Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2013 - (Page 15)
21st CENTURY TRAINING | CONNIE MALAMED
WITH SO MANY
THE HARD PART IS
FOUR SKILLS NEEDED IN THE FUTURE WORKPLACE
You don’t have to be a futurist to see the impact that shifts
in technology and culture will have on the future of work.
Consider the obvious: The Internet is ubiquitous, social media
is a permanent channel in our lives, and we live in a world of
These three realities are changing how we work and learn.
Online friends, public sharing and virtual discussions have
become a way of life. As this spills into the workplace,
employees desire transparency from their leaders and the global
community has become more connected than ever.
With a steady stream of new media available, employees often
learn informally in quick snippets at the moment of need. With
so many options available, the only hard part is choosing one.
Also, rapid changes in technology have pushed us to
become participants rather than observers. We contribute to
communities of practice, engage in crowdsourcing and generate
content. Participation helps people become leaders.
This convergence of global connectivity and the 21st century
mindset creates a more independent and resourceful workforce,
yet greater challenges lie ahead. Employees will have to deal
with rapid change, solve complex problems, lead and innovate.
Forward-thinking organizations will encourage and support
In “The Future of Work,” Thomas Malone writes, “We need to
shift our thinking from command and control to coordinate
and cultivate.” Through this shift, we can meet the changing
needs of the future workforce. It means adapting our focus
from one that “pushes” learning events to the masses into one
that helps learners “pull” the learning experiences they need.
FOUR CENTERS OF FOCUS
We can organize around four types of knowledge and skills that
will help employees thrive in the future workplace: access and
tools, collaboration, innovation and creativity, and leadership.
• Access and Tools: Now more than ever, employees need to
develop their own personal learning environment (PLE) of
online tools. The PLE will provide an individualized content
flow that keeps learners up to date and informed. It also
encourages workers to become independent learners.
But there are risks. Users must learn to organize and filter
complex information into something meaningful. They will
need to consider the benefits and risks of public participation.
• Collaboration and Contribution: In the knowledge economy,
expertise often resides in our connected network rather
than in one individual. An important attribute of success is
the ability to collaborate. Important skills will include working
with diverse people who may have different values, the ability
to compromise, and learning from failures.
• Innovation and Creativity: Autonomous and engaged
employees are more likely to feel ownership in an
organization than the disengaged. Smart managers will
encourage staff to innovate and make decisions on their own.
To reinvent the future, employees will need to learn creativity
techniques and problem-solving skills.
• Leadership: As organizational hierarchies become flatter,
many workers will become temporary leaders of short-lived
projects or initiatives. Progressive organizations will need
to develop leadership skills across the board. The 21st century
worker will need to think strategically, make quick decisions
and replace outdated workflows with more efficient ones.
These are exciting times with complex challenges ahead. The key
to meeting these challenges is having a cadre of agile employees
who can find information when they need it, learn independently
and cooperate with others.
Connie Malamed is publisher of theelearningcoach.com and
author of “Visual Language For Designers” and the iPhone app,
Instructional Design Guru. Email Connie.
Training Industry Quarterly, Summer 2013 / A Training Industry, Inc. magazine / www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2013
Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2013
From Where I Sit: Talent Management: An Emerging Business Strategy
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Lessons from Shakespeare
Dealing with Trust Issues
Younger Boss, Older Worker
Four Skills Needed in the Future Workplace
Survive & Thrive with Performance Support
How to Optimize Behavior Change for Business Impact
Addressing the Skilled Trade Crisis
Cultural Differences in Training
Gender Communication in the Workplace
Meeting the Needs of Gen Y Learners
A Leaders 'Crashless' Course: Helping Employees Drive Career Development
DeVry: Growing Talent with Blended Learning Solutions
Live Face-to-Face Training Still Leads the Way
Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2013