Top Four Skills Needed for Emerging Technologies

GO Productivity and the Canadian Supply Chains Sector Council (CSCSC) is about to complete the “Connecting People, Technology and Skills” Alberta regional workshops on emerging technologies. The last one is in Fort McMurray on March 21, 2018.

We want to thank all our regional cosponsors in helping us get the word out.  We also want to thank all those who participated.  We will be writing our report for the governments of Alberta and Canada soon after the final workshop results are in.

GO promised to keep providing some useful, intriguing and current information on impacts and implications of emerging technologies.  I thought I would start with some of the key findings from the CSCSC report Digital Supply Chain: Creating Skills for the Future.

We know that many of these emerging technologies are complicated, and bring blessings and burdens to business operations.  Given the pace of change and what major companies are doing in taking up these technologies, they will put pressure to adapt to the new realities.  Change is simply unavoidable but that reality doesn’t make it any easier for small and medium sized business.  GO helps assess businesses and organizations impacts and implications of these emerging technologies on operations and how apply them to be more competitive.

It is not just the technologies, it’s also about the skills and capacity building needed to survive this time of transformation. The CSCSC report has some significant observations on new skills sets and new mind sets needed by business owners, managers, organization leader and workers needed for the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

The top four new skills that have been identified for business, owners, managers and digital workers are:

√  Strategic thinking and problem solving.
  Merely being able to do administrative tasks, follow instruction or do repeatable work will be the domain of robots.  Figuring out better
questions, better processes, designing better answers and delivering better results for operational improvement will be the base line skills going forward.  Customers are asking for faster
response times, lower delivery costs and suppliers to be engaged in continuous improvement.

√  Ability to Collaborate Across Different Business Units and With Customers.  Competition will provide winners and losers in yesterday’s reality of cost cutting and controls.  It
will not necessarily foster innovation or process reimagining to make better winners and fewer losers.  Projects approaches are starting to integrate suppliers earlier in the design and
engineering process as well as in the execution.  New technology approaches will require more supplier collaboration in inter-dependent networked relationships.  Of course these will also
be impacted by robotics, automation, big data and analytics and Blockchain to name a few.

√  Leading and Developing Others.  Key barriers to adoption of any emerging technology lack of talent to use the technology effectively and lack of a clear business case to justify the
investment.  What workforce training is needed, where can you get it and how do you keep training lean and agile so workers can adapt and adopt to new technologies.  One thing for sure
these technologies are not going to be static.  They will keep emerging and often replaced by entirely new ideas and technologies.

√ Ability to Manage Global and Diverse Teams.  This globalization perspective is especially true in industrial construction projects but diversity is going to be everywhere.  That ability
to work in diverse team may be caused by technological issues, functional roles and responsibilities, and cultural differences, age and gender related differences in work groups. The
Essential Skills will be more essential than ever and well beyond the usual literacy and numeracy components.

The moral of this story is simple.  The changes to business being driven by emerging technologies are inevitable, complex and continuous.  The early adopters will gain most, if not all of the competitive advantage.  The “wait-and-see” adopters will remain in business but not thrive from these new technologies.  The laggards will wither and die.

If you want to get “GOing” on this emerging technology journey, GO Productivity has the skills to help you assess your current situation, determine a realistic set of operational change goals and help co-create a do-able action plan for you to get there.  We also stick around and help close any gaps, keep on track and deliver on your plan.

GO Productivity is a registered not-for-profit, Alberta based nationally engaged advisers to help small and medium sized enterprises become more productive, innovative, continuously improve and be more competitive through our ARC System (Assessment, Roadmapping and Coaching)

To connect with a GO Productivity team member email us at or 1 844 245 8278

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