No one can know what the future holds. If someone had prophesised the pandemic that shook the world in 2019, it is highly unlikely that they would have been believed. That said, there are steps that businesses can take to prepare themselves for an unpredictable future – mostly by ensuring that their employees are future fit.
Eileen Thornhill, Director of The LLC Academy, a 73.57% Black Owned Level 2 Designated Group Supplier, is passionate about preparing students of the academy for the South Africa of the future. “More and more, we are seeing that the world of work is no longer characterised by roles fulfilled, but rather by what expertise your employees can bring to the table,” says Thornhill. “If your staff are enabled with skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects and areas, the benefits to your business are immediate and numerous.”
Thornhill is particularly passionate about the development of The LLC Academy’s students into leaders. “The LLC Academy is very focused on equipping our students to become leaders, not bosses,” says Thornhill. “A boss will tell you what to do. A leader will show you, help you, and brainstorm with you to come up with an innovative solution that doesn’t just solve the issue at hand, but will foresee potential impacts that the current solution will have for the future.”
“This kind of foresight is vital if you are to futureproof your business,” says Thornhill. “One of the best ways to prepare your employees is through continuous education and upskilling. This, however, is about more than keeping them on top of current trends – it’s about developing a mindset that is curious, that takes delight in learning something new, and in teaching it to others.”
One of the greatest benefits of a highly skilled and broadly educated staff that are not just learning from courses and training, but also from each other, is that they become agile, creative problem solvers. “Continuous learning results in staff that are adaptive and resilient to change – exactly the traits necessary in order to be future fit,” says Thornhill. “This resilience is vital for problem solving, as the best problem solvers are those who are not put off by perceived failure. Even if the initial idea for a solution does not work as intended, they are able to learn from the experience and bear that learning in mind when coming up with an alternative solution.”
“This preparedness to keep on trying, and to not be discouraged by initial setbacks, is one of the best indicators of an employee who is ready to take on whatever challenges the future may bring,” says Thornhill. “Backed by genuine education and well-developed skills that they take pride in keeping up to date – now, doesn’t that sound like the ideal employee?”
Do you want to futureproof your business by equipping your staff with the expertise and skills necessary to lead South Africa into the future? Speak to our coaches at The LLC Academy – we have a range of courses specifically designed with the leaders of the future in mind.