How to Help Midlevel Leaders Grow and Develop

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The following blog is provided by Liz Kislik. It is a companion to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Defining Organizational Problems: Beyond Personal Experience that aired on May 26th, 2020.

 

Midlevel leaders are absolutely crucial to managing the guts of an organization and accomplishing its business. Unfortunately, even competent, up-and-coming leaders can languish if they don’t get appropriate developmental attention from their senior leaders, but those senior leaders sometimes expect junior leaders to develop on their own.

In an interview I did with Amir Ghannad for The Transformative Leader podcast, we talked about how senior leaders can provide the right input to middle managers to ensure they’re achieving their own successes and supporting the organization’s continued growth.

Be Intentionally, Persistently Curious

Leaders often think of middle managers in terms of their roles and responsibilities and form monolithic assumptions about how middle managers are expected to think and what their considerations are. But every individual takes action based on what seems best to them at the time. If their choices seem wrong, probe to find out their reasons.

When leaders think, “Oh, that’s trivial. That’s dumb. I’ll just tell them to knock it off,” they’re actually undercutting their subordinates’ autonomy and ability to adjust and perform better. If you ask what prompted middle managers’ actions or comments instead of making assumptions, you can approach them in a more open, less judgmental way and you’ll seem less like a know-it-all. You’re also more likely to take their opinions and concerns more seriously.

During our conversation, Amir told me about two skillful, productive people who had been in conflict for 12 years based on a single mistaken impression. Once the mistake came to light, the relationship improved dramatically, but it took months of probing to uncover the original misapprehension. Amir’s story demonstrates that no directive to behave differently can effectively cut through someone’s deeply held pain (even if that pain is unnecessary) — and how finally getting to the bottom of a long-held conflict is a true relief.

Partner on Problems and Perspectives

Say you do figure out where your midlevel leader is coming from. You can’t do an improvement to them. You may be able to see what needs to change, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to hear it. So, after finding out what they’re thinking, go to wherever the other person is mentally, and take their perspective rather than dictating to them from on high.

Unless it’s a true emergency, try to ignore your own reaction and the intensity of your beliefs about what would work better. Suppress your impulse to impose solutions, because when you slice through difficulties like the proverbial hot knife through butter, subordinates may not feel ownership for the situation. They may follow your directions but neglect to think broadly about costs and benefits, sequencing, or other operational details — even if they know more about operations than you do — and mistakes are more likely to be made.

Don’t Give Leaders Solutions; Teach Them How to Develop Solutions

The old saw, “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!” is a common complaint among leaders who believe that their people don’t think and want to be spoon fed. Risk-averse middle managers may be comfortable having you act decisively and save them time and effort by telling them what to do. But in the long run, you build better solutions when more people contribute to them. And why create unnecessary dependency that slows down implementation and turns you into a bottleneck?

You may need to teach the people involved new ways of thinking and interacting if they’ve developed the habit of expecting you to call the shots. This kind of development requires coaching rather than directing. So, ask middle managers what factors lie under the scenarios they present, and to be explicit about pros and cons — not just as a general list, but as detailed, second-order potential consequences. Encourage them to hypothesize about why negative patterns recur and speculate about multiple potential alternatives.

As midlevel leaders begin to see you being consistently curious, open to their views, willing to partner, and supportive of their decision-making, not only will they be better partners for you but they also may start exhibiting those behaviors with their subordinates as well. That’ll help develop your next cadre of up-and-coming managers, and strengthen your organization from the bottom up.

Onward and upward —

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Liz Kislik is a management consultant and executive coach, and a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Her specialty is developing high performing leaders and workforces, and she helps family-run businesses, national nonprofits, and Fortune 500 companies like American Express, Girl Scouts, Staples, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Highlights for Children solve their thorniest problems. Her TEDx talk, “Why There’s So Much Conflict at Work and What You Can Do to Fix It,” has been viewed over 160,000 times. Liz received her BA from Yale University and earned an MBA in Management from NYU.

Photo by Christina Morillo

Tips to Succeed at America’s Toughest Interviews

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This blog is part of the extra blog series we are doing as encouragement in these uncertain times.  Unfortunately, many have seen jobs disappear or cutback. This post is guidance on potential job interview questions. It is a chance to hone your skills and be prepared when the right job opens up. A companion interview to listen to is Employee Confidence, the New Rule of Engagement with Karen J. Hewitt.

 

Spending time inside while quarantined gives you the opportunity to focus on professional development and self-improvement. It’s a chance to hone in on your long-term career goals and sharpen up your interview skills. If you ever must leave your current position and re-enter the competitive job market, you will want to be prepared.

Has it been years since you have practiced for an interview? By taking a look at the interview processes of America’s top tech companies, you can refresh your memory and learn key strategies. After all, it is not only the big tech companies that use these techniques during interviews. Nowadays, businesses across industries follow the same best practices for interviewing job candidates.

When you understand how to answer the types of questions asked by interviewers at Google, Facebook, and Twitter, you will feel ready for anything. Let’s outline some of these interview questions and tips on how to respond below. Plus, check out a helpful graphic from the experts at LiveCareer below, which nicely illustrates this interview advice.

Any company that dedicates itself to investing in quality talent will not have an easy interview process. There will never be a foolproof way to set yourself up for success in an interview.  Google probably would not have such a tough interview process if it was not a top company that receives millions of applications a year. Once you have already spent time and energy perfecting your resume and landing the interview, you want to maximize your chances of acing the interview. Let’s hope you can use these takeaways to aid in your job search.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Gabrielle Gardiner is an NYC-based content creator who enjoys writing helpful articles about professional development for companies like LiveCareer. She’s passionate about sharing her insights to empower people to succeed in their careers.

 

People, People Everywhere And Not A Person To Hire… Part 2

 

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This is the second of a two-part blog is provided by Dave DuBose and Will O’Brien from True North Growth Partners, as a companion to their interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. This interview Lasting Solutions for Distribution Center Labor Shortages aired on 9/10/19.

For manufacturing and warehouse operators the shortage of workers, particularly during peak periods, is a major struggle. In the first blog of this two-part series we discussed the historically low unemployment and the pressure this creates as the demand for DC labor continues to escalate. Ecommerce further amplifies this dynamic as this channel requires 4X the labor compared to retail and wholesale fulfillment.

