By Puk Falkenberg, 26. September 2018
The rate and impact of change in the business world is unprecedented (watch Gary Hamel, Reinventing the Technology of Human Accomplishments, 2011 on YouTube), and instills an urgency of change in our organizations, and in ourselves. However, it’s hard to change without knowing what to change towards. You need a useful reference point. A guiding point. Something that is somewhat stable – or at least gives a sense of stability.
Several leadership thinkers point towards a higher focus on capabilities, your HOW, rather than your production directly, your WHAT. So, why not let the guiding point for change be your organizational capabilities that you need for the future of work?
Research shows that we need to upgrade our skills faster and faster, as half-life of a learned skill is only 5 years. This means, that you need to stay in the loop at all times to see how a certain area of your expertise evolves over the next five years. Maybe that is easier with tangible skills within IT systems, robotics, trains or any other physical product, than it is with intangible skills such as empathy, warmth, and meaningfulness as well as the skill to listen and understand.
Either way, we need to look at our organizations and figure out how we as a whole can learn and adapt to the future of work.
Understand the capabilities you need
Take a look at these 10 capabilities characterizing responsive organizations, as documented in The Responsive Leader by Erik Korsvik Østergaard. How do we know if we are good at it? Or if we lack one or two – or maybe even 8 of them? Further down I’ll give you an easy and small assessment tool, but first, let’s look at the 10 capabilities.