and flexible work methods, you don’t get into physical contact as often with the people who may employ you or make advertisements for you. Thus, you’ll have to do a lot more than what’s usually necessary to attract an employer’s attention. Just people who’ve got peculiar personal brands and fame will come into prominence.

Actually, it is necessary for your personal brand to describe you fast and efficiently, very similar to the method applied by a consumer brand to its product. Employers won’t probably make a distinction between a consumer brand and a personal brand and will regard them as almost the same in the future. The questions asked to consumer brands will be viable for personal brands as well: Are they reliable? Is what they offer a worthwhile product? What renders them distinct? Do they possess the capacity to influence?

As you can see, this indicates you’ll need to define what renders you unique. So as to be able to do this, you’ll initially have to probe more profoundly into who you are and what the reason is for doing your job. From a manager’s perspective, people who know totally why they chose this job and their goal in life are the most powerful and attractive ones.

Suppose you’re an employer. Who would you rather have in your team? A person with only a list of university grades and manifold jobs on their CV, or a person who has managed to create a unique niche for their own and is fully conscious of the thing they want from a position? You’ll never stop choosing the latter person. It is more probable that they bring genuine purposefulness and energy, while it is not clear what others want to do.

Furthermore, when you fully know the reason behind your decision in a specific profession, you can be more original in your job and do your job with real energy. It won’t be necessary to act like you love your job. Just like a big consumer brand, everything about you will be rational.

Chapter 2 – To get ahead, you’ll need to turn into a super-communicator.

The future is going to generate even more developed technologies, fast movement of information, and greater scales of uncertainty. 

It’s sufficient to cause giddy, isn’t it? How can a simple Homo sapiens like you keep abreast of all these things? The answer is very easy: if you don’t have an intention to sink underwater, you’ll simply need to do that. 

There is one thing you can do to be ahead of the curve, which is to master communication.

In today’s world of the future, you’ll need to understand and deliver intricate information promptly. You’ll face constant disturbance and things won’t stay the same in many of your activities; thus, people who can process and then deliver novel information will be deemed most valuable. Those who don’t manage to track all these changes could turn into things as invaluable as minidisc players in an era of digital documentation.

All of these are intimidating, aren’t they? But, you don’t have to fret– there are ways of making you ready. One way is taking lessons from TV reporters. Consider it. A TV reporter will usually need to understand an imminent news story, evaluate intricate information, and finally convey it with genuine precision. Apart from these things, they’ll need to make momentary decisions regarding the tone fitting to the story, or pieces of information to be excluded or uttered.

From a practical viewpoint, if you were to convey critical information to your co-workers or employer, you could watch the steps of TV reporters. Just as they’d do, you’d start by introducing the headline, which is one daring sentence and idea. It could be a new impediment for your co-workers or an essential opinion poll recently published. 

Second, you’ll talk about the majority of the info. You should provide three influential true points regarding your information, underpinned by statistics and data. After this, before presenting the facts, you should signpost for each like this: “Problem 1…, Problem 2…, Problem 3….”

Lastly, you’ll have to make a conclusion, in which you explain what you need your co-workers or supervisor to undertake with this information. What you want is that they bear this final part in their minds; thus, the last part of your speech must be fully understandable and influential. Do you want them to take action? Then the impact you give them must make them feel they need to take action as soon as possible. Have you presented them with a discovery of some sort? So, ensure that you actually emphasize it. 

Phew. Alright, then, what we can deduce from the future is that we’ll need to adjust rapidly. In the following chapter, you’ll learn why adaptability is such an important factor.

Chapter 3 – Unless you adjust rapidly, it’ll get harder for you to find your path in the future.

Have you got an elderly relative who directly rejects to keep abreast of novel technology?

If you’ve got one, you’ll are well aware of what comes next. There will be a time when they’ll have to change a document into a PDF file or use an Excel spreadsheet. And unavoidably, instead of finding out how to carry out this action by themselves, they’ll simply come to you to do it for them.

However, it’s not only headstrong relatives who won’t be able to keep up with novel technologies. Should you not be heedful, we may end up joining them, the reason for which is the pace of transformation being extremely rapid than ever. What is the reason for that? The preparations for more rapid transformation have already been made; the principal technological groundwork has been done.

Think about it: after the invention of the telephone, it was only after 75 years that 50 million people could access it, which happened due to extensive time for the required infrastructure to be constructed. Conversely, 50 million people downloaded the game Pokémon Go in only 19 days, the reason for which was the game being developed on such exponential technologies as portable phones, the internet, and augmented reality.

