Does Competence Really Matter?
Another Internet revolution.
In his book “The End of Big” (review coming soon on Superception), Nicco Mele, entrepreneur, investor and Internet consultant, explains that he requires his students at the Harvard Kennedy School to create an account and write on Wikipedia.
He is convinced that, within twenty years, his students’ contributions on Wikipedia will be as important as their Harvard degrees to demonstrate their competence.
I’m not sure we will have to wait twenty years but that’s not the most important point. What matters is that Nicco Mele is highlighting a major trend in the world of employment: E-reputation is increasingly important, especially when it comes to changing jobs.
The positive consequence is that unsung talents can now become famous much more easily than in the past. The negative effect is that we tend to judge people online based on abstract (more than practical) qualities.
When a student writes on Wikipedia or when I write on Superception, we potentially demonstrate intellectual qualities and knowledge. But that doesn’t mean, for example, that we are able to deliver concrete results and are good managers.
So we should be careful to balance e-reputation with proper references when recruiting.