A sustainable up skilling strategy.

As you know, I’ve been in the HR industry a long time and pattern recognition is my jam, so I can’t help but experience frustration with “top 5 emerging skills” discussions. These articles are important as they trigger both individuals and organizations to prioritize and invest in #learning.

Good stuff. Really.

But this “top 5” approach is also a fool’s errand. The shelf life of skills are shrinking and the global talent shortage is growing. Our entire process for addressing our corporate skill gap is broken, while we are working harder and harder to keep up. It doesn’t take an expert to notice that this is unsustainable.

It’s not anyone’s fault – Business is changing fast. The HR function is already hard and the demands on CHROs keep growing. No function can thrive when priorities change every day and yet, for a talent strategy to be aligned with business needs, more agility is required.  We must find a path that allows us to work smarter, not harder.

We need systems that can adjust on their own without so much manual effort and we must build intelligence that helps organizations move to data driven experimentation to invent new pathways for employees to learn and grow. In a word, we need to leverage the power of machine learning (#ML) to solve the #upskilling imperative. Moving to a data driven and agile growth mindset that allows for both learning and unlearning.

What we need is innovation, not a faster horse. We need to recognize that HR doesn’t need to do all the heavy lifting to solve the skills gap problem – instead we can leverage the collective wisdom and unique capabilities of the workforce and let #AI automate a lot of the manual effort. 

We must think about a future-ready workforce structurally. Not as a fixed place but as a path that can adapt and adjust to the changing needs and realities. One where the wisdom of the crowds becomes a practical value to the business, and where HR can facilitate the execution of a talent strategy not just once (or every year) but ongoing and in real time.

We have the ability to focus on the longer term business goals — not a single quarter but enduring people sustainability. Because when the HR helps facilitate business strategy execution they are THE strategic advantage to the business. In the end people power business and HR is a people function.  

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