Oct 2021 by MARIA FORSBERG
In the past, businesses hired and recruited employees based on a relevant skill.
It was a logical approach: If you wanted a job done, you hired a person who knows how to do it.
This approach felt intuitively correct and it worked well for years: When there was little risk of a technology coming along to disrupt the nature of the position.
A great example of such a position is an Administrator of Tech Infrastructure. There was Windows Server 2012, then 2016 and without much ado, you could basically keep their skills up to date with a course every 4 years.
But it’s not that simple anymore.
Now is the time of the Skills-First Economy. Technology upgrades happen in continuous builds, and we are seeing seismic shifts in the mix of skills that are required to be productive in the Skills Economy. The demand for skills has shifted towards cognitive skills such as the ability to learn fast, and behavioural skills such as managing and excelling at teamwork.
In fact, The Worldbank’s Development report states that technological developments since 2001 has increased the share of employment with 24% ( from 33% to 41%) for occupations heavy in nonroutine and socio-behavioural skills.
Unfortunately, skill strategies have struggled to keep up and research from Forbes.com indicates that just 5% of executives now believe, that their business strategy and their technological resources are in sync.
The Worldbank’s Development report states that technological developments since 2001 has increased the share of employment with 24% ( from 33% to 41%) for occupations heavy in nonroutine and socio-behavioural skills.
Research from Forbes.com indicates that just 5% of executives now believe, that their business strategy and their technological resources are in sync. Considering the vast investments in training, that is a shockingly low number.
HBR.org refers to the mechanism as the “Great Training Robbery”. What happens is, that businesses spend vast amounts of money on training that their people feel they need. But the training is not planned from the top, and time and money are wasted.
You´re stuck in the Great Training Robbery.
Do it right
Many of us are reluctant to start the much-needed top-down approach to skills Development. The idea of bottom-up or grassroots change feel right. It´s intuitive and feels inclusive and respectful to our people.
But it is not going to create change. In fact, change is much more likely to happen if you drive it from the top.
It does not mean that you need to embrace a hierarchical organizational structure, or that you need a culture of fear. It is a simple matter of leadership.
When it comes to digital transformation, McKinsey research shows that the single most important determining factor is the leadership.
Industry, culture, and actual tech all matter, but these things tend to be similar across competitors. Whereas the mindset, value and competence of your leadership will be the main differentiators and the determining enablers of Top-down planned Skills Development.
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