14 Jun THOUGHT LEADER AND INFLUENCER: THE FUTURE OF WORK
PwC consulting’s Bhushan Sethi is a noted thought leader and influencer on the future of work, workforce strategy and diversity. We asked him what skills tomorrow’s leaders would need to succeed – and where businesses should be focusing their workforce development and training efforts going forward.
“Curiously, a number of our clients highlight that it’s not technical proficiencies that people need. It’s the business skills, the analytical skills, the emotional skills. So, if a client asaid what are the future skills my leaders need, I’d probably look at something like business acumen not just today, but also in terms of tomorrow’s business model and how are we going to accelerate the shift to digital, how to adapt hen customer preferences change, and how to make technology work in the organization. That means not just focusing on training and knowledge, but also all the other aspects of the skills that leaders need in terms of EQ, collaboration, problem solving, etc. which is so relevant right now for many, many businesses. We did one of our surveys on what 2000 workers thought future skills they’d need to succeed would be and that includes problem solving, and making collaboration central, as well as business analysis skills and the ability to understand business models.
Say you’re running a retail business. You not only need to think about your supply chain, but also how do you understand that your consumers now are much more comfortable with buying digitally as opposed to going to a physical store and understanding how product placement strategies and what products you stock might need to change. Really understanding the business and probing to find out how markets and customer habits are shifting is important. You also need to be able to ask yourself questions like where are you going to need differentiated pricing, how do we compete with competitors who are constantly evolving their strategies and how do we use visualization tools that can help us understand real-time pricing? And of course, you’ll also have to think about how you can have much better security and identity management because you’re going to have lots more external kind of vendors working with these systems.
Really, getting ahead now is about having the mindset and the curiosity to say: How do we ask smarter business questions and use the answers to adapt more effectively in turn?”