I can buy-in to the idea of lean government.
But for that to work, we need people with the right skills, attitudes and motivations. In my experience, an ideal team is comprised of people who are intrinsically motivated and really enjoy producing high quality work.
What are the skills that everyone needs to create high quality work? And where can we learn these skills when there’s never enough time just to get the work done?
According to Rotman Magazine there are “10 New Skills That Every Worker Needs” by Devin Findler and Marina Gorbis. The article is not online, but there is a recap here on the TechthisWay blog (including the image below). It also resonated with this person who works at Timeraiser, who revealed they were working on a “BIG plan to…provide a number of Canadians the opportunity to gain these digital skills.” This plan is now operational – it’s an internship and training program, and open architecture platform (very cool!).
The 10 skills every worker needs, according to the article, are:
- Computation Thinking <–We are here
- Design Thinking
- Cognitive Load Management
- New Media Literacy
- Sense Making
- Social Intelligence
- Cross-cultural competency
- Virtual Collaboration
What’s creating the need for these skills? Again, according to the article its:
- shift towards a computation world
- new media ecology
- demographic transformation
- rise of smart machines and systems
- globally connected world
Yet, with shrinking budgets and increasing pressure for public servant to perform, perform, perform, it’s difficult to find time for re-skilling.
Over the coming weeks, I will publish a series of blog posts of where and how you can get these skills cheaply, on your own time, whether that be from the office or after hours, and hopefully in a fun and meaningful way with like-minded people. There are amazing resources freely available on iTunesU, podcasts, SlideShare, TED talks and YouTube, and local Meet-Ups, just to name a few. Please add more in the comments if you have other ideas.
Let’s start at the beginning –
1. Computational Thinking
What is it?
“(N)ovice friendly programming languages” which enable us to manipulate our environments & enhance our interactions. Also included here is use of simulations, and understanding algorithms for understanding vast amounts of data.
I’m seeing this more and more in my industry – UX designers are expected to know how to program, artists like Kyle McDonald share and re-use open source code and increasingly code-sharing tools like GitHub are being used for EVERYTHING!
Where can you get this skill?
A quick list to get you started — there are many many more….As you can see from the list, computational thinking is more than programming, although programming is increasingly expected by a wide range of industries and can help you take matters into your own hands!
- Girl Develop IT
- WET 101 sessions - there’s also a new training working group in the works
- Model Thinking course at Coursera (focused on statistical analysis)
- The Public Opinion Research Community of Practice teaches free workshops on quantitative analysis for analyzing survey results, they also have developed standards for creating effective surveys.
Suggested Exercise: Edit a page on a wiki – wikipedia, gcpedia, github wiki…wherever there is a project that is of interest to you.
Stay tuned for more local, public-sector appropriate, resources to help build the “10 New Skills that Every Worker Needs” according to Rotman Magazine.