|This ASTER image uses short wavelength|
infrared bands to highlight in bright pink
the altered rocks in the Morenci pit associated
with copper mineralization.
U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
Enjoy and Happy New Year!
When a team works well together it’s like viewing an inspiring piece of art. Unfortunately most business leaders report that rather than a creative team working in sync to innovate solutions, they are more likely to experience a lack of agility, creativity, communications, empathy and commitment. What are we missing in preparing employees for the real-life challenges of the 21st century?
IBM’s research last year, conducted with 700 Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO) from around the world, Working Beyond Borders provides some insights to the disconnects we’re experiencing between our leadership talents and the needs of the changing workplace. Based on their findings, how we train our leaders hasn’t kept up with changing global business circumstances. They suggest a more strategic and integrated business approach needs to be developed and implemented to close the gaps between where our businesses are with leadership development and the future needs of a global marketplace.
Organization development efforts need to focus on addressing an integrated plan to re-tool and educate employees, providing:
- new leadership skills and experiences, acquired and applied at a faster pace
- a restated business protocol that embraces needed workplace flexibilities to connect people to information and each other
- an updated business culture that encourages and rewards creativity and innovation vs. demonstrated performance that follows a "play it safe" status quo mentality
Strategic Challenges to Overcome
The analysis of the data collected from the CHRO’s boils down to three key strategies organizations should embrace in order to be prepared to grow and thrive along with the business trends moving us to the future:
- Organizations need to get a handle on the talents and skills they currently have and compare those to a reasonable estimate of the workforce knowledge, skills and abilities they will need in the future. (If you missed my blog last week on Preparing Workers for the Future, you may want to reference it. Preparing this will help to clearly define how various workforce needs will be staffed, i.e., full-time, part-time, outsourced, etc. This assessment will also help identify high-potential individuals ready and capable of succeeding in a robust leadership development program.
- As the world spins faster and faster it is imperative that organizations improve the intensity and speed at which employees can develop and apply new skills in a creative manner without fearing consequences connected to failure. This paradigm shift provides an opportunity for organizations to think outside-the-box when it comes to training methods integrating dynamic on-the-job project approaches such as: job rotations, mentoring relationships, creative problem solving assignments, and job shadowing opportunities. EMI has found that programs built from a competency-based training model are much more targeted and lead to a broader integration of job responsibilities. Reward programs that motivate and acknowledge creative solutions to problems further demonstrate a culture change commitment to innovation.
- Study after study continues to point to the need to build collaboration skills within our current and future leaders. The ability of individuals to work well with diverse groups, either face-to-face or through the technology advancements that connect us, is essential. Individuals with low Emotional Intelligence (EI) and underdeveloped capabilities to empathize and communicate with others while managing their own preferences will have a role; it just won’t be as a leader.
So What’s Next?
We’ve all heard the Confucius saying, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." That seems appropriate here. It can be overwhelming to think about the many changes involved with addressing the issues IBM’s research documented. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that the first step -- acknowledging the need for a strategy that integrates solutions into an updated corporate culture and operational practices -- can be managed by breaking it down into workable pieces. Utilizing the skills of external expertise can allow the internal HR leader to actively participate in the collaboration and introduce an "unbiased" perspective to oversee the flow of the project.
Each section of the Insights from Global Chief Human Resource Officers Study ends with recommended questions to motivate thinking and planning. Here are a few to contemplate:
Matching resources to organizational needs:
- Which alternative work structures provide greater opportunity for efficient and more flexible deployment?
- How do you break down the organizational silos that prevent the best use of your talent?
- How can you reduce time to competence in your most critical jobs?
- How are you fostering creativity and borderless thinking among your leadership team?
- Are you radically rethinking leadership development to rapidly close the effectiveness gap?
- Do you integrate leadership development with emerging business opportunities to better prepare leaders for the future?
- What will you do to get multiple generations of employees to actively engage in online collaboration?
- In what ways can you explore, reward and integrate diverse and unconventional points of view?
- What novel techniques are you using to tap into the insights and ideas of employees around the world?
Please click below and offer your comments. Also, if you found this blog sparked your creativity and interest to explore answers, please forward it to engage others who can partner with you. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.