The events in 2016 have made it clear that there are parts of the population in the UK and USA (but not only there) that feel left behind. This is due to a mixture of changes in the world of work and government policies. Whilst we will influence government policies, let’s focus on what we can do right here, right now.
The changes in the world of work are gathering pace. Every task that is repeatable will be automated. Specialist knowledge is – through the internet – at everybody’s fingertips and will affect the value of certain professions. Isolationism and nationalism might slow this trend but won’t stop it.
Collaboration with machines, not war
In my opinion, we are better off accelerating this change. I really do think this. It is better to power through, instead of trying to stop the unstoppable. Moving forwards quickly will require governments to leave behind policies and approaches that are not adequate in a connected and digital world and in creating sustainable environments for all.
It will require education to move on from the narrow focus on numerical and literacy intelligence to a much broader concept of intelligence, from creating human robots for old industries to encouraging creativity, curiosity and critical thinking. Cramming knowledge into one’s brain and getting tested on the recall is irrelevant when all knowledge is instantly available. It is more important to develop self-determined, self-reliant individuals with a high EQ to collaborate with people, systems and technologies.
This change will also require us to assess people differently and to hire by “passion & potential instead of pedigree” to borrow a quote by Neil Morrison, Director Strategy, Culture and Innovation at Penguin Random House.
What does this all have to do with the changes to the world of work?
First of all, the new world of work requires us to overcome the silos that have been created over the last decades and to work across functions and merge different specialities. In this instance, we are talking HR, marketing, recruitment and technology.
Secondly, when we only recruit by skill and experience, companies miss out on talent and we close the doors on people who didn’t live near a good school, couldn’t afford to do internships and go to university, but otherwise have all the traits to become a top performer if they were only given the chance. It democratises work as background becomes less important, yet focuses on performance that benefits the company as well as the individual and the community.
Thirdly, it puts more emphasis on companies to train their people and equip them with the relevant skills. Governments across the world are not doing it. Schools and universities become conveyor belts, measured by their ranking in results tables. So it is time for companies to fill the void. This is the real corporate social responsibility.
This is where zyx associates comes in
With a partner, we have developed an approach that allows companies to assess the temperament and personality traits of their top performers easily yet accurately. It allows for a more strategic approach to people management by
- Creating an awareness of the personality that is most likely to be successful for a given company.
- Identifying the critical skills needed to move a company forwards.
- Unearthing people that have the traits of a top performer but are not in the position to fulfil their potential.
- Knowing who to nurture and look after – ultimately allocating L&D resources for the best returns.
- Hiring people by potential over pedigree, by their likelihood to be successful instead of their skills and experiences.
- Building an employee value proposition based on a company’s DNA and critical skills instead of the entire population.
- Creating employment brands that are based on quantitative and qualitative data instead of only persona development and time-consuming focus groups.
It’s exciting, isn’t it? I think so, too.
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