lucy dunnLucy Dunn | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

20 May 2015

No matter where you live, we all experience the changing economy and business world. Yesterday Fibit (a fitness product which tracks your health) was a hot item, today they are discounting their most popular item to face up the competition of the already-here and upcoming wearable technologies which do more than just tracking your fitness. We live in a time of disruption, and that also include our workplace. VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainly, Complexity and Ambiguity) are word and issues we all need to become comfortable with. This leads to the questions, are solid traditional skills enough to ensure our career sustainability?
Bob Johnasen, a Distinguished Fellow at the Instituted of the Future (IFTF) in the Silicon Valley, published a book called “Leaders Make the Future” makes the point that leaders make the future and are not passive as things change. Below are the first of the points which I found thought provoking and relevant to today’s candidates:

  • Sense-making: A process by which people give meaning to things/experience. We cannot possibly be know-it-all, and sense-making is getting ever so important. How can we “connect the dots” when all we knows are seemingly unrelated bits and pieces? If one can master sense-making, focus on asking the right questions rather than having the right answer, it can mean the difference of being first or being a follower. Besides our work life, think what this could do for understanding the development of your children.
  • Social Intelligence: Relationships and the ability to connect with people remains a crucial capability. The ability to connect with people in a deeper, more meaningful way whether they are customers, colleagues, family, or strangers will enable us to thrive in this new age, get things done and solving complex problems. To do so, and despite the abstraction of technology, we must continue to develop capabilities to have a sense of compassion to lead us to understanding others’ emotions which leads us to what motivates them, which explains what triggers them in to making decisions.
  • Being a perpetual learner: Today’s job market is a race between two desires. The worker’s desire for more pay and benefits and an employer’s desire for lower costs of production to be more competitive in the world market. Each year the skills you have are discounted in value. This means a good education or job experience is not enough, your ability to learn new skills, find new markets, embrace new technology and quickly adapt to new realities means you can continue to sell your value and avoid being “undersized” , “downsized” or an outright causality of outsourcing
  • Multicultural competencies: Globalization is everywhere and here to stay. It affects every single person, job, company, country... In markets like Hong Kong much of the economy and therefore companies and your job depend on being a competitive a part of a global or at least international market. Many of us already work globally every day. My personal example is that my husband (American working in medical imaging) is often making calls to Brazil while I (Chinese working in recruiting) am calling Singapore. Being able to work globally across time zones and countries is a today reality. Looking for ways to adopt, advance, accelerate this approach can sustain your competitive edge. If you don’t work with clients/customers that are located internationally, this still affects you and offers and opportunity if you can master working collaboratively, communicating in the relevant way across geographies.
  • Putting on analytical hat: We are surrounded by data. It can come from all sources imaginable, but how many of us are putting our “big data” analytical cap to really understand what these data mean? The ability to decipher data into information, has become paramount

Do you agree with the above?

If you are a hiring manager, do you look out for these skills?

If you are a candidate, how does your knowledge or experience weigh in these areas?

Part 2 of this article will bring you the remaining five skills.

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