McKinsey 56 Deltas for the future of work, skill for the future, what skills will I need to work in the future, Eran Thomson multipotentialite

Are You Ready for the Future of Work?

The future of work is right behind you.

I just finished reading my second favourite book* of the month, AI Superpowers by Kai-Fu Lee.

In it, he addresses the fear many people have about robots and artificial intelligence taking over their jobs.

The good news is most artificial intelligence isn’t that great.

The (maybe) bad news is it’s getting better, fast.

Many of the top AI experts, including Kai-Fu, agree that new technology will eventually decimate blue-collar jobs.

However, Kai-fu Lee takes it a step further, predicting that the coming wave of Chinese and American innovation will have an impact on white-collar jobs as well.

Not just in China and America, but globally.

Which begs the question, what skills will we need to beat the robots, stay relevant, and for those that want to work, stay employed?

What skills will I need to work in the future?

McKinsey & Co. just released results from their recent survey of 18,000 people in 15 countries. The big news is they identified 56 foundational skills that will help you thrive in the future of work.

See how you stack up and where you might want to skill up in the chart below.

Sadly, “Jet pack navigation” is not on the list, but I’m hoping to learn anyway.

McKinsey 56 Deltas for the future of work, skill for the future, what skills will I need to work in the future,
How many Deltas do you rate yourself for? Let me know in the comments.

I’m ready-ish for the robots now.

I can confidently say I’m capable in 39 of the 56 Deltas, about 70%.

I attribute this to my broad experience and multipotentialite ways.

Admittedly, my self-assessment was biased, but it was also binary. I asked myself  “Am I good at this? Yes or No?”

Easy “Yes’s” got marked with a green dot above. Everything else was a “No.”

Some Deltas were difficult. For example, people have told me I’m a great role model, but I feel like there have to be better ones.

As a founder and entrepreneur, time management and prioritization are a must, as is work plan development, but I am also very capable of periodically losing focus. Have you seen the internet? It’s super distracting.

And while I frequently find myself negotiating, resolving conflicts, and motivating different personalities, they don’t rate as high on the list.

I’m OK with that. It’s the stuff that’s low on the list that makes me scratch my head.

Despite me being on-call tech-support for friends and family, coding more websites than I can count, and being a semi-regular reader of Wired, my Digital quadrant is looking mighty <p></p>.

(That’s an “empty” HTML tag for all you non-nerds).

At this stage in my life, I wonder if 70% is enough.

Should I upskill? Or keep playing to my strengths?

If you knew there was a robot right behind you, what would you do?


* My #1 favourite book I read this month is The Orphan Masters Son. Do yourself a favour.


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