Three strategies underpin a winning playbook to deal with labor shortages:

  1. Reduce the Work Content
  2. Be a “Sticky Employer” – Barriers to Employee Turnover
  3. Get the Most Out of Your Workforce

Previously we addressed how to reduce the work content of a facility. In this blog we reveal what it means to be a “sticky employer” and how to get the most out of your workforce.

STRATEGY 2: BE A “STICKY EMPLOYER” – BARRIERS TO EMPLOYEE TURNOVER

How would you design an experience for your workforce that would make it insane for them to leave you? Offer retention bonuses? These have their place but are easily overcome by a healthy sign-on bonus. Offer benefits like healthcare, 401K, training and tuition reimbursement? A menu of these types of benefits can address some of the things that are important to your workforce. They are necessary but not sufficient in this battle for labor.

A more compelling way to be a Sticky Employer is to provide amenities that are highly valued AND not easily replicated. Under Armour, consistent with its brand and mission, provides state-of-the-art gyms in its facilities, including aerobic equipment, weight rooms and basketball courts. Other retailers, like Ascena Retail Group, whose brands include Justice, Lane Bryant and Ann Taylor, provides a very high-quality foodservice program. Patagonia makes childcare available to its workers. Those who use the childcare have a 25% lower turnover rate than workers who do not. Employers that offer a safe and convenient place to care for your children and some of the best meals (which may be subsidized) that you eat each week make it a difficult choice to leave for an additional 25 cents/hour. These are expensive benefits; they require commitment and physical space, but that is why they are difficult to overcome.

STRATEGY 3: GET THE MOST OUT OF THE WORKFORCE

Flexible Workforce: Innovative partners like Upshift enable operators to access a high-quality, flexible labor pool. This allows employers to meet flex labor needs without resorting to temp agencies or Craigslist postings which tend to yield inconsistent labor quality. Upshift connects workers and employers through a simple app. The commitment can be as short as just one shift or much longer. Like Uber, Upshift taps into a new labor pool which includes small business owners, students, homemakers and fully employed workers who simply want to earn extra money during their available time. The schedules of this cohort make it challenging to maintain a conventional part-time job, so working one shift at a time is good for them.

High-performance standards and prescreening ensure high-quality workers. The employer establishes a pay rate that attracts “Upshifters” and it can vary the pay rate at any time. The balancing of supply and demand is fully at play for both parties on this platform. When a worker does not fit the employer’s performance expectations, he or she can be screened out of future work opportunities.

Labor Standards: Labor Management Systems (LMS) and engineered labor standards have proven to be very effective – potentially reducing labor by roughly 10%. With an LMS, the specific drive distances and equipment that is used can be factored into the standard and the worker’s performance. Setting labor standards and implementing LMS systems can be costly and take several weeks. Pay-for-Performance involves providing workers with incentives for greater productivity. The benefits are shared between the employer and the worker, creating a win-win situation.

Cloud technology and innovation in labor analytics have driven advancements in this field. EasyMetrics’ labor analytics solution drives benefits in a fraction of the time that it takes to create a full set of labor standards. It uses big data technology to analyze information from several systems (WMS, time clocks, RF scanners, etc.) to provide insights on the performance of people, processes, equipment, etc., identifying the best opportunities to leverage with the workforce. Its use of a cloud platform eliminates the installation and support of yet another application. Benefits are captured within 2 weeks, providing a very fast ROI. Labor management systems, in general, provide one of the highest investment returns of any warehouse software.

Be a great place to work: Providing strong leadership and maintaining high expectations will always make the difference between great organizations and all the rest. It is important to show your workers that you value them and offer them opportunities for growth. In doing so, it is important to understand that the general manager of the facility is not the most important leader- far from it. The most important leader in this organization is the front-line supervisor who spends every day with his/her people. The care that these critical leaders demonstrate to each worker and their families is very powerful. The front-line leader is far better able to deliver key messages and consequences and is the most effective in driving daily performance and creating high levels of employee engagement. Engagement is driven by how each employee views his/her direct supervisor, his/her fellow workers and the actual work that he/she does. Great places to work bake these things into their culture, actions and decisions. High employee engagement delivers high productivity, improved customer service, low employee turnover and increased profitability.

Conclusion: We will always have labor availability challenges. Operators have options in these labor strategies and the best operators will consider each one carefully and execute intentionally and appropriately. For some, capital will limit their use of automation and robotics. For others, culture will dictate the viability of options. The key is to work from a portfolio of options that will create long-term stability and success.

If available labor is a challenge in your facility and you are tired of just throwing money at the problem, then we are glad to offer you a free consultation. The first step is to contact Will O’Brien or Dave DuBose. We can be reached at www.truenorthgrowthpartners.com.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO.

Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Authors

Dave DuBose is a senior supply chain professional with strong cross-industry experience including retail, consumer products, resources and high-tech in the North American and global theaters. Dave has held executive positions in logistics and supply chain in industry as well as consulting and has more than 30 years of professional experience. DuBose delivers innovative results and can translate business strategy into operating strategy and tactics. He has deep expertise in end-to-end business operations and in deploying business solutions from strategy through implementation. Dave is currently serving as the Columbus Roundtable board president the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. He is active in speaking and writing about contemporary supply chain issues.

Will O’Brien is a partner at True North Growth Partners where he works with organizations on the supply chain and operations sides of their business. He helps his clients overcome the things that hold back their growth and profitability. He has over 30 years of experience in supply chain and operations. He has held executive positions in both industry and consulting. As an executive at Lowe’s Home Improvement he helped to lead the development of the supply chain for that big box retailer during a period of rapid growth, from $35 billion to $50 billion in revenue. He also helped pioneer Lowe’s omni-channel fulfillment when its online sales were growing significantly. He successfully grew a mid-sized family owned supply chain consulting firm by over 50%, expanded its markets, improved its pricing, reengineered its sales and business development organization and created career paths and professional growth for its associates.

How to Evaluate and Overcome Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace

We will be discontinuing the Feedburner ap that delivered our blog to your mailbox. If you have been getting blogs to your mailbox, please sign up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is provided by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, author of several well-known books, including Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters, as a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. This interview How Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disaster aired on 11/5/19.

  • What percentage of projects in your workplace miss the deadline or go over budget?
  • How often do you see hiring decisions and employee assessments influenced by factors not relevant to job competency?
  • How frequently are your team’s members overconfident about their decisions?

