In the book “The Power of Geography” authored by Tim Marshall, an intriguing phenomenon is highlighted – the world’s shift towards a multipolar structure. This term signifies a dispersion of power and influence across several significant entities rather than being dominated by a few entities. This trend holds significant relevance for workforce planners. For instance, consider the case of VNG, an internet startup from Vietnam. This company created an innovative messaging platform called Zalo, boasting over 75 million monthly active users. Notably, VNG recently filed for a US IPO on Nasdaq last week.
Reflecting on the dynamics of change, cartoonist Bill Watterson once remarked, “Day by Day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything’s different.” This adage is crucial to remember as we strategize for our enterprises’ next generation’s workforce.
The notion that collective global knowledge yields superintelligence has been recognized for several decades. Within finance, a concept known as the “Mrs. Watanabe effect” comes into play. This phrase characterizes the cultural phenomenon of Japanese homemakers, significantly impacting global currency investments in the 90s. Even today, financial institutions closely monitor this effect, adapting their models in response to the perspectives of Mrs. Watanabe.
Such is the power of diversity. The diversity prediction theorem is a mathematical theorem that states that the error of a group’s prediction is minimized when the group is diverse. Scott E. Page introduced the theorem in his book “The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies”.
In a recent workshop, I presented a set of digital skills required for quota-carrying sales executives. We analyzed about 10K sales descriptions to see how this role has changed. Surprisingly, the digital transformation in Sales roles and the expected skills change have been remarkable. Digital Simulations are beginning to come into power skills like Negotiation. This trend is not widely prevalent but is starting to happen. This aspect reminds me of the quote from William Gibson, “The future is here, just not evenly distributed.”
In a recent workshop, I presented a collection of skills necessary for SaaS sales executives tasked with achieving quotas. We examined around 10,000 sales job descriptions to observe the transformations within this role. The influence of digital transformation on sales responsibilities and the consequent shift in required skills has been truly remarkable. ( I am showing a partial list here for email purposes.)
*borrowed this term from the work of Hedge Fund Manager Ray Dalio’s Changing World Order- Country Power Index 2023
Numerous digital tools prove to be easily graspable (provided one is acquainted with data and digital frameworks); these platforms pose minimal challenges to learning. However, abilities such as mastering Negotiation are far from straightforward to acquire. Despite our emphasis on prioritizing skills in our approach, pursuing negotiation excellence should be our central focus. Regrettably, only a few interviews center around this aspect (based on our limited pool of Draup interviews with Sales leaders). The only challenge is that this also requires Industry and product knowledge, which is why I emphasize familiarity with Digital and Data Ecosystems.
As a result, by prioritizing such skills on our Skills First initiative, Recruitment can be at the forefront of bringing rock star talent into the organization. Too often, such power skills are not understood well unless we critically examine each job family. Another challenge is that the Quality Gauges are not very reliable for such skills, making the interviews less impactful in understanding candidates’ skills.
Ray Dalio’s solution for such problems is to look at a set of sub-metrics (skills in our case). The skill of Negotiation is further broken down into several sub-skills.
- Emotional Intelligence
- Active Listening
- Outcome Orientation
- Ethical Behavior