Much has been written about how the half-life of skills—meaning that the skill is about half as valuable as before— continues to decline rapidly. For example:
- an IBM Institute for Business Value report notes that the average half-life of many skills has shortened from five to two years and a half.
- Another report by World Economic Forum shows that 40% of current workers’ core skills are expected to change by 2025.
As organizations continue to develop the skills of their workforce amidst this changing landscape, this 49-page McKinsey report provides useful insights.
While the report covers the importance of skills development at all educational stages and how new technologies and approaches can help both students entering the workforce and workers to succeed, it provides useful insights that can inform an organization’s skills strategy. For example:
- page 15 shows research that has identified 56 foundational skills—across 13 skills groups and four categories — that will help workers thrive in the future of work.
- The four categories are 1) cognitive, 2) interpersonal, 3) self-leadership, and 4) digital. For example, the cognitive category includes a group of skills called communication—comprised of storytelling, asking the right questions, synthesizing messages, and active listening.
Several other ideas are discussed, including a) the critical role that gaining experiences plays in accelerating skills development (p.21) and b) the measures that organizations have taken to address their skills needs by geographic region (p. 43).
As a bonus, here is a playlist of 5 resources on skills-based organizations.