There is enormous change going on in the world of work. The military coined the acronym ‘VUCA’ to describe the environment in which we live and work: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Sound familiar?
Because evolving technologies and truly globalised markets are disrupting many business models and placing power into the hands and minds of customers everywhere, business has to adapt incredibly quickly to stay competitive. According to global research by McKinsey & Company, 40% of employers around the world say they can’t get people with the skills to achieve the quick adaptation needed, while many millions of highly educated people remain unemployed.
So we all have to think differently about skill-sets and learning for this new ‘VUCA’ world.
Here on the North Coast of NSW, business is necessarily more dependent on networking, entrepreneurialism and directly contacting customers locally and globally to deliver goods and services to them. Accordingly, businesses must find a way to ensure that current and prospective employees have an agile set of capabilities centred on finding – and keeping – customers for their lifetime.
Welcome to the ‘T-shaped’ learner and worker. The T-shape learner and worker has (traditionally) skills, knowledge and competencies with technical depth (the upright of the ‘T’) but also has broad ‘soft skills’: good work ethic, an adaptive, enterprising nature and highly effective communication and social skills (the horizontal cross bar of the ‘T’).
The key challenge for individuals to become and stay employed is to be constant learners and acquire an holistic, malleable ‘T-shaped’ skillset that expands, contracts and is reinvented as customer (and employer) demand comes, goes and evolves.
This holistic skill set can’t be learnt just in a classroom, or on the job, or online. It can be learnt through a collaborative approach in which learner/workers are exposed early and almost in parallel to experiences in the workplace, in structured learning environments and in the community that help form the vertical and horizontal capabilities together.
The key challenge for businesses, training providers and job service providers is to achieve this ‘working in parallel’ model together. It’s a new way of thinking about skills, capabilities and recruitment for your business.
It starts with a conversation – if you’re interested in exploring this with us, contact us on 1300 628 233.