Readying for 2021: The need to upskill in a digital-first world

December 28, 2020 2:00 AM

Talent, skill and leadership management in the digital economy in the new normal

Companies have had to undergo a lot of changes to adapt to this new normal of remote working. (Representative image)Companies have had to undergo a lot of changes to adapt to this new normal of remote working. (Representative image)

By Kamal Dutta

The year 2020 has been monumental and the pandemic has made us realise the importance of small, everyday things that we always took for granted. The joy of stepping out of the house at any time, working with colleagues in the office—these are but some of the things that the pandemic has taken away from us this year. When things get back to a pre-pandemic normal, I believe that we will show a greater appreciation for these things.

The role of leadership in business continuity planning: Companies have had to undergo a lot of changes to adapt to this new normal of remote working. The roles of leadership and management have also changed and become more flexible than before. We saw a much smoother transition of ‘work from office’ to ‘work from home’ than was expected; although people brought their work into their personal spaces, everyone tried their best to maintain a balance between the two. The pandemic also compelled us to execute business continuity plans, which has helped us realise that, with teamwork, cooperation and discipline, organisations can continue working productively from home in a time of a crisis.

Digitisation, agile workforce and the need to upskill: The need of the hour is to digitalise the core processes of a company to drive better innovation. Apart from this, with increased implementation of artificial intelligence and big data in our everyday lives, more and more people are showing an interest in upskilling themselves to ensure job security and maintain their relevance in the rapidly evolving, skills-driven economy.

For companies resuming their business in the new normal, factors like innovation, agility and growth will be at the top of their priorities—and having employees equipped with digital skill sets and leadership skills will be pivotal in achieving that aim. We are already witnessing a renewed focus on nurturing digital leadership and creating talent pipelines to streamline and optimise enterprise digital transformation across industries.

This trend can be expected to continue well into the future, as organisations prepare themselves for an increasingly digital-first world. These, I feel, are the key business takeaways from the pandemic.

The author is managing director, Skillsoft India
(As told to Vikram Chaudhary)

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