Book Review: The Rise of the Creative Class (Richard Florida)

Despite a publication date that’s nearly four years old, I’ve recently discovered this important work and have decided to showcase it as the “career book of the month” for those of you out there who may be interested in the changing nature of work at a societal level — and how these trends might affect your own career choices, attitudes, and fortunes.

Simply stated, the author of the book, Richard Florida, believes an entirely new class of worker has emerged over the past few decades.  A class that is not so much distinguished by its physical talents, or intellectual horsepower, as much as by its one defining characteristic: creativity.  What’s more, he argues that over 30% of U.S. employees now fall into this category, and that this “creative class” will remain the most dominant asset our country has to offer within the global workforce as long as we recognize this new breed of idea-driven career professionals — and take the steps necessary to nurture them.

Agree or disagree with its premise, The Rise of the Creative Class is a provocative read for anybody concerned about remaining a step ahead in the converging global talent pool.  In an age where we have seen much of physical labor get roboticized, and a great deal of our intellectual capital and knowledge get digitized, could our one unassailable “point of differentiation” truly be our ideas — and imagination?

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