One of the godparents of our children gave them set of 10 boxes that were progressively smaller. Each box had a different animal or jungle picture on each side; one side had a part of a tree so that when all 10 were stacked a tree formed. The kids loved it, well, mostly loved knocking it down, but it has been a treasured toy in our household for a few years. The Courageous Change Framework has multiple layers stacking on top of each other and the third and last “P” is people – skills, behaviours, and identity. For today, we’ll look at skills.
Sometimes as we introduce change the skills required in organisations change; this is especially true with digital change. 10 years there was no such thing as social media manager, now many companies have them. Data Scientists – people who can extract insight and knowledge from data – are not necessarily new roles, but much more prominent. To be more granular, what is now consider basic computer skills is constantly changing. The ability to type, to use a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation software, and even understand the basics of how a database works is expected for most jobs. Even being familiar with computer programming programming is becoming a basic skill.
As change occurs to and around us and as we introduce change, one of our roles as change makers is to ‘retrain’ our HR recruitment teams in where to find people we are looking for. This may not be something you thought of (it certainly wasn’t part of my project plan), but can be reality. Our recruiters become good at finding people our organisations need and over time the people we need have fit a certain mould so our recruiters learn where these people ‘hang out’. When we break the mould and begin asking for data scientists with an understanding of humanitarian work, their go to places no longer help. We need to help them find new places to hang out.
In planning for change, for introducing new ideas or technology, it is critical to consider the skills required to give it the best chance of success. Also, be realistic. Don’t expect people who are processing data on paper or in excel to become artificial intelligence or business intelligence experts over night. Being clear on the skills required and considering how you will acquire these skills is an important step to consider.
Change, especially digital change, requires us to think differently, to work with different people, to find new people to work with. This can be frustrating, but it is essential. Often we can develop new skills within ourselves and our teams; sometimes we need to bring in someone new. Developing new skills requires the willingness to unlearn old skills and will change how your team behaves and its identity.