Magazine article Personnel Journal

New Skills Needed for Success in the 21st Century

Magazine article Personnel Journal

New Skills Needed for Success in the 21st Century

Article excerpt

IN 10 YEARS, ONE-FOURTH OF current workplace know-how and accepted business practices will be obsolete. The 21st century will ring in new ways of working, and in turn, new skills necessary to succeed.

For the past two years, Innovative Pathways, an Orlando, Florida-based management consulting firm, has been identifying business-practice issues that its clients are beginning to face and the skills that will become necessary to deal with these issues. Out of this research, the company identified a pattern: The training that employees and managers will need more and more is not in the traditional technical skills, but in human relations. "These issues in the past have been viewed as soft training, but they're going to be the hard skills of the future," says Mary Tiffany, Innovative Pathways' president. For their companies to succeed in the 21st century, employees must:

* Be able to openly confront difficult issues in a manner that stimulates collaborative learning while avoiding defensiveness in self and others

* Allow own thinking to be challenged and refined by others while staying objective

* Operate with a passion for excellence, openly challenging bureaucracy and the unproductiveness that accompanies it

* Embrace change by working with the forces involved rather than resisting them

* Operate with optimism, perceiving new opportunities in the midst of adversity

* Take ownership of own continuous improvement process, integrating learning and work at every possible juncture

* Be able to think in systemic and dynamic patterns in order to unearth solutions not readily apparent to others

* Use extensive networking practices to leverage the power of teams and experts in achieving high levels of performance

* Think in global terms, incorporating a world of economic, ecological and cultural views into everyday work issues

* Align and commit own individual passion to the organization's mission/vision. …

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