Taming Transmogriphobes

Alright, so I love the vibe to transmog.

There’s a widely used, now debunked as a myth, Aussie “survey” finding that when current students enter the workforce, two-thirds of them will do jobs that don’t exist today. Despite the absence of any such original study Down Under, the perception persists that brand new jobs appear at an ever faster rate.

This week, London’s Times reported the latest wave. These include their headline grabbers; drone photographer, brexit planner and gaming shoutcaster. As well as growth from recently established newfangulations; social media managers, Influencers, data protection advisers (aka GDPR), big data miners and machine learning engineers.

A couple of years ago, my 2,000th post reflected on changes in Sales during my decade of blogging from inside selling. I cited Deloitte numbers that half of jobs then did not exist ten years prior.

I rail against inertians so much that it was one of my selling words of the year for 2017.

Back when I was deep in enterprise software I recall a conversation among peers about our most reviled job roles. Stereotypes encountered daily. From the Luddite to those welded so firmly to their status quo you wondered how we ever made it beyond our species-birthing swampland.

Financial Controller, Design Engineer, IT Manager.

The frighteningly change-averse whom if you ever had the misfortune to contact would respond akin to the famed cartoon of the trolley-pushing tea-lady rebuffing someone offering her any beverage-vending mechanism.

So how do you connect with and mobilise those who feel threatened by the march of progress?

Change is coming. As sure as Night follows Day. Automation, social media, bots, outsource, gig economy. There’s a long list of imminent disruptive buzzwords. We might not have the previously promised jetpacks, but our transport will – very soon – have neither steering wheel, internal combustion engine nor stress. How will this be for Sales?

Twenty years ago I saw a then selling-tech doyen Tom Siebel conference keynote in Chicago. It was sadly underwhelming. Its main thrust was what he labelled automatic sales agents. Possibly cementing the kind of closed-system proprietary madness that prevailed with airline seat (over)booking back then and what right now we’d term as bots making ordering decisions between stockist and client. Given the then path of EDI, hardly guruesque prescience.

Yet if you asked anyone who’s been in their role a fair while, what changes have they seen over their past, say, five years, I’m pretty sure you’d get a long or significant answer. You can even switch that dreaded word ‘change’ for something disarming. Developments, improvements, progress, innovations, frying pan in the face like Jerry-chasing poor old Tom.

You might even tee this idea up by asking when the last period of settled, quiet, unaffected, humdrum, steady-as-she-goes operation existed in their world before or since any geologic-style plate shift.

The different types of job titles appearing are but one simple indicator across any sector.

If such shifting has slid through over the years just gone, imagine what’ll happen over the next few. Forget few. How about next twelve months. And how are you, mister prospect, making plans to handle the next bang…?

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