Your Jigsaw Puzzle Skills Are Obsolete

Puzzle pieces

Can you put together a jigsaw puzzle with ill-defined pieces and undefined final picture?

As I kid I loved to work on jigsaw puzzles — the more pieces the better. My strategy was to find the corners, then the sides, then work my way from there. That’s my metaphor for 20th century education. It focuses on people learning how to put together a puzzle. The pieces and the final outcome are (mostly) predetermined. It’s just a matter of teaching people how to do this on a massive scale.

Where does technology and automation fit in?

What if I asked you to put together a puzzle where the pieces were unidentified and the outcome was undefined? That’s the 21st century world. The current state of automation is about putting together a puzzle with defined pieces and defined outcomes. Machines can do that. Humans? They have to do the other one. Humans can put together puzzles with ill-defined pieces and undefined outcomes.

The question for educators and employers: What skills do you need to do that? How do we educate people to do that?




I’m a really old digital native. I did a TEDx talk. #education #futureofwork #CX #ITSM

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Alan Berkson

Alan Berkson

I’m a really old digital native. I did a TEDx talk. #education #futureofwork #CX #ITSM

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