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Crucial Competencies In The Fourth Industrial Revolution

By Caitlin Leishman on April, 24 2017
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Caitlin Leishman

Global leading experts are predicting that we are approaching the fourth industrial revolution.


They predict that this will forever change the way we work and relate to each other. Our current world is changing at an unprecedented pace.

Billions of people are now connected by mobile devices with unprecedented processing power and access to knowledge. The possibilities will be multiplied by emerging fourth revolution technology, including AI, robotics, 3-D printing, quantum computing, VR, and more!

While the impact of the fourth industrial revolution is hard to predict, it will have a major impact on businesses. 

New jobs and roles will emerge, some will disappear, recruitment will become more complex, and more. Leaders will need to be in a position to understand and evaluate the competencies possessed by their employees as they evolve in this changing environment.

Five years from now, over one third of skills that are important in today's workplace will have changed, which means crucial competencies will have changed as well.

In 2020, the top skills are projected to be complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. Current top skills, like quality control and active listening don’t even crack the top ten in 2020. So what competencies will become the most important?


Creativity and Innovation will become one of the top 3 competencies that workers will need. With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers will have to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes.

Business leaders and senior executives need to understand their changing environment, challenge the assumptions of their operating teams, and relentlessly & continuously innovate.

The pressure is high for everyone with large amounts of responsibility and in leadership positions to “upgrade” their leadership competencies. Many managers are now facing the question: “what is digitization?” and must now prove they can perform at a level fit to lead a workforce already skilled in this area.


Adaptability as a competency will become even more important as a culture of continuous learning is created to bring everyone into the digital age.

Lastly, digital proficiency is a competency which can measure how effectively individuals and organizations engage with digital technology.  This competency will experience the most growth during this revolution.

Digital leaders must be flexible and possess wide intellectual curiosity, and willing to see value in vastly different perspectives. Employees at any organizational level may be expected to demonstrate digital competency in desktop and web applications, mobile and smart devices, and social networks. 


We need to shape a future that works for all of us by putting people first and empowering them. That’s what HRSG’s competencies are all about.

By creating an HR system around competencies, you’re allowing your organization to become more strategic and spot talent trends and skills gaps that would otherwise be missed.


Want to learn more about using competencies? Get started with our Competency Toolkit:

Download your Competency Toolkit using the form below.



Post last updated: May 28, 2019.

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