Just over a decade ago, Facebook was in its infancy, Twitter was being developed, and nobody had iPhones! It comes as no surprise, that the world we live in, is changing at an accelerating pace – and so too, is the world of work. Jobs exist today, that we’d never heard of a decade ago (think Social Media Manager, App Developer, Chief People Experience Officer, Uber Driver). In fact, it has been estimated that more than half of the children entering primary school today, will ultimately end up working in jobs that we’ve not even considered yet (World Economic Forum, 2016 https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/10-jobs-that-didn-t-exist-10-years-ago/).
In order to thrive in the future, we need to ensure that organisations are equipped with talent that will be able to adapt to the ever-changing environment. But, ‘talent’ no longer means the same as ten years ago; many of the roles, skills and job titles of tomorrow are unknown to us today. So, how can organisations prepare their workforce for a future that few of us can define?
Let’s begin by looking at what’s driving the change:
Our new workplaces will demand a new set of skills. And as a new decade begins, it’s critical we revisit The World Economic Forum Report’s Top Ten Critical Skills, for 2020 – are you hiring for these skills?
1. Creativity: the ability to adopt a new way of thinking and to generate novel solutions, using disparate information.
2. Emotional Intelligence: the ability to connect and collaborate with large groups of people, in different contexts (e.g. project-based teams) and locations (e.g. geographically dispersed teams).
3. Complex Problem Solving: the ability to solve novel, ill-defined and multi-dimensional* problems (*many of today’s global problems, are too complex to be solved by one specialised discipline).
4. Judgement and Decision Making: the ability to make sense of vast amounts of data and to use meaningful insights to make decisions.
5. Cognitive Flexibility: the ability to discriminate and filter for important information; the ability to maximise cognitive functions and minimise cognitive overload; the ability to take on challenges, learn from mistakes and actively seek new knowledge.
6. Critical Thinking: the ability to use logic and reasoning, and to evaluate data; the ability to evaluate different options and approaches.
7. People Management: the ability to inspire, influence and drive engagement in teams (including the ability to lead and motivate a geographically dispersed team/a virtual team).
8. Coordinating with Others: the ability to work productively with individuals and teams; the ability to communicate effectively with others to achieve shared goals.
9. Service Orientation: the ability to understand the end user and to anticipate their needs.
10. Negotiation: the ability to seek perspective and to compromise; the ability to achieve the best possible outcome through influence and persuasion.
Organisations must ensure they are attracting, identifying and selecting these critical skills so they will be able to adapt to the ever-changing world. Ultimately, preparing your workforce for the future, starts today – ensure you create a competitive advantage, through your people.
’10 Jobs that Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago’, (2016) World Economic Forum, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/10-jobs-that-didn-t-exist-10-years-ago/.
‘Future Work Skills 2020’, Institute for the Future for the University of Phoenix Research Institute.
‘How Much Data Do We Create Every Day? The Mind Blowing Stats Everyone Should Read’, Bernard Marr, Forbes (2018) https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/05/21/how-much-data-do-we-create-every-day-the-mind-blowing-stats-everyone-should-read/#3b4c372660ba.
‘The 10 Vital Skills You Will Need For The Future Of Work’, Bernard Marr, Forbes (2019) https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2019/04/29/the-10-vital-skills-you-will-need-for-the-future-of-work/#5069ec9e3f5b.
‘The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills, and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, (2016) World Economic Forum Report.
‘The Top 10 Most Important Work Skills in 2020’, Top Ten Online Colleges, https://www.top10onlinecolleges.org/work-skills-2020/.
‘Workforce of the Future 2030: The Competing Forces Shaping 2030’, PwC.