These are the 21st Century skills you need to thrive in the coming years

1. Resilience

Resilience is a reflex, a way of facing and understanding the world, that is deeply etched into a person’s mind and soul. Resilient people and companies face reality with staunchness, make meaning of hardship instead of crying out in despair, and improvise solutions from thin air. Others do not. — Diane Coutu, “How Resilience Works,” Harvard Business Review, May 2002

We live in a world of turbulent change and most of us are facing transitions in our lives. Resilience helps us withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. It requires having the right attitudes and habits to thrive in adversity.

2. Imagination

Daydreams are fertile ground for the imagination to soar. Your unconscious is a rich source of images, ideas and experiences that lead to new connections, and fresh thinking.

Resourcefulness requires some imagination. The best way to access your imagination, is to pause, let your mind quiet down, and allow your intuition to present insights and possibilities for creating a positive future. Running, biking, painting, cooking, yoga, and meditation all involve rhythmic movements that put your active thinking mind at rest, and allow daydreaming to occur. Ask yourself, what makes your heart sing? What makes you come alive?  When you have a spark of insight, test it out, take action and be creative.

3. Creativity

[Smart] is an elusive concept. There’s a certain sharpness, an ability to absorb new facts. To ask an insightful question. To relate to domains that may not seem connected at first. A certain creativity that allows people to be effective. —William H. Gates

Creativity requires imagination and the ability to turn novel ideas into reality.  It also requires resourcefulness and improvisation. Creative people are skilled at generating novel ideas; challenging assumptions, and not taking the status quo at face value; taking risks, exploring ideas, keeping options open; making connections between disparate elements and seeing new relationships between people, places and things; reflecting critically on ideas, envisaging possible solutions, and turning ideas into reality. Developing these skills will help you be more resilient.

4. Collaboration

Gettin’ good players is easy. Gettin’ ’em to play together is the hard part. – Casey Stengel

In today’s competitive environment, collaboration is crucial for successful strategy execution, especially when projects are too complex for one team or one organization to handle. Yet many collaborations end up wasting time, energy and resources with endless meetings and little being accomplished in a timely way.

Leaders need to help people become self-reliant so they can solve problems cross-functionally, develop ideas, and fully leverage individual and team talent. Thanks to ever-evolving social media technology, it’s easier than ever to create virtual strategic alliances, share knowledge and ideas, and make meaningful connections that lead to new business opportunities.  When collaboration is done well, work is a joy.

5. Connection

Connecting people is the secret to success. — Valeria Maltoni

Healthy relationships are at heart of creativity and collaboration. Appreciating others, engaging in purposeful conversations and the ability to resolve conflicts are essential ingredients for collaboration.  Communication is about making a connection, and a connection won’t happen unless we tap into our abilities to listen, to empathise, to really be present with others, and to talk about what matters. Find ways for people to get to know each other not just as professionals, but also as human beings, to build trust and provide occasions for informal social interaction.

Helping you thrive in change

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