The rise of technology:
These technologies have already had an impact in the workplace and that is very likely to be a trend that will not only continue but accelerate.
But I still believe it is ultimately people that will make the difference and there is research activity in Insead University that suggests that long-term sustainable competitive advantage only comes from people. Their reasoning being whether it’s Products, Services, Systems or Processes that give a company its advantage, currently they are all underpinned by people and can be copied. But the one thing that you cannot copy, are the people themselves.
Though there is an often used cliché that people are our most important asset organisations, we do not always treat them this way and my challenge to the managers I work with is: if you were the only person who had turned up for work tomorrow how much of what your organisation does could you do?
If we accept that people are essential it is then getting the best out of those people and their skill level that productivity and competitive advantage will come. I already hear companies complaining of skills shortages and this is only likely to get worse.
The CIPD report ‘Over-skilled and Underused’ highlight the mismatch in skill utilisation and how being unable to use your skills effectively at work is associated with poorer job satisfaction, lower earnings and worse career progression prospects.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report, ‘The Global Workforce Crisis’, looking at the 17 largest economies on the planet which accounted for over 70% of global GDP. What they found was that in those economies, over the next 10 to 15 years more people will be leaving the workforce than those joining the workforce because of much lower birth rates. Their research showed a significant shortfall in the high skilled workforce and a minor surplus in the unskilled workforce.
Since the earliest days of man we have gone down the route of becoming more and more specialised in the division of labour as economist Leonard E. Readdemonstrated in 1958 when he wrote ‘I pencil’ showing how by then we had become so specialised that nobody actually knew how to make a pencil.
Shifting business models has seen an increasing trend where organisational boundaries have become more permeable through the use of associates, contractors and outsourcing.
There has been a rise in remote working.
“ The way we work, the skills we need to thrive in our jobs and the trajectories of our careers are rapidly evolving. These changes—driven by technological innovation, demographics, shifting business models and nature of work—are significantly altering the skills demanded by the labour market. Over one in four adults surveyed in the OECD reported a mismatch between their current skills and the qualifications required for their jobs. Furthermore, approximately 35% of the skills demanded for jobs across industries will change by 2020. ”
Skills will become the new battleground for organisations, the BCG report suggests as important as cash. Organisations will need to be able to forecast their skills demand, attract the right people and be constantly upskilling and reskilling their people. The survey also found better management of those people was a crucial factor especially in the younger elements of the workforce.
Managing people better will become a more central component of organisational life. If you are familiar with the Graves model more commonly known as Spiral Dynamics what it talks about is the evolution of people and how they interact.
The premises being as we have evolved we move up the spiral but still have within us the previous levels. My view is that most modern organisations with internal competition and friction take people back to previous levels, where they are focused on self-preservation as opposed to focusing all their efforts on the organisation’s goals.
My personal view is the level of internal friction in an organisation has a direct inverse correlation to the productivity of that organisation-the more friction, the less productive.
Simon Sinek in his TED talk ‘Whygoodleadersmakeyoufeelsafe’ recommends we create Circles of Safety in our organisations so that our people are focused on the organisations goals rather than on their own self-preservation.
PCMS provides an organisation wide view of people and skills currently available in your organisation.
The support/training element within the application/platform is based on the concept of microlearning, where the content is directed to raise ability linked to a specific skill or competence.
Within the app there is an ability to provide a link out to either your own Learning Management System (LMS) or to any other LMS whether that be the clients own system or another third-party providerto create a seamless scaffold between the microlearning to full accredited courses.
In our training we work using the principles of Andragogy
We wanted to get away from a ‘sheep dip’ approach to training which has to some extent created the notion that most training is a waste of the time because people don’t or can‘t put into action what they have learned.
The platform’s design was built to enable:
Any job to be broken down into the behaviours, skills and knowledge required to perform at the highest level. We guide the process but ultimately it is the client who decides what ‘great’ looks like. Users can self-assess, peer assess, or have a manager or trainer assessment.
Our belief is that most people want to master what they do. The platform sits ahead but is integrated into a full development capability to provide individuals with real clarity as to what mastery looks like in terms of behaviours, skills and knowledge.
Allowing individuals to create their own learner journey based on their own assessment or others assessment of their individual needs. That the possibility to grow and improve is to all intense and purpose practically limitless.
We recognise that in a changing world where:
Factors continually shift, meaning that we need to be more adaptable and more flexible. The skills we learned have a decreasing life cycle of relevance. That in a world of increasing complexity, competition and change, people and their abilities matter more now than ever.
We have been seduced by technology and its ability to solve problems and raise productivity; Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain. They are and have proved to be invaluable tools resulting in our products and services improving beyond recognition; our systems are smarter our processes slicker almost to the point we forget the human element, the human contribution.
But underlying all of the above is people and if you stopped and thought for a moment, how much of what we do could we continue to do without our people? Or if I was the only one to come in to work today how much could we produce? We believe it is ultimately your people who make the difference.
Then consider that the developed world is facing a skills shortage crisis of unprecedented proportions in the next decade as the baby boomer generation retires and lower birth rates since mean that the size of the workforce will shrink considerably in most developed countries.
The decreasing lifecycle of skills calls for re-skilling and upskilling of the workforce as skilled people will become as if not more important that cashflow.
The smart organisations will act now to redefine learning and development to put in place methods and capability to continually capture, update, train and assess both the explicit and tacit skills and competencies that drive their performance.
The PCMS platform is designed to do just that it enables you to have an organisational wide few of the competencies and skills across your organisation, allowing you to connect all the dots:
All to ensure you have the right people in the right place performing at their best or as Jim Collins puts it in his book Good to Great, having the right people on the right seats on the right bus.