January 26, 2018 • 5 minute read • by Saeed
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” ~ Stephen Hawking
Change is afoot.
In my last post The Future of Work is Here and Leaders Need to Adapt NOW!, I outlined why major technological and demographic trends are accelerating the movement towards virtual work and creating the new future.
As the old expression goes: “When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: 1) Those who made it happen, 2) those who let it happen and 3) those who wonder what happened.”
There are 7 major drivers to this change:
1. Millennials: By 2020, Millennials will constitute 50 percent of the workforce representing the first generation of digital natives and the generation most ready to adapt to the future of work.
2. Life Expectancy: People are living longer. By 2025, the number of Americans over 60 will increase by 70%.
3. Globalization: First world countries no longer hold a monopoly on job creation and innovation. Outsourcing has become easier and more affordable while quality remains high.
4. Computer Power: In an increasingly computational world, processing power and the big data it generates is giving us the ability to see things on a scale that has never been possible.
5. Digital Technology: Communication, collaboration and connectivity are being transformed by technology, which has enabled remote work but also collaboration across organizational and geographical boundaries.
6. New Media: Virtual reality and other new media are establishing a new vernacular in visual communications that require literacy beyond text. Social tools are allowing organizations to work at extreme scales.
7. Automation: Technology such as AI augments and extends human capabilities thus automation will kill off repetitive jobs.
To prepare for the impact and keep pace with the new normal introduced by the future of work, workers must adapt their mindsets and adopt new mechanisms to be successful.
Here are 7 skills the future workforce will need to survive our brave new world:
1. Social and Emotional Intelligence: The ability to connect to other is a deep and direct way and to build productive working relationships.
2. Cross-Cultural Competency: Ability to operate in increasingly diverse environments and cultural settings.
3. New Media Literacy: Ability to develop and distribute content that uses new media platforms and leverages new media for persuasive communications. This includes the ability to think visually.
4. Critical Thinking: The ability to search effectively for information, discern the quality of information and communicate the findings. This includes synthesizing and sense making skills which is the ability to bring together details from many sources together into a common whole.
5. Adaptability: Proficiency in having an adaptive mindset that can develop solutions beyond what is rote or rule based.
6. Collaborative: Ability to work in teams, especially in virtual environments, to drive engagement and productivity. Ability to work through cooperative networks and coordinate work with others.
7. Complex problem solving: Ability to assess problems and design solutions based on pattern recognition, trend analysis, and strategic foresight.
A Final Word…
You are as good as the skills you possess. Fears of technology-driven unemployment have always accompanied innovation. But historically, technology creates more jobs than it destroys. In a nutshell, mental elasticity, social-emotional intelligence, and cognitive reasoning will be premium skills sets that rise to the top of job descriptions and resumes.
Are you ready?
What skills do you believe will become increasingly more important to your industry over the next five years? Why?
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Last thing, if you liked this post, consider checking out my other recent posts for inspiration and concrete actions steps to become more effective at work and life.