I've been at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)'s capability development event for Europe and the CIS in Budva, Montenegro over the last few days. We had lots or rain but apparently its sunny there again today.
I found there was a very interesting mix of participants and speakers, talking about capability development at national level and in country regulators, and talent management in telecom firms, with a heavy focus on learning and especially e-learning to support all of this - with one eye on the more difficult economy and the other on the national economies, regulatory infrastuctures and characteristics of Southern, Central and Eastern Europe including the CIS. I think I found the event particularly interesting as I've done quite a bit of work in telecoms, and in the geography too.
This was the ITU Director's summary of the challenges facing participants:
"In this period of economic downturn, we are seeing that competitive advantage lies very much in fostering the skills and competencies of people — and this cuts across nations, regions, sectors and organizations. Particularly in a knowledge-based economy, whoever has the best talent wins. Numerous surveys reveal that shortage of internal talent and skills can be an organization’s greatest challenge. Top CEOs now all recognize the importance of supporting, fostering and growing talent within their organisations. And this is particularly true in the rapidly changing ICT sector where the need for new staff skill sets is constantly shifting. As the economic crunch is leading to cuts in staff and outsourcing — management has to adapt to making do with less — and making far better use of what they have. Now, more than ever, those responsible for learning, development, and retention of staff have to deliver on practical core business needs."
I picked up these points and talked about the changing nature of talent management, quoting from the recent Stepstone report I've posted on here recently, and identified the following challenges:
- Understanding who is talent now
- Dealing with increased uncertainty, particularly over the longer-term
- Developing their potential, and the increasing need for coaching, e- and informal learning
- Maintaining momentum when surveys are showing talent management falling down the list of business leaders priorities.
My next post is going to deal with some of the particular challenges for effective learning (and that will apply anywhere, not just in telecoms and Europe / the CIS.
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