10 Work Skills for the Postnormal Era

World Economic Forum’s skills list is way out of date

Editor's Note: This list of 10 skills really made me stop and think! This is a great article and I hope it makes you think too.

Dion Hinchcliffe tweeted out a graphic (not exactly the one below, but essentially the same) listing skills for 2020 in contrast to 2015 offered up by the World Economic Forum. He got me to thinking.

I think the World Economic Forum (WEF) — or their contributors on the report, Till Alexander Leopold, Vesselina Ratcheva, and Saadia Zahidi — are at least five years out of date. I think the set of skills they list for 2020 are the sort that CEOs and HR staff would have picked for new hires in 2010, or even 2005. I don’t hear the future calling in this list.

Here’s my table of skills, which also serves as a TL;DR if you are in a hurry:

The ten skills: Read the whole article:

First of all, let’s state explicitly that we’re talking about skills that are helpful for operating in the wildly changing world of work, and note that I make no distinction between the skills needed by management versus staff. That is an increasingly unhelpful distinction, as the skill set will make clearer, perhaps.

Here’s some alternatives to those listed by WEF, which we’ll call postnormal skills. With the exception of Boundless Curiosity, they aren’t ordered by importance, although I bet for different domains they could be weighted profitably.

Also note that I left out a bunch of skills that are still relevant, like reading and writing and ‘rithmetic, as did the WEF researchers. But I am also dropping skills like coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, and complex problem solving. Because d’uh. Also missing are givens like virtual collaboration, new literacy, and participatory engagement. Again, these are today’s skills, since 2005 at least, or have the uncharming characteristic of being so commonplace that everyone thinks they know what they mean, even if they don’t. So let’s at least plow some more fertile fields, shall we?

Here’s my ten pack: Read the whole article!

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