We recently wrote about the shift from the Information Age to the newly sprouting Communication Age. Information is now fully a part of our lives. It is baked into everything we do. And we are now on the back side of this massive shift towards more, better, more-easily-accessed information.
The new competitive advantage will come from our ability to communicate within all of this information. Everyone has more of it at their fingertips than ever before. We have so much information available to us, that many people and many organizations simply do not know how to handle all of it.
But here is where the competitive advantage will come from. The people who will add dramatic value will be those who can clearly explain it all… who can make things simpler for their colleagues or customers… who can take complex things and explain them in simple, valuable, actionable ways.
What do we DO with all of this information? How do we interpret it? What are the next steps we should take? What is the data telling us? The people who can clearly answer these kinds of questions, will be the people who will get noticed, be in demand, get promoted and possess the single biggest competitive advantage over the next 20 years.
Last week, while teaching a client workshop, a well-intentioned, successful guy said something profound… he asked “but Dean, doesn’t credibility in the workplace come from being able to demonstrate how much you know, and how much information you have inside your head?”
My answer was an unequivocal “no.” That is not where the credibility comes from anymore. Lots of people have knowledge and information inside their heads. The new credibility will come to those who can take all of the stuff inside their head and make it understandable and usable for their colleagues and customers.
Do you want to create a competitive advantage that will exist for the next generation? Then focus on developing your communication skills. Make things simple… make things clear… get to the point… show a path to action.
Be the person inside your organization who people love to listen to. Be the person who can take complex things and explain them in simple ways.
The new competitive advantage is right there… waiting for you to pick it up.
Have a great day.