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The Future Of Work and Importance of Human Capabilities

Skills change, but capabilities endure

Companies can find the talent they are looking for by focusing on developing their innate human abilities, such as curiosity and critical thought. This is especially important in a time of continuing skill shortages.

While skills are valuable, they don’t always make the job easier.

Skills are the knowledge and skills required to accomplish a given task in a particular context. A person’s skills are related to a specific function, tool, or outcome and are used to complete a task.

It’s not surprising that most companies are so focused on skills. This is because they have a general feeling that businesses require new skills and that the world is changing at a rapid pace that people can’t keep up. They are concerned because they believe that having skilled workers is essential to business success. They are correct, but skills are not the only thing that is essential to business success. It is a losing strategy to focus on only skills and ignore the rest of the market and technological environment.

Skills have been essential and valuable because businesses relied on them to do their work for a large part of the 20th century. They could rely on their skills because they worked in a predictable environment that allowed them to use repeatable, standard processes and techniques to produce consistent products and services within a set budget and schedule.

It is less profitable to invest in skills than it is to work continuously.
In today’s technologically driven world, it might seem like businesses should just redouble efforts to train their workers in the necessary skills. However, it is paradoxical that focusing only on skills is not the best way to build the workforce of the future. Two reasons are involved. The first is that customers have changed their expectations, and technology can duplicate human skills at a faster pace, so the skills needed to service a profitable market are increasing faster than the workforce can learn. Two, skills are less important in creating the kind of value that differentiates a company and helps it build long-lasting relationships with customers.

The market has been fundamentally changed by the long-term trend of digital technology performance and resulting advancements in other technologies. People have been more open to new technologies than traditional institutions and businesses, which can often be slow to catch up. This has changed customer behavior and expectations, making value creation more important than profit optimization or cost minimization for companies. Many companies are now seeing a decrease in the return on their investment in skills development.

This is due to customers having higher and more diverse expectations. They are largely influenced by digital technology’s ability to access information. Personalization is replacing standardization. Consumers can choose from dozens of options rather than just one or two and will seek out the exact product they desire, rather than accepting a generic approximation. Technology has made it possible for businesses to better cater to customers’ needs for personalization. New business models allow companies to quickly create and deliver these offerings on-demand. Consumers expect more personalization in all product/service categories and all areas of their lives.

It is less profitable to invest in skills than it is to work continuously.
In today’s technologically driven world, it might seem like businesses should just redouble efforts to train their workers in the necessary skills. However, it is paradoxical that focusing only on skills alone will not lead to the creation of the workforce necessary for the future. Two reasons are involved. The first is that customers have changed their expectations, and technology can duplicate human skills at a faster pace, so the skills needed to service a profitable market are increasing faster than the workforce can learn. Two, skills are less important in creating the kind of value that differentiates a company and helps it build long-lasting relationships with customers.

The market has been fundamentally changed by the long-term trend of digital technology performance and resulting advancements in other technologies. People have been more open to new technologies than traditional institutions and businesses, which can often be slow to catch up. This has changed customer behavior and expectations, making value creation more important than profit optimization or cost minimization for companies. Many companies are now seeing a decrease in the return on their investment in skills development.

What capabilities are being discussed?
These are the natural abilities that we all have, and are part of our humanity. These innate abilities could include creativity, imagination, empathy, resilience, and creativity. These abilities are not fixed, but they can be developed through exposure and intentional experiences. If the environment is right, they can be amplified. They may become underdeveloped if the work does not reward or require them to be developed.