Sunday, May 8, 2016

Five Capability Blocks to Build Digital Competency

Today’s digital professionals are innovative workers, hard workers, knowledge workers and intelligent workers.

People are always the most invaluable asset in any organizations. The forward-thinking digital organizations these days look for such hybrid talent, who has the digital fit mindset, the right balance of learning style, character and energy within the team; and who has well set of capabilities needed with digital speed. Due to the changing nature of technology and accelerating the speed of business changes, among the most pervasive and persistent concerns from IT leaders are skills gaps, the complaints include that people do not have the right competencies, they can’t find the right skills to fill the positions, etc. Is IT skills gap fact or fiction? What are the most important capabilities for digital professionals to survive and thrive in today’s fast-changing business dynamic?

Thinking ability: The business environment become over-complex than ever, today's digital professionals need to work both smart and hard at the same time, not just keep the hands full, but also keep the mind open. "Thinking Performance" (What's the thought process for an individual to approach the problem) is an important aspect of assessing professional traits on which competencies are built. The integrity and suitability of the competency are tested through traits such as critical thinking, creative thinking, attitude, passion, entrepreneurship, leadership, maturity, and wisdom. etc. Creativity is the most wanted skill in the digital era. It means you are capable of thinking "out of the box," looking at it from the advanced level of technology, always challenge yourself to free your mind on what and where to change, when and at what cost/benefit. Starting with your current as-is situation will often limit (restraint) you in thinking far enough out of the box. Take the time to look at every situation from multiple points of view (customer POV, supplier POV, management POV, etc.). The mindset with multidimensional thinking abilities differentiates high talent from mediocrity because the talent with growth mind keeps thinking and learning for expanding the horizon and build the right set of capabilities to adapt to changes.

Problem-Solving Capability: Due to the complexity of today’s business, especially IT, the most needed talent are those who have well-blended hard and soft skills, and master on solving complex business problems, or know how to simplify and optimize solutions. Problem solvers who can leverage critical thinking and systems thinking are always chasing root cause, be creative and critical; analytical and holistic at the same time. Let them do things and problems solving in their own way to meet good results. assume that every problem has multiple solutions and individual needs to recognize not only what role they played in the problem, but what role they can now play to positively move forward.

Change Capability: The talented digital professionals need to have "changeability," due to the increasing speed of changes, and they are change agents for better self and better organization. Especially for IT talent, The person with change inertia is adverse to any change and want to continue with the same old routine, but the overwhelming majority of people love and continue to love the change, if they capture the “big why” behind the change and today’s digital professionals shouldn't stop growing and strengthen skills. Creating positive change is a joint effort, a joint responsibility, that goes beyond the inspirational change leaders and the relentless change agent. It needs to involve your entire team at all levels. That comes from having the right culture, not a one-time change, but exhibiting positive thinking and proper behaviors at all times, every day, to commit to the values and expectations you have for the organization.

Innovativeness: Today’s digital professionals are innovative workers, hard workers, knowledge workers and intelligent workers, who are exploring, innovating and evolving to new digital paradigms. To create the new requires not just one skill, but many, not just old experience, but the new perspective. Innovators are explorers and synthesizers of new world-views, or of future views of the world. The innovative professionals are those who can use explicit knowledge and generate the tacit knowledge embedded in explicit knowledge; who process information and data and add high value to the information and create new knowledge upon it, and who can think and communicate creatively and find alternative solutions to old problems or a new way to delight customers.

Learning ability: Learning agility means to learn, de-learn and re-learn all the times; and then apply those lessons to succeed in new situations. Digital learning is also multidimensional, dynamic, interactive, informal and integrated. Learning agility is not only the very quality of digital leaders but also the fundamental requirement for all digital professionals, in order to keep the mind open; make the skills updated and continue to build the dynamic digital capabilities to compete for the future. A collective learning capability is strategic for a company’s long-term success. Learning is not just about the formal education one receives in his/her earlier year anymore, but a lifetime habit. Limitations on learning are barriers set by human themselves, as learning is a continuous process and everyone has an enormous capacity to learn, and never stop learning.

Both attitude and aptitude count. Organizations today need to define the updated competency model, assess the talent's overall capability to solve problems, strike the right balance of learning capability, character, skills, communication, and energy within the teams. Getting the balance right is a must as the consequences can be difficult and expensive. Building high-performance teams is at the heart of what talent manager should do and choose the right balance of team members is, as we all know, critical. It is important to create an environment where everyone feels as being part of a whole system and individual contribution can be achieved to create a win-win situation for both talented employees and businesses.


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