by Susan Jeffery
04 Jun 2019
5 super skills: how to develop your employees for the future
Work is changing. Rapidly. Changing technologies are demanding new skills and even new occupations. Economies, environments and even political changes are adding to the complexity and the pace of the changes. To survive in today’s rapidly changing world, you need to develop your employees to meet those changing demands.
Whether you develop them through learning, encourage growth through stretch assignments or even seek to hire talent with the new skills, it’s critical that all your efforts are future-focused. Development of our employees ensures that our organizations achieve our vision and our strategic and business outcomes—which are all future-focused. Thus, what we use to shape those development efforts must also be future-focused. Rather than define competencies or skills designed to help you be successful today, you must focus on those that will be critical for success tomorrow. Consider future challenges, expectations, and deliverables that will be required for the individuals and craft an effective strategy to develop those skills.
What are these skills? How can we know what’s coming next? How can we help prepare our employees? How do we continue to be successful?
Cornerstone, in partnership with the Institute for the Future, identified five super skills through extensive research. These super skills will help you and your organization meet the coming demands of the future of work. Even further, we’ve identified subsets of the super skills that will give you clarity on how to develop each of them for the future.
See how to develop each skill and stretch yourself – for the future is closer than you think!
Super Skill 1
MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN
With the art and science of reputation management, everyone is visible—just about everywhere and all the time. What matters is what you do with your visibility. In the future, you will have to make yourself known in a digiverse of billions of people. You will need to build your own personal brand for your own personal economy.
How well do you promote yourself and your skills? Effective employees know their strengths and advocate effectively for themselves. Demonstrating this skill requires you to effectively self-promote and constantly search for new ways to develop yourself.
Four keys to make yourself known:
- Own your data
- Own your brand
- Be multicultural
- Garner credit for everything
Super Skill 2
MAKE SENSE OF COMPLEX SYSTEMS
Connecting the dots is imperative in the future. Everything is connected and the connections are growing minute by minute. They create feedback loops, and the loops are getting faster and faster. Making sense is all about finding your path through these complex systems. Are you prepared for an increasingly digital world? Effective employees of the future will have to be technologically adept to pioneer new efforts in their organizations.
Four keys to make sense of complex systems:
- Take feedback
- Tell stories
- Think “future”
- Connect the dots
Super Skill 3
BUILD YOUR TRIBE
You have to build your tribe—or tribes—as you make your way through life. And you do it by making things together. You’ll need to master the many different kinds of trade: Money, time, insight, skill, knowledge, strength. This is how you’ll build communities from the ground up. Do you have a strong, reliant network? As more employees work remotely and are globally dispersed, they will need to actively work to build relationships. Additionally, employees must know how to use their relationships to collaborate effectively.
Four keys to building your tribe:
- Implement design thinking
- Examine biases and embrace diversity
- Reinforce relations
- Spark community
Super Skill 4
BEFRIEND THE MACHINES
Master human-machine collaboration. Machines are getting smarter. Sometimes they’ll work for you, sometimes you’ll work for them—or even in them. More and more, you’ll work side by side to get things done. Do you understand how to make data-informed decisions? Do you know how to effectively incorporate artificial intelligence into your day to day work? Organizations can make much better decisions if they understand what their data is telling them and how to leverage it. Employees must be skilled not only in how to collect the data but also how to effectively interpret it.
Four keys to befriending the machines:
- Amplify your data IQ
- Strengthen digital fluency
- Master simulations
- Understand AI
Super Skill 5
KEEP IT GOING
Build personal resilience. Our future needs more than technology solutions and artificial intelligence. It needs social intelligence, emotional intelligence, empathy, and clear strategies because we’re-all-in-this-together. This is where you commit and recommit to your learning journey. How are you able to adapt to the changes that the future holds? Unfortunately, the future is never certain, and change is inevitable. Employees must remain flexible in the face of adversity and be aware of how they can best support their peers in the process.
Four ways to keep it going:
- Learn to learn
- Understand risk
- Foster clarity in communication
- Grow a culture of care
There's no time like the present to start preparing for future skills. Click here to access unlocked Cornerstone courses that will help you start sharpening your super skills.