The New Reality necessitates Brave Leadership, and here’s what it means
A 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF) report predicts that 54 percent of workers across 12 industries will need to be reskilled and upskilled by 2022 to stay relevant.
With manufacturing and service sectors evolving to embrace new technologies, 40 percent of India’s tech workforce needs to upskill in the next five years to stay relevant.
Technology’s biggest irony is that it has isolated, connected, and unified mankind simultaneously. It has broken barriers and created a demand for new jobs and skillsets that never existed earlier. Going ahead, nobody can predict what the scenario will be, a decade from now on any front.
The time is ripe for academic thought leaders to collaborate with on-ground-practices adapted by industry visionaries. Digital has to meet humane to craft a future that we want to create.
But how do we align ourselves to the new millennial, industry demands, global trends, and changing models of everything? What about those with traditional skills and talents? Does the New Reality have a place for them? Yes. It’s about rebooting mankind with unlearning, upskilling, and re-learning in the digital age.
Future-proofing every organisation
The world today is all about embracing flaws with creativity, degrees with empathy, failures with successes, and ensuring everyone is speaking the same language. Technology is not a monster. While the influx of tech in our everyday lives will make certain jobs redundant, it will create opportunities for many more. This is because creative thinking and the ability to make decisions is something that will require a human-machine partnership.
Hence, individuals with design thinking, agility, flexibility are in great demand today because they have broken the conventional boardrooms setups and are being recognised for their acumen in reshaping business decisions and strategies for consumer outreach. The need of the hour is for professionals to upskill themselves, to meet the requirements of new-age jobs.
The digital age has ushered competencies like data analysis, building credibility, project management, and realigning organisational structure with talent acquisition for a promising future.
To future-proof the workforce and achieve business goals, organisations will have to strengthen the talent pipeline by providing upskilling and re-skilling opportunities for employees, paving the way for individuals who are empowered and have a robust skillset.
Soft skills are the game changer
In today’s world, while there is no denying that field skills are of utmost importance, something that is increasingly being valued by recruiters is the ability of people to manage time well, have communication abilities, language skills, emotional empathy, teamwork capabilities, and leadership traits.
In short, soft skills are crucial in this digital age. This includes emotional intelligence, communication, talent, critical thinking, and time saving. Therefore, it’s time for leaders and top management to shift their focus on helping individuals acquire and hone their soft skills to emerge as the winners in the new digital reality.
Enhancing the performance of employees
The work environment is drastically changing and organisations are learning and re-thinking ways to operate in a pandemic situation. Therefore, empowering employees and leaders to deal with business scenarios and real-time challenges ensures that on-job mentoring will have a positive business impact, facilitate career advancement for employees, and increase the security and happiness quotient.
Identifying the right skillsets and training modules
Not all training is effective. By identifying different skillsets, talents, and roles within an organisation, one can go a long way in skilling employees.
Pathways can be formulated to communicate with people of different competencies so that everyone has a fair chance of being upskilled and gets an opportunity for future career advancement. Learning, reskilling, and industry togetherness through knowledge sharing will play a huge role in defining the industrial revolution.
To conclude, the wisdom of existing talent cannot be ignored. A mix of experience, youthful aspirations, market trends, new roles, and technology is a winning combination for any organisation. All these add to building a culture of design innovation and fostering a happy workplace.
The New Reality is an opportunity for focusing on realities resulting in co-creation. Brave leadership is not new and has been practised through the ages. As the context in which we operate changes, the definition and competencies of a brave leader change too.
American statesman Theodore Roosevelt’s lines are still relevant in the current context. “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” That’s Brave Leadership!
Leadership is not a milestone; it will always be a moving target!
It is authored by Mr. Sharad Mehra, CEO, Global University Systems- Asia Pacific.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)