We are living in the era of a workplace revolution. By now, it is no longer news that technological developments are rendering some jobs obsolete, while knowledge industries are taking the lead and emerging as a promise into the future. But the transformation is even more profound than that: more and more, professionals are choosing purpose over paycheck, looking for meaningful opportunities to contribute to the vision they embrace in environments that champion the same values they believe in. So, in a world that is becoming increasingly people and purpose-centric, what do leaders need to keep in mind to shape teams that thrive into the Future of Work and beyond?
A recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute defined the 56 skills that are foundational for citizens to thrive in the Future of Work. Categorized into four main areas —Self-leadership, Interpersonal, Cognitive, and Digital—, proficiency in these skills is already associated with job satisfaction as one of its desirable outcomes, which entails aspects like a sense of belonging, value alignment between leaders, team members, and the company culture at large, as well as a general feeling of fulfillment and thriving in the workplace.
At Reimaginez, we believe in championing the human side of the Future of Work. We believe in purpose-driven company cultures that put people first and empower their talents to thrive, and we stand by futuristic leaders striving to create positive change in the world. Therefore, we believe that Future Citizen Skills are not only crucial for professionals: leaders are now being gifted the opportunity to foster these skills both in their team members and in themselves. This is the time for leaders to nurture their talent, invest in designing a people and purpose-centric culture, and strengthen their vision by fully embracing the human side of the Future of Work. But, how do you pursue that? And why now?
Let’s dive into each of the four categories of foundational Future Citizen Skills and break down exactly how they connect to the different levels of a company’s culture and why they are all essential to ensure a thriving future.
Culture Level: Individual
The skills grouped under the Self-Leadership category are deeply rooted in the concept of lifestyle design. As we have explored in a previous article, lifestyle design is a philosophy that —accompanied by an array of methods and techniques— empowers high-performing individuals to peak their performance and live in alignment with their values through conscious choices and intentional living. For example, one of the principles of lifestyle design that we at Reimaginez actively promote and lead with is the idea of working when and where you are most productive. But to ensure that autonomy and flexibility will lead to outstanding results, the individuals’ values need to be a strong match with the company’s culture. That is why there are two essential factors that need to be in place first.
1. The Culture
For team members to practice self-leadership, the company culture needs to allow its people to practice self-leadership. The structural pieces of the culture need to be laid down for the people to show up with self-leadership in their daily behaviors. This can mean different things for different individuals, but the common essence for High Performers is that leading on potential is the way to help them thrive and grow into autonomy. By investing in your people through cultural initiatives like training and mentorship programs, you can further support High Performers on their path to mastery. On the other hand, practices like micromanagement and surveillance over team members are entirely off the table. However, we understand that not everyone is equally capable of or willing to use autonomy as an opportunity to peak their performance. That’s why there is a second essential element.
2. The People
For a company to ensure that its team members will thrive on autonomy, the team cannot foster people who are merely looking to cruise and are content with delivering the bare minimum. As we covered in a previous article, a mixed culture will add layers of complexity and unnecessary difficulties to the process of empowering self-leadership and striving for goal achievement on an autonomy-based model. So, not only is it crucial to design a cultural structure that allows team members to practice self-management, but you also need to ensure that your people are aligned with your company values and will make the most out of an opportunity to peak their performance and strive for excellence. Curious to find out more? Explore our bespoke training programs helping leaders develop their workforces into the Future of Work.
Culture Level: Leadership
The skills under the Interpersonal category are not the only key for thriving in the Future of Work, but they are also foundational to the concept of futuristic leadership. At Reimaginez, we are grateful to work with High Achieving Empathic Givers daily —outstanding founders and leaders with incredible resilience, remarkable innovators striving to leave a positive legacy and create the change they want to see in the world—, supporting them and championing them to make their visions come to life. Leading with empathy, empowering potential, and leading on potential are all core pieces to how a futuristic leader acts.
