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The Skills Of The Future: How To Get Ready For Unstoppable Changes
By Wojciech Tatys, Business Excellence And Transformation Lead For Emea And Apac, Discovery Inc
Getting prepared for the change is never an easy task. However, firstly, we must figure out why we need to not only change but agree on the main areas applicable to our environment. Nevertheless, there are a few skills that are becoming a must in any area or industry. I like to call these the skills of the future or simply future proof skills. This is a very vast area, and that is why I want to start by building the proper structure around it. It will not be a surprise to anyone that we will be talking about three main areas of expertise: people, process, and technology. Because of the recent hype around new technologies, it is very often discussed whether the focus should be mostly around technology. I would not personally recommend going in that direction. In order to move forward, you have to take into consideration people who will still remain at the foundation of your company and will be running the entire transformation agenda around processes they are managing. In doing so, you may consider focusing on the right tools to support this journey. Bear in mind that digital transformation is about changing your business and processes but most importantly, have this run by your people who must change as well.
People: The Vital Element of Your Equation
There is no doubt that the future will still focus on people, regardless of what you hear or read about automation and robotics. To make this machine run, you will still need people; however, they will need to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge.
Managing such teams will be more challenging than ever before. Therefore, one of the areas that the leadership should invest in is emotional intelligence, the capacity to better handle the interpersonal relationships by being self-aware and manage one’s own emotions as well as the emotions of others. The technology will allow these teams to be more independent to deliver more impactful value to the final customers. Thus, building the right relationship and trust within such a team will be critical for the overall success.
Your future team will be a group of creative people, who see the change as an opportunity to grow and innovate rather than an obstacle
Process: Before You Transform, Get an Understanding of What you need
The future state will not appear by itself; it will be a long transformation journey for all our legacy systems and processes. Before starting any of such initiatives, it is vital to have a clear understanding of the purpose of the exercise with defined expectations towards the project. This requires diving deep into the topic and addressing the area. You will need to work with people that have strong critical (analytical) thinking and skills. This includes the ability to gather information from different sources and analysing them from various perspectives to understand how everything is interconnected. This activity can be automated partially. Nevertheless, the human element is still critical to understanding the bigger picture and taking into consideration during the analysis elements that the machine still would not consider.
Technology: Is Not Only About It
Thinking about technology implementation, we may go with the wrong assumption that it is only about the software provider and managing the implementation schedule. This is only half of the picture. The second half is about the proper preparation for such initiative. We should consider the complexity of legacy systems and processes that sometimes allow us to see the problems’ symptoms rather than the root cause. Employees with complex problem-solving experience will be a great benefit to the project team. This may seem like something very basic and obvious, but my experience shows that things are often taken for granted. Understanding the real problem allows us to find the best solution and sometimes this solution may be much cheaper than what we expected. Besides, we are still being fueled by technology buzzwords from the market such as robotics, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. These technologies will become part of our future work environment regardless of the industry we work in. Thus, all of us will have to gain a certain level of understanding of these solutions, the benefits they bring, and the problems they solve in our business or industry.
After all is said and done, the change is constant and there is one skill that can help us on this journey: “The ability to learn, unlearn, and learn again!”