4 skills businesses need post COVID-19, according to WEF

Businesses require the skills that can help them to build the foresight in tackling future challenges.

By U2B Staff 

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The road to recovery post-COVID-19 is a pivotal time for us as a society. According to the Global Risks Report 2020 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), future literacy, anticipation, systems thinking, and strategic foresight are becoming increasingly essential.

If anything, the pandemic has proven that the world simply needs to find new and better ways to operate and this requires a skill known as future literacy.

As we learn how to cope with the effects of the pandemic, we need to hone the skills that will allow us to better imagine and make sense of the future.

The report by WEF also states, “It’s important because it is images of the future that drive our expectations, disappointments, and willingness to invest or change.”

It also adds that UNESCO is building future literacy globally in more than 20 countries who organise Future Labs in schools and communities.

This is also a skill that businesses need to cope with new challenges and adequately prepare themselves to take on future challenges.


Systems thinking is another skill that is required post-pandemic – this “skill” can be defined as the “mindset to think, communicate and learn about systems to make the full patterns clearer, improve and share the understanding of problems and see how to face them effectively.”

In the world of business, organisations need to understand that the effects of the pandemic strongly impact systems. This impact can be felt in three areas: a scope or function, parts, and relationships.

As business leaders develop these skills, they can develop a better understanding of the threats that arise from the surrounding volatility and use patterns to introduce the right interventions at the right moments.

Business leaders will also need to be able to anticipate future changes and this can be achieved by modifying habits and behaviours that will help you to prepare for the future.

Additionally, strategic foresight is also a skill that needs to be developed to allow you as a business leader to deal with disruptive changes.

Developing this skill will help you make the best of new opportunities that arise which is essential as we move towards a future world that is different.

In a nutshell, business leaders will need to shift their organisation from one that reacts to one that anticipates the future – and this will take a cultural leap.


The WEF also reports the following skills will increase in demand by 2022:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation
  2. Active learning and learning strategies
  3. Creativity, originality, and initiative
  4. Technology design and programming
  5. Critical thinking and analysis
  6. Complex problem-solving
  7. Leadership and social influence
  8. Emotional intelligence
  9. Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation
  10. Systems analysis and evaluation

The report also states that several skills will be on the decline, these include skills in manual dexterity, management of personnel, quality control and safety awareness as well as technology installation and maintenance.