CT: What is your advice to a company just beginning to define what their Future Skills needs are?
GS: I would highlight three key areas:
1. Have a vision of the sort of capabilities you will need and want to have in your organisation. However, be ready to change them and steer the ship on very different waters, literally overnight if needed. Covid-19 has taught organisations this lesson the hard way.
2. Don’t look for the answers only within your organisation, explore as much externally as you do internally. Go and look at what’s out there, even in organisations that seem to be very different to yours. Don’t just ask, share your thoughts as well. Sharing is the new power and as long as it is a two-way street, you will learn so much.
3. Last, but not least: having a Future Skills list is not the end-product. It is a means to an end where the value comes from the journey. No one will remember you if you scored 4 or 9 out of the 10 most important skills that will shape your organisation in 5-10-years’ time. The difference will be found in what you are going to do about your Future Skills needs. How do you quantify the size of the demand for those particular skills; how do you plan to get them; and how do you drive engagement around them? This will form the basis for your strategic workforce initiatives that we will discuss next time.