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Future Trends: skills and trust

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

Blow your mind with a look through Future Trends and & Impact on Business, Ross Buckley, Executive Chairman, KPMG.

We’ll pick on two aspects of it here: top 10 skills to succeed and the implosion of trust.

10 skills to succeed in 2020

Here they are:

Complex problem solving

Critical thinking


People management

Co-ordinating with others

Emotional intelligence

Judgement and decision making

Service orientation


Cognitive flexibility

So what’s new? To some extent these skills have always been important. But to succeed in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world it’s people and thinking skills that are leading the way. Being a technical, digital and change expert isn’t enough.

The implosion of trust

KPMG quotes the Edelman Trust Barometer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include New Zealand specifically. But it makes sobering reading. Trust of business, government, NGOs and the media are all down internationally.

This translates into four beliefs:

Sense of injustice: the system is biased in favour of elites.

Lack of hope: hard work is not rewarded.

Lack of confidence: no confidence in current leaders.

Desire for change: forceful reformers are needed to bring about change.

This evidence also suggests peers are now as trustworthy as academic and technical experts as a source of information. Trust has also declined significantly for CEOs (down 12%) and Boards of Directors (down 10%) from 2016 – 2017.

So maybe, building trust should be added to the 10 2020 skills.

We’re heading into a period of not just change, but disruption; not just technology, but robotics; not just automation but whole jobs transforming. We need to continue this vital conversation about what we need to do to lead effectively in the future. Radical mindset and behaviour change is certainly on the cards.


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