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Addressing the global talent gap is key to future success

January 22, 2019

Vinod Kumar   

Former Managing Director and Group CEO Tata Communications

Digital transformation is changing the world, fast. And it’s not going to slow down. While it’s technology that’s driving these opportunities in the data-centric era, it’s people who will seize them. I believe that equipping people with the right tools is the surest way to success in the new digital landscape. However, not all employees across the globe are being given the same opportunities to succeed. That’s one of the key findings from the latest Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI).

The report, which was launched to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos on 21 January 2019 found that the talent gap between higher and lower-income countries is increasing. Switzerland, Singapore and the United States are leading the way in global talent competitiveness while Central Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa are seeing a progressive erosion of their talent base, reveals the report.

As business leaders, we all have a responsibility to ensure that we’re working towards a democratised technology revolution that bridges this gap. I’m proud to say that Tata Communications has joined INSEAD and the Adecco Group in sponsoring the annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) for the second time. The report aims to measure levels of entrepreneurial talent and global competitiveness, as well as providing practical tools to unlock the full potential of individuals and teams to benefit innovation and business success.

I firmly believe that taking a human-centric approach is the only way to address the global talent gap. Globalisation 4.0 is the theme of this year’s forum in Davos and as we move into 2019, it’s clear that organisations can no longer work in corporate silos. Instead, Globalisation 4.0 must work in tandem with Industry 4.0, adding a human element to the data-driven, increasingly automated landscape.

It’s our responsibility, as business leaders, to equip the next generation of workers with the tools they need to succeed and to help create a sustainable future where technology generates opportunities for everyone. In the report, I explore the importance of recruiting entrepreneurial people with diverse cognitive backgrounds, with cities playing an important role as entrepreneurial talent hubs. This is essential for encouraging a culture of intrapreneurship.

In the report, I also examine how the positive potential of technology can be unlocked with a focus on continuous learning. A shift in the collective mindset is needed to cultivate a culture that champions lifelong learning. A willingness to carry on learning new skills and processes is absolutely essential if both individuals and businesses are to thrive in the digital, hyper-connected era. That’s why teams should work with a beta mindset – under the notion that they are ‘always in beta’ – perpetually seeking out ways to learn and grow.

As a CEO, it’s my job to ensure that my workforce is equipped to spot and seize opportunities as they come along, and the same goes for other business leaders. Together with government and society at large, we must do more to ensure that technology is  a force for positive change for everyone, no matter where they are in the world. That’s why addressing the global talent gap is such an important step.

Digitalisation is the new normal. Forward-thinking business leaders must ensure that individuals and teams within their organisations are able to unlock the full potential of technology. Only then can businesses evolve and adapt to the new digital world.

 

Read the full GTCI report here.