• Melanie Foster

Are Your People Skilled Enough to Future-Proof Your Business?

Updated: Aug 15

Digital disruption is nothing new. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced most industries to adapt to digital transformation at a breakneck pace.


Have your leaders adapted?


In other words, investing more in digitisation won’t help you succeed unless your middle and senior management understand the value of company data assets and how to optimise their use.


If you truly want your organisation to thrive in the digital age, you need first to develop (or find) the talent who can leverage technology. And that means changing old status quo paradigms to move with the times.


How can you create a data-driven organisation?


1. Develop a top-down, agile culture.

Leading through digital (and pandemic) change can only be useful when you develop leaders who have the right mindset, values, and empowerment mentality. This is where a crucial differentiator lies. Engaged employees will be more productive and engaged. This will be reflected throughout the organisation and influence positive customer outcomes.


2. Invest in talent first before technology.

Technology has been making some jobs obsolete, and, at the same time, providing new job opportunities. Today, new skills or a retooling of existing skills is necessary to help people adapt to changing technologies – and even to invent them. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have given rise to many exciting and ground-breaking technologies; everything from chatbots to sophisticated autonomous software for non-crewed ships. Supporting your teams and enabling these technologies is essential.


2. Make soft skills your priority.

While hard skills are necessary for many who work with digitisation (software engineers, enterprise architects, data engineers etc), it is the soft skills – the ability to make informed decisions and problem-solve effectively, that will underpin the future of the organisation.

Hard skills are always changing, while agile and flexible talent is better suited to adapt to evolving technologies.


A recent survey of CEOs in 85 countries, carried out by PwC, found that “91% of CEOs agree that they need to strengthen their organisation’s soft skills to sit alongside digital skills.” The report titled 'The talent challenge: Rebalancing skills for the digital age', also revealed that 38% are very concerned that they won’t find people who have the skills to make it in the digital world.


Using technology to harness data is paramount to a company’s success. Leaders and managers must understand how to use data to gain valuable insights and then make strategic decisions – whether those decisions are to enhance worker or organisational productivity or provide a window into customer buying trends – they need to focus on turning data into meaningful intelligence that continually moves the business forward.


There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the people-data-driven question, as organisations use a combination of different technologies. However, you will have a better chance to gain a competitive edge when you put people first. People are the technology drivers – let them help your company drive success.

 

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