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Riverine rabbit or African Savanna hare?

If there are young children in your family you will know first-hand that the Easter Bunny looms large this time of the year – this got me thinking about the Riverine rabbit (Bunolagus monticualris), also known as the bushman rabbit or bushman hare. The Riverine rabbit is found in the Karoo desert. It’s claim to fame – it is one of the world’s most endangered mammals. The total population is only around 1 500.

The Riverine rabbit is facing extinction for two reasons primarily. Firstly, its food sources are diminishing, and secondly, it only produces one offspring per year. Its food sources are diminishing largely as a result of cultivation of the land, livestock farming and fencing.

Like the riverine rabbit, many employees are also under threat. While downsizing, right-sizing and a sluggish economy may contribute in part to this, this reminded me of a conversation I had with a senior executive earlier in the week. We spoke about the impact of digitisation, artificial intelligence and robotics, and how organisations and individuals need to constantly adapt to an ever-changing work environment, in which survival was heavily dependent on the mastery of new skills sets. A failure to master new skills sets, to move with the times, and ensure that skills one’s sets remained relevant, could threaten one’s employability and survival in the world of work.

As a business leader, or talent manager, are you constantly mentoring and assisting your team to acquire the skills required to remain relevant in the world of work? How will digitisation, artificial intelligence and robotics impact on their sphere of work? Have you covered the basics – have you ensured that they are computer literate and also social media savvy?

Have you shared the WEF “The Future of Jobs” research findings with your employees? Are you helping to equip them to master complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, co-ordinating with others, emotional Intelligence, judgement and decision making, service orientation, negotiation and cognitive flexibility?

In sharp contrast to the Riverine rabbit, the African Savanna hare (Lepus microtus) is of least concern on the conservation rating scale. Critically important is the fact that it can run up to 70km, and it can leap vigorously to break its scent trail. Translated into the world of work, this suggest the ability to respond quickly, and the ability to adapt quickly to change.

Which camp do you and your team fall into – are you Riverine rabbits or the African savvana hare?

Will your skills set ensure that you flourish in the world of work?

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