It was during the late 1950s that businesses, as we know them, underwent a massive change. Known to be the Digital Revolution, the introduction of technology brought a massive change to the world that existed during the industrial revolution – a shift from analog technology to digital technology. With electronics ruling the roost, job roles began to change. And so did the required skills needed to succeed in the workplace.
Come 2019, things have changed even more. That which was unlikely to be considered before is key to your business’s success today. Cloud computing, automation, AI and other new technologies have all become integrally linked to your business growth. As a result, companies turn to strengthen functional and technical skill sets that seem to add the most immediate value. After all, it is only with specific skills that you can embrace these new technologies
But will this practice really be relevant in the future?
The customers of the future
To answer the question, we have to start by taking a look at the customers of the future.
Given current business trends, the size or the reputation of a business is simply not enough to help your business succeed. In a world that is ruled by personalized solutions and a wealth of easily accessible information, run-of-the-mill mass-marketing strategies often fail.
At the end of the day, both information and expectations are making potential customers smarter. And from this arises the realization that individual needs are always unique, and solutions must follow suit. Hence the only way to help your business grow is to live up to your target customer’s expectations and provide them with an experience that is not just personalized but eliminates redundant mass options as well.
Can technology help?
With technology playing an increasingly dominating role in shaping businesses, it also plays an important role in making businesses more relevant to customers.
With the abundance of new technology, comes the rise of new domains and a requirement to up-skill employees on relevant skill sets. But even though it seems to be more logical to focus on enhancing your employees’ technical capabilities, prioritizing only functional skills can leave you in the dust.
So how do you look beyond the obvious to understand what will be required to meet the demands of the future of work?
Skills for the win
To some, this may come across like Alice in Wonderland glimpsing into the looking glass. How does one even identify what skills are required in a landscape that’s changing so fast? How does one ensure that enough people are trained and fast enough? While you spend time training the new, how do you find enough skilled people to help keep your company moving?
Thankfully, the answer is simple.
Along with the development of technical skills, understanding and developing inherent human capabilities will play a very important role in the future of work. You see, it is these capabilities that not only enable humans to succeed but also manage the changing landscape of the future work environment. It is from such learnings that creativity stems, giving rise to unique and innovative solutions that can give your business a much-needed advantage.
Being more human
While the power of technology can solve even the hardest problems, the future of work will require capabilities beyond the tactical. Human traits like imagination, curiosity, empathy, and resilience will be most crucial to meet the demands of the future of work.
Take, for example, Emotional Intelligence. Developed and perfected with time and experience, EI, if you think about it, is nothing but a deep understanding of the impact human experiences have on one’s behavior and an amalgamation of the innate human capabilities of awareness, empathy, resilience, and relationships. While these traits are naturally present in almost all of us, those who learn to be more aware can apply these traits more effectively. For example, by being persistent despite facing obstacles, the truly resilient can emerge victoriously in changing landscapes.
Similarly, Social Intelligence is born out of an ability to understand yourself and others and use this to drive actions. At the end of the day, human behavior is what impacts the dynamics of such interactions. In the future of work, these interactions will be differentiators over more digital interactions between internal and external clients and vendors.
Creativity, curiosity, and imagination shape both critical and adaptive thinking, enabling an imaginative employee to come up with solutions on-the-go, update a course of thought or pivot effortlessly in response to market and technology changes. It also allows them to apply new learning quickly to make projects more relevant or analyze and reconstruct information quickly.
Ultimately it’s important to remember that while technical and functional skills help in accomplishing business needs, it is the human capabilities beyond those skills that will help prepare your organization for the changing landscape of tomorrow. To be truly ready for what lies ahead, you must be prepared for the future of work and to look beyond traditional approaches to skills development to focus on which human capabilities will be the catalyst for your organization’s success.