The Keys to Deliberate Learning for Business Agility

Three steps business leaders need to make a conscious and concerted effort to learn.


Staying afloat and staying ahead are concerns faced by many business leaders and owners.

As a business leader it is imperative to find ways to weather the many social, economic and political storms that batter the economy.  One way to stay ahead is to look ahead at the skills you and your employees will need in the future.

According to the World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs” the skills and abilities you and your employees will need will look at least 30% different in a few years. According to the authors of the report “On average, by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today.

If you look at the table below you will see the completed list of the skills and abilities projected as needed for almost all workers across jobs and industries.

While you may recognize many of the skills on the list as the skills you already have in your repertoire today the chances are the name may look the same but the skill may be subtly or vastly different down the road.  If you look at the first column, the first skill on this list is cognitive flexibility.

Although many of the skills on the list look and sound familiar as the demography of your workforce and market place change and technology continues to evolve you and your employees will need cognitive flexibility to adjust all of these skills meet the changing world around you.

Here is a list of the core work related skills identified in the report:

Core Work-Related Skills

Core Work-Related Skills

Change needs are not only fuelled by changing technology but by much more including the changing political, social, and demographic shift underway.

Technologies like AI and big data and IoT will impact most jobs and not just within high tech. Additionally, as the world population ages, the employable workforce will shrink you and your employees will have to learn a wider array of new skills to manage the changes ahead.

To stay ahead of shift in needed skills for 2020 the World Economic Forum suggested a couple of ways to stay ahead of the skills development curve:

1.   Take personal responsibility for your own learning.

This requires you to take time to repeatedly ask yourself what your learning plan is.

On a weekly basis you may want to begin identifying what you learned and if you did not learn anything new then you might want to rethink your learning strategy. It may be time for you to take a course, consult a counsellor or meet with a coach to discuss your learning needs and strategies.
2.   Help your company/employees take responsibility for their learning.

Look for opportunities to up-skill yourself and your workforce. Learn and teach your employees to learn.  Offer or enable access to re-training, educational incentives and other learning and development initiatives.

Think you are too busy to add something else to your plate? If you don’t approach your learning as a deliberate choice you will find it very difficult to just ‘fit in’ learning when you find time.

Carving out time from your schedule to prepare for the future usually saves you time and often sooner than you thing. Many of the top business leaders in the world carve out time to learn each week.

Next- Here are 3 steps you can take to continue to learn and develop new skills:

Tara Orchard
Tara Orchard
Tara Orchard is a coach, trainer, consultant and writer who applies her insights into people and Masters training in psychology to facilitate performance improvements, relationships and communication for people and businesses. She has worked with organizations to deliver clarity on culture and brand, develop their people and manage relationships with social network communities. Over the past 18 years she has consulted with 1000's of people who want to make effective transitions in their lives. Tara has a knack for hearing what people are thinking and helping them see what they need to see. She is the founder of her own career and social network coaching business, works with several other organizations as a coach and consultant and is about to complete her first book on the "psychology of effective social networking".

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