Attitudes and competencies are more important than skills

Monday, 21/09/2020

The Dean of Alba at the Economist's 24th Round Table Discussion with the Greek Government

The importance of attitudes and competencies in order for society and business to meet the challenges and evolve in a rapidly changing and digitally transforming environment, was the key point stressed by Dean K. Axarloglou during the discussion on "Challenges in the Cybersphere", in the context of the Economist's 24th Round Table Discussion with the Greek Government.

Dr. Axarloglou underlined the COVID-19 pandemic, being a totally unexpected disruption of all economies, industries and people’s lives, brought “distance” back to our lives in all aspects. As such, it really forced and significantly accelerated digitalization of activities and the digital transformation of the Sate as well as of organizations and companies. This rapid acceleration underscored the possibilities offered by modern technology but the same time revealed its current limits.

Both at the level of state leadership and in the world of business, this unprecedented situation highlighted the importance of cooperation of any stakeholders involved in an ecosystem, but also led to a change of perspective: The emphasis is now more on attitudes and competencies rather than skills , which seem to be short-lived. This appears to be the new normal in a disruptive environment.

Thus, societies, including the education system, need to focus on helping people and organizations to develop the right attitudes and competencies, such as agility, adaptability, critical thinking, complex problem solving, etc.,  in order to function more effectively in a disruptive environment

Also, the ability to constantly learn, to identify the deeper causes of phenomena and alternative ways of dealing with them, problem solving in a context where data is constantly changing and subverting, "knowing what to do when you do not know what to do", as described by the Dean, are some of the skill-sets that are, today, more necessary than the technical skills. And the acquisition of these attitudes and skills can only be achieved through a "combination of learning and experience”.


The Economist’s 24th Roundtable with the Government of Greece, was held at Grand Resort Lagonissi, Athens on September 15th-16th 2020. This year’s conference took place under the special conditions of covid-19, with strict limits on the numbers in the room and wearing of masks. Despite this, a top-class collection of speakers took part, maintaining the tradition of this high-profile annual event.

Alba was once more the Academic Partner of this high profile annual event, focusing this year on the impact of the recent coronavirus epidemic on the global economy and business, brexit, migration flows, economic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions in the region

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