Prediction 2: WORKERS MUST DEVELOP DIGITAL DEXTERITY TO THRIVE IN A FOREVER-TRANSFORMED ECONOMY

Episode 21.2 December 17, 2020 00:09:38
Prediction
The Edge: A Skillsoft Podcast
Prediction 2: WORKERS MUST DEVELOP DIGITAL DEXTERITY TO THRIVE IN A FOREVER-TRANSFORMED ECONOMY
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Hosted By

Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek

Show Notes

A powerful shift to digital work, collaboration, and learning occurred in 2020—and it’s not going away. Skillsoft VP of Technology and Developer Products, Mike Hendrickson, discusses the technical and human skills workers must develop in 2021, as the pandemic’s next phase unfolds.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 <inaudible> Speaker 1 00:00:07 Welcome to the edge, a Skillsoft podcast for learners and leaders alike. In every episode, we engage in candid thought provoking conversations on the topic of learning and growth in the workplace. But this, this is different. This episode is one in a special five part series. We're going to be talking to five Skillsoft experts. Each of whom is going to share his or her predictions for the field of learning and development in 2021. Now, to look at the year ahead, you have to take into account what you've seen and experienced in the year. That's about to end and, Oh, wasn't this one, a doozy. I will say it started auspiciously for me. I actually broke my ankle on January 1st, but now let's come back to the industry because I think one thing that we've witnessed is that the learning industry looks a lot different than it did a year ago. Speaker 1 00:00:59 And that's largely because of the pandemic. 2020 was tough. It was full of challenges. It was full of sacrifice and a whole bunch of stress. 2020 was a tough year full of challenges, sacrifice and stress. But I do believe it is important to look for the silver linings. Clearly 2020 has prompted so many of us to question norms, to rethink how we've always done things to grow as people and to speak up when events have called for it. So with 2021, just around the corner, it's imperative, that is champions for learning and growth that we build upon those silver linings and ask the important questions. Like what are the key learning trends that will define 20, 21 and how can organizations act upon them even more? How can we create inclusive, innovative, and safe environments that allow people to learn, grow, and gain access to opportunities? That's what we're going to unpack in these sessions. I hope you enjoy the series in this episode, we'll be speaking with Mike Hendrickson, vice president of technology and developer products who will share his 20, 21 prediction focusing on digital dexterity. Welcome Mike, how are you? Speaker 2 00:02:22 I'm doing well. Thanks, Michelle. Speaker 1 00:02:23 Um, thank you so much for joining us. Can you, uh, maybe briefly share with our audience a little bit about yourself as well as your role here at school? Speaker 2 00:02:31 Sure. So I'm the vice president of tech and dev products at Skillsoft where I help define our content roadmap. And this is done mostly through market intelligence, analytics and plenty of customer conversations. We want to make sure we listened to what our customers are looking for throughout my career. I've always kept an eye out for forefront and emerging technologies and trends while balancing that with the everyday needs of large enterprise organizations. Excellent. And so I think Speaker 1 00:03:00 This is going to be one that our listeners are really going to be sitting forward in their seats for when we talk about 21, 2021 predictions, when we talk about emerging technologies and trends, what is on the horizon. And I would imagine that this is probably going to be a little bit different than if we were looking at 2020, um, or even 2019, because in the midst of the pandemic, we've become so much more reliant on technology. So what is your prediction for 2021? Well, Speaker 2 00:03:29 For me, um, one thing that really gets all of those emerging texts wrapped up into one thing is digital dexterity. It's increasingly important for individuals and organizations, especially when facing uncertainty market changes or competitive pressures. And this applies to both tech people and non-tech people. So digital dexterity, I think, is the increasingly important thing for most individuals and organizations. Speaker 1 00:03:58 Can you tell us a little bit about what, what is digital dexterity for those people who might not necessarily understand the concept? Sure. Speaker 2 00:04:06 Let me, let, let me unpack that a little bit. So if we accept the premise that digital dexterity is having both the ability and the desire to use and apply existing and emerging technology for better business outcomes. So to have digital dexterity, there are certain things we can adopt as a mindset, but if we look at this right now in what we're sitting in, we're all participating in something that we can look back at as a historic deployment of remote work and access to digital services across every business domain COVID has accelerated what could have been multi-year digital transformation plans into days or weeks. And those with digital dexterity right now have adapted much more quickly. And the evidence is clear. Gardener just published a research report. This June, that 9% of employees have high digital dexterity. And they also found that those employees with digital dexterity were 3.3 times more likely to quickly and effectively execute digital initiatives in their organization. Speaker 1 00:05:22 And, you know, I find that fascinating. I'm sure that my listeners are going to be bored with this, with this particular anecdote. Cause I've probably said it three times, but Peter biotech, my husband works right upstairs. And when we shut down on March 13th, I think it was Mike, he said to me, um, they've just implemented this thing called Microsoft teams. Do you know what it is? And do you know how to use it? And I said, have I got training for you? So I guess my question to you is, you know, this notion of digital dexterity, what is the implication for learners? What is it that we as organizations need to be doing to prepare learners as we head into 2021 to become more dexterous, digitally, dexterous, Speaker 2 00:06:11 Great question. Those are mindset oriented things. I look at the there's four really. Um, I think core mindsets that people have to have. One is a technological aptitude where individuals are insatiably curious to adapt new tools, technologies, ways to communicate ways to manage their workloads and having the drive to master their work domain. And that curiosity helps them deconstruct these new technologies and processes in ways that they can see how to best utilize that technology. Number two is an open mind, changes human, but humans tend to resist change, having an open mind to explore new or better ways to do things is really important in helping own your dexterity and awareness of your company vision, to continue to learn as your business changes and adapts to market conditions, having the insights to understand your company and its industry's true business promise will help you develop business agility. You need to see the forest and the trees, and then lastly ambition, a different kind of ambition to continue to learn and keep learning as long as you want to keep your job. Speaker 1 00:07:38 Okay. So folks, I just want to point out here that you heard it from, um, the head of technology learning here, that what we need in 2021, isn't necessarily just those hard skills, the skills to do our job, but actually what we talk about all the time, which are those power skills, adaptability, agility, right? Not the actual technical skills, those are certainly needed, but it sounds to me, Mike, from what I'm hearing you say that we almost need to pivot a little bit and yes, while we still have to be able to do our jobs, we have to do it in a different environment. We have to do it with new tools, with new technologies and we have to be ready for change. So we have to be adaptive and adaptable. You agree? Speaker 2 00:08:22 Absolutely. 100%. We have no idea what COVID 20, 25 is going to bring. So why not prepare yourself now for what you're going to be confronting in the future. And I look at that as cultivating a culture of curiosity. Speaker 1 00:08:37 Thank you again, Mike, for sharing your 20, 21 predictions and there you have it. One of the five predictions that will shape and define the field of learning and development in 2021. Boy, I can't wait to see how this unfolds and I encourage you to check out the other four predictions in our special edition series of the podcast. I'd like to thank our Skillsoft guests for taking the time to join me here today and share their visions and to our listeners. Thank you for tuning into this. And every episode as we unleash our edge together on behalf of the entire Skillsoft team, we encourage you to keep learning and keep growing and in light of our conversation today, look ahead to 2021. Think about these predictions and make a game plan for how you're going to contribute to a new game changing era for the learning and development field. I'm Michelle Bebe. This is the edge be well Speaker 3 00:09:29 <inaudible>.

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