Preparing people for change - helping people develop skills for now and tomorrow’s workplace

| 30 January 2020

Richard Kershaw, Workforce Planning Partner at Konica Minolta, reveals Konica Minolta’s talent strategy to help people develop for now and tomorrow’s workplace.

The world of work is changing. Processes that have served organisations well for decades are rapidly being uprooted as modern technology, changing preferences and unprecedented access to knowledge re-shape the workplace. In this era of rapid and relentless change, adopting a people-centric change strategy isn’t an option – it’s a business imperative. With this in mind, organisations need to rethink their approach to talent recruitment, nurturing and management.

Recent research reveals that job hopping is the ‘new normal’ for Millennials with 91% expecting to stay in a job for less than three years. Another study shows that the vast majority of all workers (93%) left their employer the last time they changed roles, but only 7% took a new position in their company. This raises questions for organisations and their approach to talent management. Traditionally, roles were clearly defined and structured. You came to work, received promotion if you performed well and worked your way up the ladder and stayed loyal to the company. But not anymore.

A people talent management strategy that used to last three to five years or longer maybe lasts just six months now. At Konica Minolta, we needed to rethink our approach to talent and our workplace strategy – we wanted to become more agile, and more adaptive and responsive to change.

So how do we keep pace with this relentless and accelerating change? First, you need to focus on education and training. As more and more routine, everyday processes are automated, people will be freed from tedium to be more creative. Problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence and people management are predicted to be the most in demand skills in 2020, according to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs report.

Mainly technical skills are likely to be done better and faster by robots, giving our uniquely human abilities room to focus on other value added activities. This requires a paradigm and educational shift. Instead of the standard academic learning of the past, students must focus on transferable skills that enable them to succeed in the 4th Industrial Revolution. For Konica Minolta, we know that raising the capabilities of our people is the key to success.

These transferable and adaptive skills will determine future business competitiveness. To get there, organisations need to map out the future skills they believe they will need and then evolve their people to adapt to those skills. On demand, relevant and agile learning is an essential component in this evolution. Enterprise learning experiences, combining peer-generated content, interactive media, and learning management, are essential to bringing people forward with you in this journey of change.

Organisations also need to examine their internal structures and determine how agile they are and if they fit for purpose. Can the business make decisions quickly, or do decisions pass through multiple layers of executives? How quickly can the business be mobilised behind a new innovation? What processes can we automate?

Answering that agility question demands significant introspection: a root-and branch examination of everything from the culture of the company, business structure and skills, to processes, controls and of course technology. Complexity, stifled communication, or manual, fragmented processes at any step will undermine agility and subsequent competitiveness. Organisations with adaptive people, culture and technology are most likely to innovate faster, make decisions more quickly and respond faster to market change. The bottom line? They are more competitive.

The third factor to consider is whether the people in your organisation have a ‘growth mindset’. They must believe that their learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience. When people believe they can get smarter, they realise that their effort has an effect on their success, so they put in extra time, leading to higher achievement. When your people are adapting to change, your organisation will too.

At Konica Minolta, we have shaped our talent strategy to develop skills that can’t be automated—interpersonal communication, creativity, and abstract thinking. We are undergoing a self-examination to identify how we can become more agile. And we are seeking out people with a ‘growth mindset’. These are the key ingredients that will help us succeed in tomorrow’s workplace.

For a copy of Konica Minolta’s ‘Talent Strategy - Preparing people for change’ whitepaper, please visit: