Article: The skilling revolution: Disruption drives reinvention

Learning & Development

The skilling revolution: Disruption drives reinvention

At TechHR India 2021, Skillsoft's Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek shares stories of reinvention as the world of work transforms permanently.
The skilling revolution: Disruption drives reinvention

On Day 1 of the opening keynote of TechHR India 2021, Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek, Chief Marketing Officer of Skillsoft shared multiple stories of reinvention from the pandemic by outlining the changing world of work and the unique opportunity it presents for businesses around the world.

Highlighting the major shifts to watch in the next normal, Michelle noted that a skilling revolution is underway as many companies evaluate their return to work policies and many industries evolve their operations from supply chain management and manufacturing, to customer service, sales and marketing. On the other hand, employees are assessing their own priorities, in some cases opting for purpose driven activities and early retirement.

Over the past year, even as world economy was battling uncertainty, the consumption of learning increased exponentially. “There is a very real need for continuous on-going learning, personal flexibility and autonomy,” Michelle said.


The stories of reinvention

When Comscore, a global media and advertising analytics company found a skill gap that impacted the long term strategy of new and existing products, the company chose an unconventional path. Instead of reducing the staff familiar with JavaScript, and hire outside talent, they chose to invest in their current employees to learn Python. The company achieved at 3,000 percent ROI by embarking on the change exercise. “It’s a great example of how learning supports reinvention,” Michelle said.

Rico, a company that’s started by producing electric watches, office printing technology and fax machines was impacted by the pandemic. But the company had already begun to engage in a process of transformation – from its core office printing business into a data intensive IT services provider. And instead of furloughing their print engineers, the company engaged in cross skilling and building a talent pipeline to fill the skills gap.

The need to change

“Change is so often thought of as a negative thing. And over the past year and a half, there’s been a great deal of change. But change can also be positive,” Michelle said. 

The author Gail Sheehy once said “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” “This is true of organizations just as it is for people, customers and colleagues we work with,” Michelle noted.

It not just business models that are undergoing a shift, Employees too are aligning their work towards purposeful activities. They are engaging in personal passion projects, looking for better economic opportunities and engaging in learning that can bridge their skill gaps.

Future priorities

According to a report by Burning Glass technologies, the post-pandemic economy labour market will result in 15 to 18 million new jobs in the next five years. And those roles currently only make up 13 percent of the demand and only 10 percent of employment. “If organizations cannot cope with the demand, reskilling and upskilling will remain a mission critical countermeasure as will our willingness to reinvent ourselves and our organizations,” Michelle said.

Research by Deloitte showed that top paying IT functional areas as risk management, cloud computing, cyber security and IT security and IT architecture and design. “Some of these functions did not even exist 10 years ago,” Michelle reminded the audience. “. Obviously, learning is extremely important as more functions and roles evolve in the future, and more skills are needed to propel the business forward. But learning can be more than just training for skills. It can also be the means for building and shaping a more positive corporate culture.”

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Topics: Learning & Development, Talent Management, #TechHRIN

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