Our world is ever changing. Decades ago, only countries needed to compete globally to ensure their economic health. Years ago, businesses acquired the need to globalize. Now, in our ever shrinking world, individuals are finding that they must compete with others worldwide to thrive.
Thomas Friedman, in his book The World is Flat, gives us some insight into how and why this globalization is happening. In short, the new Web platform, combined with ever decreasing cost to connect, gives individuals a new power to communicate globally. This translates into smarter clients, who know where to find the best deal, and smarter businesses, that can give more to their customers.
For a long time, I was under the impression that specialization was key. In order to get a letter in high school, or get a scholarship in college, you need to excel in one field. Friedman on the other hand suggests that a liberal arts education, where you are comfortable with a wide variety of skills, will be more valuable to companies. You will be better prepared to adapt to the constantly changing world, and when your job is outsourced, there will still be work you can do.
So, as the world moves from the vertical to horizontal, individuals must be prepared to move horizontally. If you are prepared, this small world will bring excitement rather than fear.