A volatile, unpredictable world
CEOs are standing on constantly shifting ground. They see before them a boiling mix of opportunities and threats, driven by technology that’s mining new markets but which is also transforming everything around them, from how their customers behave to what their people expect from work. They’re reacting by exploring new business models, sectors and unexpected partnerships – in a bid to adapt quickly, find growth, but increasingly to access the skills they need.
Skills at crisis point
The skills shortage has become a crisis-level priority for CEOs; 73% name it as a threat to their business, compared with 46% just six years ago. The digital age has transformed a nagging worry into something far more challenging; 81% of CEOs say they’re looking for a wider mix of skills than they have in the past. Businesses desperately need hi-tech innovators and ‘hybrid’ workers who understand not only their own sector, but complex digital technology as well.
A new take on talent
Success in the digital world demands new ways of thinking, especially when it comes to talent. Workers with the most in-demand skills are creating a ‘gig economy’, where they’re in control of where and when they work. Organisations, in turn, are rethinking their talent mix and exploring the potential of automation; and CEOs have woken up to the value of diversity – of thinking and experience – to create value in the digital age.
Using data wisely
There’s still some way to go before organisations make the best possible use of the people data they collect. Under half of organisations consistently use analytics to provide insight into how effectively skills are being deployed. CEOs are fully focused on the role digital technology plays in engaging customers; so why are they ignoring its value when it comes to engaging employees?
Great leadership required
Competitive advantage in the digital age lies not in securing the best technology, but in using and managing talent well – and that demands truly great leadership. But this is leadership in a radically transparent world, where organisations are far more complex, where ideas are a commodity, and where talent is mobile and autonomous. Leaders must create a culture where innovation thrives, ideas spark into life and people – whoever and wherever they are – are bound together in a common cause.