We need these four meta-competencies to conquer the future
By TRISOFT team
In an ever-changing world, which presents us with opportunities and challenges every single day, faced with a future that has all sorts of surprises in store, it might be difficult to determine and focus on the things that will be of use to us ten, maybe even five years from now. So it is almost impossible for us to estimate what the future might look like, as it is estimated that almost half of current occupations and jobs will become obsolete and just vanish.
Therefore, family and school must nurture and develop in the people of the future certain skills, called meta-competencies, which will, in turn, yield smaller capabilities and aptitudes, thus ensuring their adaptation to whatever the next decade might bring.
Here are four meta-competencies that researchers and scholars, such as PhD Mircea Miclea, former Minister of Education, have identified thus far, and which should definitely be taken into consideration when preparing ourselves and our children for times to come.
Studies have shown that, in the case of people with an average and above IQ, it is not intelligence, but rather discipline that ensures academic and professional success and achievement. Discipline has proven to be twice as important as intellect, because it entails setting goals, persevering toward accomplishing them, making plans and following them, instead of living your life by sailing with every shift of the wind. Intelligence will only take you so far, but if you relax and believe that will be enough, your hard-working, tenacious, organized peers will get the better of you.
However, don’t believe that we are born with discipline or that it is self-taught. By nature, people are hedonists and want to do whatever they like and whatever brings them pleasure, which is often not the very thing that would be useful or productive. Parents have to set rules for us and we have to set rules for our children, so that they will become innate and natural, leading to an assimilation and a reproduction of these guidelines throughout our lives. We have rules in school, in universities, at our workplaces — we will all have job descriptions that regulate what we must do in order to get our paychecks or thrive in our chosen careers. Thus, rules must be granted in due time, since childhood, so that the person will internalize them and then set their own rules further on.
A disciplined man will push himself to learn a new technology or skill, if he needs to, therefore he will be more prepared for the future, adapting to it as times change.
2. An entrepreneurial mentality
An entrepreneur is not someone who solves problems, but someone who discovers possibilities. Intelligence doesn’t even matter much if you cannot see the possibilities presented by a certain situation. Reality is the same for everybody, but only a few see things where others cannot. This is what entrepreneurial mentality means and what sets people apart: someone finds an opportunity and hires other intelligent people to solve the problems.
However, in order to do this, we should militate for a change in the school system, which forms and commends problem solvers: they present children with problems in math, science, grammar, etc., and expect them to solve them.
Reality and workplaces don’t present us with problems, at the beginning of each day. It’s nice to be given a problem, solve it and then be on your merry way home, but entrepreneurs discover unformulated problems, which others cannot see or even imagine. People with an entrepreneurial mentality stand to gain because, in an unpredictable future, they will be able to capitalize on opportunities, change things, create jobs and shape reality, instead of waiting around for someone else to shape it and give them a place to work.
The current generations are relying more and more on devices, tools, apps and gadgets to do the work for them: the GPS tells them where to go, what route to take, at what time the bus will be there; translation apps make it easier to communicate with anyone around the globe, without the hassle of actually learning a new language; math apps and devices give you the result of any calculation you might need, etc. We’ve stopped using our minds, therefore our mental capabilities, becoming dependent on these tools and debilitated in another aspect, because our brain won’t develop certain skills anymore, since it knows there is something, somewhere, which will do it in its place.
Devices have been scientifically shown to decrease creativity and imagination. Autonomy means restricting their usage, thinking critically about the limitations and values of the instruments we operate. Developing this trait is a super-competency, because, in an over-digitalized future, it will ensure our independence from these tools, otherwise we will become their slaves and our minds will be more and more similar to them and restricted by the bubbles they create. Freedom, independence and autonomy are difficult, because people naturally want to be told what to do, instead of being responsible for their own decisions. The ones brave enough to assume that responsibility will adapt to and shape the future.
4. A designer-type thinking
Knowledge is nowadays at our fingertips, therefore in the future, that will not be the real problem, but rather rearranging the existing knowledge and turning it into something new. Just like Lego blocks, which can be used to create an animal, a ship or a building, pieces of information will have to be exploited and reorganized so as to obtain a new product, a unique service that no one has even dreamt about, a novel institution, a new form of democracy, maybe. It’s important to possess knowledge, but it’s essential to know what to do with it. The winners of the future will be people with design thinking, who exploit information and reshape reality using it.
Ready, steady, roll!
The future is already here, knocking on our door, and we must be ready to welcome it and face whatever challenges it might bring along.
At TRISOFT, we encourage you to take heed of the meta-competencies and nurture them, because they are bound to ensure your success if you know how to use them.