Future Here Now: Neurodivergence and the Fusion Era
This week’s Future Here Now focuses on an unexpected, but intriguing, emerging implication of the transition we are living through to the Fusion Era:
Thinking differently, which was a Bad Thing in the Industrial Era, is becoming an asset. Since our ability to generate value depends, not on our strong back or ability to follow instructions, but on our ability to solve problems and find innovations, being able to see something from an unusual perspective might mean that we can uncover an opportunity that more mainstream thinkers might not see.
The problem is that our Industrial Era leftovers (hello, education and offices) aren’t designed to leverage these assets - they’re designed to suppress them, to force compliance or kick them out of the system. But as we continue to make this transition, those divergent perspectives are going to become more and more valuable. We’re already seeing that in early, sporadic efforts to employ some people who are on the autistic spectrum - and a few employers are even discovering that people on the spectrum can do some necessary jobs better than neurotypical employees.
If we want to thrive in the Fusion Era, we need to move our systems and our assumptions to capitalize on people with divergent minds.
Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage
Meet John. He’s a wizard at data analytics. His combination of mathematical ability and software development skill is highly unusual. His CV features two master’s degrees, both with honors. An obvious guy for a tech company to scoop up, right?
Until recently, no. Before John ran across a firm that had begun experimenting with alternative approaches to talent, he was unemployed for more than two years. Other companies he had talked with badly needed the skills he possessed. But he couldn’t make it through the hiring process.
If you watched John for a while, you’d start to see why. He seems, well, different. He wears headphones all the time, and when people talk to him, he doesn’t look
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