Mindsets & Skills


The guidance you get from the ‘PRISM’ and ‘Mindsets & Skills’ pages will help to protect you from the impact of technology on your current job or career, and will assist you in choosing your next job.

If you need further help, then contact Nick to arrange a no-charge telephone or Skype chat to discuss your specific situation, and find out if you are a candidate for his help.


TECHNOLOGY is impacting every job. AI (‘Artificial Intelligence’), in the form of computer programs or robots or drones, is reducing or replacing the need for human involvement. And the speed of technological advances is accelerating. At some point in the future – maybe in 30 or 40 years, maybe earlier – most jobs will not require human labour. In the meantime, skills that we’ve learned years ago, or skills that we’ve just learned in school, are changing or becoming redundant.

PRISM is designed to help you protect yourself in your job and career for as long as possible – most importantly, longer than other workers. It does so by introducing you to the mindsets and skills that this new world of work requires. NOTE THAT THESE ARE NOT THE SPECIFIC SKILLS REQUIRED TO PERFORM JOB FUNCTIONS. They are the so-called ‘soft’ skills that make you a better team player, and better able to deal with the dynamic changes in job requirements. Learn them, and you will enjoy your jobs more, and be a more valuable employee (or gig worker) whom your employer will want to keep!

Our service is CAREER CHANGE COACHING. So we decided it would be fun to use the letter ‘C’ in most of what we talk about (even if our choice of words are somewhat unusual). In effect, we will help you to ‘C’ better how to prosper in this new world of work!

And so the details below introduce you to 9 CORE COGITATIONS (also known as MINDSETS) & 10 CORE CAPABILITIES (also known as SKILLS).




Nobody enjoys change, but we need to do more than just accept that the world as we know it is changing rapidly – we need to embrace the changes! Accept that they are inevitable, and look for where they can benefit us (and our families). Every time something changes, there are opportunities for those who are looking for them.


Computers are the basic engines for most technological advances. They are everywhere, and we need to be aware of them, their strengths and their limitations. That doesn’t mean that we need to be able to program them ourselves; just that we know that someone (or something) needs to program them. And this requirement doesn’t just apply to computers, but also to the rest of their environment, such as communications technology, the internet, sensors, etc.


In 1965, Gordon Moore, one of the co-founders of Intel, noticed that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit was doubling every year or two, and forecasted that this would continue for at least a decade. Over 50 years later, the exponential growth of technology is still a reflection of Moore’s Law, when applied to the latest technology (and cost has been halving too).

It is human nature to think of linear timelines, which is why most forecasts of technological advances have been too conservative, even within the AI field. For example, in 2015, a survey of 352 AI experts predicted that it would take 12 years for a machine to beat a GO champion, when in fact it took 2 years!


There is a saying that “Methods are many; Principles are few. Methods always change; Principles never do.” I remember teaching systems design at Simon Fraser University in the 1970s, and talking of the importance of backing up programs, and also that the responsibility of a systems designer was to protect computer users from themselves. Both principles apply today, 40 years later, even though the methods to do so are vastly different.

It is very difficult to keep learning skills that are outdated a year or two later. The trick is to drill down into a skill, and learn the principles behind it. Then, when a new variation comes along, you can more easily understand it.

When designing a system (yes, another principle I taught), try to define and implement the general case of everything that is required, so that, when the specifics change, your design will still work. When my team designed a complex multi-time-period, multi-union payroll system, we used generic definitions of types of pay, tax, and benefits – and that allowed the system to be modified annually, for over 20 years!


Today, the options when communicating with others are many – we can talk, write, text, email, instant message, and on-line chat and post – to almost anywhere in the world. (Have I forgotten anything?) Most messages are sent immediately, and can be replied to almost immediately. This provides wonderful functionality, but it comes at a cost. Some 70% of inter-personal communication is non-verbal, which is a challenge when you can’t see the other person (unless they’re sitting at the table across from you). Emojis only help a little! And the speed of communication does not provide the reflection time that we used to have.

There is a 6-word sentence “I didn’t say he stole money” which has 6 different meanings as you emphasise each of the words. Try it! Then think how you would communicate all 6 meanings.

Communication will not get simpler, it is up to us to be aware of the pitfalls, and minimize them. (At least, that is, until we do brain-to-brain thought transfers!)


(aka SKILLS)

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Chat with Nick! Maybe he can help!


Skype: nick_arden

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