Building the necessary skills for digital transformation

Daniela: Absolutely. It is the perfect driver for innovation and also the driver for creating something like a company memory of skills and knowledge. Because you can bring people together through a single point of entry, a universe of learning opportunities for people.

You have a lot of great people and organizations who can contribute with the latest insights, topics they want to place and bring to the people. We have not had that in the past. Imagine a company like Siemens, a huge technology company active in so many industries. That means we need to bring together learning opportunities from a functional perspective. So, if you are in finance or in the supply chain, we need to complete it even then, we call it cross-functional learning opportunities, topics that are relevant to everyone, such as languages ​​or communication. We also have a complete learning landscape on technology topics, product-specific topics, market-specific topics. It is a vast landscape of learning opportunities, and everyone needs a subset, and everyone needs a very individual niche subset. That is the great advantage of being able to adapt. And with such an approach, I would also say that it is more efficient and productive because it saves time and money. People can gain access to the entire universe. They don’t have to travel, then they don’t have to deal with programs where maybe a certain percentage of it is relevant to them. It’s also really helpful in driving overall business success.

Laurel: And part of that business success is digital transformation, isn’t it? Adopt and roll out new technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence. This will create a new division of labor between humans and machines, disrupting jobs globally. But as these jobs evolve, new roles will be created with people with specific advantages over machines and AI, such as management and decision-making, and communicating and interacting – all things in which humans are really good. How can business people prepare and prepare their employees for this shift from automation?

Daniela: Yes, I think it’s something that has been with us for many years. But there, again, the level of speed and skill required has also increased significantly. I would say it’s almost like a bouquet of things you can and should do. You, as a company, need to build an identity and first of all, say that you really think that learning and personal development is very important. That’s a priority for the company and you need to give it a positive spin. It’s for you, it’s to support you, it starts with you. That’s why we’ve launched a company-wide campaign we call Migroth.

It’s more than just a campaign, it’s an overall concept and approach. But it really helps to motivate people and try out the different experiences we offer and guide them in what they can use and do. Then we also started targeting learning hours because we really wanted to push people and say, “Look, it’s important that you take the time and make it a priority.”

In terms of the specific skills you were referring to around automation and digitization, we can then include specific strategic topics to deliver to our people. We run awareness campaigns through learning opportunities. It can be targeted to a specific audience as people also need different skill levels. Or we can push it to scale. This is a very flexible system. Let me give you an example, we have a pocket in our businesses called Digital Industries Software. It fits very well for what you are referring to. Last year the CEO of that business said that we are in the software business, so AI is the main driver for everything we do. So, my whole organization needs to understand that first of all, what is Artificial Intelligence, let’s say at a very general level. Also, people need to understand how we use it internally as a technology, but also as a driver for our business and software solutions. And then we created different learning avenues for different levels of mastery, and so, our Digital Industries business was able to bring the whole subject very widely to thousands of people.

Laurel: So, you do two things. One, you are pushing what you think everyone needs to know and learn, Artificial Intelligence is a big topic. But then how do you evaluate people and their skills to identify skill gaps and then basically align learning programs with business strategy to not just return on investment? Of course, everything returns to profits, but also returns on investment of employee time and skills. Because it’s also something you’re raising.

Daniela: Yes. And the skill topic is so hot, I can tell you. It is all over the place and comes from a very different lens and use case. Technology plays a major role. A platform-based learning ecosystem with a platform of original learning experience enables you to gain insights that we have never had in the past. We can see what people are interested in. We can see why and why they are so busy learning, then what they are actually learning or what they are not learning, and therefore, leaving. If you then multiply it and you see that on the overall workforce, you also see what the topics discussed are, what skills are coming up on the horizon. You can see it in some communities. We have certain communities that, for example, we call them digital talent, like tech talent. And there, you can already see what the next topics are that will come to the horizon. And then we can match as a learning task, do we have the right learning opportunities for the subjects we are already exploring? That’s one thing. But that is the bottom line that is very important.

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