27.10.2023 Today’s Insights from Harvard Business Review: How to Develop…for an Unpredictable Future
Just as we shared earlier this week that it’s necessary for you to “become [more] comfortable being uncomfortable,” you can all “be certain that the future is uncertain,” as well. While this fact may be unsettling, it also represents a call to action for eager candidates like you.
Although the article below targets company leaders, it also provides valuable insight into the skills, knowledge and abilities that Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, TEDx speaker, Chief Innovation Officer at ManpowerGroup, and a professor of business psychology at University College London and Columbia University believes organizations seek today. (I’ll call him TCP for short).
TCP first points out that companies need to create an environment for talent like you to excel, and that, “As Stanford’s Erik Brynjolfsson estimates, for every dollar organizations spend on technology, they need to invest an additional nine dollars in talent and related processes.” (New grads like you are thus advised to seek out companies willing to make such an investment!)
Because employers ought to focus on potential (what ambitious international students like you could do, rather than what you have done to date), in today’s whirlwind environment, he affirms that it’s the power skills which transcend a particular technology that really matter. As TCP puts it so well, “[An organization’s doing so requires leadership’s] prioritizing soft skills — such as learning ability, curiosity, resilience, and adaptability — over hard skills — such as programming or data mining — focusing on the foundational ingredients of employability rather than current technical expertise.” He goes on to reason that: “We may not know what tomorrow’s jobs will look like, but we can safely assume that when people are more curious, emotionally intelligent, resilient, driven, and intelligent, they will generally be better equipped to learn what is needed to perform those jobs and provide whatever human value technology cannot replace.”
TCP cites the importance of feedback – which we’ve discussed previously, as well – meaning that an aspiring talent like you should become comfortable accepting comments graciously, learn from them, and even learn to offer feedback, whether to peers or team members who may be slightly further along. This learning orientation ideally also extends to young professionals’ willingness to be flexible about the roles you step into, adaptable to unexpected circumstances and curious about what you can learn from taking even lateral positions (roles in a different function where no promotion is involved). For ambitious international students like you seeking global leadership roles, TCP highlights that moving into middle management now requires more than advanced “price of entry” technical expertise, instead including skills in “…managing hybrid and virtual teams, creating psychological safety, boosting DEIB (which includes hiring and motivating people who are different from themselves), and helping people manage the human-AI age.”
In closing, TCP emphasizes the critical value of companies taking a new view of talent acquisition and deployment, arguing that “[leadership] is about the qualities people must have to inspire, motivate, and bring others along into a future that will surely include AI, but should ideally also be defined as the human-AI age. This is the critical leadership challenge of today.”
With such perspectives from TCP and his research colleagues in mind, the mandate for young professionals like you at Mandarin Consulting International is clear: Our coaches are here to coach you to become, act and influence as human leaders, who, by example, demonstrate to others how to best leverage technology as a means to drive business outcomes, rather than an end in and of itself.