The objectives of Digital Native Artisans in the world of work

You may have heard ad nauseam how the digital revolution is disrupting your business and how it affects jobs. While business leaders speak about it at length, not many have addressed it. The future belongs to digital natives – it has nothing to do with age, though most seem to be young. It’s just that they’re comfortable using digital technology.

Digital natives will survive the digital disruption that is impacting your business provided that they become Digital Native Artisans (a.k.a. DNA). The most frequent question young people ask is whether they should seek a traditional job in a large organisation.

Even established organisations are coping badly. When you are at the peak of your business model, trying anything new seems like running downhill. The digital challenger is barely a hump compared to your peak. The problem is that the challenger isn’t just doing what you do differently; he is also doing different things.

To beat him, you must come down from your peak and build a barrier that leverages many of your existing capabilities, which the challenger does not have. You need a strategy map for your business model – i.e. what customers really want and how to change your people and culture.

Your employees probably have no idea about the changes that are likely to take place and their impact on them. To survive, you will not only have to be a digital native but a DNA as well. A DNA is not only comfortable with digital technology but also knows how to use it to fulfil a market need. Since no one has defined the rules of the game for the future, let me elucidate the ‘Charter of Digital Native Artisans.’

#1“My life is mine. I’m not a cog in the capital driven industrial machine. I seek and discover meaning in what I do. I can make even routine things meaningful. I care for others. I take only what I need and hoard only what is required for a rainy day. For me, investing is investing in meaningful relationships. I want to give more than I take from the world. My work group is flat, transparent and the currency is trust. I am equally comfortable in the barter and gift economy, not just the old economy where work is a transaction for money.”

#2“We DNAs refuse to replace industrial age factory workers with modern-day cyber coolies. We create value on a continuous basis and take pride in our work, much like an artisan does. We have developed the ability to move from one domain to another without necessarily going to school.”

#3“We create our security by collaborating with other digital artisans and not by selling our soul to those who want to impose their self-interest on us. Together, we’re creating the future where power will be distributed, the voiceless will find a voice, producers will find markets with less middlemen and more people will find their potential. We want to make the entire world a great place to work.”