Core competencies that enable your team to cope with change

A few days ago, I was in the plane to London and I realized a lot has changed since the last time I visited the U.K. Not only was “Brexit” not even a term yet, societal and socio-economic norms were much different compared to now, including the job market. As the World Economic Forum stated in their The Future of Jobs Report, the labor markets have been disrupted by great technological and other societal changes. These advancements have made life easier, but the economy, and simply, how we treat each other are structurally different.

The same WEF report showed what the current socio-economic disruptions mean for different industries. Now, we can expect everyone to “go with the flow” and pick up anything new, but it is easier said than done. Because, when it comes to change, people are stubborn as our brain offers security and high energy-saving capabilities by sticking to established thoughts and action patterns. However, this tactic of the brain makes it harder to adjust behavior in times of instability.

We see that the employees of the companies we help are smart and tech-savvy – of course. However, solely mastering hard skills is not enough to optimize performance. Specific competencies offer the ability to act self-directed and purposefully in new and complex situations. In a broader sense, soft skills, i.e., the non-technical still key qualities to people and their behavioral abilities, are needed to do the work and actually go with the flow.


Three skills to navigate the future

Based on the findings of WEF, we have developed three core competencies that we believe are essential for every employee to develop strong soft skills.

  1. Original thinking: the employee can think outside the box, look at the problem from different perspectives, and find multiple solutions. This competency is the basis of everything.
  2. Critical thinking: the ability to use logic and reasoning to identify the advantages and disadvantages of the solutions one has come up with to tackle the problem. Additional to contemplating, the second part is to monitor the results of the chosen solution. Are you performing the way you expected you would? How are your colleagues and the business responding? Maybe we should make some alterations along the road, which is fine but should be acknowledged timely.
  3. Complex problem solving: identify challenges and the complexities connected to those in all forms and sizes. On top of that, we have to review the relevant information, evaluate all the possible options, and implement the solutions.

As the reader of this post, you probably see the connection between the three competencies. They are not self-contained. There is an intuitive sequence and connection between them, making it easier to address and implement them in your organization to convert to current and future changes.


Make it happen: How to create movement in your organization

We have developed a roadmap to break through patterns in order to create movement within the team and an environment where everyone can handle developments. The first step is to make sense of what is happening by discussing essential theories and models behind the competencies and changes overall. Then we make it real by putting what we have learned into practice with a mix of online and offline training. Finally, we make it happen by applying each lesson to daily activities and reflecting on signs of progress and results.

Curious to know more? We are always looking to brainstorm the right opportunities for your company. Reach out to us for inspiration!

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Joan Muyskenweg 22
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