Every job role has its own set of requirements in terms of skills and knowledge needed. Two roles in the same company may not have similar requirements in this view, and neither will two companies of the same industry. An engineer and marketer in an automobile company will not have the same skill requirements but nor will engineers from two different automobile companies. A lot of it is based on specific needs that the role demands. However, there would be a few skills that would be commonly required among the roles. There would also be some that all people working in an industry would require irrespective of role. In the same way, all working professionals would require some skills in common. Communication skills, interpersonal skills, and integrity, among others have been some skills that all professionals have been advised to possess. These skills and attributes, termed as competencies, that are required by everyone in a company, industry, or even the corporate world, are known as the core-competencies of that space.
In the way that the world is rapidly changing, one can barely expect preferred core competencies to remain the same. The competencies required in today’s corporate world is not what was required a decade ago and neither will it be what is sought after a few years from now. There have been different attributes predicted as what would be needed a few years in the future. While there would be no way of knowing for sure if these are right, one can always be prepared by cultivating them.
Having a growth mindset and being willing to learn has been seen as a competency required for years now. Researchers are predicting that this will take newer forms and materialise in different versions in the future. GreenBiz talks of Sustainable Literacy which in their words is described as being “aware of emerging environmental and social trends, and the risks and opportunities they create for business.” Here, learning is very application-oriented and practical application that would impact the job is seen as most important. Workforce Magazine talks about two types of growth – Discovery Based Learning, and Pursuing Vertical Development. Discovery based learning prioritizes learning through experiments, that is, a person must be willing to take calculated risks, be creative, open to new ideas and actively seek opinions. Workforce explains vertical development as, “Adding more complex thinking capacity versus simply adding more skills to a repertoire.” This brings to focus the ability to be able to think from multiple angles, being able to come up with long term consequences without being deterred by short-term limitations. The United Nations came up with a booklet on Competencies for the Future. In this, they discuss Commitment to Continuous Learning where it is explained that learning doesn’t stop at any point and people must constantly be abreast of new developments in their field.
Interpersonal skills and team-work has also been seen as a core competency in today’s world where almost no role exists without being dependent on others. These interaction related attributes have also seen some new versions. Workforce brings up Collaborative Strategic Decision Making. It presses on being able to ‘influence without authority’, seeking the best solution, and being supportive. UN talks about respect for diversity. In today’s workplace, practically every team is diverse. Various races, genders, religions, and nationalities come together to work. In this kind of a setting, being respectful is vital.
Other skills discussed include systems thinking. This refers to being a ‘connected, holistic thinker’. Borrowed from Gestalt psychology, it talks about being able to understand context in a situation and also the various implication that it might lead to. Workforce Magazine talks of ‘Shaping work for Meaning’. Today’s millennials are looking for challenging opportunities. This idea revolves around innovation, being able to remove barriers, and acknowledging efforts that go beyond job requirement. With Gig Economy characterising a lot of job roles, activating open networks is also seen as a key skill of the future. Being able to facilitate and build temporary workers is rapidly gaining importance. In the same way, with technology touching parts of all industries, being technologically aware and the ability to learn new technology fast is seen as a very useful skill, only peaking in priority with passing time.
It is important for companies to acknowledge and prepare their employees for these arising competencies. Consultancies like Skillwise help in the learning and development of companies in these areas, making the process smoother.