How do you make tough decisions in a time of disruption and skills upheaval?

01 August 2019

I am often asked for my thoughts and advice when friends or colleagues are making major career or life decisions.  After we have discussed the various options and implications, my advice is to imagine that they have already taken the decision and to assess how they feel and what their main concerns are post decision.  This, unfortunately is much more difficult when taking multiple decisions about a complex organisation which will have a variety of outcomes.

PwC’s  Talent Trends 2019: Upskilling for a digital world report highlighted that  leaders are increasingly being challenged to make  decisions on the future size and composition of their workforces.   And with 79% of CEO’s worrying about the availability of key skills within their organisation, now more than ever is the time to develop a future-proofed workforce strategy.

The challenge is that many organisations don’t know what skills they have today, let alone what they need in the future, or how they will go about finding them. What we do know is that leaders need to start asking fundamental questions about their people and need better data to inform key decisions along the way. They need to consider:

  • Are we clear about the roles and tasks we see technology delivering and where human skills will be required?
  • Do our technology changes disproportionately impact certain employee groups and therefore counteract our workforce D&I agenda?
  • How do our decisions impact the wider communities that we operate in?
  • What are our cultural aspirations as we reform our organisation?
  • How are we enabling our workforce to engage with the organisation and each other differently through environment and technology?

For all of the above, there is a delicate balance required between the ethics of employment and the need to drive profitable growth.   There will be no 'one size fits all' solution, and the workforce strategy will need to be flexible and evolve over time. Fortunately, the advent of improved tools such as PwC’s Organisational Digital Twin help organisations to discover more about their workforce of today, in order to start the process of preparing for their workforce of tomorrow. 

As someone who has recently made a big life decision when I decided to change career (and ultimately joined PwC), I would have loved to have a Digital Twin to help inform my thinking! 

 

Find out more about the Future of Work.

Brenda Trenowden

Brenda Trenowden | Partner
Profile | Email | +44 (0)7483 329718

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