Peter A. Coclanis: Wanted: Dedicated Deep Thinkers for the Business World
I'd like to propose the creation of a new position called the CIAO, or chief intellectual-arbitrage officer: Someone to work with the CINO not only to generate new ideas but also to ask new questions, identify new trends, explore new niches, expand geocultural boundaries, project forward, and remember the past. The CIAO would not necessarily have a science/tech or business background—in fact, such a background might detract from his or her effectiveness. Rather, I visualize the perfect CIAO as a liberal-arts type, someone who reads broadly and voraciously, is articulate, knows how to do research, can count a little, has backbone, and likes to argue.
Sounds like at least a few brilliant Ph.D. students in the humanities and social sciences you've met over the years, doesn't it?...
I'm proposing taking that a step further—to the benefit of both humanists and industry. What a successful intellectual-arbitrage officer would bring to the table are questions, ideas, connections, and possibilities from other intellectual, disciplinary, geographic, and cultural "worlds." Lots of "what ifs," "why nots," "did you ever think abouts," "X seems a lot like Y's." Most of those questions would not hold up to strategic scrutiny and market discipline, but a small number might. And for what it would cost a company to fill such a position, one home run—or even a single or a double—would pay handsomely. Believe me, humanists come cheap. As Calvin Trillin famously put it years ago: "The Nation pays in the high two figures."...
comments powered by Disqus
- Number of women leaders around the world has grown, but they’re still a small group
- Say goodbye to the weirdest border dispute in the world
- Harvard acquires Thoreau's notes on the death of Margaret Fuller
- It’s a national historic site, but hardly anybody visits the Idaho internment camp where thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated in WW II
- Big-time Hollywood director makes a movie about Stonewall
- Richard Rothstein says government policy created ghettos
- The Islamic historian who can explain why some states fail and others succeed
- High school senior credited with debunking book by Professor Richard Jensen
- Historians at loggerheads over the AP standards
- Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems