The GTCI 2017 report's theme was talent and technology, and how the changes in technology will impact talent competitiveness and the future of work. As routine work disappears, organisations and societies will need to adopt a different approach to talent development. The skills that will be needed in the future include collaboration, teamwork, learning how to learn and the ability to move through innovation cycles faster.
Top Messages from the GTCI Report
1. Think beyond automation. This involves recognising the profound transformation of social systems that are underway—changes in organisation (connectivity), in careers (multiple careers), and in the educational and employment systems that, in many if not most countries, are still founded on a fast-fading 20th century factory model.
2. Technology is changing the nature of work. Technology allows people with specialised skills to deliver on tasks, to collaborate, and even to engage in innovative co-creation—all without the constraints of a physical workplace or employment contract. There is also a need to place more emphasis on facilitating individuals to help themselves. Organisations in the new economy need to manage talent differently.
3. Technical skills and social/project competence is the new talent profile. Although there will be many opportunities for people with digital skills, technical skills must be complemented with social and project skills to meet the needs of the highly connected new economy where innovation comes increasingly from collaboration and co-creation.
4. Educational and employment policies must adapt to the transformational changes of the fourth industrial revolution. Educational systems need to produce talent with technical skills and the ability to collaborate with others from different disciplines. They need to foster a sense of personal vocation and flexibility or learning agility. Employment policies need to combine labour market flexibility with social protection and above all active labour market policies that facilitate mobility, retraining, entrepreneurship, and adjustment to market needs, as well as be adapted to a world where many people are free agents.
5: Successful transformational change is most likely to occur where there are strong ecosystems. Addressing the societal impact of digitalisation and automation requires close connectedness and collaboration between stakeholders such as government/municipalities, business, and educational institutions. This is particularly true because of the velocity of the changes associated with Industry 4.0. Such collaborative ecosystems are more likely to be found in cities and regions than in large countries.
6. National strategies have started to reflect such changes, but too slowly. Based on an assessment of talent readiness for technology, two countries in Asia Pacific are particularly well positioned: Singapore and New Zealand. Singapore is Asia’s clear leader, while Malaysia demonstrates stronger talent readiness for technology than South Korea, though the technological infrastructure of the latter is superior; China is in a reasonably robust position on talent readiness for technology, closely followed by Vietnam.
7. Cities and regions are showing the way. Cities and regions around the world are becoming increasingly active in developing their own strategies to attract, grow, and retain talent. Hence it is to be expected that, in the near future, some of the best and most innovative talent competitiveness practices will come from cities.
How Work May Change
The career ladder may look different. Rather than 'climb' one career or one corporation, people will zig zag between two to five careers, according to Paul Evans, Academic Director of the Global Talent Competitive Index at INSEAD. Evans explains that it’s likely that one career zag will be as an entrepreneur. He notes that higher education and the education model may need to be rethought to accommodate these changes.
What might some of the jobs of the future be? Human technology integration manager, medical mentor and drone manager were a few that Evans mentioned. In addition, students, as well as those already employed, would benefit from focusing on developing T-shaped skills. This means that workers will need social and project skills as well as vocational and technical skills. Whose responsibility is this? Wong Su-Yen, CEO at the Human Capital Leadership Institute explains that it’s the role of the country: “countries must continue to upskill their workforce so that they can adapt to the digitisation wave and the sweeping structural changes that are poised to shakeup traditional work arrangements.”
For more information and/or to view the full Global Talent Competitiveness Index, visit here.