This is the listing from the World Economic Forum 2017. It is their list of the top 10 most demanded skills by companies comparing them from what they were in 2015 to what they will be in 2020.
It would appear that so-called “soft” skills are topping the list. Soft skills are more related to leadership skills. Look at the top 4 skills in 2020. All of those are critical to good management.
When paired with the increase in technology in the workplace—artificial intelligence and machine learning—sustainable, competitive advantages for humans has become more important than ever!
Current technologies could automate 45%of the activities people are paid to perform. About 60% of all occupations could see up to 30% of their constituent activities automated. "We estimate that activities consuming more than 20% of a CEO’s working time could be automated".
People worry about robots taking over the workplace. But as robots grow evermore skilled at mimicking human tasks, the human touch will become increasingly more valuable. Automation of work tasks also means that some workers will cycle through positions faster.
We should anticipate the rise of rollercoaster career paths. As technological changes and industrial restructuring proceed at a faster pace, job skills and categories will become obsolete and force more workers to undergo re-training for mid-career job changes.
But fear not. Rather than fight against the changes or worse, run from them, lean in and embrace the new. The best way to deal with uncertainty is to meet it head on! Be flexible and open-minded knowing the future is volatile and ambiguous.
Cultivate your own soft skills. Look at the 2020 list above and learn about and develop those skills in yourself. Learn how to use technology—I’m preaching to myself here—social media, analytics and cloud. Learn to implement them into your daily life both personal and professional.
The more comfortable you are in these environments, the more relevant you will be in the workplace moving forward. In this regard, the future is what we make of it. Look at it as opportunity not knocking, but pounding on the door of your relevance. Adapt or die, as they say.