Generation Flux Salon: What Does Talent Look Like In An Age Of Flux?

Generation Fluxers often disrupt their own careers before their careers get disrupted for them. Beth Comstock, John Maeda, Ben Palmer, Jonah Peretti, Dev Patnaik, and Soraya Darabi discuss the skills and training that Generation Fluxers bring to the table as our Branch salon series kicks off.

Welcome to the 21st century, an era when the old rules have changed and the new ones are evolving all the time. Share your strategies for navigating this era of chaos—and learn from some of the most successful members of the league of innovators dubbed Generation Flux by Fast Company editor-in-chief Robert Safian.

In an age of Flux, the business landscape is constantly changing. According to Box CEO Aaron Levie, "The three-month road map is about the best horizon you can think about coherently." Generation Fluxers often disrupt their own careers before their careers get disrupted for them—so what does talent look like in a world where job descriptions are always mutating? General Electric CMO Beth Comstock, Rhode Island School of Design president John Maeda, Barbarian Group CEO Ben Palmer, BuzzFeed cofounder Jonah Peretti, Jump CEO Dev Patnaik, and Foodspotting cofounder Soraya Darabi are discussing the skills and training that they value most in the first installment of our Branch salon series.

We want you to join this conversation. Use the "Ask to join" button below to request an invite. We'll also be bringing in people who are generating the most thoughtful conversation around this topic on Twitter using the #GenFlux hashtag.

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  • Kristen

    Hi - As someone who is considered of the Gen Flux generationI would love to hear about how talent acquistion has changed as well. When I read about valued skills sets as opposed to training for a specific profession, I find it so reassuring that there are leaders out there who embrace different ways of thinking and learning.
    However, coming from a Liberal Arts background trying to transition to the business world I found I was constantly against a wall trying to land a job, as I was not in a set career path, and did not have the inside connections to even land an interview. It appears that more and more there exists inner circles of connections that are near impossible to find, let alone join. In a time where students are graduating with soaring debt, and facing increasing costs of living, do you have any advice as to how we can navigate staying true to our passions and inklings while finding sustainable career success?
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

  • Fast Company

     Hi Kristen -- to join the salon, just hit the "Ask to join" button at the top of the Branch!

  • Radically Cool Quest

    I've always believed that the same team that got you to (x) wont necessarily get you to (y), so you need an element of fluxing within your team to reach new heights. Same can apply to your personal goals. To reach new heights you need new inputs. I've been fluxing my whole life. I seek to learn, then to teach, then to move on and learn something new...

  • Emma Skipper

    I would agree with Deena, however if you are asking a company to entrust you with a role, that's where personal relationships and the 'emotional intelligence' referred to above comes in. As candidate you have to be able to convince your employer that you are worth the risk and back up your claims. For example, you can be talented but unable to apply yourself to changeable and creative environments - hence not worth the risk. That's the hard part but the most worthwhile long term. 

    A talented ability to adapt, engage and produce - that's the most valuable commodity...

  • Simon Robinson

    Hi I would be interested to hear on how you go about identifying the new characteristics of GenFlux in a candidate. It is easy enough for a candidate to make various claims, but how are recruitment procedures changing to test and measure these qualities in a candidate?

  • Fast Company

     Hi - to join this conversation, just hit the "Ask to join" button at the top of the Branch conversation.

  • Deena Syed

    Talent looks like a force of nature that won't take no for an answer. In my experience companies are afraid of talent, they say they want talented and innovative employees in their job descriptions but end up hiring the safest employee... boring. If you want talent, you need to go for the unexpected and striking individual.