8 New workplace skills for the future

The workplace is changing, and with that the skills that are required by employers. In a webinar hosted a few weeks ago by futurist and speaker Dr. Graeme Codrington (www.tomorrowtodayglobal.com) shared what their research highlighted, are the 8 key skills that are required for the workplace in the future.

What is interesting is these are not functional or technical expertise, but rather those skills that people need to be able to work in an environment that are challenged with continuous change, require collaboration with people and being able to think differently about problems and challenges that do not have textbook answers.

Opportunities for action

To me it also highlights two very distict areas of focus:

  1. People, regardless of if they are employed or self-employed, must take action to understand their strenghts and those areas that need development. Personal development and growth cannot be delegated to the company’s HR division. There are an abundance of books, courses and coaches available to help you develop the skills needed.
  2. Human capital teams , in particular those responsible for learning and development, need to review their current framework and methods of learning. Functional skills will remain important, and they also need to focus on how they can provide learning paths and opportunities to learn, practice and develop the skills listed below. With the advances in technology, the requirement for bite-size specific, blended learning, there are huge opportunities for human capital teams to create a learning experience for employees, which will also contribute to creating a workplace that potential employees will find valuable.

The 8 areas of skills for the future

  1. EQ / Emotional intelligence. This skill set is about understanding who you are, and how you are in relation to other people – actions and behaviours and knowing how you work with others. There a variety of assessments that can help you understand who you are, which is the basis for reflection and growth. Tools can include personality assessments, the enneagram, and one of my favourite tools, the PDA (personal develoment analysis).
  2. Diversity and Social Intelligence. We need to be able to work with different people from different cultures, backgrounds and ways of working.
  3. Horizon scanning and what-if thinking. Looking what is changing in the world, and being to think about how it could impact and change what and how we do things.
  4. Adaptive Intelligence, Sense-Making and Complex Problem Solving. I think this relates to being able to connect the dots, filter through information to understand the real issue, and then solving a problem from a variety of angles (non-linear problem solving).
  5. Creativity and Intuition. Creativity is not just about being creative in arts. Creativity in business can be taught, and there are a variety of tools that one can learn to use to be more creative, for example Provocation, SCAMPER, Random Input and Genie’s Lamp.
  6. Curiosity and Storytelling. Remember bed-time stories and telling stories next to a fire at night? Storytelling is not just for entertainment. It is becoming an important business skill: being able to translate information to others in a memorable, compelling and emotive way.
  7. Initiative and Entrepreneurship. When I think about initiative and entrepreneurship, there are two key elements: first, the willingness to try and fail. This is adopting a growth mindset and an attitude of learning. Second, it is about the organisation creating a safe space for people to play, experiment and fail (without being reprimanded through the traditional performance review process that typically don’t support failure).
  8. Technologically Savvy. Being willing to work with technology, and furthermore, embracing technology and the opportunities that it brings.

Find ways to learn more about these skills, and start to apply it in your daily work. Reflect how you are doing. Make note of your progress and regularly reflect on how you can do better.



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