The Next Obsolete Office Skill? It Could Be Planning

What skill is necessary for the future? originally appeared on Quorathe place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Auren Hoffman, SafeGraph CEO. fmr LiveRamp CEO. Started & sold 5 companies, on Quora:

One skill that will be less in need in the future than in the past is Planning.

For a long time, the forgetful creative genius (the absent-minded professor) was at a big disadvantage in society because of their lack of planning skills. At the same time, the Planner (less creative but very good at logistics for the future) was needed for most tasks.

While both skills are important, the future we will need more creatives types and less planners.

In fact, we’ve reached Peak Planner.

Today, it is much easier to do something in the last minute.

Want to watch a TV show? Not that long ago you’d have to plan to watch it. Seinfeld was available to watch only Thursday at 9p. Later, when DVRs came, you’d still have to plan by setting up your DVR. Non-planners often had to resort to watching infomercials. Today, you just go watch the great show whenever you want.

Want to go on a good vacation? It is actually possible to plan the whole thing that day.

Restaurants? Yelp + OpenTable = instant gratification.

Need a ride to the airport? You can call a Lyft or Uber a minute before.

Want food? The biggest problem is picking from one of the 400 apps that help you do that.

Need more compute power for your application? Simple to spin up more instances on Amazon Web Services.

On-demand services are built by planners to give non-planners an advantage

The best planners are working themselves out of a societal advantage because they are spending their time planning logistical companies that give small benefits to other planners … but very large benefits to the absent-minded professors.

Coordination is getting easier and easier

Coordination … especially between 2-10 people … is getting easier and easier.

Not that long ago, if you wanted to meet someone you’d have to spend a lot of time coordinating it. You’d break out a map and plan your route. You’d call them a few days ahead of time and meticulously plan where to meet.

Today your mobile phone takes care of all of this in real-time. No need to coordinate. It is Planning for Dummies.

The Marshmallow Test will not be as important 50 years from now

The famous marshmallow test predicted that people who were good at delaying gratification were more successful. These are people who better appreciated the value of compound interest.

But in a future world where planning is not as needed as today’s world, delaying gratification may not be as important. While people that do well on the marshmallow test will still have an advantage … that advantage will be much smaller 50 years from now as it was 50 years ago.

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