If you didn’t answer “rare to none” for any of these, you got a problem. In fact, these questions get at only 3 out of over a 100 dangerous judgment errors that scholars in behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience call cognitive biases.

Do you regularly – over 10% of the time – see projects in your workplace go past deadline or over budget? It’s a sign that the cognitive bias known as the planning fallacy is undercutting performance. The planning fallacy refers to our intuitive belief that everything will go according to plan, resulting in us failing to plan for the many potential problems that cause projects to go over budget or past deadline. Cost overruns and delays result in serious damage to the bottom lines of our businesses.

How about assessments for hiring, performance, and promotion impacted by non-relevant factors? Well, two dangerous judgment errors play a major role in causing such problematic evaluations, the halo effect and the horns effect. The halo effect refers to the fact that if we feel a significant positive emotion toward one characteristic of someone, then we will have an overly positive evaluation of that person as a whole. That’s why taller men get promoted at higher rates into positions of authority, and both men and women perceived as physically attractive are more likely to be hired. The horns effect is the opposite: if we don’t like a characteristic that is significant to us, we will tend to have a worse evaluation of that person as a whole. For instance, overweight people are less likely to be hired.

Finally, excessive confidence in making decisions – and other work areas – is a symptom of the mental blindspot known as the overconfidence effect. Overconfidence has been associated with many problems in the workplace. For example, overconfidence leads people into financial shenanigans, such as overstating earnings. Overconfident leaders tend to resist constructive criticism and dismiss wise advice, letting their intuition drive their decision-making as opposed to making thoughtful plans.

These mental blindspots don’t only cause problems in the workplace; they harm us in other life areas as well. For instance, a survey by Top10 showed that most consumers tend to go with their gut in making shopping decisions. Such gut-based decision making results in many problematic purchases that people later regret.

So now that you know about the dangers of cognitive biases, and specifically the planning fallacy, the halo and horns effects, and the overconfidence effect, you’re safe from at least these 4 cognitive biases, right? Unfortunately, just learning about these mental blindspots will not work to assess where they occur in your workplace or to defeat them, as research shows. In fact, some techniques that would seem intuitively to help address unconscious bias caused by cognitive biases make them worse.

Fortunately, recent research shows how you can use pragmatic strategies to assess and address these dangerous judgment errors to avoid unconscious bias and make the best decisions. The first step to solving cognitive biases does involve learning about them. However, simply having knowledge doesn’t help. For instance, students who learned about mental blindspots showed the same vulnerability to these errors as students who didn’t.

What is much more helpful is making sure that people are strongly emotionally motivated to address cognitive biases. Our emotions determine 80-90 percent of our decisions, thoughts, and behaviors, and tapping our feelings is clearly effective in helping notice and address dangerous judgment errors. On a related note, it really helps for people to feel that the effort to address mental blindspots is important to them, getting them truly involved and bought into the outcome of debiasing cognitive biases.

To do so, you need to evaluate thoroughly the impact of each cognitive bias on your own professional activities, as well as more broadly in your team and organization. Then, you have to make and implement a plan to address the problems caused by such unconscious bias, again, not only for yourself but also for your team and your business.

Fortunately, you don’t have to address all the cognitive biases. Just going through the 30 most dangerous judgment errors in the workplace will get you the large majority of the benefit from such an analysis to help you avoid unconscious bias. All of these mental blindspots, along with clear next steps on what to do after the evaluation, can be found in the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace. It’s available for sale in print or digital from and you can get the digital version for free when you register for the Wise Decision Maker Course.

Assessment on Cognitive Biases in the Workplace to Address Unconscious Bias

The assessment starts with an evaluation of how frequently each of the 30 cognitive biases occurred in your workplace in the last year in the form of percentages. Don’t feel obliged to be absolutely precise, approximate numbers are fine.

If you don’t remember something occurring, give it a low percentage score, including 0 if you think it doesn’t occur. For instance, if all of your projects came under budget and within the deadline, then planning fallacy is not a problem for you.

Each of the 30 questions should take 10-15 seconds. Just put down the first number that seems to make the most sense for you. You can go back later and tweak it if needed. However, for the first run-through, do it fast. Remember, if you tend to be an optimistic person in general, temper your optimism and give a somewhat higher percentage than you intuitively feel is appropriate. Same goes for pessimism: give a lower percentage if you tend to be pessimistic.

Following this evaluation, you will score the assessment to see the current state of dangerous judgment errors in your workplace. Next, you’ll evaluate the impact of these problems on the bottom line of your personal work, your organizational unit, or the company as a whole, to the extent that you can estimate this question. After all, knowing the bottom line impact will enable you to decide how much to invest into addressing the problem. You’ll then evaluate the performance of your workplace on the four broad competencies of addressing cognitive biases: how the people in your organization do on evaluating themselves, evaluating others, strategic evaluations of risks and rewards, and tactical evaluations in project implementation.

Finally, you’ll get to the next steps. There, each dangerous judgment error is explained, focusing on its business impact. You’ll also get to decide which of the mental blindspots you’ll focus on addressing in the short term future.

The assessment will prove invaluable as you take the next steps to solve the problems you identified. You should have yourself and others in your organization do the assessment after you introduce the concept of cognitive biases but before you launch any interventions. Then, you can use your assessment results as a baseline to assess the impact of any interventions.

To develop your interventions, see the book that’s based around this assessment and provides both techniques and business case studies for how to address cognitive biases: Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters. You can also learn and use research-based strategies to make the best decisions and to avoid failure when implementing your decisions, which automatically address the large majority of dangerous judgment errors we tend to make.

While enacting the interventions, have yourself and the others in your workplace take the assessment regularly – once a week if the intervention is intense, once a month if it’s less intense – to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Revise the intervention as needed to account for your results.

After the intervention is complete and you are satisfied, keep taking the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace every quarter. Doing so will help keep up vigilance and ensure that you keep protecting yourself from the disastrous consequences of falling into dangerous judgment errors.

Key Takeaway

To address unconscious bias caused by cognitive biases in your workplace, you need to evaluate their impact on your own professional activities and on your team and organization. Then, make and implement a plan to address these biases.

