Gladwell on Changes in the Workplace

One prediction I feel very certain about making is that we are headed, in the short term, toward a time of severe labour shortages. Trying to find a qualified person is going to be tougher in the next 10 years for most sophisticated businesses than it has ever been. This is not a problem that’s going away, it’s one that’s going to get worse.

I don’t know that there is an easy solution. We have to get better at helping people learn on the job. The idea that you can decide whether someone is a good or bad fit for your organization at point zero is going to have to be thrown out the window, because you’re not going to be able to find somebody with those credentials.

You’re going to have to create internal structures that will help people grow into positions; that’s really where the real opportunity is going to be. That’s what we’re going to have to do. That means being more patient with people, being willing to experiment with people, and being willing to nurture people. Those are three things we’re reluctant to do at the moment.

— Malcolm Gladwell, …Talks about our working future