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The Industrial Age has taught us how to break problems into parts, but not how to build parts into solutions. We’re baffled when we’re confronted with complex challenges like recession, political gridlock, climate change, childhood obesity, pollution, and failing schools. We see them as separate ills, each requiring a separate remedy—if we can imagine a remedy at all.
Why are so many jobs disappearing? Why are a few people getting rich while the rest of us struggle? How can we pay for the costs of healthcare? Why can’t our trusted institutions behave ethically? What’s the cause of governmental gridlock? How can we afford to educate our children? How do we stop damaging the ecosystem? Why do we create ugliness?
Author Marty Neumeier suggests that these problems are merely symptoms of a much larger problem–our inability to deal with interconnected, non-linear, and amorphous challenges. It’s not that our problems are too difficult, he argues, but that our skills are too basic. Success in the post-industrial era demands that we move our thinking from the static, the linear, and the step-by-step to the dynamic, the holistic, and the all-at-once.
In this sweeping vision for personal mastery in a post-industrial era, Neumeier presents five metaskills–feeling, seeing, dreaming, making, and learning–that can help you reach your true potential. They’ll keep you two or three steps ahead of the machines, the algorithms, and the outsourcing forces of the “robot curve”. They’ll also bring you greater creativity, higher purpose, and a deeper sense of fulfillment.
Metaskills is more than a manifesto. It’s a compass for visionary leaders, policymakers, educators, and planners. It’s a creative framework for designers, engineers, scientists, and artists. It’s a picture of the future that allows people from a wide range of disciplines, industries, and professions to envision new ways to create value together. Perhaps more important, it’s a long-overdue examination of what it means to be human in the 21st century.