The 4th Industrial Revolution & Competences of the Future

That our world is changing is nothing new, nor is the fact that we need to adapt as human beings. So why all the buzz? Find out here which competences will be important in the future.

Ingenuity, hope and the impact of change

According to the World Economic Forum, we are at the beginning of the 4th industrial revolution in which physical, digital and biological systems ‘find’ each other, resulting in limitless possibilities. Seen the film? Ingenious, right? Although sensational examples such as ‘a cure for paralysis’ or ‘providing everyone in the world with the necessary energy’ may seem far-fetched to many, we still applaud the ideas from a distance because we know it can be done!

Other examples on the workplace come too close. Digitalisation and robotisation are aspects that are gaining in significance with the focus on taking over routine tasks. This frightens employees; the employee has to reinvent himself in order to keep adding value.

Mens vs. Machine?

Digitalisation or automation is not an either-or story of man versus machine, it will rather be a story of man and machine working side by side. If machines can take over routine tasks, it goes without saying that time is released for employees to focus on other things. The question is, what other things? And what competences do you need for these? The World Economic Forum has already drawn up an overview of the competences of the future:

  • Complex problem-solving: data continues to increase and becomes more complex. It will become even more important in the future to make meaningful connections and to come up with creative solutions.
  • Critical thinking: with the explosion of data and its complexity, it will be important for people to have good insights and be able to make meaningful interpretations.
  • Creativity: at the moment machines and robots are mainly used for repetitive tasks, they cannot yet think creatively. In the future, employees who are creative in their thinking and their solutions will therefore be sublimated.
  • People Management: robots will never be able to take over the role of a good manager. As a result, organisations will continue to look for managers with good people management skills.
  • Collaboration: collaboration and communication remain very important, even when robots and AI take over certain tasks.
  • Emotional intelligence: technology cannot yet feel or empathise with other people. The ability to empathise with a situation or another person will therefore be an important skill in the future.
  • Judgement and decision making: robots work mainly with structured data. At this point, they are not yet able to process completely unstructured data. Therefore, it remains important that humans can structure a quantity of complex data in order to make meaningful interpretations and decisions.
  • Customer focus: People will increasingly be looking for people with a service-oriented attitude, people who can empathise with the customer and come up with solutions to social problems.
  • Negotiation: People who are able to negotiate with business and individuals will become very important, especially in industries where the 4th industrial revolution has a big impact.
  • Cognitive flexibility: people who can switch easily between different situations and tasks mentally will be sought after.

Booming sector: Lifelong Learning!

With the arrival of the 4th industrial revolution, the sector of Lifelong Learning is booming as well. Due to the constantly changing circumstances and the constant evolution of technology, employees will have to keep learning. Only in this way will employees keep up with the latest developments. It will therefore become more important for organisations to invest in lifelong learning and in setting up a strategic learning policy.

Do you want to know whether your employees have the competences of the future? Are you curious about who in your organisation has the necessary cognitive flexibility? Or would you like to set up a learning policy in your organisation?

Contact us for more information!

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