Actually, the point we’ve arrived today shows tech-fueled innovation is running ahead of our capacity to adjust. The CEO of Google’s clandestine research firm, X, Eric “Astro” Teller, lately prepared a graph that pursued the advancement of our adaptability and technological developments. Whereas the line denoting people is in a stable rise, the technology line rises exponentially and outdoes the pace of human adaptability. At the separation point of the lines, Teller said, “We are here.”

Fortunately, we can be ahead of fast innovation. If you carry out the three important things mentioned here, you can keep ahead of fast innovation. Initially, you have to be involved in it, which indicates that you must continue to be involved in what’s going on in an active way– and not only in your field of work but also in the whole world. Keep your interest in technological advancements, novel notions, and new viewpoints.

Next, put it into action. Described in simpler terms, if you sense that things are changing, figure out how to adjust to these changes rapidly, which means recognizing possibilities that change brings along, instead of living on the negatives.

Finally, release. This requires doing away with anything that has the probability to leave you behind the developments. Perhaps it is the feeling of concern regarding the future itself. Or maybe it’s something you find very difficult to change due to having allocated a lot of time doing it in the old way. No matter what it is, you have to get rid of it, set sail on the seas, and utilize the breezes of the future.

Chapter 4 – You have to use your creativity to stay alive in the future.

With the rapid pace of innovation, we are able to fully understand one thing. That is, machines will function better at most of the positions we occupy today – particularly those jobs in which people constantly do the same thing or which necessitate data processing.

Then, there is this question: If machines function better at jobs in which there are plenty of automation and data-processing tasks, which human traits will continue to be valuable?

Though it is arguable, creativity is at the top. Among other things, creativity is what distinguishes us from machines – currently, at least.

Studies demonstrate how essential creativity in the business world has already become. In 2016, Adobe, a big software corporation published worldwide survey findings that uncovered some strong facts.

Adobe’s survey demonstrated that those regarded as “creators” in the United States, such as software developers, architects, or graphic designers, earned 13 percent more money than noncreators. The survey also demonstrated that about 65% of people surveyed believed that creative people are better leaders, mothers and fathers, and students. It demonstrated that it is more probable for creators than noncreators to regard themselves as being “innovative,” “self-assured,” “capable of finding solutions to issues,” and “happy.”

However, notwithstanding all the positive news for creators, the survey also demonstrated that merely about four-tenth of people interviewed were fulfilling their creative potential, which means a great deal of creativity goes wasted.

You might not think of yourself as creative, however, you also possess a creative aspect just as everybody else does. Then, how can we reach our creative potential? There are three specific steps.

Initially, forced adaptation. In order to improve the section of the brain that is in charge of creativity, there is one way of accelerating the process, which is doing unusual things. This is a sort of shock therapy to make your creative abilities work. Several great minds in history comprehended this intuitively and took on unfamiliar habits so that they could create. Actually, inventor and Founding Father Benjamin Franklin believed his most prolific moment was when he was stripped of his clothes and cold! And the composer Igor Stravinsky would do a headstand for 15 minutes in the mornings.

Next, always remember that visualization is crucial. The moment you picture your end product or the outcome of your aim, your brain’s neural pathways brighten as though you were really making that thing. Thus, if you visualize yourself delivering a stirring speech or winning an award in your field, you’ve already walked half of the road to your goal! Visualization is beneficial for your brain to make itself ready for the task you have to perform.

The last thing to mention is emotional regulation. There are too many stimuli that cause us to lose concentration in the modern world. So you have to soothe yourself to actually concentrate on your creativity. Thus, test whatever soothes you – meditation, mindfulness, or stress management. Create a free space in your mind, then allow your creative aspect to go free.

Chapter 5 – Problem-solving is going to be valuable in the future, and two things can make it easier. 

Creativity is a strong instrument, however, this on its own isn’t sufficient to make an impression in the business world. Think about this scenario for a while. You’ve recently had a great idea for a novel product or service for your business. Marvelous! There is one warning, however: in order to realize it, you’ll have to put your idea into practice.

Problem-solving takes the stage at that moment. Problem-solving is a great power that is extremely prized by institutions and businesses all around the world since things come into reality thanks to it. It makes a genuine product or service out of an intricate whiteboard outline.

What is marvelous is that problem-solving is a faculty everyone owns, in the same fashion everybody’s got creativity. Being human beings, we’ve all got exceptionally strong brains. Thus, what can you and your organization do to utilize your problem-solving ability in the most optimal manner?