Culture Level: Structural/Organizational
The skills in the Cognitive area are essential for leaders to embrace and act upon, as well as to cultivate in their team members. However, just like with self-leadership, the company needs to provide a certain structure that allows talents to develop cognitive strengths like mental flexibility, critical thinking, positive communication skills, and dexterity when it comes to planning work and prioritizing tasks. Providing such a structure means fostering a culture that not only allows for but nurtures and celebrates mastery. So, how do you do that?
There are two main parts when it comes to approaching mastery as a Leader. The first is to double down on your team members’ talents and skillsets. Capitalizing on your talents’ brilliance is a great way to engage them in tasks they feel passionate about and make them feel seen and valued for who they are. However, if you are championing growth, it doesn’t just end there. Mastery is heightened when Leaders make the decision to invest in their team members, to support them with training and mentorship that allow them to evolve and excel in their natural talents, skills, and strengths.
It is also important to note that, even when some team members might, strictly speaking, possess some of these Cognitive skills, that does not guarantee that those skills will play out in a manner that is in line with your culture. Therefore, intentionally championing mastery is also a great way of encouraging excellence at these strengths within the culture of the company.
Culture Level: Trend
Digital and technological competencies are, without a doubt, key skillsets to possess to thrive in the Future of Work. However, when it comes to the workplace, helping and encouraging team members to develop their digital skills requires more than just adding tech.
Let us say this straightforwardly: to do a digital transformation, a cultural transformation needs to come first. Technology needs to serve a purpose within the company’s culture; it needs to be integrated with the culture and work towards its core values. Systems should serve the people and the company’s purpose, rather than dictating how teams should work, and having team members serve their own purposes. So, before starting to consider adding additional tech to the company, a solid and reliable cultural foundation needs to be in place to determine how to take advantage of technology to serve the company’s vision, goals, and culture best.
Unleashing Exceptional Growth and Impact Through Culture
We are approaching exciting times for visionary leaders. The Future of Work is an excellent opportunity to boost the potential within your vision and achieve your remarkable goals. We at Reimaginez believe that the essence of thriving in the Future of Work resides in its human side. Your culture becomes the framework that impregnates trends and innovations with meaning by leading with purpose, allowing you to capitalize on them entirely. A solid culture, which can be built or assessed at any point in the lifespan of an organization, is the foundation upon which companies recruit top talent and empower them to unfold their potential, turning them into key team members that will strive for high levels of performance and achievement. A recent study has shown that only 34% of employees are engaged in the workplace in the US and Canada — the highest in the world, with the global engagement rate being only 20%. But we also know that culture-driven companies can have 18% more revenue per employee. A people and purpose-centric culture is the silver bullet to master talent attraction and retention, as well as employee motivation and engagement, all of which will bring you closer to your world-changing vision.
Culture is the key that unlocks your and your team members’ opportunity to thrive in the Future of Work.
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High Achievers thrive alongside fellow High Achievers, and they attract each other.
We have worked with 1000+ founders and CEOs, and we have experienced first-hand how culture has an impact on everything, from interactions between team members to talent attraction and retention; from customer relationships and profitability to the speed of innovation and your ability to propel revolutionary initiatives that will wow your Dream Persona and leave a print in the history of your industry.
We have built proprietary frameworks proven to deliver transformative change in fast-growing companies. Below is a selection of our custom-designed projects on culture, leadership, and growth that can span from two weeks to a year depending on goals and needs:
Codifying Culture is designed to create a strong cultural foundation to be used for effective leadership initiatives, recruitment, and accountability.
Recruiting on Cultural Fit is a scalable and methodical recruitment model focused on mindset, cultural and value alignment.
Scaling a High Achiever Culture is designed to keep the best people, your High Achievers, performing and thriving.
Strategic Direction and Growth is often delivered as an off-site, followed by an executive coaching program for your management team.
Bespoke Programs are fully customized initiatives that span extensive cultural transformations as well as targeted projects covering culture, leadership, commercialization, recruitment, training, and growth.