Questions to Consider

  • Which of the following biases most negatively impacts your workplace: the planning fallacy, the halo and horns effects, or the overconfidence effect? What does that negative impact look like?
  • What would be the benefit to you, your team, and your organization of addressing the 30 most dangerous judgment errors in the workplace?
  • How did you score on dangerous judgment errors in your workplace when you took the assessment? How do you feel about your score?
  • What next steps can you take to bring the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace to your team and organization?

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview to this blog and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the ILI LinkedIn.

About the Author

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky empowers you to avoid business disasters as CEO of the boutique consulting, coaching, and training firm Disaster Avoidance Experts. He is a best-selling author of several well-known books, including Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters and The Truth Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide. Tsipursky’s cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 400 articles and 350 interviews in Fast Company, CBS News, Time, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Inc. Magazine, and elsewhere. His expertise stems from his background of over 20 years of consulting, coaching, speaking, and training experience across North America, Europe, and Australia. It also comes from his strong research and teaching background in behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience with over 15 years in academia, including 7 years as a professor at the Ohio State University, with dozens of peer-reviewed academic publications. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Most importantly, help yourself avoid disasters by getting a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace when you register for his Wise Decision Maker Course.

A Proven 5 Step Approach to Solve Skill Gaps

This blog is provided by Mike Kritzman, as a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. This interview SkillNet: Personalized Learning Framework for Your Company aired on 7/23/19.

We’re in a Skill Revolution where Skills are the new currency

According to a McKinsey study, “Sixty percent of global executives expect that up to half of their organization’s workforce will need retraining or replacing within five years. 

More than a third said their organizations are unprepared to address the skill gaps…”   

Feb 2019

This white paper presents a proven 5-step process to help your organization conduct a Skill inventory to identify and solve skill gaps. This approach is backed up with years of data from hundreds of organizations trying to pinpoint and cure their organizational skill gaps.

There are dozens of reasons to focus on skills because skills are the building blocks to improving staff performance, regardless of role. Any organization in search of higher performance can follow our approach and accomplish major progress in a few short weeks.

Step 1. Define your key organizational knowledge, skills and abilities, (KSAs)

While constructing the required KSAs for your organization, start with what’s expected from all positions. General KSAs like company culture and communication standards work well. Longer term, it’s useful to get into specific KSA’s for each role, but it’s not possible to do this quickly, particularly when trying to imagine future KSA requirements. It’s also useful to establish proficiency targets on each KSA to set a baseline expectation for different role levels.

Step 2. Inventory your staff with a KSA survey

An accurate database of KSA capabilities and insights are vital for organizational agility. For most firms, skills, knowledge and workforce capabilities are difficult to measure and even harder keep current. We recommend using a 5-point Likert scale and starting with self-assessments. Manager assessments are very important because they observe staff performance. People are complicated and constantly learning and adapting, so data needs to be refreshed more than once a year. Ideally data is refreshed at the time a new skill or capability is ready.

Skill data accuracy depends on who and how you ask, so take care defining questions and the rubric.

Step 3. Analyze data and study gaps between self-ratings and manager ratings

Determine how you want to view the data. Study gaps between self-perception and manager ratings which are key ingredients for alignment, feedback, and goal setting. Transparency is the only way to drive improvement. We suggest one-on-one meeting to review results within weeks.

Step 4. Expand your KSA Survey to include specifics for each job and re-inventory

By this point, you’ve built a definition for the common organizational skills. You’ve also populated the database with accurate data and have plans to keep it current.

The next step is to evolve the database to include KSAs for key roles which requires clarity on what’s expected from each role. It’s often useful to work in teams to define the KSA model for each role and structure topics carefully as this exercise will set role expectations for staff.

This can be a difficult step because there can be many different roles and each role may have different requirements or expectations. For example, a junior salesperson has a similar role as the senior salesperson, but the senior has higher proficiency expectations. Despite the challenge, it’s important to build a clear understanding of staff matches against their job requirements.

The results from detailed individual gap assessments are well worth the extra effort.

Step 5. Create personalized development plans, PDPs, to solve the gaps.

The final and most important step in the process is to construct personalized development plans for each person to solve their unique gaps. An effective PDP lists gaps, defines improvement steps, links to learning resources, sets target dates, and monitors progress.

KSA Examples

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities are an organization’s fundamental expertise in specific subject areas. KSAs define organizational capabilities and distinguish an organization from competitors.

KSAs can be grouped into categories such as:

  • Professional skills: The skills needed by all staff to be successful regardless of role.
  • Leadership skills: The skills needed by those in leadership and management positions.
  • Occupational skills: Job-specific skills like finance, customer service, engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing.

Conclusions

Defining, measuring, and solving skill gaps is critical for organizational performance. We’d like to hear from you, discuss your situation, and demonstrate how our platform automates the 5-step process described in this post.

About the author

Mike Kritzman – Founder, CEO, and Board Chair at SkillNet Technologies, is a serial entrepreneur, sought-after expert in skill management, microlearning, and trends that transform organizations.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out this and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

Top Ten on Demand Episodes on Innovating Leadership, Co-Creating Our Future

Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future is celebrating the completion of its 4th year!!  In honor of that milestone, we are sharing the countdown of the most listened to shows on-demand.  These shows can be listened to via the internet or via the Business channel on the Voice America app. Use the links to access the episodes and the guest bios.  Thanks for 4 great years of listening!

  1. How Does the Brain Impact Leadership Resilience? with John Wortmann aired on 9/11/2018

Resilience is a key factor in leadership success during times of stress. Our ability to manage our own energy and thinking have a significant impact on our ability to deliver personally and on our ability to inspire our followers. By building our resilience and creating a culture where others are expected to build theirs, we can make a significant impact on driving and sustaining our success as individuals and as organizations. Jon and Maureen start with defining resilience then move to the critical aspects of personal resilience. They include a focus on how brains and bodies react to stress and practices that will reduce the impact events have on leaders. discuss their areas of expertise in brain functioning. This interview includes a discussion of specific tools that allow leaders to build more resilient brains and reduce emotional reactivity. These tools help leaders manage feelings thereby also reducing stress. Equipped with these tools, leaders need to build practices.

