Aaron Chua at Wild Illusions sees financial measurements as no longer able to tell the complete story. He mentions various other areas for measurement, including “talent development” but in a different context from the tired “talent management” perspective we’ve heard for several years:
This means a total redefinition of what talent development means in organisations. The first implication is of course to throw out the idea of having a talent development unit. Instead, we need to think about ways to rebuilt how talent is truly developed via connections to the resources at the edge, connections to different organisational competencies that plugs their gaps, connections that increases cognitive diversity and brings about unexpected learnings et al. All these are rich areas for a new breed of talent development companies to think about and to create new products/services upon.
If you buy into Richard Florida’s concept of the Creative Class (which I mostly do) then it becomes obvious that for organizations to succeed they will have to nurture creativity in their workforce. Creative people are at all levels, including the janitor, and are not ‘human resources’ but individuals who have the capability of gaining wisdom. From the Creative Class Blog is an article on The Workplace in a Wiki World, with this idea about the changing emphasis for workers:
Therefore, for an individual to succeed in a wiki-corporation or wiki-organization it will increasingly require being more than an engineer, programmer, economist, or accountant. It will also require the “soft skills” to do media relations or “wiki” relations, interacting daily with a range of customers and outside contributors, as well as collaborating with others in the company.
Here’s my speculation on workplace learning in ten years.
Soft skills, especially collaboration and networking, will become more important than hard skills. Smart employers have always focused more on attitude than any specific skill-set because they know they can train for a lack of skills and knowledge. The soft skills require time, mentoring, informal learning and other environmental supports. Once you have the soft skills to perform in a networked workplace, you’ll have foundational competencies.
I think many people will say of course we’ve known this all along, but in a workplace where our networks are as important as our skills, it will be more difficult to hide the fact that you’re a highly skilled jerk.