The responsibility for building new capacity falls on those who are currently instrumental in creating the new world of work and who will be required to step up as its leaders in the future. Such leadership extends far beyond merely using one’s qualifications as a springboard to gain a position, or power, or a big salary.
Rather, the true leaders of tomorrow will be those individuals who recognise the importance of creating a work environment that inspires people to really connect with one another. In addition, this environment must assist staff in connecting with their greater purpose in society, encourage and reward innovation, and prioritise a culture of security, wellbeing and sustainable job satisfaction over competitive behaviours, internal rivalry and a need to fight for survival.
This is essential as there is a very real risk that digital disruption might encourage and enable individualistic behaviour and self-directed action. This is a key threat of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: that technology is seen merely as a means of securing competitive advantage, driving efficiencies and maximising profitability and that this, in turn, erodes the desire expressed by most millennials and indeed modern society, to make a positive difference in the world.
It is imperative that this is not allowed to happen. And it is only through committed leadership that it won’t. Leadership that actively shapes productive work environments that are conducive to freedom of expression, prioritise social purpose over personal gain, and focus less on enriching just their shareholders and more on creating value for all of their stakeholders – both inside and outside of the organisation.
A tertiary qualification is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways of ensuring that this happens along with being a fantastic stepping stone into the world of work. Such a qualification may well get its holder the job they want plus a truly rewarding career.
More importantly, it will also provide them with the abilities and characteristics required for sound leadership, and empower them with a clear understanding of the world as it exists today, along with the ability to recognise the opportunities as well as the challenges it presents in a systematic and calculated manner. This will enable them to not only achieve success in their own careers, but make a positive change with regards to their organisations, communities, and even society as a whole.