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[Talent Development] The future of education?  Soft skills, collaboration and responsible leadership

With workplaces and businesses constantly changing, how we educate and train the next wave of business leaders must also change.  Thus, it is critical that how we educate leaders also keeps up so that we can ensure a brighter future for everyone.

One of the most obvious changes to education in recent years has been the rise of flexible formats, with the pandemic helping accelerate this trend.  Nowadays, executives can study programmes that are delivered online in real-time through virtual classrooms, mix online components with face-to-face teaching, incorporate elements of augmented reality, or are 100% online , among others.
Yet how education must change to adapt to the future of work must go far beyond format.
The advance of artificial intelligence (AI) will further radically transform companies, and require the rapid upskilling of employees, and that managers need to develop different leadership capabilities and skills:
  • Some are new types of hard skills (such as machine learning, or AI)
  • Some are soft skills which are becoming even more essential, including:
    • Bridging capabilities​
    • Empathy
    • Coaching
    • Cross-cultural skills 
    • Adaptive thinking
Managers do not just need to know what AI is, but what are the competitive impacts on their business.   Crucially, there is the need to focus on ethics throughout these management programmes, so that executives are able to put AI to use in their companies in a socially responsible way.
The importance of being able to educate business leaders who can lead the future of work in an ethical, sustainable way, is compounded by the need to take the pressing challenges the world already currently faces - climate change, widening inequality, social injustice.  these challenges are global in scale, and necessitate robust business leadership, and collaboration to enact change.
Some business programmes and institutions have already  woken up to this, and sector wide there have been some moves in this direction.  But there is a growing awareness of the need to go further.
More and more people realise our current system is not sustainable.  It is important to create leaders who can drive this change in business.    
Clearly, as the workplace revolution continues apace, it is critical that leaders also keeps up so that we can ensure a brighter future together.
Source:  Extract from Forbes
Tags:   ESG    /  Sustainability   /   Leadership   /   Education   /   Talent Development
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