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The future is not who you are, it is who you will become. That is the rallying cry of Lisa Bodell, CEO and founder of futurethink, a global innovation consultancy based in New York City.

"Imagine that in 10 years you don't do anything like you do today," says Bodell. "Imagine your company doesn't even sell the products and services that are your current bread and butter. What else would it become?"

According to Bodell, a keynote speaker at Cornerstone's Convergence conference in June, resiliency and agility will be key attributes to sharpen for people and businesses as technology drives massive change in traditional and brand new industries over the next decade.

As for the office of the future, Bodell says it will be built by people who can answer thoughtful interview questions with tangible personal results.

Innovation and Adaptability

In making her point that innovation and adaptability go hand-in-hand, Bodell looked to the auto industry and the largely uncharted territory of driverless cars.

“In the future, car companies might not make cars. They might be made of brand new materials that heal themselves, so we might not need mechanics or insurance. Roads might become smart, leading to significantly fewer accidents," theorized Bodell. “All of these things will start to happen and completely disrupt an industry. Traditional companies might just own a piece of the process or the technology inside of it."

It begs the question: how does one find the right candidates for jobs in ever-evolving industries such as this?

“Companies should want somebody that is agile, someone who's a continual learner and can improve on the job. Someone who is resilient," says Bodell. "[R]esilient people aren't afraid of change. They don't back down on their good ideas."

Sell Yourself and Your Company

Her main advice for job-seekers navigating the rapidly changing market? Bodell encourages interviewees to focus on the outcomes of their work experience when answering interview questions, and take the opportunity in an interview to sell yourself “as having the skills of a creative problem-solver."

On the other side of the interview table, Bodell says companies should want an “HR person that has really good, thoughtful interview questions, that knows how to identify those skills." She likens poor interviews to creative brainstorms conducted without fresh leading questions.

“People are usually happy to hold brainstorms to inspire fresh thinking, but haven't really thought of the good questions to ask. That's why many brainstorms produce the same old ideas," says Bodell. “HR professionals are going to get the same old answers to interview questions from candidates unless they have really thought-provoking conversation starters—what I call killer questions."

Bodell believes these "killer questions" focus on outcomes and are designed to parse the forward-thinking candidates from those content with the status quo.

“The people that will win in the future are those who have a vision of where they're going, not in the next three years, but in 5-10 years," says Bodell. “Companies led by those people will win if, and only if, they involve their HR departments, because they need to hire the people who fit those strategies."

“It doesn't matter if you have the world's greatest growth strategy if you don't have the right skills to fulfill it," Bodell added.

For more tips and to request examples of Bodell's "killer questions," visit: www.futurethink.com

Photo: Twenty20