Who am I? The very next questions, which we tend to ask ourselves is: What we are going to do?
I tried to imagine what is forthcoming in terms of employment and occupation in my article Imagine Our Tomorrow at Work. I believe that transformation will take place in three waves and right now we are heading into the second wave.
Now I want to reflect on suggesting some tactics, which will help you to prepare for the upcoming challenges and even to take you one step ahead.
De- or Constructive
Paul Willmott, the founder of Digital McKinsey, says that matching candidates with job positions will be a challenge, because of the difference between the skills obtained and the ones required.
Both governments and academia do not invest in training to close the gap, but rather leave the private sector to cover it. From an economic perspective, the approach is destructive. Significantly more time and money are spent on addressing the issue at a later stage. In addition, the lack of immediate release of output results in lower rates of economic growth.
Jerry Yang, an engineer and an entrepreneur, suggest a ‘Darwinistic’ tactic. He believes that things have not changed in the last 20,000 years – every day is like survival. Hence, you only need to teach your kid to survive.
However, I would suggest another tactic – building a macro-competence as a frame and constantly adding micro-competences to help people adapt.
The framework is more or less addressed with majors, specializations, and dual learning, which academic organizations offer. The challenge has been the establishment of a dialogue between business and institutions, as well as the flexibility of the later.
Yet, building micro-competences is still neglected. A general understanding exists of what the competencies should be. For example, we all agree that problem-solving skills is a must-have. But have we considered that problem-solving in technology-rich environments will require a different set of skills? Or that the set of competencies for working in virtual teams might differ from the general teamwork skills?
The Role of Business and Institutions
The needed support is in two directions. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘everyone has the right to education.’ And while ‘technical and professional education shall be made generally available,’ both private and state organizations should go one step further. They should not deny access to learning and development, making it a basic employee right. Thus, people will be able to develop the skills, which they are missing and stay competitive on the market. While companies will gain from operating with competent staff.
And finally, organizations should undertake the mission to motivate and inspire the next generations. Let’s be fair. All the efforts and tactics would be pointless if there is no one to be approached. If people prefer to sit and wait, rather than to work it out, humans will become a species, which only consumes. Or in other words – a parasite.