  1. Winning In The Face of Adversity with Joyce Beatty, Congresswoman and Doug McCollough aired on 10/23/18

In a time when people are sharing more of their personal struggles, we talk to Congress Woman Beatty and Doug McCollough about their struggle and more importantly how they navigated those struggles so that she could make their greatest impact on the world. Congresswoman Beatty not only overcame, she changed the people’s view of what it was to be a successful black woman and she mentored women to make sure the pipeline behind her was strong and the country was better because of all facets of her service! She talks about how helping women succeed helps America succeed. She serves as a role model for inclusion globally by serving with grace and decorum! Doug shares how his focus on inclusion is expanding the field of employees working in technology in central Ohio. Through his board work as well as his work as CIO, he is creating a pipeline that allows unemployed people to get trained and find technology jobs. He is helping build the system that will close this gap long term!

  1. Position Success Indicator: Identify Where You Fit with Mark Palmer and Warner Moore aired on 11/13/18

According to a McKinsey study in 2018 focusing on the future of work: “technologies will transform the nature of work and the workplace itself. Machines will be able to carry out more of the tasks done by humans, complement the work that humans do, and even perform some tasks that go beyond what humans can do. As a result, some occupations will decline, others will grow, and many more will change. While we believe there will be enough work to go around (barring extreme scenarios), society will need to grapple with significant workforce transitions and dislocation. Workers will need to acquire new skills and adapt to the increasingly capable machines alongside them in the workplace. They may have to move from declining occupations to growing and, in some cases, new occupations.” The interview explores how the Position Success Indicator assessment identifies “job DNA” based on occupational traits that help people determine their best role fit to support workforce transitions.

  1. Sustainability: Why Hasn’t It Been Embraced? with Christoph Hinske, Michelle Thatcher, and Khoo Hock Aun aired on 6/25/19

Business as usual” can no longer be the leader thought pattern in regard to environmental impacts made by businesses. We are at a critical point where sustainability and impacts on the environment by business practices must be considered. What as leaders can we do to make a difference in these highly sensitive decisions? Christoph Hinske, Michelle Thatcher and Khoo Hock Aun discuss the options leaders have to encourage favorable corporate behavior and what leaders can do to make a difference.

  1. How Developmental Maturity Aligns with Organizational Maturity with Terri O’Fallon and Kim Barta aired on 9/25/18

During this show, Terri, Kim and Maureen talk about the interconnection between organizational issues and levels of developmental maturity. The conversation focuses on three types of issues and how they map to maturity as well as approaches to address them: 1. Existential, the group is moving to a new developmental level. How does it look for the organization? How do you see individuals? Do you have recommended course of action to help move forward? 2. Breadth, the group has the necessary philosophy and capacities at the level they are at, but they don’t have the skills they need. How does it look for the organization? How do you see individuals? Do you have recommended course of action to help move forward? 3. Shadow, the group has an adequate developmental level and skills but they have group shadow material that is holding them back. Let’s revisit what is shadow material? How should the team work to address it?

  1. Leadership Happy Hour: Aspirations – Fuel for Results with Greg Moran and Terri Bettinger aired on 9/4/18

This is the kick-off of our leadership happy hour series. During this conversation, Greg, Terri and Maureen discuss the topic of aspirations over the courses of their leadership careers. Aspiration has the power to expand our limits and potential by motivating us to test our capabilities and competencies further and in new ways. It has a completely different effect on us than its evil twin – desperation. Not that aspiration is inherently good or desperation is inherently bad, but when people believe, the paths they follow look very different than when they do not. The conversation will touch on the following among many others topics: 1. The power of aspiration as a means of creating opportunity where it is desired 2. Aspiration is necessary filtered through our values and priorities – and that’s okay! How do we remove the limits of aspiration when they have been indoctrinated into leaders for reasons that have nothing to do with their potential (i.e. race, gender, etc.).

  1. Ron Heifetz on Adaptive Learning and His Journey with Ron Heifetz, PhD aired on 12/6/16

During the Interview, we discuss Ron’s thoughts on leadership and his journey. Here is a preview: In times of change, people often try to hold onto the values of their culture that have had personal meaning and significance to them. When dominant cultures are confronted with stresses such as immigrants, they are called to examine their values and often required to take on very difficult integrative work. The leadership required must point out values such as: We stand for freedom and respect for all people, and our policy does not align with what we say we stand for. How do we make space for this evolution? What are the “gives” and “gets” required to evolve cultures? How can we hold steady to our cultural DNA and still evolve? In nature, when an organism adapts, it builds on its old capacity and generates radically new functionality. Ron suggested that “God didn’t do zero-based budgeting in evolution”. We honor our past and at the same time determine what can we release.

  1. 3. Top Leadership Trends in 2018 and Beyond with Christopher Washington aired on 8/21/18

Each year Maureen publishes a synthesis of the interviews she hosted and discuss the main themes she is hearing in the past year as well as in her consulting work with senior executives around the world. She has now completed more than 150 interviews. This interview is a synthesis of what she is taking away as key themes for leaders and executives to focus on for 2018 – 2022. This is a rolling synthesis, she will update it again in 2019 with new themes. Christopher Washington, PhD, hosts this show and discusses what he is seeing as a board member of Global Ties and EVP/CEO of Urbana University. The goal of this conversation is that listeners have a clearer understanding of the global leadership trends and what they might do personally to prepare themselves and their organizations to respond.

  1. A Case Study of Doing Well By Doing Good: The Internet Backpack with Dr. Dale Meyerrose aired 10/2/18

We have been hearing about the topic of doing well by doing good for a few years. Should tech leaders take adopt this concept to reevaluate how they do business? If so, why would they? How would they? To take the question further, what accountability (if any) do leaders have for the uses of their products and services? During this conversation, Dale and Maureen will discuss the questions posed above and a project Dale has been involved with where Imcon International Inc., the developer of the Internet Backpack, a remote connectivity solution that allows users to communicate from almost every location on the planet, the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University and the Republic of Liberia will collaborate on a far reaching project that will digitally transform Liberia by increasing the nation’s current internet penetration of about 7% to 40% by 2021. This project is a strong example to illustrate how technology leaders can solve global challenges.

  1. A CIO Story of Leadership: Maria Urani – NetJets with Maria Urani aired on 8/14/18

Leaders follow many paths to success – in a time of varying role models for exceptional leadership, Maria talks about how she developed over her career. She shares her values, her path to CIO, role models and the art of leadership. Many people develop visions but living them is the art. Maria talks about how she puts her values into action to create a positive workplace, great results and strong successors. She shares: 1. Her passion and how it connects to her work 2. the art of leadership 3. her path to leadership – career is lattice more than a ladder 4. her role models – actual and virtual 5. the value of inverted mentoring 6. the role of empowerment in IT transformation at NetJets She shares her insights and career journey with passion and wisdom.

