TAKE CHARGE TO BE FUTURE-READY NOW!
“The future depends on what we do in the present.” - Mahatma Gandhi
In 10 or 20 years, much of what we ‘know’ about the world will no longer be true. We’ve heard this almost all our lives but when the pandemic hit the world in 2020, this expression had a newfound meaning.
‘FUTURE READY’ is the flavor of the season and is here to stay. Why so? And why now? Simply put, becoming future-ready revolves around accommodating the demands of an increasingly connected, informed, and fast-moving world. Let’s take a closer look at the nuances of why you should gear up to be ready and relevant for the future, and how to get the right start.
To start off with ‘WHAT’, let’s answer this: What is a ‘future ready’ business?
Confident and well-prepared for emerging changes and challenges, a ‘future ready’ business has a positive adaptable attitude to change, is resilient in the face of disruption, is open to new technology, has clear steps towards business transformation and a detailed strategy, while being up to date with trends and uncertainties. Now take a moment to entertain a brainwave: Read the entire paragraph again but replace ‘business’ with ‘individual’. It still holds good and how! That’s exactly why the importance of taking charge of your future (within organizational scope and beyond) cannot be neglected now more than ever before.
A common assumption that I have come across is that the parameters for being ‘future ready’ are very focused on technology. And while technology is important of course, there are other unexpected and critical characteristics that today’s ‘future-ready’ must include. Have you thought of it as a complete package that is soon going to have a ‘must-have’ tag to it? What does the complete package include? If you are ready to be future-ready, head over to my website, subscribe to read on!
COVID-19 has taught us that soft skills, which have often been undervalued in the workplace, are equally as valuable as their technology-related hard skills. In our world of artificial intelligence and automation, the human element is as important as ever when we talk about what it means to be ‘future-ready’. In addition to unprecedented automation, there is more connection. Global human interconnectivity is permanently shifting not only the speed of disruption but also broadening the scope of principles of networking. Information that moves freely, instantly fuels change and even challenges existing hierarchies and formalized channels. There is a need to embrace all this and more with a certain openness.
Next up, WHY is it important to be future-ready?
Let’s face it: change is stressful. It can be worse when it's unexpected. While the reasons for change are innumerable, they are centered around certain themes when viewed from an individual career path standpoint. The most common among them is the business context being volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. This undeniably has an impact on the process of change and transformation (making it too fast or too slow). The chain reaction or challenges that follow revolve around workload, work/life balance, expected or unexpected career transitions, or simply a sense of uncertainty about how to remain relevant and valued.
Reiterating the point of taking charge, in other words, gaining control of your career path/growth stems from a future-readiness mindset. It’s one thing to recognize the need to redefine the way of work and related concepts. It’s another thing entirely to understand how to achieve that mindset given the vast amount of knowledge out there. Many face the issue of not knowing where to start to become future-ready. That’s completely okay and that’s where our ‘how’ comes into the picture to help you channel your efforts and energy in the right direction.
HOW to get started on the ever-evolving journey of being future-ready?
It’s a broad spectrum when it comes to future readiness and you shall find yourself standing at different points based on a variety of metrics. At the heart of it, becoming future-ready involves building, exploring, learning and leading with purpose. It needs to be taken into account that you have to be willing to embrace the unpredictability, both negatives and positives, emerging out of the ‘chaos’ of change.
Here’s a list of thinking points I’ve jotted down that can help you reflect upon your future readiness and expand your personal thoughts on the same. Remember, this is a starting point and as we go along this journey of tracing ‘the bigger picture’, the future-ready quotient shall see an upward trend.
Are you set to access new opportunities or bridge gaps between demands and expectations?
Do you explore new approaches and ideas within and beyond your professional network?
Have you consciously considered the areas you lack in, and spotted the need to upskill and reskill?
Do you assess the strength in your purpose or value agenda?
Are you open to rethinking your work structure?
How important is the aspect of acceleration of learning for you?
Do you sense the need to place more importance on culture at the crux of your work or organization?
Trust me when I say that once your ‘future-ready’ train of thoughts starts, there’s no looking back - every learning only takes you forward and keeps you relevant. The overall outline of inching closer to long-term future-readiness revolves around: understanding and navigating through the social, technological, economic, environmental, and political change from a holistic perspective as against isolated growth in one area. It is followed by rethinking situations, shifting mindsets, and embracing growth with change; providing insight and foresight to solve business problems and create value while proactively planning for career transitions and transformations.
Change is here to stay. When technologies converge, industries transform, and work is remade. Just as we couldn’t predict COVID-19, we can’t predict when the next unexpected life-changing event will occur. One thing is certain. Those who take charge by becoming future-ready will be the ones forging the path ahead. ‘Future-readiness’ is rooted in some basic principles - such as anti-fragility, experimentation, adaptability, behavioral and systemic views, human-centricity, inspiration in place of control, and positive surprises. As the trends change the very nature of complexity, what needs to stay firmly in place and evolve as per need is: be clear of who you are, what you stand for, what makes you stand out, and how you create value.
Rest all shall align when you seek to constantly experiment, fail, learn, grow—and start the process anew from a stronger position when the world invariably changes again. Well as for the here and the now, it’s time to ask the first big question: Are you ready to become future-ready?