A blend of soft skills such as creativity, flexibility/agility, positivity/optimism combined with technical skills are considered key skills for successful future leaders in Indonesia.
Businesses and organisations worldwide have experienced unprecedented seismic changes due to the 2020 global pandemic. As a result, there is an increased urgency to successfully identify the next generation of leaders and explore the essential skills needed to prepare them to steer businesses towards sustainability and success.
The University of Michigan Ross School of Business recently surveyed business leaders in Indonesia to identify and explore the key skills needed for the next-generation of leaders and interviewed senior decision-makers, including founders, business owners, board members, C-suite, and directors across companies of various sizes in Indonesia. The survey identified the leadership skill sets needed in the next generation of leaders to ensure their preparedness for the future.
When asked to choose between soft skills, hard skills, or an equal combination of the two as being the most important need for today’s businesses, 39 percent of survey respondents chose soft skills while 53 percent chose a combination of the two. Only 8 percent of respondents believed that technical skills are the most important when it comes to business leaders being future ready.
Among Indonesian business leaders, 60 percent indicated creativity as the most important skill for an effective leader to navigate through a continuously evolving and challenging environment. Those surveyed also viewed digital savviness / technologically savvy (53 percent), flexibility / agility (53 percent), long term planning (51 percent), and positivity / optimism (50 percent) as the key skills for the next generation of leaders.
Interestingly the same respondents identified the ability to make tough decisions, comprehensive business acumen, commitment to continuous learning, effective communication, and flexibility/ agility as the top skills the next generation of leaders were lacking. The skills gap provides a unique opportunity for an institution like the University of Michigan Ross School of Business to upskill the next crop of business leaders.
Melanie Weaver Barnett, Chief Executive Education Officer of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, said, “COVID-19 has transformed consumer behaviour forever, forcing businesses to view skills as an investment to remain relevant and competitive post the crisis. Our latest survey in Indonesia identifies a mix of soft skills, including creativity, agility, and positivity, combined with technical expertise as what business leaders consider most important for future success.
We recognise that some of those so-called soft skills are enhanced by the hard skills that underlie them. For example, digital savviness/ technological savviness certainly enhances the capabilities of decision-making. There seems to be a realisation that it’s the soft skills that tip the balance, though.”
Read also: Michigan Ross Survey in Singapore Reveals Critical Leadership Skills Essential for Businesses Success in a Post COVID Era