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    Message of the week

    Week 06
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    Developing talent for digital transformation

    We spend a lot of time talking about the tech behind digital transformation and how its implementation will affect people and organisations. What we often neglect to think about, however, is the skills needed to implement and maintain that technology. It’s a natural tendency to try and plug a skills gap with freshly graduated talent or to head hunt from competitors’ C suite, but, according to a global survey into “How the Best Companies get the Skills They Need to Thrive in the Digital Era”, this might not be as effective as you’d expect. 

    As this article in the Harvard Business Review points out, credentials aren’t everything and it’s better to hire people who can develop the skills they need on the job. The authors put forward four points (summarised below) to build a robust talent pipeline that thrives on change in the digital era.

    • Look for potential, not credentials: Technology advances quickly, so instead of looking for a candidate who has today’s “IT” tech skills (which will date rapidly), look for someone who is curious, adaptable and a fast learner.
    • Soft skills are as valuable as technical ones: Digitisation has shifted the focus from merely providing a product to one where companies must offer solutions to customers. This customer-centric approach often requires softer skills (like critical thinking, creativity, troubleshooting and collaboration) to unearth the real problem and find a sustainable solution.
    • Think teams, not individuals: The people who emerge as leaders in agile organisations aren’t necessarily those with the most impressive titles or educational backgrounds. When it comes to digital, companies are better off assembling teams with a mix of skills that can tackle a multitude of challenges.
    • Incentivise employees to grow: According to the survey, leading companies are more likely to reward those employees with higher skills levels. Interestingly, however, they do not necessarily offer more training opportunities. The premise is that once you hire a person with potential, they will naturally want to continue upskilling themselves.

    In many ways these points tie in with Kyocera’s philosophy: Paying voluntary attention sharpens judgement. 

    By concentrating our minds on a specific purpose, regardless of the environment or seeming triviality of it, and always offering our best attention, we create a habit of awareness, which means that we are already right on top of a problem the moment it occurs and can resolve it quickly. 

    By developing a talent pipeline comprising people who are voluntarily attentive, we can evolve effortlessly, regardless of what challenges digital transformation offers. 

    Michelle Frenzel - Human Resources Manager - Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa

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