Invest in Your People to Invest in Digital Transformation

by Jim Sinur

(Aragon Research)  Digital transformation is a team sport. Your organization cannot digitally transform until your people have built and strengthened their digital competencies and skills.

This blog explains three ways to invest in skill building and digital knowledge to help your people work toward a successful digital transformation. A key part of this will be investing in modern learning.

Investing in modern learning technologies will be a key part of strengthening your organization’s digital skills and competencies.

Invest in Skills to Build Excellent Competencies

While it may be tempting to search for a shortcut to digital transformation, the truth is, there isn’t one. Your time is much better spent investing in an affordable and incremental approach to build digital skills that will eventually give your people excellent digital competencies.

Let’s explore a couple of approaches for developing digital skills incrementally, including bringing in outside resources. Before implementing any approach, it is essential to pick digital on-ramps or mini digital journeys to target to focus areas of priority for your organization.

Once a focus area is selected, consider these approaches, and consider using them in conjunction:

1. Recruit New Hires

Because technology is changing so rapidly, there is a shortage of digital skills, and most organizations are playing catch-up.  Supplementing your people’s skills by hiring recent grads from digitally-focused schools—or digitally-experienced business and IT associates— is something to consider, and will be an investment in the long-term. However, recruiting and on-boarding takes time and resources, and your new recruits—while helping to close the knowledge gaps—cannot close it completely.

2. Employ Digital Experts

Consider “renting” digital skills from consultancies that focus on knowledge transfer, not knowledge hoarding. Finding a consultant that can grow digital skills in your employees while delivering results is ideal. However, focusing on results and viral skill-building simultaneously will be taxing on your people and might have the opposite effect you intended.

3. Invest in Training and Modern Learning

In some cases, sending select employees—who will be hands on in your digital transformation efforts—out to training or bringing trainers in to teach a larger group of your people will be worthwhile for your digital transformation goals. However, this approach can be expensive—in terms of cash flow and time off the job.

An alternative to in-person training is investing in modern learning technologies. These applications and platforms offer self-paced, just-in-time learning that can be personalized to an employee’s individual knowledge and skill set. They utilize technologies such as traditional LMS combined with predictive analytics, social learning, micro learning, video learning, content ecosystems, and content authoring.

Because the skills and competencies that digital transformation will require will continually change overtime, you should look to make skill building a continuous part of work, which is what modern learning platforms seek to provide.

Bottom Line

Your organization’s digital efforts will likely use a combination of all three approaches. The challenge is finding the right mix for your choice of digital on-ramps and long-term goals.

To learn more about selecting the right on-ramps for your organization, join me for my upcoming webinar on December 5th.