Article: Converge India 2017: Adapting to new skillsets


Converge India 2017: Adapting to new skillsets

Prabir Jha, President, and Global Chief People Officer at Cipla talks about the need to adapting to newer skillsets in the age of disruption at the Cornerstone OnDemand Converge India 2017.
Converge India 2017: Adapting to new skillsets

From time immemorial, generations have been adapting to newer skillsets – right from the Stone-Age to now – however the point to be remembered is the pace in which the changes are undergoing has altered. It has now become faster than ever before. That means, people need to adapt to newer things by the time they get used to manoeuvring the new things. 

According to Gartner, “More than 3 million workers across the world will have a ‘RoboBoss’ by 2018.”

To give an anecdote, an experience in a restaurant starts right from entering the venue – getting guided to the table, a server comes to take the order, and goes to the Chef to place the order and then the food is served accordingly. In a recent video by a Japanese restaurant, there seems to be no one between the customers and the chef. The entire process in between has been digitized. 

But does that mean we are moving towards annihilation of various jobs? May be not. The issue is not about tech-induced. The entire gamut of jobs is about reimagination. The question is are we ready for the re-wiring, re-skilling, adapting to newer frontiers?

So how do we adapt to new skillsets?

The onus lies on three key stakeholders: Leadership, Employees abilities to learn, and Corporates’ ability to train people. 

Leadership: How many can visualize what’s going to happen in 5 years’ time? Reality is leaders are unable to understand the realities of the world. And the leaders are inept to even understand the kind of skillsets required. The idea is to envisioning, escalating and checking the progress. The problem is we are here and now, and we are looking at problems to solve in the short-run. We need to realize sustainability of skillsets is very important. The question is how much are we open to disruption? The three things that leaders must keep in mind are

  • Imagining, reimagining, imagining the unimaginable
  • Make changes easier
  • Downsize & upskill

The disruption will come from outside. How does leadership help to transition the change is going to be the way forward? 

Employees’ ability to learn: Do you have the capability which is the intellectual bandwidth; do you have the intent to learn new skillsets to adapt; and are you agile enough to learn quickly and evolve? The degree is not your measure of your capability. It has to be your own intent to learn and expand your bandwidth. So the agility and the willingness to learn along with the agility to contextualize are now the prerequisites to way forward. 

While we are slowly moving towards specialization, the paradox is we cannot discount multi-tasking at the same time. 

“It is not always the size of your role but your size in the role that really matters. You make the role, matter or no matter,” tweeted Prabir Jha.

Corporates’ ability to train people: “By 2018, 50% of the team collaboration and communication will occur through mobile group collaboration apps,” said Gartner Study. So how do we get the mosaic of learning come together? There has to be a paradigm shift in the mindset of the corporations in order to do that. Reverse mentoring is one way to make learning more insightful. A call for the redefined mindset of the corporation is the need of the hour. 

Along with the three, a close working with the government and the academia could augment employee-employer learning initiative much better. 

(This article is curated from the session: Adapting to new skillsets by Prabir Jha, President and Global Chief People Officer – Cipla at the Cornerstone OnDemand Converge India 2017.)

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Topics: Skilling

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