Thanks for listening!

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

Compiled by Susan Harper

Redefining the Workforce: When Robots Pay Union Dues and Learn Too

This is a guest blog by Susan Harper as a companion to the Voice America interview with Dale Meyerrose, PhD, Redefining the Workforce: When Robots Pay Union Dues and Learn Too

 

What are the current statistics of our work force? As leaders, it is important to be aware of trends within the work force.  In January of 2019, the US economy had 7.6 million unfilled jobs and not enough applicants to fill them.  It is a trend that has been increasing 5-8% for the last two years.  It is predicted by Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm, that these numbers will get worse before they will get better.  Korn Ferry has also predicted the US will lose $435 billion dollars in lost productivity due to the lack of available talent.  This is not just a US problem as every industrialized economy will experience this lack of work force but most likely on a smaller scale.  This labor force shortage is a real concern for leaders as the potential to leave revenue unrealized due to the inability to have a work force to complete the work.

How do leaders find a solution for this work force shortage? In our current culture, not only is the work force changing rapidly, but also the nature of work is being changed by technology.   Recent statistics suggest that half of all the current work force will be affected by automated work force in the next four year.  The digital worker, an RPA (Robotic Process Automation) will automate the repetitive elements of the job and leave the highly valued, cognitive functions for the human work force.  Leaders need to be looking for ways to train their work force to be prepared to step into the highly valued, cognitive functions and leave those repetitive tasks to the automated work force in order to effectively use their work force rather than be in a work force shortage.

What are some of the tasks RPAs (Robotic Process Automation) can accomplish? RPAs can simulate human work activities such as sending emails, logging into applications, entering data, auditing activity, searching through data and compiling search results.  Identifying these tasks in each job would allow modern jobs to become more flexible and keeps the work force from being bogged down by repetitive, mundane tasks.

What does it look like to employ RPAs? A digital work force can be employed by any size of business.  It is best to employ these RPAs integrated with your human work force.  These RPAs would be credentialed to do specific tasks and then educate and train the RPAs just as you would do with a human work force.  Also, there is a point where the RPA may need to be “retired”, while this doesn’t mean a pension it does mean planning to replace outdated technology.

What view should we take of best practices of employing the digital work force? Rather than focusing on individual tasks and solutions, leaders need to focus on the enterprise-wide solutions to make the biggest impact.  Consider what your enterprise most often does and how to automate that.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

The Position Success Indicator (PSI): Your Job Fit Solution for the Future of Work

This blog is a guest post by Mark Palmer as a companion to the November, 13 Voice America show interview with Mr. Palmer, Managing Partner, Hire-Directions and Principal, Innovative Leadership Institute. The interview focuses on the Position Success Indicator assessment to help hone find where they fit professionally. 

THE FUTURE OF WORK IS HERE

The future of work is already here: the gig economy, automation, and artificial intelligence. These trends are part of a growing narrative that suggest an increasingly complex and unpredictable workforce.

Studies indicate that by 2025, the global population will reach nearly 10 billion people, with only 15% of that population living and working in high-income economies. In fact, according to a recent Oxford Study, it’s predicted that 47% of jobs will disappear in the next 25 years.

NEW PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGES ARE COMING…ARE YOU READY?

Workforce disruptions already force you to make employment decisions faster, smarter, and more often than any previous generation of professionals. Consequently, the coming era of work will produce thrivers, strivers, and survivors.

To thrive in this future workforce—and to navigate new realities while staying authentic to your dreams and interests—you will need a better way to prepare, respond, and adapt to a constant stream of occupational change.

YOU WILL NEED OCCUPATIONAL FITNESS

Two-thirds of your adult waking life will be spent creating and maintaining a livelihood. Your ability to make quality professional decisions, quickly and consistently, is more critical than ever.

This ability to adapt and intelligently respond to new professional situations will require occupational fitness: the capacity to quickly identify the right opportunities, communicate how you add value, and consistently choose ventures that align with your strengths and competencies.

BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY: “TALENT DNA” TESTING

“Quantified self”, or life-logging technology, has transformed the way we maximize physical fitness. If you’ve used an activity tracker or a DNA kit, you’re already familiar with how “quantified self” can be used to improve wellness goals.

Using a new breakthrough called “talent DNA” sequencing, this “quantified self” technology can now be applied to support professional wellness, too. It builds on current life-logging advancements to accelerate occupational fitness, and can be used to enhance job matching and career mapping.

POSITION SUCCESS INDICATOR (PSI): GET YOUR UNIQUE TALENT CODE

Every person has a unique “talent DNA” code, or occupational talent signature made of [32] quantifiable performance markers. These markers correlate with specific job requirements used by organizations to build roles.

The Position Success Indicator (PSI) reveals key professional knowledge—based on your exclusive “talent DNA”—that can be used to match you to the right jobs, build resumes, setup interview strategies, uncover career advancement opportunities, and enhance your networking capability.

We encourage you to take the PSI assessment. You get free overview results and can purchase more detailed report. You can use the results of your report to take the actions recommended below and also use them when you listen to the interview with Mark.

PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS PLANS: PUT YOUR PSI RESULTS TO WORK

PSI reveals how you ideally fit an organization’s goals, team projects, and job requirements. You get precise, custom language needed to communicate YOUR unique value in ways that will speak to executives, clients, and venture partners.

