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Plenty to learn to keep up with the future

Silicon Valley resident Dr Tracy Wilen-Daugenti knows what it is to work with experts of the future. Collaborating with some of the worlds sexiest brand-names, she has been researching the future of work, the technology and skills required and what this means for learning…

Watch out, there’s a lot to read here….


First, what are the trends we are seeing?

Globally-Connected World and Flat World Labor

  • In previous years, global business meant USA pushing its products out to other countries. Today, anyone can quickly create a product or service and market and run it with ease. In addition, we can recruit talent.

The scary VUCA world we all live in

  • Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous. For the military, life has always been like this. Now it’s like this for everyone.

Big data computational world

  • We are always connected. The amount of data we process on a daily basis is ENORMOUS.

Smart Machines and Automation

  • Everything can be done automatically today. And better done by the machines that by us. In California, Google is making driverless cars and applying for a permit to replace ALL traditional taxis. They say it’s safer and more economic.


  • Organisations are changing. Some are virtual, some are more collaborative. How do we design our workplace and workforce to be highly productive in the NWoW? That is other question.


With all of this going on, what are the skills we need?


  • Harold Jarche talks about the need to filter the information we face in order to understand it ourselves and to make our Personal Knowledge better accessible to those in our network
  • Talking with Hannelore from the VOV this morning, she underlined the need for critical thinking. Critical here means able to take the input and link it to one’s own reality, evaluating for value and applying for results

Ability to work with technology

  • Tracy showed us a nice film of how BMW is working with technology to improve how their mechanics work. The mechanics still need to actually fix the cars. But first they need to be able to collaborate with the machine.

Usage of new-media

  • People want new media. This we know. But how far is it going? If you print books, you know the answer to this question. If you run public services like trains and buses, you know this already.

Cross-cultural competency

  • In the past, cultural-competency meant travelling to another country, learning a few words and trying not to upset anyone. Today, its about leading and motivating people who work at distance. Influencing, making rapport, leading, correcting multi-national teams without face-to-face contact. CNN had this wired in 2008. Check out this awesome film…

Novel and adaptive thinking


  • In English, multiple-teamwork-skills. Teamwork is good, BUT: People cannot sit inbetween their four walls and do ONE thing. Functional expertise is still required, but it has to be broader. It has to touch at least generally on all the core business functions.


WoW! That’s a lot of stuff! What does it mean for learning + development people?

Firstly, longevity

  • You are going to live to 100. This means that you will need to stay more healthy, but more importantly it means that people need to find ways to maintain their work-value to the age of 80!


  • Due to the TransDisciplinarity trend, people will need help to navigate through and add-value in different functions.

People will have multiple careers

  • They will need to quickly grasp new technologies and apply new skills.


It seems we have some work to do….

For more information on Tracy’s ongoing work on the future working world visit