The Future Workforce


The Future is closer than we think. Are we ready? Are we prepared?

‘The Future Belongs to those who prepare for it today’ Malcom X the most influential African American in history said these powerful words.

I think these words are more powerful than it was ever before. The Future belongs to those who prepare for it and know what the skills that will be relevant tomorrow are.

We are moving to a digital world with rapid pace. The world’s first robot-crafted burger will roll off a conveyor belt into the hands of some lucky people on Wednesday, June 27 at Creator. According to Bloomberg, the product is assembled and cooked in a machine that contains 20 computers, 350 sensors, and 50 actuator mechanisms. From slicing and toasting the bun to cooking patties and seasoning, the machine can do it all in five minutes. 

Artificial Intelligence is being used by organisations for selection of candidates. AI is being used to tailor make customise orientation for employees and make customised development plans for employees.

Many jobs which are transactional in nature will be redundant soon. Jobs which can be done by a bot better and cheaper than by a human being will be a think of the past. Many organisations are already heavily investing in AI and Digital Transformation. So where does it leave us. How do we brace for the future. We need to reskill and reimagine the competencies for the future. In my opinion some of the skills and attributes in the future will be on these lines.

Today’s Millennials while are digitally savvy but need some of these to excel in future:

Creative ThinkingThe ability to have creative ideas, ability to work with the abstract, and ability to work with minimal information and foresee the future to come up with creative ideas will be a skill in demand. Creative thinking will be essential skill in the future as this is the ability to devise new ways to carry out tasks, solve problems, and meet challenges. Bring a fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, perspective to their work. This way of thinking can help departments and organizations move in more productive directions. Hence, these skills will be highly valued in the future to come.

Emotional Intelligence – To be able to manage their own emotions in a swiftly changing world will be an important skill. Managing their own emotions and adapting to the emotions of others will be an important skill. We live in a constant period of uncertainty fuelled by factors such as globalisation, worldwide economic challenges, climate change and much more. High levels of emotional intelligence and the ability to let go of outdated measures of success, demonstrably enable leaders to be open, faster, and more embracing of new performance imperatives from both the market place and within the organisation. Thereby emotional intelligence will be of the key skills coveted in the future.

Ability to Solve Complex ProblemsThe skills will be required to solve complex that are yet to appear. The ability to foresee problems that may arise in the future and develop solutions that can match AI machines will be essential. Making this change, where we must go from trying to figure out what is most likely, to seeing the possibilities that lie before us, is easier said than done.This challenge is so critical that our survival depends on it. We need to hone the skills of asking different types of question, looking at a systemic view and look at multiple perspectives. These skills will determine how successful on is in the future. 

Collaboration with People Across CultureThe advent of technology has blurred the lines between nations. The ability to work with people across cultures is going to be a key skill for tomorrow. Collaboration with people across cultures will be an important key to success. Thereby a well-travelled individual who speaks multiple languages and is tolerant towards various cultures will be something organisations will be looking for in talent.

Design Thinking and Empathy Design Thinking looks at everything from the customer’s perspective.Empathy helps create and maintain relationships, such as the relationship between a company and its customers. When employees are empathetic to customers’ perspectives, they can meet customers’ needs more effectively. Maintaining relationships in business will become very vital as most business will offer similar services what will differ is the service orientation and connect with the client. Services will become more personalised and customised thereby this skill of empathy to understand the customer will be very vital.

Analytical SkillsAnalytical skills will be very important in the future as the big data analysis as well as making strategic business decisions. For this reason, the ability to assess and analyse information are important skills needed for jobs in the future. An individual needs to understand the value of data and analytical skills in business and use analytics to make strategic business decisions.

Entrepreneurship MindsetAn entrepreneurial mindset harvest innovation, solution orientation and a healthy appetite for risk taking. This also means one is comfortable in working in an uncertain and volatile environment. An entrepreneurial mind-set also means one is resilient and is able to cope with the ups and downs of the constantly uncertain future. Entrepreneurial mind-set fosters focus; as the future environment will be constantly changing and there will be many distracting forces in the business environment.

Self-Awareness This quality of self-awareness will become an essential as the world becomes volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. The ability to monitor our emotions and thoughts is the key to understanding ourselves, proactively managing our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. In the complex future world this quality will determine how well one manages oneself and is able to contribute to business. This trait will also ensure collaborating well with others and managing dynamic relationships with a multitude of people. In addition to this people with self-awareness will have greater depth of life experience and are more likely to be more compassionate to themselves and others.A number of researches have shown self-awareness as a crucial trait of successful business leaders.

Ability to Unlearn and RelearnWe’ve all been constantly bombarded with new information over the last few years due to the advent of technology. The world is changing rapidly and we need to constantly learn new skills if we want to keep up with the future. Learning was the key earlier which was seen as a key to success however now it’s not learning that is the challenge however the key to our success in this VUCA world is the ability to unlearn. Learning a new technique might require us to set aside our assumptions about what is the right thing to do. If we can’t set aside these assumptions – if we can’t first unlearn – then we can’t learn.The world is changing more rapidly than ever, making it increasingly import for us to adapt if we want to remain relevant. While learning is important if we want to keep up, unlearning is what really enables us to adapt and remain relevant.

Digital Literacy Digital Literacy is now a lifelong learning process of capacity building for using digital technology. The know-how of communication tools, retrieving, scrutinizing, handling, assimilating, assessing, and communicating information to be able to function in knowledge based economy and society. This skill is future oriented and encourage users to think about technological changes and the impact it will have in the future lives.

Author-Bidisha Banerjee has over 17 years of rich experience in Human Resources with industries like Retail, Insurance, and Telecom. She is an expert in driving organisation culture, crafting people development initiatives in line with the business. She has earned a certification in the ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program), done her Competency Mapping, received the American Society of Training and Development Trainer Certification, and is a Certified Organisational Development Analyst (CAMI, USA). She is also recognised as a Human Synergistic OCI/OEI Accredited Consultant. She is an Alumnus of SDA Bocconi Milan and specialized in Design Thinking. Currently Bidisha is working as Group Vice President Learning Culture and Employer Branding at Welspun Group.


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