Jeff Weiner, the current CEO of Linkedin presents the Economic graph and the next 10 years of Linkedin vision in this seminar. He defines economic opportunity as helping graduates to find work, helping professionals to realize their dream jobs and getting people to obtain mastery of their capabilities.
I write this article with every intention to spark curiosity and debates to evaluating the gap between what challenges that Linkedin is trying to solve as part of its mission and what the world needs Linkedin to solve.
The premise behind this definition implies a pre-determined path for the professionals or professionals to be and that path is based on a set of factors that seems to be timeless or does not change overtime. For instance, a student decides to take a path to be a web designer.
However, life is not always smooth and linear. People tend to make new career decisions when the global landscape of a specific industry changes or when there are changes to life circumstances that render previous skills or experience obsolete. Training to translate human capital potential into true economic value for the individual is only useful when the most relevant and emerging skills in a new industry can be quickly and timely transferred to these trainees. That is the actual challenge embedded in these unemployment or underemployment phenomenons.
One way that Linkedin can do or should look into is to define human capital potential, which is the ability to translate IQ and EQ into emerging skills. If that is done right, Linkedin can unlock the truth human potential. As such, this can provide the following impact: 1. introducing job opportunities that have not previously existed to talents who have not acquired these skills yet 2. discovering new talents for emerging skills to recruiters when the talent pool just started to incubate 3. helping professionals to switch career to do something new and exciting to match their passion and needs for new life circumstances.
The other real opportunity is to help professionals to navigate their career paths especially when there are significant changes in the direction from their current career bearing. One navigation tool is to provide a way to determine the value at risks for the meaning of life, which consists of lifetime income and the state of well being. Current job suggestions on Linkedin are based on the individual past historical records and not on the recent records. Skills should be defined based on neuro-cognitive potentials or equivalent instead of self generated skill description with social circle endorsement. An individual who used to be a successful sales manager is transiting to be a computer programmer after he lost his voice to cancer. This individual will be currently and constantly referred to receiving sales job offer by existing Linkedin recommendation when he needs access to programming job opportunities that can be done without using his voice. Existing data on linkedin can help to create career risk management tools for professionals to be able to make more informed choices to take a different career path. It is not the belief that there are lack of opportunities for the professionals but the uncertainties behind making a career switch that keeps people from taking that jump or that keeps people from quitting their jobs just because their compensation lock themselves in situations that keep under utilizing their skills and raw intellectual power.
Leaders can lead a powerful organization to fulfill a mission that generates marginal impact to the world but visionaries empower a powerful organization like linkedin to actually create future impact to the incoming next generation of professionals.
As Jeff Wiener mentioned in the same seminar that the economic graph can be produced just by connecting the existing products in Linkedin so that does not excites people about the Linkedin mission. Untill Jeff Wiener considers about the 2 above mentioned opportunities, he basically just outlined existing challenges and show what has already been done.