Six capabilities to succeed in a rapidly-changing world


Fonterra’s Director of Strategic Capabilities Vincent Vuillard and his team identify six capabilities people need to succeed in a rapidly-changing world.

It’s no secret that the world is changing faster than ever before. To keep up and continue to be successful, businesses need to do things differently. As Charles Darwin said, it’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it’s the one that’s most adaptable to change.

It’s one thing having a strategy, but to successfully execute it businesses need to ensure employees have the right capabilities and are empowered to be the best they can be. 

You can have the fastest car in the race, but without a good driver or pit crew you’re not going to win.

These six capabilities are:

1. Emotional Intelligence – this is the most ‘human’ of our skills and what sets people apart from all the technology being introduced. It’s about recognising and managing personal emotions and engaging well with others.

2. Change Adaptability – with the rise of non-traditional ways of working such as project based roles, and flexible working hours and locations, people need to be resilient, ready to take charge and comfortable working in a rapidly changing world.

3. Learning Agility – because the world is changing so quickly and the amount of information is rapidly increasing, knowledge and skills become redundant much faster, amplifying the need for people to take charge of their own learning and development.

4. Evidence-based Problem Solving – this is the ability to identify a problem and tackle it by making fast and effective decisions to keep the momentum up. This includes deciding what is the right information to give ‘weight’ to.

5. Entrepreneurship – today’s businesses need people who are curious and will find new and innovative ways of creating and delivering value by disrupting the status quo.

6. External Orientation – people can’t simply remain in their own ‘bubble’. They need to take notice of what is happening in the world, collaborate with others and build partnerships to incorporate different perspectives and ideas.

There is an incredible future ahead and the capabilities we focused on in the past aren’t going to be enough. Businesses need to look forward and prepare their people to be the best they can be by connecting, sharing and learning across industries and geographies.

Everyone is facing the same challenges so no one can do this on their own. That’s why business, industry and government need to collaborate together.

Ultimately, everyone needs to collaborate, be open to surprises, challenge the norm, be comfortable taking risks and not be afraid to fail.