A few days ago, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell noted that he’s almost finished with his third book. I’ve learned that the subject of this book is the future of the workplace with subtopics of education and genius. (That topic dovetails nicely with business consulting/speaking, no?) As with his previous books, hints of what the book will cover appear in his recent stories and interviews. Most relevant is an October interview with Gladwell in The Globe and Mail on “our working future”.
We will require, from a larger and larger percentage of our work force, the ability to engage in relatively complicated analytical and cognitive tasks. So it’s not that we’re going to need more geniuses, but the 50th percentile is going to have to be better educated than they are now. We’re going to have to graduate more people from high school who’ve done advanced math, is a very simple way of putting it.
Other recent and not-so-recent writings and talks by Gladwell on working, education, and genius include:
- his talk on genius from the 2007 New Yorker Conference
- The Risk Pool - What’s behind Ireland’s economic miracle and G.M.’s financial crisis? (more, more)
- The Myth of Prodigy and Why It Matters
- Getting In - The social logic of Ivy League admissions
- Brain Candy - Is pop culture dumbing us down or smartening us up?
- Gladwell’s personal work space
- Making the Grade
- The Talent Myth - Are smart people overrated?
- The Social Life of Paper - Looking for method in the mess
- The Bakeoff - Project Delta aims to create the perfect cookie
- Designs For Working - Why your bosses want to turn your new office into Greenwich Village
- The New-Boy Network - What do job interviews really tell us?