Friday, 9 November 2007

Unlocking the DNA of the Adaptable Workforce / 1

Through this recent global survey, IBM have developed four themes they believe need attention in the global economy.

Finding that only 14% of their respondents believed their organisations are very capable of adapting to change, IBM identify ‘developing an adaptable workforce’ as their first theme. To make improvements here, organisations need to be able to predict future skill requirements, be able to identify and locate experts and be able to collaborate across their organisations.

This supports recent findings by InfoHRM that only 14% of organisations are prepared for the potential loss of skills, corporate knowledge and leadership that will occur within the next five years. In fact 79% already report a big gap in their talent pipeline, and 40% say that this is already an acute problem for them.

Don Taylor has already posted on how capability management and the support or usable competency frameworks supports effective skills planning and management.

I’ve also already posted on the value of competency frameworks to support integrated HCM systems.


Forrester explain the point well in the Forrester Wave: Integrated Performance and Compensation Solutions, Q3 2007:


“Well-defined corporate and job-specific competencies are the glue that binds performance, succession, and career development planning. In an integrated environment, employees can be assessed, promoted, and compensated based on the achievement and development of competencies that have been proven to affect bottom line results.”


But there’s clearly a push-back against their use.

Jason Corsello, the Human Capitalist, has argued that competencies are overrated.

And I’ve also already commented on Bersin's findings that many organisations are using more generic profiles rather than competency frameworks to drive HCM systems integration.


I still think competencies can be a big enabler towards the adaptable workforce. But I do agree that it’s essential that they are developed and managed in an appropriate way.

As IBM note,


“When developing a formal skills management approach, organisations need to strike the right balance – tracking the appropriate number of skills without creating competency models that collapse under their own weight.”