The rapid rate of information technology deployment is one of the great transformations of the 21st century.

Throughout history technology are deployed to do repetitive and information based tasks. When this happen the human skills associated with those tasks get rapidly devalued. They become worth less.

A great example I read about recently is the impact that the telegraph had on the pony express. Once the telegraph was hooked up the pony express went out of business in four days. This meant that the once highly sort after skill of horsemanship was now worth less. They weren’t worthless but the laws of supply and demand would suggest it is likely that they would be paid less for their labour.

As a new breed of technologies are deployed to do everything from manage our customer relationships, complete our expense reports, and compile our client proposals we need to think about which of our skills are going to maintain their value in the 21st century. Skills such as working the fax machine, letter writing, and long division are already largely gone. Soon to follow might be filing, typing, searching for information and printing.

What are your 21st century skills and what are you doing to ensure that what you do is worth more, not less?