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This book has a counterintuitive premise, arguing that too much choice is a bad thing. While retailers might sometimes feel a pressure to stuff their shelves with enticing options for their customers, Barry Schwartz convincingly argues that doing so leaves people feeling anxious and paralyzed rather than feeling like a world of possibilities lie at their fingertips. While having options is great up to a point, too many choices are psychologically and emotionally taxing, and sometimes even overwhelming to your customers. What makes someone choose to buy one product over another, and how can you tap into that process as a retailer?

In this book, Martin Lindstrom examines the triggers that drive consumer behavior, the result of a groundbreaking neuromarketing study of 2, volunteers from across the globe.

The 8 Best Retailing Books of

Some of your longstanding notions will definitely be challenged — what the definition of cool is, how interesting things actually impact the brain, the role of ritual — but you will come away feeling inspired and with more insight into how the mind motivates the decisions we make every day. Zappos is a quirky company — they are known for crazy tales of being over generous to their customers, a company culture that is at the core of everything they do, emphasizing happiness as a main value and even paying new hires to quit if the job is not a good fit.

In this book, Zappos founder Tony Hsieh explains how he launched the wildly successful company he is known for, his decision-making process, as well as how he manages to make customers, employees, vendors and investors all feel happy simultaneously. He also explains how you can put his fundamentals to work in your own life. It is one thing to get your customers and potential customers into the door — and it is a whole other challenge to get them to buy something once they are inside.

If you want to start a business from the ground up and keep it running for generations to come, Guy Kawasaki is the man to consult. This book is as irreverent as it is brilliant, written with both the knowledge and smugness that only a true Silicon Valley insider could deliver.

Are you lost when it comes to sending an e-mail? Everyone knows that the world of retail is changing. The US students talked of sending fathers off to a war they did not understand; the Iraqi children expressed fear about having their cities and homes bombed. Other schools are trying to do similar things. We have students who are gay and students who think homosexuality is sinful. They live in the same dormitory.

Carve out a road to success in this competitive industry

We have libertarians and socialists. They write collaborative political speeches together. According to the US Department of Education, a globally competent student pdf is one who can investigate the world, weigh perspectives, communicate effectively with diverse audiences, and take action. Only four US states prioritize some kind of global and cultural competencies. Others are trying to find ways to scale global awareness by producing teaching materials.

Reimers, from Harvard, and his colleagues wrote a global curriculum for kindergarten to 12th grade called Empowering Global Citizens: A World Course. It was originally created for an exclusive New York City private school, but he has made it free and available under Creative Commons.

It is project-based, inter-disciplinary, hands-on, and encourages mastery—all the buzzwords of 21st-century education. She notes that Uber—which is also in Mountain View, and also trying out driverless cars—started life in While many companies have outsourced specialized tasks over the years, big companies still need myriad technical and professional talent. Our research with Burning Glass shows that skills in math, statistics, project management, and logical thinking are now prerequisites for most positions even those in marketing, finance, and HR.

The problem, again: Such technical expertise may soon be outsourced, automated, or commoditized by youth, giving way to new technical roles of which no one has yet dreamed.

Today, anyone who wants a shot at a well-compensated position should consider developing skills in math, statistics, and logical thinking; comfort with data is increasingly essential. Managers, mentors, and HR teams should realize this shift and make training and remedial education available to everyone in the company. That said, STEM no longer tells the whole story of skills in the 21st century. Tasks based on math, science, and engineering are vulnerable to automation, so they should be complemented with soft skills and other strengths as well.

If you learned how to be a draftsman in the s, you likely watched your profession taken over by computer-aided-design software in the s and s. While the core need for technical skills remains strong, another theme has entered the job market: the need for people with skills in communication, interpretation, design, and synthetic thinking.

What does it mean to add arts to STEM? The jobs of the future, driven by the increasing use of technology taking over rote tasks, require social skills complementing more technical abilities. Think about the job of a salesperson, bank teller, nurse or caregiver, or business leader—all in-demand jobs that draw upon empathy, social skills, communication, and synthetic thinking. Consider figure 1, developed by Harvard researcher David Deming, 28 showing that some of the best jobs in the future—those in green—are those that draw upon both technical and social skills.

