Saturday, January 7, 2012

On future work skills

The IFTF - Institute for the Future has published a report about future work skills for 2020.  This report, summarized in the picture above, identifies six drivers of change in the universe:

1. Extreme longevity
2. Rise of smart machines and systems
3. Computational world
4. New media ecology
5. Superstructured organizations
6.  Globally connected world 

To cope with them, the study determines that ten skills will be needed:

1. Sense making
2. Social intelligence
3. Novel and adaptive thinking
4. Cross-cultural competency
5. Computational thinking
6. New media literacy
8. Design mindset 
9. Cognitive load management
10. Virtual collaboration

Some of these terms are not self-explaining, so if you are interested in the details - read the article.
It is interesting to see if the educational systems -- from kindergarten until university level will change fast enough to cope with future competencies.    

On agile enterprises

I have not written for a while,  I am spending much of my time in finalizing EU project proposal, yes - I know that I determined never to take upon myself coordination of EU project proposal again, but I had to re-learn and get to the same conclusion.    The proposal is due in 10 days, and then I am back to normal life, but from time to time I am also catching up on other things.  I found a posting by my colleagues from (former) ILOG, Daniel Selman about the "5 principles of the agile enterprise for 2012".  The term agile became fashionable, and as seen in the picture above is used today as a medication of various illnesses.  I first heard this term around 20 years ago in the context of agile manufacturing, later in the context of agile software development, and now, as you can see from the picture, agile enterprises.

Daniel's five principles are: 
1. Exploit historical data
2. React in time
3. Make consistent., high quality decisions
4. Performance,performance, performance....
5. Move from segments to customers 

Principles 1 and 4 relate to data -- use historical data, and exploit big data fast
Principles  2 and 2 relate to actions -- react in time (I would say even ahead of time, be proactive!) and make high quality decisions, and principle 5 talks about personalized actions rather than segmentation-oriented actions. 

All of these have technological implications and supporting technologies are certainly helpful in making an enterprise agile,  but the biggest barrier for agility in enterprises lie in the human and cultural aspects.   Using technology to change the culture is one of the next frontiers.  My recent posting about proactive thinking as a cultural change is part of this observation.  More - later.