We live in a world of accelerating change. New industries are born, and older ones are becoming obsolete. What are the skills employees and their leaders need to help the organisation reach it's full potential?
We asked our managing partner and co-founder of Springway Diederik Vincent to reflect on years of experience and survival in organisations. Here is his list.
1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Managers don’t have all the answers and solutions; problems are too complex to be solved by one person. Innovation starts with the ability to question the status quo and reflect on better ways of doing things. Only then we can begin to create alternative solutions and improve performance.
2. Collaboration Across Networks
Multinational corporations are having their teams collaborate using digital tools and networks. Understanding colleagues from radically different backgrounds and communicating effectively is what we need to be prepared for.
We live in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world. Traditionally our education and mindset have been designed for routine and the following of procedures. We learned how to do something once, and then we did it over and over. Today learning means we have to be agile and adaptive to new situations of disruption. We have to master new skills "on demand" and discard the ones that are no longer required.
Business leaders are struggling to find employees who seek out new opportunities, ideas and strategies for improvement. Most organisations have not been designed to inspire doers and innovators. How do we teach employees to lead, encourage them to take the initiative and empower them to solve global challenges?
5. Leading by Influence
Future leaders will get things done by influence, not "command and control". Effective influencers are both good listeners and communicate the purpose and goals of the organisation in a clear and inspirational manner. Future leaders need to connect & communicate to create high-performance.
6. Natural Curiosity
Curiosity is a powerful driver of new knowledge and innovation. Everyone is born with a ‘child-like’ sense of awe and wonder’ to explore and experiment. Later we are learned to follow the rules:"things should be done this way, not that like that!"
It takes imagination to envision breakthroughs and then go about executing them. Most organisations consistently spoon-feed information and regulations instead of empowering employees to ask questions and seek answers. Inquisitiveness and thinking "outside-the-box" need to be promoted with the same level of importance that the organisation gives to processes and procedures.
Creating Future Success
Unfortunately, I see a stark contrast between these six survival skills and the focus of Learning & Development in many organisations. Many times L&D provides a training catalogue to prepare the organisation for future success, with the danger of employees acting like the little orchestra on the Titanic.
It’s time to give new solutions to changing organisational development needs and to be future role models ourselves.
Managing Partner Springway