10 Workplace Skills for the Future

I've used the "10 year forecast" reports created by the Institute for the Future a number of times and continue to find their perspective valuable.

They recently distilled some of their research down to 10 Workplace Skills for the Future.  These skills highlight the impact of changes in social collaboration, networked information, filtering the flow of relevant conversations and the migration of value to individual business users at the edge of the enterprise.

In 2007 the Institute for the Future laid out 10 workplace skills. Originally used as part of the Superhero Skills from the 2007 Ten-Year Forecast annual retreat, they were then adapted as part of the Future of Workresearch, and finally repurposed as badges for the Superstruct game in 2008.

Most recently, Bob Johansen, Distinguished Fellow at IFTF, has published his newest book, Leaders Make the Future, in which he delves much further into these workplace skills to create 10 new leadership skills.
Ping Quotient 
Excellent responsiveness to other people's requests for engagement; strong propensity and ability to reach out to others in a network

Seeing a much bigger picture; thinking in terms of higher level systems, bigger networks, longer cycles

Open Authorship 
Creating content for public modification; the ability to work with massively multiple contributors

Cooperation Radar 
The ability to sense, almost intuitively, who would make the best collaborators on a particular task or

Fluency in working and trading simultaneously with different hybrid capitals, e.g., natural, intellectual, social, financial, virtual

The ability to do real-time work in very large groups; a talent for coordinating with many people simultaneously; extreme-scale collaboration

Fearless innovation in rapid, iterative cycles; the ability to lower the costs and increase the speed of failure

Knowing how to be persuasive and tell compelling stories in multiple social media spaces (each space requires a different persuasive strategy and technique)

Signal/Noise Management 
Filtering meaningful info, patterns, and commonalities from the massively-multiple streams of data and advice

The ability to prepare for and handle surprising results and complexity that come with coordination, cooperation and collaboration on extreme scales


  1. It would be nice to think so, but the historical power structures are not going to change any time soon IMHO. They have been around too long to “just go away” :(.

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