How to Be

Thoughts
By: 
Leilani Cauthen

Recently while speaking in Memphis, Tennessee on the Design Economy, the leaders in Memphis wanted to know what it meant for teaching. (See “Educating for the Design Economy.”)

I answered with how students needed to “Be” in the Design Economy. They should graduate with these skills to be successful and productive:

 

  • Be imaginative, innovative, and creative.
  • Be sociable, engaged. Know that manners matter. Manage your relationships.
  • Be willing to limit information. More is not better – that was the Information Age. Now we’re more concerned about the derivation of information which is knowledge. A skill in the Design Economy to have is the skill of selection and limitation of input.
  • Large groups are not the only units of achievement, small groups and individuals can shine. You can BE something, anything, but you will always be part of a small or large network.
  • Give abductive reasoning (taking your best shot), a chance. In the age of the internet, sometimes gathering all the inputs comes at the risk of taking too long for you to act. Sometimes it’s better just to take your best shot.
  • Be good at managing your time and your own PR.
  • You have to have your own personal sense of right and wrong since the old-style bureaucracies will not be there to police you. If you don’t police yourself it will be found out sooner or later and you will be out.
  • Be more right than wrong in the life you design and you will have a good life, a good “back-story” to tell the grandkids someday.

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