Microsoft Chief People Officer on Skills of the Future



“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” — Robert Greene

I watched a short video of a new series by Kathleen Hogan, Chief People Officer & EVP of Human Resources at Microsoft.

It’s called People Talk.

In Episode 1 of People Talk, Future Proof Skills, HR leaders from companies you might know, share their insights about the skills of tomorrow.

Kathleen asked a simple question:

“Which skills are essential for the next generation of employees?”

Here are my notes from the responses:

Mike Fenlon, Chief People Officer, PwC, US:

“The most important skills of the future, of course include digital skills.  But there’s an ever-receding horizon of skillsets that have to be developed.  So it also means, agility, it means contious learning.  At PwC, we call it ‘infinite learning.'”

“The ability to bring together a diverse team.  To help everyone belong.”

Olivier Blum, Chief Huan Resources Officer, Schneider Electric:

“The capacity to reinvent yourself, the capacity to learn, and therefore the capacity to be curious, is probably one of the most important skills you need to develop in the company.”

Rhonda Morris, VP & Chief Human Resources Officer, Chevron:

“Science, technology, engineering, and math.  This is so important to us that over the last 4 years, we’ve invested over $100 million dollars in STEM education in the United States, and over $400 million around the world.”

Elicio Barcelos, SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer, Fannie Mae:

“The ability to just be on your feet, and be agile with your learning experience with how you deliver work.”

Lisa Change, Chief People Officer, The Coca-Cola Company:

“Whether it’s trying to understand what our consumers want or trying to understand how to develop our employees, it all begins with the relationship and communication.”

Kiersten Robinson, Chief Human Resources Officer, Ford Motor Company:

“It’s about overall competence, integrity, doing what you say you’re going to do, and serving others. 

And I think that combination of skills is actually going to be the differentiator for a lot of our talent across all industries in the future.”

What I see is key themes around agility, learning, and diversity & inclusion.

I really liked the phrase, “infinite learning.”

I’m working on my infinite learning skills.

And of course, I continue to hack my way forward… the Agile way.

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