Navigating the great unknown, L&D professionals should lead the way

  • DeakinCo.
  • 14 June 2018

30 years’ ago, when the internet was still a relative pipedream and self-sufficient robots were consigned to the minds of visionary movie makers, it felt a lot easier to predict what life might look like three decades down the track.

The pace of life was a lot slower and workforces were less reliant on technology.

But before long, computer company Compaq introduced the new and unique portable computer and that signalled the start of a technology boom that quickly shuffled the world into a state of rapid change like we’ve never seen. It’s the Industrial Revolution on warp speed.

It’s been so mind-bogglingly quick that how the world, workforce and our daily lives will look 30 years from now is the great unknown that has experts scratching their heads.

The only thing that is constant is change 


Whether it’s adopting new and emerging technologies, implementing automated process or introducing new support tools industries are being catapulted into this unknown as a direct result of digitalisation, automation and robotics. To ensure an organisation remains relevant and competitive in this environment, the onus is on L&D professionals to take the lead in continuous learning and up-skilling.

In a recent report our experts identified the top four reasons behind this accelerated shift which include;

  • The rise of digital and in particular the development of the ‘augmented worker’ who is supported by high-tech tools and systems 
  • The rise of human experience, particularly as a key competitive focus linked to the parallel focus on employee experience
  • Increased human and higher-order skills, significantly the demand for empathy, communication and creative problem solving skills
  • The rise of agility, particularly because of the rapidly changing and unpredictable external circumstances that demand speed and adaptability

While we can’t say for sure what the impact of this will be on the future of work, we do know that there will still be a real need for human skills, particularly empathy, leadership, communication and creative problem solving.

By examining trends and behaviours of the world’s biggest organisations it is clear that human experience and agility is going to remain a key component of future success and both businesses and staff would be well advised to consider this in future plans.

Whilst medium to big businesses will have to navigate this unknown future on an organisational level, workforce teams should also consider how they can remain flexible to change to maintain their own career trajectory.