Saturday, December 12, 2020


We live in a time of rapidly changing technology and business dynamics, the growth minds, new skills, or digital capabilities are needed every day. 

Modern digital technologies bring unprecedented levels of convenience for people to learn and work, improve their professional skills continually and build unique competency in a stepwise way. Competency is a combination of capabilities with a focus, each of these same capabilities may be combined in different fashions to yield multiple competencies. Nowadays, as businesses across sectors change shape, size, expansion, and transformations, everyone needs to have some skills strengthened and some added, develop unique competency, and make continuous improvement. In fact, digital professional competency is interdisciplinary and ambidextrous, to thrive in the “ VUCA” new normal. 

Cognitive competency based on multidimensional thinking and cross domain knowledge development:
The "mind" represents our consciousness and awareness. Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge through thoughts, senses, learning and experiences. Cognitive competency refers to growth mindset, logic, and creativity, etc. To deal with fast-paced changes and continuous disruptions, growth mindset and cognitive intelligence are in strong demand to make the progressive movement. With rapid change, the mix bag of raw data and misinformation, and shortened knowledge cycle, to close cognitive gaps and stimulate creativity, the mind needs to be open enough to explore the mental process of acquiring new knowledge through thoughts, experiences, and senses, embrace other minds’ perceptions, and understand things via different angles. Cognitive competency unlocks potential of business professionals and drives positive changes.

Modern digital technologies bring unprecedented levels of convenience for people to learn and work, brainstorm and share, to improve their professional skills continually. To truly build digital workforce competency, "development, enhancement, and coaching" imply a better mindset, to capture both the individual's and the organizational development needs, build cross domain knowledge, and set the scene for a process to achieve well-defined goals and reach the next level of the growth cycle and business transcendence.

The hybrid set of “hard & soft” skills: The practical reality of today's business world is that business leaders and professionals must have both technical "hard" skills and quality "soft" skills in the proper ratio to build interdisciplinary knowledge and core capability. Although the line between the hard and the soft skills are blurring. When cataloging the "hard" skills in the leadership and management role, the hard skills include but are not limited to: the business strategy skills such as visionary thinking, strategic planning, market evaluation, and customer needs, product development, capital planning, etc; the business management skills such as planning, organizing, strategy executing, and controlling; the operational skills such as sales & marketing, operations, engineering and research, and manufacturing, etc.

The soft leadership and professional skills include such as positive mindset (thinking/ attitude), communication, time management, conflict management, emotional intelligence, coaching (mentoring), collaboration, giving & receiving feedback, motivation, observation, courage, humility, influencing, learning agility, cross-cultural sensitivity and empathy, etc. skills and capabilities need to be developed continuously. It is not their current soft skill ability that will determine if they are successful. It is their attitude about how important these skills are or aren't and whether or not they will do the work to get there.

Cross-domain knowledge and “multi-dialect fluency: The border of knowledge domains is blurred and the scope of knowledge is expanded in the continual base. Today's digital leaders or professionals must have the humble attitude to admit known unknown and unknown unknown, and keep learning. Not only should they practice multidimensional thinking, but also need to seek multidisciplinary knowledge, learn multifunctional dialect, and gain an in-depth understanding of issues to capture unique insight. In fact, multidisciplinary knowledge helps the business professionals to not only work in the box but also across the multiple boxes, in order to approach problems via the multifaceted lens technically, scientifically, economically, and philosophically.

From a management perspective, the linear management practices are simply not sufficient to manage the "VUCA" digital new normal. Interdisciplinary science can be applied to management domains which involves applied science (engineering), art (design), principle (philosophy), cognition (psychology), social norms (culture) and group behavior (sociology), etc. To develop a highly competitive workforce, it’s important to improve the effectiveness of knowledge management which involves the application of technologies and processes of capturing, developing, sharing, and effectively using organizational knowledge, with the aim of optimizing the value that is generated and making the best advantage of its knowledge.

We live in a time of rapidly changing technology and business dynamics, the growth minds, new skills, or digital capabilities are needed every day. Each of these types needs various types and degrees of knowledge, training, data, coaching, and continuous improvement. More often than not, business leaders and professionals need to be interdisciplinarians- either specialized generalists or generalized specialists depending on their traits or positions, to improve their problem solving capabilities and unleash the full potential.


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