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Future proofing

Ever wondered how to remain ahead in a world where there is no direction? This might sound strange and I would agree with that. However, it is something every employee has to think about and this is especially true in the financial services industry. The reason for this is the disruptive era we live in.

In a recent study Dell predicted that in 2030 85% of all jobs will be new and do not exist currently [1]. This means that most likely, within 12 years you will not be doing the exact work you are currently doing. Or, that if you do, you will be facing stiff competition. Either way it will be compulsory to continue to learn an develop your professional skills.

This means a different kind of employee has to be recruited and trained, a ‘future-proof employee’. This employee has to have four distinguishable skillsets. These are:

] Technical capability;

] Social capability;

] Craftmanship;

] Learning capability.


Technical capability 

“Humans are tool builders” is a quote from Steve Jobs given in The Lost Interview. As such we need to thrive by having the best machine-human combination. In his book The Second Machine Age, Andrew Mcaffee [2] argues that people need to learn to use machines correctly and work with them. In this sense technical capability will be most defined as the ability to understand, use and combine the different sets of tools most efficiently and effectively.

Social capability

Computers are great and they can do a lot. However, they cannot display any kind of emotion common to us human beings. In this sense they are cold and can never relate to us as colleagues, customers or suppliers. Understanding someone’s emotional state, why he or she dislikes something and being able to understand that, will be a pivotal skill. The ability to cooperate or socially engage is extremely important.


A strive of perfection will be necessary to make the difference between good business and bankruptcy. In general management books people will state the 80/20 percent rule as a rule that states ‘80% good, is good enough’. This will not apply in the future. If you have chosen your profession in a given field people will demand you have an artisan interest in that field. If you sell coffee you have to sell the best coffee all the time.

This also means not only knowing how to make it, but also having made it. Tacit knowledge is by definition knowledge that can only be learned by doing. This knowledge cannot be programmed or automated but it has to be learned by doing and more importantly: reflecting.  Moreover, via doing something you might also gain knowledge that can be programmed and automated. This can provide an edge over competitors once it has been automated.

Learning Capability

The learning capability is not a skill that one needs to acquire but a skill one needs to be able to acquire the other skills. In a disruptive environment people need to be aware and willing to reinvent and continuously invest in themselves. As such one needs to be motivated to make the needed effort.


In conclusion one might say that in order to become future-proof we have to be capable of reinventing oneself and have a positive vision towards the future. More importantly it is not a future only run and dominated by the technical elite. We at AP Support believe that craftmanship and social capability are equally important and will become more important when technological development progresses. As such to get the right employees, one should not look towards the technical skilled but the most motivated ones. For they will have the power and determination to change themselves and therefore the world.

Wilt u Customer Succes Stories of een White Paper lezen over bottom-up procesoptimalisatie door AP Support? Vraag ze hier op!


[1] Institute for Dell technologies, Emerging Technologies’ Impact On Society & Work In 2030, 2017

[2] Brynjolfsson E. and McAfee A., The Second Machine Age, W.W. Norton & Company, 1st edition, 2014

Wouter Mertens

Business Manager IT


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