Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning XXXXXXXXXIII: Digital Talent Gap Minding in Running a Digital Fit IT

Develop talent for tomorrow, rather than just hire for yesterday.


Human capital is always the most valuable asset in any business, especially now the rate of change is accelerated, and knowledge life cycle is significantly shortened. The talent gap is the reality, not a fiction, this is particularly true for IT talent management due to the exponential growth of information and change nature of technology. Organizations now have to make more tough choices to compete for the future, not just live in the past; to balance the short term talent demand and long-term strategic talent requirement. More specifically, which approach should IT take to fill the mindset/capability/skill gaps and also innovate talent management to capture the emergent digital trends, ride above the learning curve, and build an alternative digital talent pipeline?


Constructive thinking about IT talent competencies at both strategic level and operational level: IT leaders play a crucial role in identifying talent gaps, and align talent skills and collective human capabilities with strategy execution. One of the skill gaps is the lack of digital mindset and recombinant capabilities in the IT leadership. Often times people are at the leadership or management position look narrowly at specific problems and projects developed to solve daily business challenges or meet the immediate staff requirement at the operational level, partly because that is the way funding is allocated, rather than having a broad view of their enterprise and the longer term strategy for the organization and build the sustainable human capability for the business growth. With constructive thinking about talent competency at the strategy level, the problem of IT skill gaps should be seen as an opportunity, especially as more and more organizations are seeing IT as an enabler and driver of generating revenues, talent people with both business acumen and technical expertise are in strong demand to fill business-IT gaps and running IT as business. Creativity is the most wanted quality for digital professionals to help forward-looking organizations reach the next level of the business growth cycle and catalyze digital transformation.


There is a shortage of effective talent management which could be translated to a skills shortage: Some talent gaps are artificial because talent managers understand issues only basing on the symptoms, and not digging into the root causes. Often managers complain rather than solve the problem, managers complain about the cost but fail to understand the lost opportunity costs. the managers high the static knowledge but ignore learning agility. The list goes on. There is Out-of-Date talent recruiting and performance management practices and mechanism. There's misunderstanding or miscommunication (lost in translation) in between IT talent request and HR's searching mechanism, also, there's a disconnect of short-term IT staff needs and long term talent perspectives. From overall people management perspective, how to encourage IT professionals stepping out of comfort zone, continue to learn, continue to innovate, and update performance management practices by assessing both quantity and quality result objectively, to well define digital talent management in order to adapt to the fast-paced business new normal.


Update Talent Competency Model: Forward-thinking organizations are transforming and moving to reach the higher maturity level at the digital age. Filling talent gap, updating talent competency model, and taking holistic people management approach are the strategic imperative for them to compete for the future. There needs to be a better appreciation for real critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.You can give most people skills easily when compared to trying to give/develop the ability, attitude, flexibility, intelligence, practicality, pragmatism etc. From technological lens, IT talent needs to have both technical and business skills, it should take a preponderant importance in the coming years to make sustainable IT-Business relationship. The value of IT is not in the technology itself but in how to use it via the business lens, having clearly understood how your business works and what their goals and strategy. There is intense learning and continuous knowledge update for IT professionals due to the changing nature of technology. Thus, learning agility is even more important than knowledge itself because a dynamic IT professional is self-motivated to collect the necessary information and resources for solving old and new business problems creatively. There are needs to change so that the independent and critical thinking are encouraged and problem-solving minds are engaged.  


Ideologically, the highly effective and highly dynamic digital organizations, no matter large or small, have a multitude of positive characteristics: the startup's business culture-- innovative and dynamic; well-established organization’s structure and expertise, the institute's learning attitude & agility, because the speed of knowledge life cycle is accelerated. Digital fit organizations fill talent gaps via reimagining business possibilities, reinventing people management processes, and fine-tune the digital talent pipelines to discover and develop talent for tomorrow, rather than just hire for yesterday.


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