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Skills to future-proof your business

In your strategic planning process, you need to consistently be asking yourself, "What skills do we need to execute our strategy, both now and in the future?". It's a meaty question at the best of times, let alone when faced with constant environmental and technological change. But being proactive about how you identify, build and bring in these skills can give you a massive competitive advantage. McKinsey recently published the article Defining the skills citizens will need in the future world of work. This provides an useful list of 56 foundational skills that will be in high demand in the future (see the image below).

Which of these skills do you need to focus on to future-proof your business? We've been working together with some great businesses on how to cultivate some of these skills. Some recent highlights include:

  • Teamwork effectiveness - exploring how meetings can be better designed to create more opportunities for genuine collaboration.

  • Driving change and innovation - upskilling teams to use innovation sprints to develop and test new ideas quickly.

  • Prioritisation - working with leaders on setting goals and managing workload flexibly to focus on what matters most at any given time.

  • Communication - using our game-based learning approach to build active listening, powerful questioning and story-telling skills.

Based on our experiences, we feel there are four key components to get right if you want to build these types of skills in your business:

  • Process - how do you create time, space (and budget) to allow these skills to flourish?

  • Tools - what tools do you provide your people to support them executing these skills?

  • Skillset - what training and development do you give your people to help them build and practice these skills until they are part of their ways of working?

  • Mindset - is the whole business really brought into the value of these skills? Is the importance of building these skills role-modelled?

Ultimately it comes down to being deliberate and intentional about the skills you need to be successful in the future. Happy upskilling! Viren

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