Once you take the free assessment, maximize your results—combined with the Professional and Interview Success Plans—in two (2) simple steps:

STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR FIT

Use the plans to identify your operational strengths and fit with common organizational goals, projects, and job roles:

  1. Trace your universal job fit using the world’s only position requirements blueprint used to design ALL jobs (Professional Success Plan, Alignment Plan)
  2. Locate your operational impact points (Alignment Plan highlighted strengths)
  3. Identify your high level fit – best fit with organization needs (Professional Success Plan, Org Fit Map)
  4. Identify your detailed level fit – best fit with specific job functions (Professional Success Plan, Alignment Plan, Jobs Matrix, Requirements Insert)
  5. Pinpoint your “thrive zones” – fit with key performance objectives, where you will be most successful in jobs and career development (and understand where you WON’T)

STEP 2:  COMMUNICATE YOUR VALUE

Utilize the free results and plans to enhance your professional CV, resume, social media, and live interactions:

  • Use the Professional Summary (your free professional brand statement):
    • as an opening for professional social media, CV, and resume descriptions
    • to create a 30-second networking “pitch” (don’t just network, FIT-work!)
    • as a companion to your custom interviewing strategy (Interview Success Plan)
  • Use the Requirements Insert in the Professional Success Plan to summarize your value (your strengths converted to an organizational grade “job description”):
    • submit this insert with your resume, and stand out in interviews and job fairs
    • use with recruiters and hiring managers to assess fit for new jobs or performance reviews
    • use in cover letter style emails used in conjunction with job applications
    • get the right wording to communicate with executives or project stakeholders to articulate where you fit and add value

WORKFORCE TALENT GENOME PROJECT:  BE PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER

Our talent coding technology gives you the opportunity to personally make a difference in improving the future workforce by participating in a new kind of research—online, from anywhere.

By taking PSI, you are contributing your unique “talent DNA”, thereby helping to build the world’s first generation talent genome library.

This global “talent DNA” data repository will be used to enhance future workforce readiness, and to improve job design, job matching and recruiting. It will also optimize merit-based diversity, and protect workers everywhere from displacements caused by increasing job and market disruptions.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

About the

Mark Palmer is co-creator of the Position Success Indicator; The Job Fit Calculator; and LaborGenome™ Talent Mapping technology.

He is co-author of the Innovative Leader Fieldbook, and senior editor for the Innovative Leadership Guide to Transforming Organizations. Mark is also a consultant, and Principal and Advisor with the Innovative Leadership Institute., a management consulting firm offering progressive leadership development, team building and organizational effectiveness. He was also a TEDx OSU Speaker in 2012.

What Does the Future of Work Look Like?

This blog is a guest post by Anna Kucirkova as a companion to the October 30 Voice America show with K R Ravi, CEO and Co-founder of Metcalf – Innovative Leadership Institute India. The interview focuses on Enterprise-Wide Success As A Result of Talent Development and the ATD BEST Award

When this country began, our hunter-gatherer, farming ancestors worked to live. Not a single iota of energy was wasted in a day. Wasted time equaled starvation.

In this new century, our country is working from the fruits of the industrial revolution, the robotics revolution, and the technology revolution.

Just as our ancestors might have wondered what the future held in working, we are living their future and wondering about our own.

What exactly does the future of work look like?

The Fluctuating Current Work Environment

The worlds of industry, commerce, healthcare, education, and many others are fluctuating, which is causing considerable anxiety. Labor-market opportunities between high- and low-skill jobs, unemployment and underemployment, stagnating incomes for a large proportion of households, and income inequality demonstrate that the job market is already trending toward the future.

Automation and artificial intelligence promise higher productivity, economic growth, increased efficiency, job safety, and convenience. But these technologies also have a broader impact on jobs, wages, skills, and the nature of work itself.

Lots of tasks that workers handle today could be automated. Simultaneously, job-searching sites like LinkedIn and Monster are altering and increasing the ways people look for work and how companies recruit talent. Freelance work has become very enticing with digital platforms like Uber, Upwork, and Etsy making working for yourself much easier.

Another newer trend, especially in tech companies, is remote and virtual employees. This not only allows things to get done around the clock, without commuting, but also provides companies with employees who have hard-to-find skill sets and is a way to accommodate employees who don’t want to move to work for the company.

These shifts in how jobs are done as well as how talent is recruited create both uncertainty and benefits. One of the biggest questions is what role automation will play.

Automation Is Coming

Through current technology, about half the tasks people are paid to do could hypothetically be automated. It is encouraging to note that less than 5 percent of all jobs consist of tasks that could be completely automated.

But, in about 60% of professions, at least a third of the tasks could be automated, which could lead to workplace transformations and redefinition of job duties for workers. Taking a look at current technology and estimating how quickly automation could replace human workers, only about 30% of hours worked globally could be automated in the next decade.

The impact of automation on employment depends greatly on occupation and job title. Automation jobs would most likely include physical ones in predictable surroundings, like making fast food or operating factory machinery. Data collection and data processing are two other jobs that have the potential to be done better and faster with machines. This particular AI innovation could displace hundreds of workers in mortgage origination, accounting, paralegal work, and back-office transaction processing.

There are, of course, jobs that absolutely require human labor forces, such as management, scientific research, and customer service. So, will the displaced workers have to change careers to keep a job?

What Job Sectors Will Sustain or Grow Their Numbers?

Displaced workers are easily identified, but new jobs that are created due to advancements in technology are less obvious and exist in different sectors and regions.

Experts estimate that, globally, 250 million to 280 million new jobs could be created due to rising incomes on consumer goods, with an additional 50 million to 85 million jobs created in health care and education spending.

In 2030, researchers estimate there will be at least 300 million more people aged 65 and older than in 2014. As people age, their spending on healthcare and other personal services increases, taking their consumer dollars out of retail and luxury purchases. This will increase new demand for doctors, nurses, and health technicians, as well as home-health aides, personal-care aides, and nursing assistants. There could be 50 million to 85 million new jobs in healthcare by 2030.

And let’s not forget the jobs created by the development and implementation of new technology. Spending on technology will double between 2015 and 2030. About half the spending would be on information-technology services. This could create 20 million to 50 million new jobs by 2030.

Even with substantial growth in technology and AI, there are still jobs that require human labor: architects, electricians, engineers, carpenters, and construction trades. The world is also increasing its interest in renewable energy, so there will be more jobs in renewable energy, like manufacturing, construction, and installation of new energy options.

So, it’s possible for a former auto factory worker from Detroit could be retrained quite efficiently in manufacturing for renewable energy. But, what would that training entail?

Job Training for the Future

To make sure the human labor force can accommodate newer jobs, people must be prepared to learn new skills. According to Pew, automation and AI are “taking a bite out of manufacturing; automation, robotics, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) have shown they can do equal or sometimes even better work than humans who are dermatologists, insurance claims adjusters, lawyers, seismic testers in oil fields, sports journalists and financial reporters, crew members on guided-missile destroyers, hiring managers, psychological testers, retail salespeople, and border patrol agents.”

