Essential competences for becoming a digital nomad
21 de May de 2020
21 de May de 2020
What are the key competences for overcoming a crisis? What strategies can we apply in times of uncertainty? The issue of crisis has traditionally been tackled from multiple perspectives, as it has been a regular feature over the centuries. However, unlike in the past, crisis is no longer the exception. It has now become the rule. So, how can we survive in a century characterized by crisis?
The lecturer and Director of the Executive Master in Human Resources at EAE Business School, Esther González, , discussed this issue in depth in an online session entitled “Essential competences in times of crisis” on 21st April on Linkedin Live. Let’s find out what she had to say!
González explained that we live in a VUCA world. What does that mean? The age we live in is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Although the current crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic may seem unique, in fact, the 21st Century holds several latent threats such as energy production, environmental destruction, increasing numbers of refugees, international terrorism, to name just a few.
“From this viewpoint, coronavirus is not the only crisis. We live in a century in which, according to the experts, is the most unpredictable in history”. So, what can we do about it? The answer involves generate personal and professional competences”, explained the expert.
The gig economy, which has evolved alongside the sharing economy, is a labour system in which users are able to generate income through independent channels, on the sidelines of traditional companies. To a large extent, the boom in this economy is a result of technology, thanks to new platforms the enable people to do transactions and offer goods and services through the internet autonomously.
As Esther González, this economy has generated the concept of the “knowmad”, also known as the “digital nomad”, who displays certain highly useful characteristics for thriving in a world in constant crisis:
- They do not belong to a certain age group.
- They are bold, entrepreneurial and are not scared of failure.
- They have a well-defined personal brand. They take good care of their professional image.
- They are self-taught and constantly evolving.
- They are very curious.
- They are able to resolve very complex problems.
- They are highly aware of the importance of freely sharing information.
- They create networks. Being connected with people, organizations, projects and ideas is important to them.
- They don’t like to be pigeonholed. They have in-depth knowledge of different fields and disciplines.
“Being a nomad requires us to be adaptable and lose our fear of change”, emphasized the Director. Moreover, she recommended think about the past, about things that we are passionate about, and ask ourselves if it is possible to find work that enables us to earn a living from this knowledge. “Try not to depend on a sole source of income”, she added.
The team is the key
As well as learning from digital nomads, the lecturer Esther González emphasized teamwork as one of the most important key factors for moving forward in times of crisis. To explain this point, she referred to the book “Team of Teams: New rules of engagement for a complex world” by the US Army general, Stanley McChrystal.
“The business world has become much more like the world of war”, explained the expert. “In such a complex world, military strategy may prove to be very helpful”. From McChrystal’s book, she drew the following reflections:
- We have to eradicate Taylorism from modern business management.
- Leaders in the last century were obsessed with efficiency, which involves obeying the chain of command, discipline and the power to make more from less. This strategy may seem effective but it also hinders our ability to respond quickly to unexpected circumstances.
- Nowadays, it is more important to empower and delegate. Traditional companies did not empower employees to make decisions rapidly, which is essential in the current context.
- Sharing information is fundamental. It increased trust and involvement within the team.
- The leader must convey confidence to their team, letting them make their own decisions.
The speaker emphasized that “a leader no longer has to be a chess player, but rather a gardener who cultivates responsibility and create a shared consciousness among the group”. By doing so, employees are strengthened and equipped with the tools that will prepare them to deal with the coming changes.
To finish off, González gave a list of competences that we need to hone in these uncertain times:
- Full, open communication
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking!
“Humans are not the strongest animal, not the most powerful, but they managed to succeed over other species because they worked in a team”, concluded the speaker.