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With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there has been significant changes and disruptions to various industries. It has transformed the way we live, and the way we work. Some jobs will become outdated and disappear, while new jobs will surface to meet the disruptions brought about by Industry 4.0. Therefore, it is certain that the future workforce will need to re-align their skillsets to keep pace in 2020 and beyond.

source: The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), there has been a significant shift in the top skills required in the workforce in 2020, as opposed to simply 5 years ago.


The Traditional Problem Solving Methods Just Wouldn’t Work Anymore!

Traditionally, problem-solving involves applying a fairly standard set of steps which includes defining the problem, setting a goal, deciding on the solution, and applying it. However, these steps have become inadequate when attempting to solve more complex problems that are presented by the 4th Industrial Revolution and will need to be reinforced by more advanced thought processes.

The appropriate thought processes that need to be developed to solve complex problems effectively include critical thinking, analytical thinking, and systems thinking. These are well-established and, when applied in an integrated manner, consolidate an effective approach to solving many of the new disruptions from Industry 4.0.

Furthermore, with the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers will also need to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes. That is no wonder that complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity have emerged as the top 3 skills required by the workforce in 2020.


Organizations Need To Foster An Inclusive Workplace And Develop In Interpersonal Skills

Fostering inclusive leaders is likely to be equally necessary to organizations’ success in this new era. Today, diversity and inclusion can increasingly affect brand, corporate purpose, and performance. Indeed, inclusion is emerging as a key point of differentiation for organizations looking to attract and retain top talent. In a 2017 Deloitte report, 80 percent of workers surveyed indicate inclusion is important when choosing an employer and 39 percent report they would leave their current organization for a more inclusive one.

Inclusive leaders draw on uniquely human traits—such as empathy, curiosity, and courage—and see the value that a diverse environment can bring. These leaders hear their employees and support them—attributes that today’s workers increasingly are seeking in their leaders. Industry 4.0 calls for leaders who possess strong interpersonal skills and an understanding of the complex interplay between people and advanced technologies. As organizations increasingly adopt these tools, business leaders would do well to rethink their talent and leadership development strategies.

This brings us to understand the importance of being equipped with people management skills and strong interpersonal skills which – effective coordination and communication skills within organizations in 2020.

It is also interesting to note that emotional intelligence, which didn’t feature in the top 10 in 2015, has been bumped up to become a top skill needed in the workforce in 2020. All in all, the workforce has to be geared up and prepared to embrace the fourth industrial revolution with the re-alignment of new skillsets in 2020.

If you are thinking of where to begin in your organization, it’s a good chance to begin by fostering your team’s soft skills development with these 3 proposed ways:


1) Start with existing leaders

Your current leaders need to shift their thinking about leadership to reflect fresh and transformative behaviours rather than force outdated ideologies to work on updated systems. Guide them to effectively listen and give feedback, and encourage them to build trust-based environments. They should serve as the soft skills standard for their respective teams.


2) Make leadership development available to all

Organizations often focus their time, money, and resources on a smaller subset of leadership. In today’s landscape, it’s more important to develop soft-skill leadership behaviors from moment one. Demonstrating a commitment to ongoing professional development will lead to increased retention rates in your organization.


3) Engage everyone in problem-solving

The traditional model of knowledge transfer may serve its purpose for repetitive hard skills, but soft skills require a multimodal approach. We learn the nuances of humility and pragmatic planning from experience. Inviting team members to the table will allow them to understand expectations and how they can adapt if and when things change.



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