- Learn to become a world citizen: To succeed in the post-cubicle work environment you must be ready and willing to do business with people and cultures you have never interacted with before. That can be daunting to some. However, whether we like it or not, it is the reality of our future world. It is therefore critical to learn to become comfortable with that concept. Do not be limited by geographic boundaries but allow yourself to expand as far as your brain and heart are able to take you.
- Become comfortable and flexible when dealing with new information and new realities: Not too long ago my wife and I were grocery shopping at Vons; we needed to buy cashews. I told her that cashews are less expensive at Henry’s. I knew that that store is now called Sprouts, but did not want to use the new name. Henry’s was a name that I was used to for so many years. However, since they changed the name I refused to embrace that new name. I was surprised when a few minutes later this man walked to us and said, “ I heard you talk about Henry’s, is it the grocery store that you were referring to? I think it is now called Sprouts.” This is just one example of how we may remain attached to the past and fail to embrace new realities unfolding in our society. The post cubicle era will require people who are flexible to change and are ready to incorporate those new realities in their everyday life (of course if those changes are good.)
- Become a perpetual learner: In today’s work environment employers are expected to train their employees. In the post cubicle era, however, it will be the worker’s responsibility to develop his skills and keep them up to date in order for him to stay competitive. The post cubicle will be an era of inventors; creators; free lancers who do not need supervision to get the job done. You can see what kind of environment this will be. Workers will need to take classes, attend workshops and seminars, watch educational videos and read books and blogs to stay up to date. If you have not started, make it your goal to start tomorrow (literally).
- Develop your skills in one particular subject and become an expert in it: whether it is custodial work, whether it is computer engineering, whether is food recipe creation… whatever it is that you decide to do, make sure you are the expert in that subject. Develop the mindset of Akeem in the movie Coming to America, “when you think of (put your field of expertize), think (put your name). That is how you should want people to think about you. And that mindset is in line with the post cubicle work environment.
- Take full responsibility for your actions and take ownership of your results: You cannot blame people or circumstances for what happened or what did not happen. All you need to do is continue to do what is required and do not give up until you succeed, unless you are on a dead end street.
- Think global and act global: people who operate from this mindset do not think in terms of us vs. them. They take a holistic view of the world. “Their problems are my problems” that is how they see things and in doing so they are able to touch lives in places where they have never been or even places where they will never be in their life. These are true citizens of the world.
By Mucyo Balinda