The importance of investing in and working with, not TO, your people has always been important yet with the extent and speed of technology development (not always ‘advancement’) it has never been more so.
Whatever happens, short of apocalypse, people will still be needed in five years’ time, but to do what? Will your organization purpose still be the same? If so, why will they be needed? What activities will be needed for intent to be achieved? Where will people add value and will those you have now develop to be able to do so? How can you ensure currency of skill and capability?
These are the key ‘people’ questions of the moment and it is a challenge to explore them against what you know to be certain and to consider the potential variables that may impact. Jeff Bezos recently pondered why he is never asked ‘What’s not going to change in the next ten years?’ this rather than the question he is asked i.e. what is…. He concluded that ‘when you have something that you know is true, even over the long run, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.’
Given that People are a ‘certainty’ in almost all considerations then the logical action is to do just that, invest in them. There are many people who believe that technology will mainly impact the number of people needed in manual roles. That ‘careers’ will always target towards management. In our research we have identified that there is some certainty in the need for people, for efficiency, for usefulness, for time, for finance, for skill sets as key. However, one mind-set that must transform is the belief that everyone and everything needs to be managed. With productivity identified by the UK government as a key measure the ways of enabling it are of most importance. Enablement must replace management. The way those responsible for the collective performance of others are the catalysts around whom productivity levels revolve.
All you have employed were presumably seen as valuable on the day you employed them. Maintaining that valuableness is a certain need.
The challenge? Enabling performance, continued performance through considered development, and the support of individuals who take their own responsibility for these performance levels will be a key skill. Managers to be Enablers.
If you value your people, then it is time to rethink.
Consider, performance management or performance enablement? Talent management or talent enablement? Sales manager or sales enabler, Learning Manager or learning enabler, Finance manager? In your organisation, what activities will need to be managed, and which enabled? A job title may feel superficial and only be a start, it does though better reflect the need for certain change to meet a certain demand for certain challenges as the expectations of the people you have change.
Neville Pritchard. December 2017.
To find out more on how People in Flow help organisations understand their certain current state and unique challenges contact email@example.com or call +44 (0) 1280 823 702.
Richard Scott and Neville Pritchard have collaborated, writing a book which focuses on exploring new thoughts and practice on the provision of people support. The book will be available for you to read in the new year.