Nearly 90% of business leaders expect their companies to be a digital business in the next three years, or claim that they already are.
Yet a survey by Accenture Strategy found that less than half (48%) of business leaders believe their workforce has the skills and job mix to make that transition. What are they doing about it? Almost nothing…perhaps if they ignore it, it will go away.
The gap between companies’ expectation of digital transformation and the reality of how well prepared they are to make the transition potentially represents a devastating cost to the economy.
The transition to the digital economy will not happen by osmosis or evolution; it requires active planning and investment.
A higher DDI score – that is, a broader and deeper adoption of digital technologies, cannot happen without investing in the necessary skills needed to realise the benefits of increased productivity, innovation and competitiveness.
The lack of digital skills is a major brake on companies’ digital transformation and in turn economic growth. The need for employees with the skills to undertake digital roles is well understood by start-up disruptors, but for established businesses that must transition the skills of their employees and the structure of their workplaces the challenge is complex. Too many companies are afraid of change and are talking not acting.
If companies don’t disrupt themselves they are going to get disrupted by somebody else. The knowledge that people could disrupt you quicker than you can disrupt yourself should be a persistent driver of change. For organisations with gaps in their digital competencies there is no way to understate the challenge of transforming their culture, skills inventory and workplace structure. But as always, the key is planning, a little bit of creative hit and miss, and leadership.
The only way to change people is to change people.
Copyright © 2016 Bob Pritchard, All rights reserved.
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