First, let’s understand that problem-solving is diversity-driven. If we are encircled with viewpoints precisely the same as ours, our faculty to come up with novel solutions wanes. We quickly reach on a consensus, which, 50% of the time, is incorrect! Diversity, however, forces us to come up with solutions we could’ve been unable to detect, just by coercing us into thinking about the other aspect of a problem.

Then, in practice, what is the way to connect diversity to problem-solving? First: when creating a project team, or asking stakeholders their opinions, ensure that there are as many manifold viewpoints as possible. This indicates that you should surround yourself with people who are not the same as you are in terms of their ethnic roots, gender, income levels, body type, and sexual preference.

Second: you should embrace a separate viewpoint in each of your interactions. This indicates that you must constantly question your own presumptions and coerce yourself into seeing other aspects of an issue. This is a perfect technique to circumvent complacency, too.

Together with diversity, one other component for more solid problem-solving is a workplace in which you are able to speak your mind openly. If there is no danger in expressing your thoughts and we are free to express them without any fear, embarrassment, or censure, our work performance dramatically increases. Therefore, it is important to create a workplace where people are psychologically safe. 

If we feel this way, we are a lot more penchant for creativity, taking risks, and raising our voices if we notice something is wrong. And in a world of fast technological innovation and disturbance, it is best when we feel great should we aim to be capable problem-solvers.

Chapter 6 – In order to establish a ”network” in the future, you have to get into contact with your old friends.

What does the word “networking” evoke for you? Maybe a business event where you get into contact with other people, attempting to give them a copy of your business card? Or perhaps it’s writing a weird message to someone through LinkedIn?

In the future, the meaning of networking might undergo a change. In addition, if you want to prosper, you will have to reconsider how you do it.

Instead of advertising yourself to strangers with no knowledge regarding you, the best you can do is to get into contact with your old friends. At that moment, you may think, “Why are my old friends relevant for my career?” They are very relevant. Most of them will now be shifting to diverse cliques, having jobs in various fields, and continuing their lives in separate regions or countries. You may not be cognizant of how helpful it can be to re-establish the links between you and your friends for your career.

One example is the writer herself, Andrea Clarke. She has worked in various sectors- she’s worked as a TV reporter and engaged in philanthropic work, and today she works as a CEO educator. 25 years later she got back in touch with an old friend. When they were youngsters, they’d expend their teenage years in nightclubs and bars in Surfers Paradise, Queensland. She learned that her friend, Candice Treloar, was working for a big Australian telecommunications corporation, Telstra. After re-establishing the bonds with her old friend, the writer managed to secure precious work for her firm, CareerCEO.

What was vital is that thanks to their friendship that has been going as far back as to their youth, they could be frank with each other. It wasn’t necessary to build a relationship from scratch, or bear the whole lengthy process of business “romance.” Things are a lot simpler with friends.

One other advantage of reinvigorating friendships is a truly human one. In a career market that might look lonelier and more isolating day by day, we have to get every one of the practical and emotional assistance we are able to obtain. Though material wealth in Western countries is enormous, the feeling of depression has reached record levels, and people are more and more divided and isolated from one other. Thus, the advantage of having a community of people bonded to each other is very important.

At the end of the day, we’re social animals. Studies, for instance, have demonstrated that most of the people who experienced the 1992–1995 Bosnian war are yearning for the feeling of comradeship during the war. Unfortunately, they aren’t able to feel the same spirit today. What does it indicate in our era, and in what direction are we going to? Simply put, in order to stay alive in the future, your friends will be more important than ever.

Chapter 7 – The future workplaces want to see a novel sort of leadership.

The workplace is evolving. Most people work home-office or their bonds with the conventional office atmosphere aren’t as strong as it used to be. People work in a flexible manner and away from the workplace, engaging with ever further intricate technology and information.

With the advancements, novel sorts of leadership are demanded. Managers cannot be the cold, administrative “suits” as they’ve been in the until now. It is necessary for them to be more engaged in things, energetic, and cooperative.

What business professor Jonas Altman thinks is that in the future four different leadership sorts will be demanded. These are models and traits that are possible to be embraced separately or together, which changes according to the circumstances and the organization.

We’ll examine the first one: the Teacher. The Teacher concentrates on guiding and teaching through being a role model. A Teacher puts great emphasis on transparency, sharing one’s knowledge, constant learning, and feedback. By this method, they want to promote similar attributes among their employees. Furthermore, their leadership type relies profoundly on trust and viewing employees as qualified, but responsible, people.

