arrows03Being a 21st century professional is not about what you do; it’s about how you think. What do I mean by that? Enterprise2.0, Web2.0 and Web3.0, Social Media, Gov2.0, Diplomacy2.0, the GeoSocial Economy are all buzz words to one single, simple concept: Connectedness.

What does all that mean from a business perspective? It means that in a machine-to-machine world, 24/7 connected devices—allowing you to work from a soccer game, follow friends, update the world that you are taking a walk around the corner and checking into the local coffee shop—everything is being captured and correlated, and the machines are connecting the dots faster that you are, Mr. or Ms. Professional.

Generation X and Digital Natives understand this well, and are giving more mature managers and Human Resources departments quite a bit of angst. I’ve been observing this for some time, but it wasn’t until I read an article by David Rothkopf in Foreign Policy magazine on his observations of the Egyptian student uprising, Hosni Mubarak’s initial government response, and what was missing from the 24/7 news coverage, that it really struck me. He said, “The demands to shut down phones and networks promise to raise interesting challenges for private companies that provide those services who, by complying with a sitting government, might alienate successor governments or populaces at a time of change. It is not going to be easy to be government relations specialists for IT and telecom companies in the years ahead.” Let me repeat the important part… “It is not going to be easy to be government relations specialists for IT and telecom companies in the years ahead.”

This got me thinking about what the professional of the future looks like. Government relations professionals (also known as lobbyists) generally don’t study technology; they are generally liberal arts, political science, international relations, or law graduates, with a good dose of hard core politicking learned working campaigns and at the capitol (state or federal). This combination of academic training and on the job training is no different for other professionals. A converged skill set is increasingly being demanded of a technology-dependent society and economy—and let’s be clear by what we mean by technology—we mean the impact of real-time communications and linked data.

This is changing expectations of “knowledge,” risk, opportunity, and “business judgment.” The more knowledge you have, the more responsible you become; the more information you have access to; the more aware you are expected to be. The professional of the future, what I call Professional3.0, is the person who understands the power of connected data and can apply it to his or her area of expertise. Since the computers can think faster and connect data faster than you can (think IBM’s Watson), Professional3.0 must figure out how to add value. Read on for how location intelligence skills are a critical component of Professional3.0.

Remember to discover your location dimension,

Natasha Léger