Knowledge, skills and experience are three crucial components that make up an individual’s competence in any field. Unfortunately, these terms are used interchangeably these days, but they have very different meanings.
In recent years there have been many posts, articles, and reports on how AI and automation will shape the future of work. Depending on the author’s perspective or agenda, these pieces go one of two ways: either the new technology will destroy jobs and have devastating effects on the labor market, or it will create a better, brighter future for everyone by destroying only the boring jobs and generating better, much more interesting ones.
Career aspirations today are radically changing. Fifteen years ago, big corporations were the ultimate prestigious go-to for graduates but now they are seriously losing appeal for many young talents. People today want to build careers on their own terms.
The lack of graduate jobs in the UK and the subsequent un- and underemployment of university leavers have been decried for years. New research now reports that over-qualification has reached saturation point, with woeful impacts on the UK economy.
Are you prepared to meet the challenges in the global labor market that lay ahead? Is your company? The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report highlights the widespread disruptions in the labor markets that will be caused by the developments in fields such as artificial intelligence, machine-learning, genetics and nanotechnology. The report found that “technological disruption is interacting with socio-economic, geopolitical and demographic factors to create a perfect storm in labor markets in the next five years”.
With global unemployment on the rise, finding an effective solution to connect workers with the right jobs and projects has become a pressing issue. The new McKinsey Global Institute report finds that online job or talent platforms offer an immense potential to fight unemployment and increase the productivity of the labor market, as they are set to meet the demands of the ever more complex and international job market today.
A recent report, which is the culmination of a leadership event featuring Ernst & Young, the Royal Bank of Canada, and guided by Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, Harvard University professor of leadership diversity, highlights diversity and its support within organizations. The piece seeks to comment on the failure of organizations to effectively implement policies directed at diversifying staff, and promoting inclusion generally. According to Dr Banaji, diversity is so essential because it allows for the creation of a strong team which can perform better under pressure and in different circumstances. She also states that diversity makes way for dynamic problem-solving, and better decision-making, leading to a better success rate overall.
Lloyd Shapley and Alvin Roth received the Nobel Prize in economics 2012 (link in german) for their “theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design” (link in german). The approach used by the two Americans is primarily based on of the appropriate matching of agents in areas which exceed the limitations of traditional market mechanisms (link in german), e.g. when students are trying to find their ideal university, and vice versa. A key statement from the Nobel Prize-winning work is that the matching, i.e. the overlap in interests and requirements, must always be as large as possible. The relevance of these insights to the modern labour market is confirmed by a recently published report from the European Central Bank (ECB).
The Institute for the Future (IFTF) has recently published a study about the most important work skills for the future. Yet, those who expect to find a guideline will be disappointed. Due to the rapidly changing demands of the labor market, the study has found that foresight and adaptability will be the key to success. The top ten skills for 2020 listed by the IFTF therefore contain abilities like “sense-making”, “transdisciplinarity” or “novel and adaptive thinking” (see graphic below). What sound like the predictions of a horoscope, which will prove true no matter what, is actually symptomatic of the driving forces behind the increasingly automatized and interconnected work force.
Dr. Chia-Jung Tsay (UCL School of Management) studies the psychological influences on decision making and interpersonal perception, and how expertise and biases affect professional selection and advancement. Dr. Tsay’s work has been published in leading academic journals and featured in media outlets including the BBC, Economist, Harvard Business Review, Nature, and NPR, and in television programs, radio stations, and newspapers across 48 countries. For us, she answered three questions regarding her latest work titled “Naturals and strivers: Preferences and beliefs about sources of achievement”.