The Top 8 Resources for Skilling the Future Workforce

While there is an overwhelming amount of L&D content available, as busy professionals it’s often difficult to keep up with all the new research, papers, and trends. So instead, I’m bringing you the top eight resources I’ve found to be most helpful this year. These articles, podcasts, research papers, and books are extremely relevant as we think about upskilling and reskilling the workforce to prepare for the future.

These resources share a common theme of challenging the status quo, daring us to think beyond outdated ideas to reimagine what’s possible, and offering the motivation to start putting some of these ideas into action.

1. Redefine Work: The Untapped Opportunity for Expanding Value, Deloitte: This research was conducted by a Deloitte think tank that generates ideas to help make sense of the emerging opportunities on the edges of business and technology. What I love most about this report is the idea that we not only need to think about skills for the jobs of today, but we also need to fundamentally reimagine the future of work.

2. The Future of Work in America, McKinsey: McKinsey has several features on the future of work and automation. This report stands out to me as it offers predictions for jobs, skills, and wages up to the year 2030.

3. The Rise of Learning Tech Ecosystems, RedThread Research: In this RedThread Research report, Dani Johnson and her team identify the two main priorities for businesses around the future of work: companies need results and employees want a better experience. These ideas don’t need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, the most successful technologies are driving their vision with both of these goals in mind.

4. How the Workforce Learns, Degreed and Harvard Business Publishing: Degreed, where I’m chief learning officer, recently conducted this research with Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning to produce the latest report on the status of corporate learning strategies and technologies. It offers valuable insights on how the workforce is really learning every day and the results may surprise you.

5. End of Average: How to Succeed in a World that Values Sameness, Todd Rose: Todd Rose challenges the status quo of training systems in his book, The End of Average. It questions the validity of ideas such as grading systems and performance management models, claiming that they are not only largely arbitrary but incredibly demotivating to humans.

6. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink: This book is more relevant than ever as one of the biggest challenges of our time is to understand human motivation when it comes to learning and building skills. The three pillars that the author describes should be a mantra for anyone looking to understand how we can really help people become lifelong, continuous learners.

7. HBR IdeaCast, Harvard Business Review: My favorite podcast right now is HBR IdeaCast. The weekly episodes feature leading thinkers in business and management.

8. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck: Many of you are familiar with Carol Dweck’s work, but this is critical reading if you are aiming to create a culture of learning at your company. CEOs are transforming company cultures by adopting the notion of a growth mindset and cascading those ideas to every level of the organization.

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