If asked about the key skills of the future, would you and your employees point to skills they used in pre-school classrooms? Would you say: “creativity, sharing and negotiation”? According to David Deming, associate professor of education and economics at Harvard University, soft skills like sharing and negotiating will be crucial. He says the modern workplace, where people move between different roles and projects, closely resembles pre-school classrooms, where we learn social skills such as empathy and cooperation.
Other reports found on the World Economic Forum site highlight the importance of creativity, as one of the top three skills workers will need.

When you look at what is encouraged in your organization and how work gets accomplished, how would you rate your readiness for the skills needed to win in today’s VUCA environment? In the new playing field where collaboration and agility have sometimes become buzz words in organizations, what actions are you taking “on the field” to develop new practices and new skill sets, like a professional athlete training for a new discipline?

In working with teams on specific challenges, we have found that access to develop new thinking and new actions is to widely use design thinking principles and embed those in your corporate culture. Design thinking provides a critical focus on the end-user and the principles are valuable to develop our creativity and ability to empathize, work with diverse profiles and personalities, diverge, converge, test and learn through prototypes.

Design thinking initially comes from the world of design for products and services and is defined as: “combining empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and rationality in analyzing and fitting various solutions to the problem context.”

When you look at what is valued and encouraged in your organization and corporate culture, are you preparing your teams to develop the skills that are required today and for a sustainable future?

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