…Do humans (still) have talent?
Alex Eugenio Sala, Head of Human Resources and Organisation at Generali Real Estate explains how traditional real estate companies can prepare the workforce of today for the world of tomorrow. New skills must be learned and existing, relevant skills updated.
First, urban transformation remains a key concern. Rather than making decisions at a distance, Sala believes it will remain crucial to have people present in the cities where they work. Proximity to local trends and developments will not cease to matter in a tech-enabled future. New skills will revolve around data, AI and automation, as well as sustainability.
Equally important will be how we learn. Life-long learning is no longer desirable but essential. In the past, formal education might have led directly to secure work for school leavers. But the constancy of change in our time means we must seek always to upskill ourselves. Of course, learning can become more difficult as we get older. This is just another piece in the skills puzzle.
Much of what is vital for the current workforce will remain important for the talent of tomorrow. Professor Verena Rock, Course Director in Digital Real Estate Management at the Technische Hochschule, notes that many traditional knowledge requirements will remain. The next generation of built environment professionals will likely enter the workforce armed with a deep understanding of information technology, as well as interdisciplinary and cooperative working. But their understanding of the real estate value chain will need to be coached. As Prof Rock puts it, “Real estate remains real.” Professionals will need to understand how it works in the real world.
The manner in which skills are taught will become increasingly blended – incorporating in-person and digital elements – and increasingly modular. This will mirror changes in the way we conceive of places themselves.
In conclusion, humans do have talent and there remains no substitute for human excellence. In an increasingly tech-led world, the peculiar traits of humanity will take on greater, rather than lesser, importance. Empathy, understanding and experience will be ever more highly prized – of that, we can be confident. Whether such qualities are inherited, or can be taught, remains open to question.