The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the workforce forever – but it has brought opportunities as well as challenges, and fast-tracked the future to become the present, say experts from the University of Canberra’s Faculty of Business, Government and Law.
Emerging leaders should be able to predict both challenges and opportunities – pre-empting the former and seizing the latter.
Don’t get a job – create one
Success today is very much about innovation, says Simon Hoy, Associate Dean, of Partnerships and Engagement at BGL and Program Director for the University’s Master of Business Administration program.
It isn’t just about fitting your skills, experience and passions into an existing job – it can be about creating the perfect role.
“One of the most important things people can do to future-proof their skills from a post-pandemic situation is to understand their own personality type and how it impacts on their interactions with others, the way they make decisions and to work on their entrepreneurial skills,” Hoy said.
“Entrepreneurship is not just about starting your own business, but also about innovating within organisations,” Hoy said.
“One of the most unique aspects of UC’s MBA program is that we don’t just equip people with the knowledge and skills to get a job, but with the ability to create one.“ There is also a lot of work on understanding your own business decision-making skills, and using data to drive those decisions in a meaningful way.
With units like Business Decision Making; Entrepreneurship; and Strategy, Innovation and Change graduates will be able to understand, formulate and harness strategy and adapt to change.
A new framework
Current flexible and remote working arrangements are set to not only continue, but grow, as more organisations appreciate the agility it lends them.
“We’ve seen various management and ethical issues emerge as a result of flexible work arrangements, including the need for legislative, corporate and governance frameworks that balance the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees,” said Jane Diedricks, Lecturer of Management.
“Education and upskilling are key to retaining a consistent level of employee engagement,” Diedricks said. “Undertaking UC’s MBA also goes towards preparing someone to get creative in a new role, or to shift the focus of a business. Many governments have recognised this and put huge incentives in place for organisations to upskill staff.”
Assistant Professor Doug Jackman says that while this is a time of great digital transformation, upskilling should focus on experience, knowledge and skills, with an emphasis on soft skills and relationship-building.
“The internship and industry project component of the MBA allows students to use experiential learning to research best practice, and put theory into practice,” he said.
It also feeds into another highly-regarded aspect of completing an MBA – building networks with breadth and depth, relationships which may look a little different in a world changed by COVID-19, but are no less valuable for it.