Orient Magazine Issue 81 - April 2021 - Page 58

Digital transformation is profoundly changing the nature of work and forward- thinking leaders recognise we are living amid ‘ The Great Acceleration ’. Whilst HR leaders have been planning for the future of work for some time , the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated these trends . Developments that seemed far-off have suddenly arrived as leaders scramble to formulate new business models and approaches . Vicky Knight , Associate-Dean of International Programmes at BPP Education Group , in her recent presentation at The Digital Leadership ‘ Asian Futures ’ Series , noted that the impact of the pandemic has delivered 10 years ’ worth of anticipated change , in less 10 months .
The World Economic Forum ’ s 2020 Future of Jobs Survey has estimated that by 2025 , 85 million jobs will be displaced by shifting the division of labor between humans , machines and algorithms . But the news is not all bad ; their research also identified a potential 97 million new roles that will emerge as a result of deepening technological integration . These new
roles are creating a growing demand for new skills and capabilities across the workforce , with technological adoption driving the need for technical skills to harness the opportunities of digital transformation , but at the same time , people skills are an increasingly important part of the 2025 skills agenda .
To unlock the benefits of transformation and thrive in an era of disruption , workforces must adopt new skills and capabilities . BPP ’ s own research supports these findings . Vicky comments , “ We recently surveyed 1,500 professionals and asked them to identify the skills they think people in their profession need to develop now and over the next 5 years . The results found that as technical integration deepens , the need for technical skills increases , and so to does the need for skills that can ’ t be replicated by machines or algorithms .” In-demand technical skills include digital fluency , big data and analytics , AI and automation , and people skills include active learning , leadership and social influence , creativity , ideation and originality . The global pandemic is also driving a new skills agenda , with a focus on resilience , optimism and well-being .
For many organisations , skills gaps are hampering transformation and leading to a loss of competitive advantage . The World Economic Forum recognise that skills gaps will remain the most significant challenge in delivering successful digital transformation , identifying that 50 % of employees globally will require re-skilling by 2025 ; and for those employees who stay in their current role , 40 % of the core skills needed will shift . McKinsey also recently reported that although 78 % of leaders recognise that capability building is very or extremely important , only 16 % have begun to build priority capabilities .
Forward-thinking digital leaders are accelerating their capability analysis , scoping their capability priorities and creating cultures of ongoing learning . As digital leaders build the organisation of the future , they must work to instil an end-to-end cultural focus on learning , from the top of the organisation to its bottom . To create