Corporate Learning and Development and the Global War for Talent

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I recently had an opportunity to hear a great presenter, Dave Wilkins from Taleo Research speak about the Global War for Talent. His presentation focused on what companies need in order to successfully compete in business today and the future: agile, global, skilled employees. How many of us are ready for Talent 2.0? We’ve all heard of the war for talent, and yet paradoxically it contrasts with an intractable unemployment rate worldwide. This conundrum has some in the marketplace still believing it’s a buyer’s market, and for some jobs, it is. For many tech jobs, it’s a sellers market. Wilkins’ spoke at length about the perils of structural unemployment alongside what is critically needed to “upskill” employees in order to fill roles needed for jobs today. This emphasis on learning and development couldn’t be more important, and yet, many organizations still fail to offer enough innovative blended training opportunities to attract and retain the best employees.

Compelling reasons exist to rethink the whole realm of organization learning and development as Eliot Masie has done. Tom Friedman published an op-ed this past weekend about the incredible energy abuzz in Silicon Valley and Seattle along with the dangers of what happens when countries do not invest in education & training. Optimizing the potential of employees (both current and prospective) is critical for global competitiveness, and is also an important strategic business imperative along with diversity, inclusion and workplace flexibility. Millenials are evaluating their employment options much more with learning and development in mind, weighing those opportunities carefully in contrast to salary. MindShift, an intriguing blog, demonstrates just how the explosion of technology has changed learning at early ages and indicates what kinds of learning opportunities (gamification) this youngest generation will be expecting in the future.

In his blog, Wilkins shares important insights about why corporate learning and development needs to be a strategic business imperative. And not only are learning and development initiatives essential for employees, they are inextricably tied to equipping global teams of managers and employees with the right skills to effectively work and innovate together, virtually, across borders and time zones. Learning how manage global distributed teams requires the acquisition of new skills that can best be addressed by offering ongoing multi-modal learning opportunities. Today these requisite skills are essential in order for teams and companies to thrive.

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