Knowledge is fact, information and skills acquired through experience and education. It is awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.
Change, whether personal, professional or organisational, is a process; it is continuous, and will not stop. In fact, change at times is a reflection of VUCA - volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
Change can be positive or negative. At times the positive or negative nature of change is assessed through the perception and/or experience of the recipient of change. The level of the individual’s skill-set can influence this perception.
A current skillset is necessary for the change process. Some skills will be irrelevant in the change process. Imagine a worker with strong communications skills, interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, emotional intelligence, or technical skills. Imagine another worker with very basic communication skills, or without negotiation skills, or without emotional intelligence, etc.
According to the 2010 CIPD’s learning and talent development survey, employers would like their employees to be more equipped with business acumen and commercial awareness, and management/leadership skills. Employers identified the following skills gaps for employees joining from school and colleges to be customer service skills, communication and interpersonal skills, and work ethic.
A world-class employee, practitioner, manager, or director must continuously develop his or her skills and remain relevant in the competitive workplace and business environment of the 21st century. John Wooden, a successful basketball coach with ten championships said, “If I am through [with] learning, I am through.” The more information an employee, practitioner, manager, or director gains the more advantage he or she has over those with less information.
Investing in a range of current and future skills is a buffer in the change process. Whilst some colleagues are panicking and unsure about the outcome of change, a person with current and required skill-set is confident and positive about the change outcome. Up-skilling is a lifelong process that enables the individual’s progress and success throughout their career span.
To develop current or future skill-set, an employee, practitioner, manager, or director needs:
(1) An understanding of the strategic – the big picture - future direction of his or her profession and industry with an idea of anticipated changes and skills need.
(2) A clear career pathway(s) integrated to specific career plan.
(3) A list of identified skills and knowledge gap borne out of self-assessment.
(4) A clear learning and development plan, which is a result of robust prioritisation.
(5) A commitment to invest in resources – time, money, energy, mind, thinking, coaching, education and training, etc – that informs and aids the career plan.
(6) A set of routines that evaluate progress, make adjustments, and implement actions.
(7) A process that celebrate achievements and successes, and identifies action plan for improvements.
“There will never be another now, so make the best use of today. There will never be another you, so make the best of your life.” Robert Schuller
“You have to believe in yourself when no one lese does. That’s what makes you a winner.” Venus Williams
“Life is like a combination lock; your job is to find the right numbers, in the right order, so you can have anything you want.” Brian Tracy
“For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” Mary Kay Ash.
“Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.” Robert Allen
Skillset – a range of skills, ability and knowledge - is required for the change process.
The Oxford dictionary defines skill-set as “a person’s range of skills or abilities”.
Skill is expertise, ability to do something well. For example to train a worker to do a particular task.
Ability is the possession of the means or skill to do something. In other words, ability is talent, skill or proficiency in a particular area.