Value of social skills rises

Intellectual,
emotional and social skills will become increasingly important in the business
environment of the future.

This
is the view of Kent University professor Richard Scase, author of Britain in 2010:
The New Business Landscape, who presented his ideas to business leaders during
a masterclass talk in London.

He
said, “The high performing entrepreneurial businesses have social working
environments, where people are sharing canteens and coffee areas.

“If
you have the right dynamics it can be the source of new ideas and innovation”

“The
irony is that in the online world the intellectual, emotional and social skills
of the individual become more important.

Scase
told Personnel Today it was essential that the education system continued to
develop these skills in an increasingly technological world.

He
believes there needs to be a change in attitude to human resources in Britain
if companies are to compete in the new economy.

He
added, “Anglo-American business processes are centred on projects. There is no
long-term investment in HR intellectual capital. But HR is the key asset of new
business.

“The
culture around the whole HR function is one where it is subordinate and plays a
support role. This needs to change to respond to the future needs of a
competitive, interconnected global environment.

“Companies
are still operating the culture of the old industrial age where human beings
are labour costs rather than capital assets and this attitude has to change.”

Scase
says skills shortages will increase as people become an increasingly scarce
resource.

He
said, “The number of people coming into the labour market is reducing. The
number of young people aged 16 to 24 has dropped by a third in the past 10
years.

“People
are also leaving the labour market at an earlier age.”

By
Ben Willmott

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