Five Strategies for Success in the Future of Work
Filter tag: Change Management and Executive Outplacement, Leadership Capability, Strategies for Growth
Market conditions change swiftly and often, and the ability to adapt agilely to the disruptions of an ever-changing business landscape has served business leaders well in recent, highly turbulent years. Yet, more valuable is the ability to think strategically about the future of work and to chart a course to deliver impact come what may.
It can be difficult to know with certainty where to prioritise efforts, expend energy, or allocate time and resources. Where do you scale up or double down? How can you deliver impact in the short term while laying the foundations for long-term organisational and professional growth? Our experts have highlighted the following 5 areas as top strategic priorities for executives’ and businesses’ future-planning success:
- Embrace Skills-Based Hiring and Upskilling: In the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 Future of Jobs report, companies identified improving talent progression and promotion processes (48%), offering higher wages (36%), and offering effective reskilling and upskilling (34%) as key business practices that can increase the availability of talent to their organisation. Six in 10 workers will require training before 2027, but only half of workers are seen to have access to adequate training opportunities today. Businesses must consider investing inwardly to futureproof their existing talent to satisfy skills shortages over time, while executives in transition should invest in their own skill-building initiatives to differentiate and add value. Assess the needs of your industry or role and focus on communicating how you honed those specific skills to be relevant for the future. Where possible, benchmark against other executives at your level and determine where you might be able to develop an edge.
- Commit to Continuous Learning: In a working world where the skills required for success are constantly evolving, it is paramount that senior executives continue to evolve as well. Employers surveyed in the WEF’s report estimated that 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted in the next five years. The report also found that ‘analytical thinking’ is the most in-demand skill for the future workforce, followed by creativity, AI and big data capabilities, leadership, resilience/agility, and curiosity/lifelong learning. Whether you’re a seasoned executive who is secure in your role or if your career is in transition, investing in your skills and professional development is always worthwhile. Staying current and adaptable in an ever-shifting business landscape will serve you and your organisation well.
- Embrace Technology and Automation: It’s no wonder that technological literacy skills rank high in the WEF’s list of skills on the rise as businesses adopt digital technologies such as Generative AI to enhance productivity and strengthen their competitive edge. Rather than resisting this essential element of the future of work, you would be better served by working to understand it. For those amid a career transition, consider upskilling in digital tools and technologies that are in high demand. Come to grips with how this technology is reshaping your industry, job function, or target employers and think strategically about how you could potentially leverage it to make an impact.
- Cultivate an Inclusive Mindset: Alongside the digitisation of the workforce, we are also seeing shifts in human demographics. With professionals staying in their careers longer and influxes of young talent joining the working population, cross-generational communication and collaboration will become standard in the future of work. This has always been the case, but the stakes and considerations have changed as prior to now, we have not seen five generations simultaneously well-represented in the workforce. Knowing how to navigate the generational divide, communicate effectively, motivate and align these different groups, and drive peak performance will be critical components of future leadership.
- Lead with Purpose: In the wake of economic hardship, climate concern, geopolitical tensions, and social division, purpose-driven decision-making should be front of mind for many executives. This can be a fine line to walk, with harsh reputational consequences for those who get it wrong. To avoid this, clearly define your mission and values and communicate them well. Demonstrate your commitment to social and corporate responsibility not just in your words but by aligning your actions with these principles.
The dynamic nature of the world of work demands that senior executives and organisations not only keep pace with change but also anticipate it, positioning themselves for growth and continued impact in the face of uncertainty. Establishing strategic priorities will prepare you for the challenges ahead and empower you to thrive in the ever-shifting landscape of the modern business world.