- CEO’s Weekly Newsletter
- 12 Jul 2021
We have focused a bit more on the finer imperatives of Reskilling. Slightly a longer email as I had more time due to the 4th of July weekend in the US.
In 2020, The World Economic Forum launched a platform called Reskilling Revolution, an initiative to reskill about a billion people by 2030. This movement signaled a hue recognition that Reskilling is an essential corporate strategy. At the country level, the Reskilling Revolution is supported by the governments of India, Oman, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, and the United Arab Emirates, which will run Closing the Skills Gap National Accelerators. In addition, the governments of Denmark and Singapore have become learning network champions. Draup Analysis shows that courses’ learning through MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) is accelerating in the Nordic region. In the US, the Government has called on companies to commit to retraining and upskilling their own workforce through the Pledge to America’s Workers. To date, over 415 private-sector companies have pledged more than 14.5 million career-enhancement opportunities for American workers over the next five years. France’s Mon Compte Formation is the first-of-a-kind individual skills account with an integrated mobile application dedicated to vocational training and lifelong learning. (Source World Economic forum Meeting notes from 2020)
As you could imagine, the intention is to drive attention to reskilling, much similar to the magnitude of the Green Revolution. Draup analyzed several dissertations works in this area and discussed with a few leaders, and have assembled the building blocks of successful reskilling strategy.
Reskilling often takes time, and it is essential to recognize culture in the enterprise that recognizes an ongoing learning environment. The change will be gradual and what is important is the organization develops the habit of ongoing learning. This is well described in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, where the British Cycling Unit is supposed to have adopted this principle to get better. James Clear issued a correction post the controversy and scrutiny of the processes followed by the cycling team. Nevertheless, the concept of understanding Aggregation of Marginal gains is precious. Zappos used this famously in an email.
“If you start out with $100 at the beginning of the year and you were able to increase what you have by 1% every single day, at the end of the year, you would have $3,778.34 = $100 * (1 + 1%) ^ 365. That is 37.78x what you had at the beginning of the year. Get that 1% every single day!” — Zappos. Zappos wrote this urging employees to improve 1% each day and become 37 times better by the end of the year. Reskilling programs ROI models should take this into account
In the dissertation work done by Jennifer Neumaier from the University of Pennsylvania, the author highlights the importance of Social Learning in the Digital Age. It is not just the availability of learning resources but a host of parameters that need to come together for a successful learning organization in the digital age. Many organizations only focus on the availability of the courses but building a learning environment is a much bigger task. We are writing a full white paper on this topic, but the following graph referred to in the dissertation is very useful
Creating a library of projects that newly skilled resources can attempt is extremely important. Those projects in the leaders’ wish list but the core team cannot work on are necessary to document. The new learners can attempt this. Schools such as High Tech High in San Diego – California, have done some great experiments in this area of student education. High Tech High teachers practice a learner-centered, inclusive approach that supports and challenges each student. Students pursue their passions through projects and reflect on their learning. High Tech High has achieved some great results through its 20-year journey. The project collection and the results achieved are absolutely fantastic. This approach also enables people to learn the necessary soft skills required
We are at a critical junction in the Reskilling, where the concept of Citizen Developers must be thoroughly understood. At a high level, a citizen developer is an employee who creates application capabilities for consumption by themselves or others. Citizen Developers may not be from IT, and you can imagine them as business technologists. (one person from Microsoft said the macros in excel are the first point of origin of Citizen developers, and of course, a lot has changed since then). Here is a set of tools that are very useful to understand. For example, developing power BI dashboards that others can use in the enterprise is a valuable Citizen Development skill
Draup is doing a lot of research in this area. Here is an example of what you can access for given base pay. The graph plots the talent pool that can be accessed for a given base pay budget of an organization in the greater Boston area (as an example). The graph shows that a 100k base pay budget provides you more access to Data Analysts who can be reskilled instead of Data Scientists. If we have the reskilling curriculum built-in, we can target adjacent talent pools effectively. Draup will provide more such analysis across all roles and locations