Similar to fashion, working life also has trends and preferences. Some of the current ones involve the issues of automation (digitalization, robotics, AI, machine learning…) and agility (lean, SCRUM, resilience of companies). The shortage of skilled workers is also a recurrent topic.
Are the terms somehow related? Let’s take the example of automation: it enables activities that are physically difficult, dangerous or boring to be carried out mechanically. Ideally, we as humans can then concentrate on areas in which we excel, for example on activities that demand creativity and intuition. These skills are often used in agile methods. At present, we are still in the transformation phase and need specialists from the “old” and the “new” world – preferably in one and the same person.
The human Swiss Army knife
However, such versatile staff are not easy to find. But let’s assume that we are lucky and actually manage to find such a human Swiss Army knife. What do we do with that person when the transformation is mastered? Then, theoretically, 50 percent of this person’s talents will go to waste.
This makes it all the more important today to develop a coherent strategy, which includes defining clear corporate goals and the respective resources – that are available and required. For HR, that means changing the way employees are looked at in order to see whether what they are doing is actually what they are best at.
The talents and ambitions of existing employees are often not sufficiently discovered and communicated. Hidden treasures only emerge when you specifically question and examine them. If you then check what additional qualifications you need to achieve your goals, you will almost always come to a different conclusion than before asking. And if you dare to try out new leadership concepts afterwards, the situation will change again.
Is it always true and does it work everywhere? Of course not, but more often than you think. If you want to look at your workforce in a completely new and creative way: I’m in!