Here are the top 10 characteristics of people well-suited for the New Media, in David Letterman order:
10. They are not frightened by the new, but rather have their ear constantly to the ground in order to detect the next great thing.
9. They aren't afraid to solicit a large array of disparate interests for feedback.
8. They aren't afraid to try alternative approaches when the feedback they've solicited isn't what they expected.
7. They love to create networks of likeminded people in the interest of high-level discourse.
6. They sharpen their polemical tools in broad circles, and on a regular basis.
5. They like working in a collaborative fashion with colleagues and other interests as well.
4. Ideas are the coin of their realm.
3. They value causes over companies. They view companies as good and necessary platforms for doing business, but not their reason for doing what they're doing. Rather, the things that drive them are the causes they believe in.
2. They are generous to a fault with their intellectual property in the interest of supporting their causes.
1. They turn their causes into movements by engaging much larger circles of colleagues outside the company walls.
Anyone can develop these characteristics over time, but those who possess them already are unusually well-suited for the New Media. How much time does it cost? Surprisingly little. You may already be generating much of the material... words and images... that you would use. What's the biggest impediment? Most firms won't be able to make the leap simply because they don't see the necessity of it until too late, or they mistake the New Media for a new type of advertising. We throw the term "paradigm shift" around loosely; this may be one of the biggest true paradigm shifts we've seen in the past two centuries, and paradigm shifts leave countless people behind. Don't be one of them.