On Monday, I attended an Innovation Exchange panel session at NTUC Centre, where CXOs from four multinational companies shared their thoughts on innovation and jobs of the future.
From left: Tobias Puehse (Vice President, Innovation Management, APAC, Mastercard); Susanne Arfelt (Country Director, Unilever); Richard Koh (National Technology Officer, Microsoft Singapore); Audrey Kuah (Managing Director, Dentsu Aegis Network Global Data Innovation Centre); Vivek Kumar (Director, NTUC U Associate and U Future Leaders)
These four MNCs have built their own innovation centres which NTUC is organising Innovation Exchange (IEX) tours for participants of their U Future Leaders Programme, together with other centres under DHL, Intel and Procter & Gamble.
Each IEX session is a half day event held every quarter, and will be open to 20 NTUC union members who attended previous U Future Leaders programmes.
Registration opens mid-November 2016, with the first tour to Dentsu-Aegis, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft.
From the panel session, I found the following takeaways useful:
Thoughts on innovation
Innovation is hygiene factor, all jobs need innovation as mindset. (Audrey Kuah, Dentsu Aegis)
People need empathy to understand customer needs and disrupt existing ways of doing things. Have a growth mindset. Be the disrupter. (Richard Koh, Microsoft)
Innovation lies everywhere with everyone, even the lowest ranked employee. (Susanne Arfelt, Unilever)
Cycle time of innovation are getting shorter, from 5-10 years to 1-2 years. (Tobias Puehse, MasterCard)
Where are the jobs of the future?
Customer experience jobs, e.g. Burberry UK which integrates online ordering and VAT refund seamlessly. (Audrey Kuah, Dentsu Aegis)
People who can understand data and manipulate software. So teach your kids to code e.g. using Scratch from MIT. (Richard Koh, Microsoft)
Jobs dealing with consumer experience, marketing to the consumer, for superior shopping experience. (Susanne Arfelt, Unilever)
Digital cognitive scientist. Our systems have evolved from browser to apps to Artificial Intelligence. Language driven systems will be bigger in next 5-10 years. There are opportunities to build the architecture for these new systems. (Tobias Puehse, MasterCard)
Additive manufacturing industrial designer who has the ability to quickly customise products. A company can use a facial scanner and create glasses that fit perfectly to the wearer’s facial contours. (Tobias Puehse, MasterCard)