Tuesday TipsOne of the anecdotal points we often make in our presentations is that when children who are in junior school today enter the workplace in 15 years time, up to 30% of the jobs they apply for will be jobs that don’t exist yet.

How do we prepare talent for a new world of work when we don’t even know what 1 in 3 of the jobs will be that they are expected to do?

The challenge doesn’t just sit with children though. Due to the macro disruptive trend of Human Longevity talent in organisations today need to consider that they will be in the workplace for longer than anyone ever before. Consequently, they will shift jobs and careers several times through an extended workalike and 1 in 3 promotions, or future jobs for which they will be applying for don’t exist yet.

How are you able to invest in personal development or career planning when a significant portion of the environment for which you are preparing yourself is unknown and invisible?

The simplest way to prepare yourself as talent for the new world of work, or prepare those in your care, is to rethink the basic premise of what that preparation entails.

Shift from content to characteristics
The current way of doing development and learning is to identify a set of content the needs to be transferred. At the end of the content transfer interaction (teaching / lecturing) the recipient is tasked with regurgitating as much of the content back as possible. The view is that memorising this content will develop the individual for the future context they will enter.

When the future was a slightly different version of the present that was an appropriate and effective way of developing people. Now though, we don’t know what the future will look like! The one thing we do know is that we know NOTHING about at least 30% of it.

In this context we need to change from learning focused on content transfer, to learning being about learning how to learn.

Some characteristics of effective learning are:

  • Curiosity
  • Perseverance
  • Practicality
  • Relevance
  • Challenge
  • Broadening horizons
  • Insight

Preparing Talent for the New World of Work means developing these types of characteristics. They will enable a lifelong ability to respond to challenges and opportunities as they arise. It will prepare individuals for this uncertain future by specifically enabling them to enter uncertainty with confidence.

Their confidence will not be based on any information that they know, but rather on the fact that regardless of the vacuum they encounter they have the intra-personal abilities to unlock the insights and wisdom they need in order to succeed in the absence of information not relying “preloaded” irrelevant knowledge.

How to develop these characteristics
This is the tough part… not because it is difficult, but because it is uncomfortable.

The traditional way of learning and developing is to start from the familiar and stretch the boundary of knowledge – without inducing unmanageable discomfort. Essentially, we teach from the perspective that the person we are leading must feel that they can “Do This”.

Developing the characteristics for succeeding in an unknown future requires that we immerse ourselves into situations where we don’t have the insight and ability to “Do This”. The discomfort, stress, and possibly even fear this creates are precisely the catalysts that will cause us to find or develop the things that we need to survive the situation. From merely focusing on survival we are then able to build / grow toward competence – this is an intrinsic element of human nature. From competence we can expand into success…. and at this point the environment has become our own and is our new “familiar” – then we move into the next phase of development and repeat the “character building” cycle.

This process is not quick, it is risky, and there is no certain outcome….. Just like the Future World of Work. The most effective way to prepare Talent for the New World of Work is to expose them to these elements.


Don’t miss Nikki Bush’s Raising Young Talent for the New World of Work event on the 4th April 2017, at the Henley Business School in Johannesburg.
Nikki will be collaborating with 28 year old Sameer Rawjee, the Dean of Google’s O School (he consults to some of the most evolutionary, forward-thinking companies in the world and has a fascinating personal story to tell) and Raymond de Villiers, author of today’s Tuesday Tip and talent expert from TomorrowTodayGlobal.
Click here for more information (http://oldsite.tomorrowtodayglobal.com/2017/03/24/raising-young-talent-new-world-work/) or here to book your ticket right away (http://nikkibush.com/raising-young-talent-booking/)

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