It remained quiet in the mind for a long time … ‘transformation specialist’? Now new job titles are dropping out of the sky every day. The digital and tech realm is evolving so fast that we’re very unsure what it should be called, so we create a new description. Where it gets complicated is where the title is inspired by a part of the role or a topic that is “hot”. And where we end up in the no man’s land where the lights are on, but nobody’s home.
The transformation specialist
The brain does its best to make a story out of this. Where it goes wrong is the clash with our belief that transformation is a movement. Indeed; in the context of digital, it is often the description given to the ability to adopt change and adapt to customer needs rather than to the whims of FTEs, hierarchical lines, and budgets. With that description, transforming has become a desirable part of the DNA of organizations. Indeed, of us as individuals
What I actually want to say: you cannot make one person responsible for the transformation of an entire organization. It takes more than that…
So what is needed for that? In my view, not a specialist. Nor an individual.
With changing a way of working and looking, you change the bigger picture. And you need a broad view. This is an organizational issue. And this is where the talent component is the driving force. Indeed, when we look at what are important trends within our practice, in this changing world we are looking less and less for specialists. Technological innovations are changing jobs dramatically. And with a labor force that is not necessarily showing an upward trend, the shortage of people will continue to grow. One of the main ways to cope with this tension is by a somewhat dour name: internal mobility. The more uncertain an economy, the more mobile and agile you want to be as people and as an organization. These developments also call for a different view of recruitment. A view that we at BrandPit have for years is the promise that we don’t necessarily deliver what you ask for, but always what you need: talent with transferable skills. In this case, we prefer to call it transferable skills. BAM!
The more rigid job-specific skills are giving way to recruitment with an eye on transferable skills. Sounds nice in English, but what is this? A transferable skill is a skill or expertise that can be used in different roles. Examples that come to mind are: learning ability, analytical thinking, etc. These skills help you find a new and different job much faster and easier. Or land someone in a different place in the organization.
If you were to start recruiting people now based on these ‘transferable skills’ (i.e., skills that give you the ability to master something else quickly and thus apply to entirely different roles as well) rather than job specific skills, you as an organization could leverage a much larger pool of candidates. At BrandPit, we like to “make the pan out of elastic” so there are always more people to eat with. That says exactly what you get with this view of talent: you can leverage a much broader pool of talent.
From the idea of what skills are needed, transferable skills are put at the center of recruitment. And although you can only look over one other fence than your own specialty, a broader perspective gives so much energy, insight and freedom. Last but not least, this way of looking at your talent gives breathing room. Continuing to train talent to fill the skill gaps of our time is simply not a do-able task. It just moves too fast. In addition, you make the talent itself “richer” by using internal mobility as a development vehicle.
Of course, there are always exceptions. And the specialist is a fantastic asset in parts or in a certain phase of an organization. But I don’t include the transformation specialist here. I’m going to give my client a call.