The next one is the Learner. This sort of leadership is going to be crucial as technological change gains momentum, and we’ll need to learn as quickly as possible and become expert fast. “Learner” leaders are aware that not only the workers but also the leaders have to learn. They’ll serve as conductors, taking in and incorporating novel technical and intellectual information even more rapidly than their employees.

The third model is the Mobilizer. The Mobilizer is the sort of leader able to supervise complicated processes, which includes people working home-office and various moving parts. They’ll have to have the ability to connect other people to himself, to instigate quick joint action from big teams. Described in simple terms, they’ll have to have the talent for mobilizing large numbers of people.

Lastly, we have the Giver. The Giver is the sort of leader aiding others to achieve their objective. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, is a prime model. He’s altruistic, soft-spoken, amiable, and a great partner, which are the attributes that one wouldn’t expect to see from a person who sits on the CEO chair. However, this method worked both for him and Google. His magnanimity apparently permeates and brightens up the organization, inspiring other workers to give, in the same fashion he does. And, to show that his method pays off, businesses that have “giving culture” have stated their profits, productivity, and customer satisfaction increased.

The future is surely ambiguous. However, these four traits would develop any leader, no matter what expects us in the upcoming years.

Chapter 8 – To be ahead of your time in the future, you’ll have to adopt constant learning.

There is no way of being certain about what kind of a future awaits us, however, if something resembles our age in the future, it’s going to be continuous disruption and transformation. Mechanization, cloud technology, AI, and robotics seem to be ready to change the world we know.

Bearing this in mind, should we stay up-to-date, we’ll have to enhance our knowledge as often as we upgrade our technological tools.

So as to be poised for this future, you can form a good habit of constant learning. By forming this habit, you’ll devote yourself to exploring things you have no knowledge of. Thanks to this, you’ll enhance your chances of potential career possibilities, or, at least, your comprehension of the ever-changing world will increase. To achieve this, you can utilize four things to make it a habit.

One of them is to have precise learning goals, which means you have to detect a field about which you’ve got no knowledge or insufficient information and learn about it. What is the way of doing this? Suppose that you’ve got no idea what “fintech” is or what the word’s meaning. It is easy – you could learn about it by reading. Or perhaps you’ve got no information with regard to the stock market. The straightforward answer would be sparing some hours to read about it.

Second, you have to blend an old school with a new school. What is precisely necessary to do that? Know this first: every subject has two principal sections: the foundational and the new. So, the “old school” part of economics would involve acquainting yourself with, for example, Adam Smith or Karl Marx. In that case, gaining insight into the “new school” might involve exploring more novel advancements such as “proptech” or the “shared economy.” Both of these schools are vital to achieving a complete comprehension of a subject.

Next, follow the people who are street smarts. This involves reaping the benefits of the present and the most pioneering wisdom. You may encounter this in listening to a podcast, to an important speaker at a conference, or in having an email correspondence with a specialist in the area. This sort of knowledge develops on the groundwork of the old school/new-school knowledge that you’ve already got gained.

Lastly, prepare a revision schedule and be dedicated to it. This is the hard part for most people. However, if you want to learn in a thorough way, you have to devote yourself to it at regular interims. You can do the revision by using flashcards each day to remember important insights or sparing several evenings per week to read about it, revision is a must when you are intended to take in novel information.

Do you know what the great thing is? Even though what you learn may not benefit you in the shortest notice, no one ever moans because they have more knowledge about the world where they live!

Future Fit: How to Stay Relevant and Competitive in the Future of Work by Andrea Clarke Book Review

The future is apparently going to be shaped by technological disruption, with drastic transformations in conventional employment patterns. If you want to be up-to-date, you have to turn into someone who can adjust to any circumstance, promote creativity, and make constant learning a habit for his own. In addition, networking will entail getting in touch with old friends for guidance and assistance, as communities get ever smaller and more isolated. Lastly, if you want to adjust, leadership will need to be more engaged, energetic, and accommodating.

Learn about an unusual subject.

Our information isn’t complete, there are missing points. When you make plans to watch some series on Netflix or refreshing your social media feeds continuously without any purpose next time, look at Wikipedia instead and find a subject of which you’ve got zero knowledge – perhaps it might be about how volcanic systems work, or the complexities of the bond market. No matter what it is, don’t leave these missing points as they are!

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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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