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Extreme skills: what happens when knowledge runs out?

benchstrength.jpgI’m in Vancouver, about to deliver a keynote to a global professional services firm, with the working title, “Extreme Skills Specialization: What Comes Next with Global Talent, Global Organizations?

The working description goes like this: “The future of every career is either extremely specialized, or
massively general. Most professions are fragmenting into dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of specialities. Someone needs to understand all this, and help organizations tap into narrow bands of knowledge.

This is a major trend, and perhaps one of the defining trends of the next 10 years. Here’s how I’m presenting the challenges to my audience today:

  • the ability to assist your clients with high-velocity change will be a key success factor
  • because of this, the ability to find, attract utilize and retain ever more narrow niche skills will be critical, for both your clients, and yourself.
  • the ability to scale up and scale down your resource base will define your clients success, and your own.
  • our ability to access and deploy unique skills at high velocity, globally, forming project oriented teams that last but a short time, will be key.

Think about these challenges in the context of your own organization. Ask your this questions: “what’s the depth of your bench strength?”

Then ask this question: “what do you need to do, from a unique structural perspective, to increase and improve your bench strength, particularly as skills become more specialized, scarce and hard to access.” There’s probable room for lots of innovative thinking there!

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