Yes, developers can program computers to take on rote and information-based tasks, but machines are not yet much good at listening, empathizing, communicating, and convincing. Brains over brawn: In absolute terms, knowledge of specialist STEM subjects is 40 percent more important than the physical abilities of strength, endurance, flexibility, or the ability to manipulate objects.

Social and cognitive skills: A 10 percent increase in cognitive abilities contributes to a 12 percent increase in median hourly earnings. As this research suggests, skills in communication, critical thinking, visual identity, and reasoning will likely become even more important in the future.

For job seekers or career surfers, it is a reminder that relationship, communication, and thinking skills are critical. Even workers in highly technical fields are increasingly expected to bring softer skills to the table. A study by Burning Glass, Business—Higher Education Forum, and IBM analyzed new jobs being created in data science and digital marketing and found several important things: I remember all too well the early days of the spreadsheet Multiplan, then Lotus , then Excel and the fears that these tools would make financial analysts obsolete.

Since the Industrial Revolution, workers have had to regularly adjust to working with new machines and systems, but the fast-paced information age makes the hybridization of jobs a never-ending process. Salespeople are now expected to use technological tools such as Salesforce and task management systems; they must understand how to negotiate and forecast, and over time they will likely have to learn how to take signals from AI-based tools.

If we accept the fact that people need to continuously learn and reskill, how do we make that happen? Do we encourage everyone to go back to school every few years and earn another degree? Not necessarily. Individuals can go online to knowledge-sharing sites such as Udemy, courseware sites such as LinkedIn Learning, or technical education sites such as Pluralsight, Skillsoft, and General Assembly, and find low-cost courses, lessons, and expert education.

In fact, in our most recent High-Impact Learning Organization survey, employees gave their training departments a low -8 net promoter score, complaining of outdated learning management systems and legacy content. Indeed, innovative companies such as GE, Visa, and IBM are building internal massive open online courses MOOCs and entire networks of internally developed content, enabling employees to shop for any training they need, including peer-authored material.

A quiet education revolution worldwide is giving kids the skills to be 21st-century citizens

As a career development tool, the availability of consumer and corporate learning is a godsend: From their desktops, employees can attend MOOCs from firms such as Udacity, Coursera, NovoEd, and edX and take courses from academic and professional experts in a wide range of technical, managerial, and personal-skills topics. Increasingly, too, training firms offer program certificates for those completing courses, indicating new competencies. As hard as we may try, nothing can reverse the trends toward longer lifetimes, shorter tenure, and the relentless pressure to master new technologies.

How can we help people navigate and thrive in this new world of careers, while keeping our organizations intact? The answer is clear: We as organizational leaders should redesign our companies so they offer diverse and continuous opportunities to develop. We should change our reward systems to encourage people to change roles, build technical expertise, and move horizontally for breadth and experience.

Does your company reward people for technical expertise and breadth of experience?

Working together to solve problems need not be a fantasy

Or do you promote only people who move up the corporate pyramid? We should also put resources into coaching, career planning, and career assessment. Forward-thinking companies today offer career-planning tools, actively post jobs internally, and encourage and support internal hires and transfers. One of our clients, a large Asian energy company, characterized its job model as so rigidly structured that many people cannot get promoted until someone in the leadership dies or quits.

In short, we have to blow up the traditional career model and work to make it easier for people to take the skills they have and use them in new roles within the organization. No one would suggest that dealing with the career dynamics of the future will be easy, for either employees or employers. For companies that handle this well, the payoff can be huge: Our research has found that organizations that define themselves as great places to learn achieve 23 percent greater financial returns, out-innovate their peers, and endure business cycles far better than their contemporaries.

Written By: Josh Bersin. Cover image by: Pushart.

The 21st Century Man: Learning How to Succeed in Changing Times

The author would like to thank Burning Glass Technologies for contributing to this article. View in article. The top 10 skills considered critical for success in are radically different from those in prior years.

Companies in the top 10 percent of the HILO study show above-average performance in innovation, profitability, endurance, and customer service.