Want to prepare for the future of work? Cheryl Cran walks us through some of the most important skills to develop.
Imagine right now that you are working in the year 2030 in the future of work – what do you think will be different than how you are working today? Do you think that most tasks will be automated and that we will be working in a robot-ruled world? Do you imagine that the concept of ‘work’ will change, and people will have more free time?
Frankly, no one can predict the future. However, we can look at trends and research into the impact of technology on the future. We can certainly be prepared for and create our future.
When talking about the future of work people are either extremely anxious about an uncertain future or they are excited and have a ‘bring it on’ attitude. Which one of those responses is yours?
One of the ways to deal with anxiety around the future is to build the skills and be ready for whatever the future brings. We can’t control what the future will bring however, we can control what we do now to be prepared.
That being said, there are four future of work skills that you may not be aware of that are needed to be ready.
The ability to ‘lead the self’ in the future of work
Leading the self includes having high-level self-awareness around strengths and areas for improvement. Leading the self also includes the ability to self-modulate your emotions, your reactions and your behaviours. Leading the self means high-level accountability to how you show up and your wellbeing.
Navigating fast-changing times and an uncertain future requires each of us to be fully responsible for our positive and solution-focused mindsets.
The ability to lead change
This includes setting inspiring vision for others to see and to align with. Leading change means the ability to recognise your own reactions and push-backs to change while being attuned to other people’s reactions as well. Leading change means the ability to see a multitude of angles and positions held by various people in various roles and departments.
The ability to bridge silos
The ability to bridge silos requires an agile mind and ‘we’ focus – a team-first mindset. Bridging silos requires the ability to look beyond a singular team such as your own and to look at teams as concentric circles of expansion. For example, there is your team, there are the other departments as part of your team, there is the entire company as part of your team, there are your clients and partners as part of your team.
The days of compartmentalising departments or functions is quickly eroding as technology moves us towards integrated solutions. Every company that exists today is a technology firm, which means technology is the ‘hub’ with which client services are delivered and with which employees leverage to drive business forward.
Creative intelligence means the ability to ‘connect the dots’ within increasing ambiguity. Creative intelligence is the ability to link things together so that you can create context and simplicity for teams to execute quickly and accurately.
Technology is providing much more data and the requirements needed are people who can make sense of the data beyond the technical output. In other words, data is not useful until we make sense of it and leverage it to create enhanced solutions for the employee experience and the customer experience. Or for people in general.
Let’s go back to the 2030 workplace and imagine what will be different. No question that technology will have completely transformed work in that we will far more globalised, for more connected, far more integrated across countries, platforms and businesses.
What will not change is that as people we will be seeking to make a difference with our work, we will want to be doing meaningful work and we will be living a life where work is a part of our life but not our whole life.
Sounds like a positive future to me. We have the power and ability to create that future now.
By Cheryl Cran
Cheryl Cran is a future-of-work expert and author of NextMapping: Anticipate, Navigate & Create the Future of Work.