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New Economy Job Titles
By Adrian Hobbs

What does a Visual Executive Officer do? Let me give you another chance: what does a Curator of the Enlightened Orchard do? I kid you not, these are real job titles. Another one, what does a Director of Happiness do? Three strikes: you are out!

Back in the day job titles used to give an indication of the job role. For example, you could be sure that a Marketing Executive dealt with the marketing side of the business etc. Fast forward to more recent times and you will find yourself in the company of Strategy Evangelists, Chief Inspiration Officers and Digital Ninjas. Is it just me or has the corporate world gone ‘topsy turvy’?

It would appear that some of these job titles are the result of brainstorming sessions fuelled by too much adrenalin and nerve, and too little restraint. By the way, there is another term for brainstorming, but maybe that’s another article! Nevertheless, this job title licence leads to even more intriguing questions: If you could redefine your job title, what would it be? Would the change make a difference to how you feel about your job?

Those in favour of the more liberal job titles suggest that job titles could prompt positive behaviours such as taking more initiative or displaying greater leadership. If there is any substance to the pro-side of this debate then the Idea Ambassadors and Knowledge Sorcerers have undoubtedly stolen the march. If not, it’s still a good laugh – humour is important in these times!

I have saved the best for the last, and by the way these are not nicknames. What in the world do these people do?

  • Master of Disaster – can be found at MapInfo Corporation.
  • Katalyst (that’s the right spelling) – can be found at Nike.
  • The Truth – works for Myplay Inc.
  • Raging Inexorable Thunder-Lizard Evangelist for Change - The University of Texas, Houston, Health Science Center.
  • Keeper of the Magic - ACTV Inc.

Call me old school but for the moment I remain sceptical, the ‘evangelists’ are yet to convert me!

Added: 20th April 2011

With over 25 years experience in making businesses more efficient, Adrian Hobbs is a pioneer in lean business modeling, employee development and change management.  Find out more about Adrian's company Flex Recruitment.

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