Notes in the Margin

On the intersection of web apps, digital content and social media

New and Required Skills in Ten Years

The Institute for the Future and the University of Phoenix Research Institute recently delivered a report called Future Work Skills 2020, which analyzes the key factors that will impact the nature of work the next 10 years and identifies key work skills needed.

This report was sufficiently interesting to me that I thought it would be worth simply summarizing its findings. The report itself has much other interesting and evocative information, but for the sake of efficiency, I’ll simply include the top-level points of the report.

The skills are based on six drivers, which it defines as disruptive shifts that will reshape the workforce landscape:

  1. Extreme longevity: Increasing global lifespans change the nature of careers and learning
  2. Rise of smart machines and systems: Workplace automation nudges human workers out of rote, repetitive tasks
  3. Computational world: Massive increases in sensors and processing power make the world a programmable system
  4. New media ecology: New communication tools require new media literacies beyond text
  5. Superstructured organizations: Social technologies drive new forms of production and value creation
  6. Globally connected world: Increased global interconnectivity puts diversity and adaptability at the center of organizational operations.

In the report, these six drivers create the following ten critical skills. What I find interesting about these skills is that they are both the product, as well as the drivers, of new social engagement especially within organizations.

1. Sense-making
Definition: ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed

2. Social intelligence
Definition: ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions

3. Novel & adaptive thinking
Definition: proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based

4. Cross -cultural competency
Definition: ability to operate in different cultural settings

5. Computational thinking
Definition: ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning

6. New-media literacy
Definition: ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication

7. Transdisciplinarity
Definition: literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines

8. Design mindset
Definition: ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes

9. Cognitive load management
Definition: ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques

10. Virtual collaboration
Definition: ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.


Written by tstaley

June 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Posted in Culture, Enterprise 2.0

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