I just watched this video and read this blog post from the Josh Bersin Company on a very cool and bold undertaking to help leaders equip their organizations and people with:

  • the latest skills via a skills profile informed by huge amounts of data and AI (what’s emerging, staying about the same, and fading away?)
  • career pathways for critical skills (hint: it’s not about sticking within your old-school job family but rather lateral moves that enrich your ability to be multi-faceted)
  • job architecture and job titles (ever wonder how your competitors, or adjacent industries, think about jobs, skills, and clusters of skills?)
  • organizational structures (how do your competitors organize their employees and what insights are important for your teams to harvest?)
  • retaining and developing the employees or consultants you can engage to work with your organization (and I say this in one of the tightest labour markets around driven in part by pandemic driven retirements, work/life balance shifts, and a fertility rate below the necessary replacement rate)

As you can imagine, the Adaptive Talent team is deeply interested about how people, teams, and organizations can both execute efficiently and adapt. While one’s inner game and organizational culture are huge positive or negative multipliers (enabling or disabling) in the ability to adapt, skills are especially important to master given the incredible advances in technology. Getting your arms around how to help your employees stay current with their skills is essential because competitive disruption has never been faster; whether via a start-up completely rethinking a value proposition for a market segment, or an existing competitor finding ways to leverage new technologies for customer insights, expanding your offerings, and generating  higher satisfaction and retention.

I think what’s changed and made this more challenging is that simply approaching skills development from a functional lens (i.e., software engineering) misses the point that everyone, regardless of job function or team, can leverage technologies to help them be more effective. For example, data analytics and AI are no longer the responsibility of the IT team; the HR / People & Culture team needs to be savvy with these technologies so that they can find the right vendors, properly deploy the tools and processes, and leverage those insights into actionable competitive differentiators. The pace of change is much faster too so keeping up with the new “normal” is hard enough let alone leap frogging the competition.

But therein lies the challenge: who has time to figure out what skills are important and which skills are emerging? What’s the best way to inventory which employee has which skill, and to do so efficiently and in a cost effective, scalable way? This is why I got so excited when I read about this Global Workforce Intelligence project. Here’s how they describe it: “The Josh Bersin Company’s Global Workforce Intelligence (GWI) Project uses a first-of-its-kind combination of data, research, education, and community to guide business and HR leaders through the major workforce trends that will shape companies around the world in coming years.  The GWI Project will leverage more than 1.5 billion worker profiles and billions of associated data points collected by Eightfold AI’s unique Talent Intelligence Platform. Our research and analysis will provide the insights needed to make significant workforce decisions for future business success. Our team will review historical data and make informed predictions using an unprecedented analysis for every major industry segment by looking at:

  • Skills
  • Jobs
  • Job clusters
  • Career pathways
  • Accelerating and decelerating skills and roles

The GWI Project is an agile, ongoing initiative. The tools and resources developed will evolve based on discoveries in each target industry and feedback from senior leaders to ensure maximum applicability and usability.” So basically Eightfold is their data provider, but you can use any tech stack. I for one am very intrigued with this approach and look forward to seeing how people use the data.

Image credit: Josh Bersin & Company.

Adaptive Talent is a talent consultancy designed to help organizations achieve amazing results and ongoing adaptability. Founded in 2008 and based in Vancouver, Canada we offer retained and contingent search, assessments, training, leadership coaching (1:1 and group), leadership development programs, and culture & organizational development consulting.