Man, has undergone many stages of development in a quest to master and maximize several natural forces, and elements over the years. Though, the agricultural, industrial and information revolutions have being the three major revolutions until lately. In the 21st century however, certain technological innovations popularly regarded as the fourth industrial revolution are significantly disrupting almost every area of our lives and societies.
As the fourth industrial revolution mainstreams, their applicability in various fields of human endeavours keeps evolving, adding on greater possibilities daily. Today; Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality (VR), Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Smart Cities and Mobility Systems among others; are changing the modus operandi in the automobile, construction, transportation and similar industries.
With the emerging technologies, the typical workplace environment is changing. Skills which used to be relevant in times past are rapidly phasing out, thus forcing individuals, companies and organizations to have a pause-and-rethink moment. To be precise, mere acquisition of diplomas and degrees no longer guarantees thriving and succeeding. Now, entrepreneurs, employees and employers alike, are realizing the need to master requisite modern workplace skills.
Personal productivity, organization efficiency and overall enterprise profitability are taking a whole new turn. Hence, the need for us to awaken to the realities of the times if we must retain the spotlight in our respective sectors. To be indifferent on the other-hand, is to risk falling behind, becoming obsolete, and all-together disadvantaged. We all can pick a cue in the common saying of Ph.D holders in academia seeking to attain professorship; you publish or perish.
How do we stay relevant in the 21st century workplace?
Learning to acquire, implement and master relevant in-demand skills in the fourth industrial revolution could be highly daunting. Yet, the first step in this process is identifying the right skillsets. As stated by the Centre for Work Ethic; the must have 21st century skills include: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking. All the four C’s contributes mainly to determining overall individual and corporate productivity, efficiency and profitability.
Effective communication involves the ability to properly disseminate ideas, intentions and information to an identified audience without any difficulty. We must learn to communicate clearly, carry our audience along and establish tangible connection with our listeners whether through verbal and/or non-verbal signs, signals and feed-backs.
In addition to effective communication, we must learn workplace collaboration and patnership. Our ability to synergize, share responsibilities with other team members, provide and receive support, get along without frictions, and make meaningful inputs and contributions toward achieving sets goals and objectives is; thus crucial to organization success.
Furthermore, the 21st century workplace requires adept creativity. This is a highly pivotal and recommendable skill helpful in creating new opportunities and applying unconventional problem solving approaches to matters. Being creative implies that we are able to produce acceptable results within the confines of limited or available resources.
Conclusively, the challenges of the 21st century world demands the ability to think critically. In order to tackle workplace challenges, there is a need for us to engage focused thinking, analytical reasoning and dexterous problem solving skills earlier mentioned. The payoff is that, critical thinking; though mentally tasking, fosters innovative solutions.
In summary, proper communication, teamwork spirit, resourcefulness and innovation are key skills in addition to appropriate certifications for thriving and excelling in the 21st century workplace environment.
Thank you for reading this far. Do you know of other helpful skills in today’s workplace environment? Feel free to share your thoughts in the below comments section.