What skills for the future of work? The entire topic of The Future of Work is being discussed a lot. I decided to give it a slightly different read, and I recently started to write some posts titled “Build Your Skills” for the Future of Work. I have put my focus on what I believe to be the critical skills for true Digital leaders in this complex Digital World. I have discussed already what I think the concept of Digital Leadership should be, as well as what is not working in Digital Transformation. In these posts, I try to focus on proactively building the blocks that make or break your success in your development as a better industrial citizen, often from a slightly eclectic perspective.
Not Just about Technology.
I have picked a number of competencies that should enable both a better interaction with Technology, as well as a more intense and profound relationship with individuals. These are competencies that are not just related to Leaders but should be developed at all levels in organisations. They are key to enable Agility and organisational resilience and should become a valuable asset in the way we define our world.
Of course, there are many other perspectives. The World Economic Forum has an entire project focused on the New Skills Needed for the Future of Work. For example, they have identified Sharing and Negotiating as two highly dependable soft-skills for the future. I partly cover the effects of these in my article on Collaboration. They also issued in 2018 a trend report on the 2022 Skills Outlook. As you can see from the below figure, a lot is about soft skills. Up to the point that probably the old division between soft and hard skills should be reassessed.
Bernard Marr published in 2019 an interesting post on Forbes, listing 10 competencies for the Future of Work. His focus has been on the Creative side, and he also lists Emotional Intelligence as a key factor for success. I have decided to address creativity more on the organisational side of enabling creativity at the moment, but his article reinforces my choice to focus on Soft-Skills rather than technical ones. The reason for this is that Automation is probably going to take a big toll not just on manual work, but also on tasks and activities that are based on skills such as data analysis, decision-making, exceptions control etc. Plus technology advancement itself is making many technological skills age much faster. What is clearly needed is to work in the domains that are not going to be substituted by AI and Machine Learning soon. Which essentially are human to human interaction, experience delivery, creativity, the ability to cope with ambiguity.
Thinking in terms of these skills means taking a proactive stance on our future. it also means we should start thinking of our organisations in a different way, as well as our general interactions.
What skills for the Future of Work? A collection of Articles
As mentioned, I have written a number of posts focusing on the skills that I believe are going to be crucial for any type of job in the future. Curiosity, Learning Agility, Listening, Authenticity, Systems Thinking, Collaboration, Resilience and Decision-Making. Plus a meta-skill: Being Deliberately Developmental.
This list is evolving, and these articles are frequently updated, as I often stumble up on new relevant content. Feel free to bring up you suggestions, by using the comment form below.