How can we thrive in uncertainty — as individuals, as leaders, and as organizations?
For the past six years, our team at BetterUp Labs has been tackling this question in partnership with researchers at Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Stanford, UC Riverside, and many more. BetterUp has now invested upwards of $20 million in answering this critical challenge with behavioral science. We’ve published our findings as quickly as we can, but we haven’t yet been able to share the large volume of research we’ve generated outside our company — until now.
On January 17, we published Tomorrowmind, co-authored by myself and Professor Marty Seligman, with the intent of sharing this science with as many people as possible. Marty, known as the founding father of positive psychology, has been our single most important collaborator in developing this knowledge base. His decades of monumental research on well-being as the foundation of performance have paved the way for our work. In Tomorrowmind, we capture the key findings from our last six years of research on how we can all thrive in the modern whitewater world of work.
Five key skills are critical to flourishing at work today and are summarized by the acronym PRISM:
- Prospection (P): The uniquely human ability to imagine and plan for disparate futures, so that we are in a greater state of empowerment and readiness for whatever is to come.
- Resilience (R): Bouncing back from change unharmed – or, better yet, growing stronger through adversity.
- Innovation and creativity (I): The ability to generate novel, surprising, and useful solutions to problems. We can cultivate this ability at all levels.
- Social support, by way of rapid rapport (S): The ability to build trust quickly across interpersonal difference and geographic distance, with both customers and colleagues
- Mattering and meaning (M): The motivation to fuel the work of navigating each successive chapter of change.
All of these skills can be developed. And leaders have a critical role to play in helping to instill them in the workforce. Organizations that focus their talent efforts on developing these meta-skills will be more agile, successful, and future-proof.
We’re thrilled that the science underpinning this research, including details on how to build these skills, is now available for a general audience in Tomorrowmind. We also include our recommendations on how corporations can sustainably tackle this work through a more holistic approach to human capital management.
Across all industries, and all organizational levels, uncertainty is top of mind. If our goal is to thrive, our first step is clear — invest in building a Tomorrowmind.