Continual Adaptability: Stay Ahead of the Competition & Build a Competitive Advantage

Continual Adaptability: Stay Ahead of the Competition & Build a Competitive Advantage

Kamal Dutta, Managing Director, Skillsoft

An IT industry veteran with 25+ years' experience, Kamal has held a variety of leadership roles in the Software Industry across the globe.

The ongoing fourth industrial revolution has brought many technological advancements spurring growth across organizations from a wide variety of verticals. But, with this,organizational operations and their workforce requirements are transforming, presenting a multitude of challenges for organizations and their workforce.

With changing technologies, companies deal with disruption on a regular basis. Business models and job roles need to evolve in pace with this shift. A 2018 study titled ‘The Survey of Adult Skills’, published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated that 46 percent of all jobs have at least a 50 percent chance of being lost or greatly changed.

With each passing day, the country’s skills gap is expanding at an unprecedented rate. Asjob roles that demand the knowledge and experience of forward-looking technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning(ML), Robotics, IoT are increasing, jobseekers with the required skillsets are not. Meanwhile, the existing workforce feels threatened as automation transforms their jobs while thousands of young graduates are finding their employment opportunities to be highly restricted. In short, a major skill crisis is underway.

Why Do Companies Need Professionals With Specialized Skills In This Data Driven Age?
Today,most companies are becoming data-driven and have an expert team of professionals to manage their data operations. Organizations have data wranglers to extract information from silos, mixed-format files and secured important repositories. They also have data professionals who safely distribute it throughout the organization, and most importantly, data scientists who bring this data together to translate it into valuable business insights. This helps the organization scale greater heights by identifying anomalies in production, suggestions for product directions, etc.

Yet, in this process, the need to constantly revisit security practices is increasing as operations become more integrated and cybersecurity attacks and methodologies evolve rapidly. To run a smooth business, while addressing such concerns in a competitive back drop, the company needs more than just good infrastructure. It needs an agile workforce of professionals who can go beyond their set roles to steer the organization towards a successful future.

How Can Organizations Promote Agile Skillsets Through Continual Adaptability
An organization cannot gain such a dynamic group of professionals overnight. It has to continuously train its workforce and make it adaptable to continuous change. As Darwin quoted more than a hundred years ago it is not the strongest who survive, but the ones who adapt quickly to the change in which they find themselves.

Considering this, many companies are leveraging new-age, tech backed learning platforms to train their
workforce. However, only a few of them are promoting continuous adaptability which is necessary to nurture a truly holistic learning environment at the workplace. Creating a learning culture is important for the company to ensure that the employees actually assimilate the training received into their professional practice.There are certain things the learning system should take care of to empower employees rather than push them to adapt to change:

•Accessibility: An ideal learning platform should incorporate learning into many different programs and promote learning on the go. It should be accessible to users from across the globe. While standardizing the content for users, the system should cater to the diverse needs of every employee and provide personalized and immersive learning experiences.

•Content and Delivery: The system should incorporate numerous elements in the content in order to make it truly interesting for the employees. The company can adopt innovative delivery methods like gamification to drive employee engagement with the training. This will motivate them to strive for excellence in the course.

•New age infrastructure: Making use of Virtual Reality(VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), LMS can enable global collaborative up-skilling. For this, an organization will have to invest in innovative infrastructure which can facilitate forward looking learning methods.

To ensure training effectiveness, the management must encourage existing motivation, provide immediate feedback, integrate learning with talent management and quantify ROI in training & development

Finally, to ensure training effectiveness, management must encourage existing motivation, provide immediate feedback, integrate learning with talent management and quantify ROI in training and development. This will lead to more more productive employees who can dynamically move from one role to another. This effectively contributes to enhancing the organization’s overall performance. Apart from this continuous training updates the workforce with current compliance regulations and saves the company from large fines as well as reputational damage.Thus investing in training is equivalent to investing in the company’s future.

Facilitating Even Distribution of Knowledge
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, organizations cannot stop at upskilling. Instead, they must ensure continual, unified growth of all employees. Using data analytics, organizations can combine information from multiple departments and convert contextual knowledge into a common shareable digital format. Companies can, thus,ensure that professionals operating in different units, are not isolated from one another. This can enable seamless exchange of knowledge and wider competency building for a still larger number of employees at a high speed and scale.

As we rapidly progress towards a tech-enabled future, a major shift from tasks performed by humans to those performed by machines can transform the global labour market. Adaptability across organizations can give way to a future where the extensive presence of machines can act as an enabler for humans, not an impediment. Creating new, high value positions along with skilled candidates, organizations can benefit from the technological transformation.