I don't know about you but I'm doing quite a lot of thinking about the future at the moment. Lots of resources out there to provoke your thoughts - you can access some great resources on the subject in this blog what is the future of work

As HR and L&D professionals we have to be future facing - we need to keep ahead of the curve with this stuff - why?

We are responsible for creating and shaping the environments and experiences of people within our organisations. If we aren't aware of external factors that will influence and impact these environments and experiences, then we aren't doing our job.

So whilst technology is racing away and changing the world we live in every day we need to ensure we know what knowledge, skills and behaviours people need now and the future to keep up with the pace of change.

I came across this article yesterday entitled What are the 21st century skills that every student needs?

I'd argue it's not only students who need these skills but these are the skills that EVERYONE needs to know about and to develop in order to be successful whether you are a student or have a job. Work is becoming more complex, more connected and fast paced therefore we need skills to be able to operate successfully in this world. 

So what are these skills and how to we encourage and develop them in the workplace?

The article provides some great insight in to this with some supportive images and cites some great research on the subject.

The top skills cited in 2015 were

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Coordinating with others 
  3. People management
  4. Critical Thinking 
  5. Negotiation
  6. Quality control 
  7. Service Orientation
  8. Judgement & Decision Making 
  9. Active listening 
  10. Creativity 

The top skills that are going to be needed in 4 years time in 2020 are 

  1. Complex problem solving 
  2. Critical Thinking 
  3. Creativity 
  4. People Management 
  5. Coordinating with others 
  6. Emotional intelligence 
  7. Judgement and decision making 
  8. Service orientation 
  9. Negotiation 
  10. Cognitive flexibility 

So, it looks like creativity is going to be a key skill to be a successful in the future moving from 10 to 3 behind the top two which are focusing on problem solving and critical thinking. We also see the introduction of emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility. 

To be successful in the workplace of today and the future, we need to understand, relate to and work well with PEOPLE. We need to be able to solve problems through thinking critically and being creative. We also need to be able to deal with and manage change effectively. 

So how can can HR and L&D support and develop these skills?

Well the first thing is to look at what you're currently doing in your HR& L&D projects, your HR and L&D strategies and what services and products you are providing to your customers.

If they fit, support and develop these skills - the skills that are going to be needed to keep your organisation relevant and successful then fantastic - do more of this and share what you're doing with others so they can see what this looks like in practice.

If they don't fit and support these top skills then it's a case of looking at the projects and strategies - are they aligned to what your business needs and ultimately what your people need?

If the answer is 'no' then it then I firmly believe you need to address this as your starting point to ensure your organisation remains successful in the 21st century.

What does good look like on this I wonder?

Anyone got any thoughts on the this or the post?

Would love to hear from you 



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