Skills of the 21th Century


The 21th century asks for different skills than our previous century. Unfortunately, most organizations still have a 20th century mindset. They treat humans as parts of a big machinery which needs to be controlled and optimized in order to maximize productivity.

The problem with this method is that we humans are not mechanic.  We become depressed and burned out when we are treated as machines. We humans are organisms, and organisms live, create, feel, fart and make funny jokes about it.

Organic skills like creativity and empathy are the skills we need in the 21th century. Actually, we have no other option because robots and artificial intelligence will take over all our mechanical, repetitive tasks. They force us to behave as organisms again. 

Organizations in the 21th century should facilitate these organic skills. To do so, they should see themselves as organisms  as well. They are nothing more than large bodies with organs and cells. That's why we call them organ-izations.

This means organizations should learn from biology instead of 20th century management and business literature. That boring stuff is old fashioned.  

photo: Serge Ligtenberg, First Lecture Dag van de Stad