Lisa Bodell, the founder and CEO of futurethink, said that in the Conceptual Age, right-brain skills will be key. Given the speed of change and the complexity that results from it, employees need to go beyond just knowledge and expertise to remain valuable to their organisation. The best employees of the future will excel at creative problem solving and different ways of thinking, combining different concepts for better solutions and using metaphors to explain new ideas for which context might not yet exist. This will bridge the gap between analytical, left-brain functions and creative, right-brain capabilities.
To survive the Conceptual Age, an employee should:
- Learn to actively imagine future possibilities and create scenarios to act on them. This is a type of role-playing using available strategic information
- Make provocative inquiries showing an ability to ask smart and often unsettling questions
- Continually exercise their creative problem solving skills to apply best practices from unexpected sources and create fresh solutions
- Keep pace with change by meeting unexpected situations with quick thinking and resourcefulness
- Demonstrate resilience, with tenacity and courage in the face of obstacles
To avoid extinction, companies must hire employees with a blend of skills that will enable their teams and organisations to face the challenges of the future.