7 Relevant Skills for the Future of our Connected Economy
Five emerging trends shape our rapidly changing and disruptive world: the longevity of life, the influx of smarter machines, the expanding new media ecosystem, a dynamic organisational structure which affects work-life integration and a globally-connected world.
These seven essential skills can help you to survive the challenges of the future.
1. Research and Analytical Skills. It is critical to make use of intelligence from the data collected to achieve competitive advantages. Making sense from unstructured information to draw vital clues for business survival is paramount to success.
2. Social Networking. It is about who we know and who knows us. Business networking is still relevant, but we need social networking to follow up. It is an excellent source of learning and gives a sense of the trend in our society.
3. Multi-disciplinary Specialisation. It is no longer enough to be specialised in just one area or only to serve a micro-niche. Today, we need to combine different disciplines and knowledge domains to satisfy more demanding customers.
4. Personal Branding. Strictly speaking, this is not a skill but a strategy in life to beat the competition and to be uniquely positioned for mindshare and credibility. Personal branding enables a person to be seen, heard, perceived in their respective career. It is the de-facto X Factor in self-promotion.
5. Diversity Competency. Since we are globally connected, we need cultural sensitivity and diversity knowledge to work with people from all over the world. Different ideas and ways of life can enrich our understanding of the world and diverse customers in different regions.
6. Learnability. The discipline to keep learning something new every week is essential to the success of any working professional. The objective to learn from different sources is not to simply gain knowledge but to accumulate wisdom to venture into new relationships and possibilities for development.
7. Design Thinking. Functionalities are no longer the main selling points of product and services. The aesthetics, together with the ergonomics of products add to the brand essence and identity. Functionalities are essential, but product design is critical.
Skills and knowledge alone is not life-altering in the long term. Attitude, on the other hand, is a key driver in the long term. Be a learner for life. One effective way to internalise new skills and knowledge is to impart this knowledge to others soon after you’ve gained it. The more naturally you can do this on a daily basis, the more relevant you will be for the future economy.
Article contributed by Mr Andrew Chow, an Associate Trainer at the Management Development & Consultancy, MDIS’ Corporate Training Arm.