The Most Important Skill for the Future of Work? Design Thinking.
January 26, 2020 | Design Thinking
by ExperiencePoint

The Most Important Skill for the Future of Work? Design ThinkingIf you want to teach your workforce the skills that will carry your business into the future, don’t just focus on the latest technologies.

While programming languages and robotic automation may be changing the way employees work, soft skills will determine individual success. The World Economic Forum ranked problem solving, critical thinking and creativity as the top three skills employees needed to thrive in the workplace of the future. LinkedIn found similar results. In a 2018 learning trends report, 57 percent of business leaders said soft skills are more important than hard skills in job performance. Leadership, communication and collaboration were listed as the most valuable skills employees can learn through corporate training programs.

But how can employees gain these key soft skills?

The answer: design thinking.

Problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, leadership, collaboration and communication are the fundamental elements of any successful design thinking project. When employees go through a design thinking training program, it’s basically a crash course in all the soft skills they need to succeed.

More importantly, design thinking workshops are often designed around a specific challenge or problem. This approach allows employees to hone important skills in a way that is meaningful to their work, which has a huge impact on retention. When employees know they’ll be using their new skills to tackle a preexisting work challenge, they are more engaged in the learning.

This learning model creates a virtuous cycle of learning and development that ensures employees have the soft skills they need and recognize the value of using them on the job.

So the next time one of your executives laments the lack of soft skills in your workplace, or requests that employees be trained in creativity or critical thinking, suggest they enroll in a design thinking workshop. A single course can sharpen relevant skills while ensuring that your company can better meet the needs of its customers.

Read more about human-centered thinking and tomorrow’s workplace in our post about design thinking and upskilling your employees.


Learn how to enable innovation skill-building at scale here or download our free ebook Design Thinking 101.

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