Ever laconic Seth Godin posts on what he sees in demand these days:
We don’t need pilots. We need instigators and navigators, rabble rousers and innovators. People who can’t follow a checklist to save their life, but invent the future every day.
I don’t think Seth really understands what it means to be a great airplane pilot, but what he’s trying to say is right. There was a time when folks who could do the “cog work” (e.g. follow this procedure, the same way, every time. etc.) were valued, but not any more. Moving away from the front line, I might say, what we need are leaders, not managers.
A swarm of connected human minds is a fantastic resource for tracking down software bugs or discovering obscure gems on the Web. But if you want to come up with a good idea, or a sophisticated argument, or a work of art, you’re still better off going solo.
There will always be a premium on creativity. You just can’t engineer that. It’s a human thing. There are problems you can solve with money, but being creative isn’t one of them.