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​Foundation skills for tomorrow’s talent

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​Foundation skills for tomorrow’s talent

​Foundation skills for tomorrow’s talent

Foundation skills for tomorrow’s talent

With most people spending a third of their adult life at work, it is important for organisations to always stay on top of rapid and significant changes that affect how we work. These may involve changes to technology and continuous advancements in artificial intelligence.

Yes, organisations are legally and morally expected to adapt to all this change for the benefits of the organisation and employees, however, is it clear what specific skills employees are expected to have in order to adapt to these changes themselves in the future of their work?

In a recent survey conducted by McKinsey Global Institute, they conducted a survey of over 18,000 people across 15 countries to find out what specific skills tomorrow’s workers will require. Their research identified 56 foundational skills that will help employees thrive in the future of work:


  • Digital fluency and citizenship

    • Digital literacy

    • Digital learning

    • Digital collaboration

    • Digital ethics

  • Software use and development

    • Programming literacy

    • Data analysis and statistics

    • Computational and algorithmic thinking

  • Understanding digital systems

    • Data literacy

    • Smart systems

    • Cyber security literacy

    • Tech translation and enablement

Cognitive skills:

  • Critical thinking

    • Structured problem solving

    • Logical reasoning

    • Understanding biases

    • Seeking relevant information

  • Planning and ways of working

    • Work-plan development

    • Time management and prioritisation

    • Agile thinking

  • Communication

    • Storytelling and public speaking

    • Asking the right questions

    • Synthesising messages

    • Active listening

  • Mental flexibility

    • Creativity and imagination

    • Translating knowledge to different contexts

    • Adopting a different perspective

    • Adaptability

    • Ability to learn


  • Mobilising systems

    • Rolemodeling

    • Win-win negotiations

    • Crafting an inspiring vision

    • Organisational awareness

  • Developing relationships

    • Empathy

    • Inspiring trust

    • Humility

    • Sociability

  • Teamwork effectiveness

    • Fostering inclusiveness

    • Motivating different personalities

    • Resolving conflicts

    • Collaboration

    • Coaching

    • Empowering


  • Self-awareness and self-management

    • Understanding own emotions and triggers

    • Self-control and regulation

    • Understanding own strengths

    • Integrity

    • Self-motivation and wellness

    • Self-confidence

  • Entrepreneurship

    • Courage and risk-taking

    • Driving change and innovation

    • Energy, passion, and optimism

    • Breaking orthodoxes

  • Goals achievement

    • Ownership and decisiveness

    • Achievement orientation

    • Grit and persistence

    • Coping with uncertainty

    • Self-development


McKinsey Global Institute