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The Skills Of The Future Are Now Clear: And Despite What You Think, They’re Not Technical

Source | | JOSHBERSIN 

This week IBM launched a significant study which looks at the real skills business leaders need over the next three years, and the results will surprise you.

The research, which included surveys across 50 countries (5800 executives), found that approximately 120 Million professionals need to be reskilled to deal with AI and new digital business environments, and the biggest gaps are not “digital skills,” but behavioral skills.

I have been talking about this over the last year – this research reinforces the fact that while digital and technical skills are in high demand (41% of CEOs are worried), they can be filled fairly quickly. More than 45% of CHROs tell us people coming out of college have the digital skills they need: what they’re missing is skills in complex problem solving, teamwork, business understanding, and leadership.

The data is quite clear: “digital skills gaps” are being addressed: the leadership and behavioral skills are not.

If you look at this list, you see a set of topics we all deal with every day — trying to adapt to constant change; prioritizing our time to work on the most important things; learning to listen and collaborate in a team; and understanding how to communicate our ideas, findings, and recommendations in a compelling way.

These “soft skills” (that term has to be retired, by the way) are complex and behavioral in nature, and they represent what we now call the “uniquely human skills” that cannot be done by machines.

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