“COVID-19 has accelerated the arrival of the future of work”.
- Saadia Zahidi, MD, World Economic Forum (WEF)
Over the last year, pandemic-induced lockdowns closely entwined with dramatic ongoing technological changes are redefining the workplace. Company leaderships now need to understand the new skill sets required in the emerging work environment more than ever before.
The change will be dramatic, as evidenced by WEF’s Future of Jobs Report released in early 2021. The report posits that nearly a third of today’s ‘essential’ skills will not hold much importance within a few years.
In essence, AI-driven automation will take over unidimensional jobs related to routine mechanical tasks. Further, new skills such as insight, creativity, multi-tasking, handling uncertainty, etc., will come to the fore.
A McKinsey study highlights the importance of cadres being able to provide self-leadership. Therefore, the study emphasizes that tomorrow’s executives should score high on qualities such as:
Others have characterized this as the need for ‘analytical thinking’ and ‘emotional intelligence.
Besides being more strategic and creative in their approach, the leadership cadre will also need to display ‘higher-level human skills.’ These skills will enable them to switch between multiple responsibilities seamlessly. Above all, they should have “a commitment to lifelong learning.”
In an era where super-specialization dominated, mobility within an organizational hierarchy remained essentially vertical.
The emerging workplace will require more flexibility. Executives will need to combine a range of skills that allow for both horizontal and vertical mobility. Analyst Bernard Marr emphasizes that training should be ‘lattice-like and equip a person with ‘transferable skills. This will let them move into roles across multi-dimensional planes.
In case anyone underestimates the scale at which this change will happen, consider the WEF’s Future of Jobs Report forecast. Over the next few years, 97 million ‘new’ jobs will replace an estimated 85 million ‘old’ ones. And all these jobs belong to medium and small enterprises spread over 15 industries and 26 economies.
A closing highlight – tomorrow’s workplace will presumably demand a very high level of ‘digital proficiency.’
To gain more insights like this, visit the Cogent Infotech website.