People will not just train for the jobs of the future, they will create them, and technology is ready and waiting. Pew Research conducted extensive polls to find out what the members of the current job market see for the future:

Theme 1: The training ecosystem will evolve, with a mix of innovation in all education formats

The next decade will bring a diversified world of education and training options where various entities design and deliver services to those who want to learn. They expect that some innovation will be aimed at emphasizing the development of human talents that machines cannot match and at helping humans partner with technology.

They say some parts of the ecosystem will concentrate on delivering real-time learning to workers, often in formats that are self-taught. Also, more learning systems will go online. Workers will be expected to learn continuously. Educators have always found new ways to train the next generation of students for jobs of the future.

Theme 2: Learners must cultivate 21stcentury skills, capabilities and attributes

Will training for skills most important in the jobs of the future work well in large-scale settings in upcoming years? Improvements in education are expected to continue. But, many of the most vital skills are not easy to teach, learn or evaluate in any educational setting.

Those skills, capabilities and attributes include emotional intelligence, curiosity, creativity, adaptability, resilience and critical thinking. The skills needed to succeed in the future are curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking and empathy, skills that machines cannot yet demonstrate.

Theme 3: New credentialing systems will arise as self-directed learning expands

While the traditional college degree will still be a necessity in the near future, more employers may be willing to accept alternate credentialing systems because traditional college is becoming less popular. Online learning is the education of the future.

Employers will also begin to consider experience and skill sets over education. It is likely that employers will appreciate a college degree, as it does demonstrate a willingness to attain goals with determination and discipline. However, those characteristics can also be demonstrated in the workplace. Deeply detailed reference letters may begin to carry more weight than a college degree.

Theme 4: Training and learning systems will not meet 21stcentury needs by 2026

Jobs of the future may change too quickly to allow today’s workers to get up to speed in time to fill positions. Many workers are unable to take on or unwilling to make the self-directed sacrifices they must to fine-tune their skills.

This leads educators to emphasize STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in our public schools. Teachers and politicians are working to ensure the next generation is well-trained in technology in the hopes of staving off a job market starving for qualified candidates.

Theme 5: Technological forces will fundamentally change work and the economic landscape

There is a loud cry in the job marketplace that advances in technology will overtake the time it takes to train new people. Many see a society where AI programs and machines do most of the work.

There is no doubt there will be many millions more people and millions fewer jobs in the future. But, if industry does a good job increasing skills training, technology may not quite take over at the rate many see as inevitable.

Conclusion

Regardless of automation and AI, there will always be a need for a human labor force. While robots and smart computers can take over some menial tasks, as well as cognitive driven tasks, humans will be required to maintain and program our artificial workforce.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

About the Author

Anna Kucirkova works as a copywriter for over 4 years. She speaks 3 languages, loves traveling and has a passion for kids and writing. While she has been to many places in Europe and South East Asia, she still wants to explore the rest of the world.

The Difference Between Entitlement and Awareness

This post is written by guest Eric Termuende as a companion to his interview, Changing the Way We Think About Work on the Voice America Radio Show, “Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations” on July 3, 2018.

We’ve all heard the stereotypes around the Millennial generation. They’re narcissistic, job-hop, aren’t loyal, and most of all, entitled. They think they deserve more than they work for, and have unrealistic expectations. Right? Isn’t that what we’re lead to believe when we talk about a generation that populates such a large portion of the workplace? It seems like it, but doesn’t necessarily have to.

The Millennial demographic, as big as it is, is brought up in a technological world that didn’t exist for the generation the preceded it. This generation has better access to internet, cell phones, social media, and information that simply wasn’t nearly as accessible as it was 15-20 years ago. Job postings aren’t posted on a cork board and the resumé is only a small portion of what educating a potential employer looks like.

This means that the expectations are bigger because this next generation knows what can, and is being done.

Let’s take fairly recent news that came out of Sweden, for example. In Sweden, there is talk about moving to a 6 hour work day. Now, as someone in Canada who may not like their job, there are two options. The first is to apply for a job in Sweden with the hopes that the application will be accepted and I can work only six hours a day. The second is that I could ask my employer or government why it is that Sweden is the only country that is doing this, and why we can’t look at a similar practice here in our hometown.

Another example would be around office aesthetics. One office may have a beautiful open concept style and another may be stuck in the ‘70’s with cubicles that limit communication and interaction between employees. Because of the hyper-connected world we live in, information about these great places to work is spreading faster than it ever has before. As a result, people are asking ‘why not me too?’.

No, things haven’t changed around what people need to do to progress another step in the organization, or to work in a more efficient manner by changing the structure and aesthetics of the office, but the way we talk about it might. People need to know that the grass will always be greener, the story is always bigger than the one that is being told, and that there are always exceptions. It is too easy for a story to be posted and go viral, only to be the flavor of the hour and forgotten about shortly after, while still having impact on the people in the office and what they are aware could be taking place.

The world of work is ever changing and the ways we work and the environments we work in are changing just as quickly. Telling stories of the newest office space are nice, but rarely do they paint a full picture of what the office culture is, or what it is like to work there. The next generation is right to ask about the opportunity to advance the workplace they are in, but shouldn’t have expectations to do so. There needs to be open communication within the office from the top-down and from the bottom-up to ensure that the environment created is one the provides the tools necessary and the environment that allows people to naturally do the best work they possible can. This awareness and hyper connectivity, paired with curiosity and desire to change, adapt, and grow, shouldn’t be confused with entitlement, which is a completely different topic.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

About the author

Eric Termuende is on a mission to change the way we talk about work and get fulfillment from it. A bestselling author, speaker, and entrepreneur, Eric is co-founder of NoW Innovations, and Lead Content Strategist for True Calling Canada., Eric has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Thrive Global, the Huffington Post and many others. In 2015, Eric was recognized as a Top 100 Emerging Innovators under 35 globally by American Express. Eric sat as Community Integration Chair for Global Shapers Calgary, a community that functions under the World Economic Forum. He is a former Canadian G20 YEA Delegate, representing Canada in Sydney in 2014. Eric is currently signed by the National Speakers Bureau and travels the world talking about the future of work and multiple generations in the workplace. In 2016, Eric spoke at TEDxBCIT in Vancouver giving his presentation entitled ‘Bigger than Work.’ Eric has worked and spoken with clients across the world. His new book, Rethink Work is now available on Amazon.