Why skills are the new currency in a digital economy
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Why skills are the new currency in a digital economy

Future of Work

Why skills are the new currency in a digital economy

July 17, 2018 Dean Maher
If you feel like the pace of change is rapidly increasing, you’re not alone. When we consider recent advances in digital technology, many experts are predicting the working world is on the verge of massive changes.
The World Economic Forum reports that technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and crypto currencies are all converging to cause what they’ve called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
However, HR practices in many organisations today, doesn’t feel like we’re at the dawn of a new world of work. We talk a lot about developing the skills of the future, but we’re still rolling out the same tired processes such as:
  • outdated onboarding experiences
  • soulless performance reviews
  • stale training programs
While we are aware that big changes are coming, it’s difficult to know exactly how to prepare for an uncertain future.  What we do know is that these revolutionary leaps  will require everyone to:
  • understand the demands of the future business world
  • augment their current skill sets
  • develop a host of new skills
Even for people working in what’s considered “good jobs”, disruptive technologies are making their skill sets outdated. It sometimes feel like artificial intelligence is making human expertise irrelevant.
The people who will succeed in the new digital economy will be those who can compliment the work of machines and artificial intelligence. This means a greater focus on:
  • digital skills
  • soft skills
  • communication
  • collaboration
In fact, research from Deloitte has shown that:
  • job growth in soft skill intensive jobs will be 2.5 times greater than other jobs
  • 63% of all jobs will be soft skill intensive by 2030
So, how do we go about preparing our workforce for the future? At Cornerstone, we believe it starts with getting rid of the static training systems that no longer meet the needs of forward focused organisations. Every organisation needs to:
  • develop a culture of continuous learning
  • encourage people to seek out new knowledge
  • take control of their career development every day
Some of the biggest names in business have begun implementing their own programs for developing these future skills.
Telstra has developed a skills mapping system called MyCareer for its 32,700-strong workforce. This system can track an individual's abilities and knowledge, and map these against skills in the future. It allows Telstra to cross-skill and develop its technical and non-technical staff for existing roles and jobs that don't exist yet.
IKEA commissioned its own research which revealed that 70% of Australians don’t have a clear idea what the future of work will look like. However, 45% said they don’t believe their employers are adequately preparing them for this uncertain future. As they prepare to hire 16,000 new employees over the next 12 years, IKEA said it’s already begun hiring for jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago. They’re also preparing their current workforce to move into redesigned roles for complementing new technology.
Ultimately, companies that continually develop a culture of learning will have a massive advantage over their competitors. These strategic initiatives are most successful when they:
  • start from the top
  • embrace modern learning technology
  • motivate learners as they grow
Unfortunately, many organisations still struggle to keep pace with outdated learning content as these new skill requirements emerge. The answer lies in embracing new technologies to supply employees with the topics and formats that meet their evolving needs and interests.
*Referenced from:
  1. http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/ikea-to-hire-16000-new-employees-by-2030/news-story/ca519209cb3ad80511a126ff88f26e19
  2. http://www.afr.com/business/accounting/telstra-already-building-its-workforce-of-the-future-with-mycareer-20180318-h0xmm8&sa=D&ust=1527555633323000&usg=AFQjCNGr24PHzEqugk8R9gPSvhUUoV210w
About Dean Maher

Dean has joined Cornerstone OnDemand in 2017 to lead the company's efforts in the Australia and New Zealand region. He is part of a dynamic team who are equally passionate about using technology to engage people and drive successful business outcomes with customers... more


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