By Anish Srikrishna, CEO, Times Professional Learning
The pandemic has resulted in a cascading effect across industries, making corporate leaders acknowledge the importance for upskilling and reskilling to stay competitive whilst engaging with unpredictable market uncertainties. Technological disruption has become the norm, and the pivot towards digitisation of businesses calls for companies to redefine how leadership must function in the post-pandemic world.
The COVID-19 pandemic, accompanied by the increasing adoption of disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data, has unsettled the global economy, necessitating a thorough overhaul of existing business strategies and organisational structures along with upskilling of working professionals. These market disruptions have rendered traditional skillsets irrelevant or barely sufficient at best. The almost overnight switch to digital platforms to conduct business operations across various verticals and the changing talent requirements driven by increasing automation have made upskilling crucial for the workforce. It comes as no surprise that this has affected managers and business leaders similarly. Leaders have been forced to rethink their strategies for overseeing employees, expanding their client base, handling finances, managing operations, and envisaging their organisation’s future course. In other words, business leaders have had to contemporise their managerial capabilities.
Need for Upskilling Future Leaders
In a recent study by MIT, only 10% of working professionals agreed that their leaders had the required skillsets to ensure that their organisations thrive and move forward under the current economic conditions. In another survey of CEOs by Fortune magazine, only 7% of CEOs believed their companies were building effective global leaders. Such a paradigm underscores the need for upskilling leaders. With automation and big data taking over the world, the leaders of tomorrow need to improve their technical abilities and data proficiency while also developing soft skills such as effective communication, team-building, strategic thinking, creativity, innovation, and empathy. The skill requirements for leaders has changed extensively, and the education sector is not prepared to fulfil these needs, thereby creating a skills vacuum. Countless surveys and reports point towards a critical shortage of leadership skills such as strategic planning, change management, data management, emotional intelligence, and knowledge sharing.
Leadership in Times of Uncertainty
Amidst uncertain times, like the disruption caused by COVID-19, outdated management practices and sole dependence on human instinct only lead to short-term solutions in a way that downplays the actual risks facing businesses. Uncertain times are quite unforgiving, and business leaders cannot be putting out fires as they arise. During such times, strategic thinking is necessary to have a robust long-term outlook for the course of an organisation and to identify and mitigate risks well in advance. Today, a robust strategy can be developed only through the adoption of modern practices such as data-driven management and automation.
In times of uncertainty, everyone in an organisation turns towards their leaders. One cannot be a strong and confident leader without possessing the relevant skills and abilities to make a business thrive even under such volatile conditions. The pandemic has made it harder for companies to sustain themselves through short-term measures and highlighted the need for a focus on longevity. Only those businesses that constantly reinvent themselves to suit their customers’ changing material, emotional and societal needs can thrive in the post-pandemic world. For a business to develop in such a market scenario, it must create long-term strategies and constantly improve processes. This cannot be done unless the top leadership of the company is upskilled and well informed about modern practices, tools, frameworks, methodologies, and technologies.
Executive Education for Upskilling
In an economy where soft skills are important as technical proficiencies, professionals seeking to develop their careers or businesses require constant reskilling and upskilling. Executive education programmes are a perfect match for most professionals because of their cost, flexibility, pedagogy, and duration. It is no wonder that in an emerging country like India, the EdTech sector is projected to reach a market size of $30 billion by the end of this decade, making it the second-largest market for e-learning only behind the US.
At Times Professional Learning, we have partnered with premier institutes of the country such as IITs, IIMs and top B-Schools to offer tailor-made courses that perfectly meet the needs of Indian business leaders. The programmes cover a spectrum of issues ranging from management and strategy to operations and emerging technologies and play a critical role in bridging the existing leadership skills vacuum in India.
Continuous upskilling and reskilling is the only path ahead for leaders and management professionals who want to advance in their careers and create a substantial impact. As economic uncertainties become the norm and Industry 4.0 ushers in new technologies like 5G, quantum computing, AI, and blockchain, corporate leaders must ask themselves if they are prepared to lead their organisations amidst economic chaos.
Disclaimer: Content Produced by Times Professional Learning (TPL)
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