In a McKinsey survey conducted in August 2020 of 1,240 business leaders around the world, nearly 80 percent of respondents characterized capability building as extremely or very important to the long-term growth of their companies, up from 59 percent before the COVID-19 pandemic. A few months later, 69 percent of respondents in another survey told us they were doing more capability today than before the crisis.
While recognizing the need for upskilling is one thing, designing and delivering an effective program is another. Not only must companies deliver training at an unprecedented scale, they must also ensure that each individual in the organization gains the right combination of skills. With dozens of roles and thousands of candidates, each with different needs, aptitudes, interests, and learning styles, Ops 4.0 capability building is a formidable task.
Successful companies are meeting this challenge by taking a “customer-back” perspective. Based on a clear understanding of the skills, behaviors, and mindsets the organization requires, these companies identify capability gaps and improvement opportunities across their workforce. Then, instead of offering “one size fits all” training, they design their capability programs based on detailed analysis of the needs of individual learners—while instilling a culture that fosters learning throughout the organization. That involves the application of a few powerful principles.
The T-shaped skills profile
For any given role, some skill requirements are universal. Every team member may need to be comfortable working with data, or solving problems in a structured way, for example. Beyond those basics, however, they will also want to develop a deeper understanding of topics that allow them to make a real difference in their job. That could be the application of machine learning to optimize a specific industrial process, or how to design in sustainability into products and services. The result is a T-shaped skills profile, with a broad set of generally applicable skills, supplemented by a spike of specific expertise (exhibit). An effective capability program must be able to deliver both sets of skills, and the business needs to keep track of where those spikes of specialist knowledge are within its workforce.
Read the full article on the McKinsey website via this link.