World Economic Forum—tomorrow’s skills

The top 10 workplace skills of the future.

Sources: Future of Jobs Report, WEF 2017

In a recent blog post—actually in several recent blog posts—I've been emphasizing the importance of building tomorrow's skills. These are the kinds of skills we all need to navigate our increasingly complex and changing world. While I may not agree that all of the top 10 skills listed in the World Economic Forum report (shown above) belong in a list of skills (Creativity is much more than a skill, and service orientation is more of a disposition than a skill.) the flavor of this list is generally in sync with the kinds of skills, dispositions, and behaviors required in a complex and rapidly changing world.

The "skills" in this list cannot be…

  • developed in learning environments focused primarily on correctness or in workplace environments that don't allow for mistakes; or
  • measured with ratings on surveys or on tests of people's ability to provide correct answers.

These "skills" are best developed through cycles of goal setting, information gathering, application, and reflection—what we call virtuous cycles of learning—or VCoLs. And they're best assessed with tests that focus on applications of skill in real-world contexts, like Lectical Assessments, which are based on a rich research tradition focused on the development of understanding and skill.

 

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2 thoughts on “World Economic Forum—tomorrow’s skills

  1. Dear Dr. Dawson:

    Do you think your work could be adapted to assessing skills mentioned by the WEF such as Managing People, Coordinating with others and Negotiating?

  2. Hi Juan,

    We can measure anything that addresses the question, “How does this person understand X and apply this understanding in real-world contexts?”

    So, we can—and do—measure aspects of managing people, coordination with others, and negotiating. Our decision-making assessment (the LDMA) is focused on several components of these skills, such as perspective coordination, collaborative capacity, contextual thinking, and communication, and how individuals apply these skills to real-world scenarios that involve managing people, coordinating with others, and negotiating.

    However, we cannot measure these skills directly, because they are “performative” skills. In other words, although we measure an aspect of these skills that has high predictive power, there are other factors that play a role in performance—for example, domain-related knowledge & skill, disposition, implicit knowledge, and the ability to translate what and how we think into action on the ground.

    For more on prediction, see: Introducing LecticaFirst: Front-line to mid-level recruitment assessment—on demand

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