To take full advantage of the opportunities presented by intelligent solutions, financial services (FS) organizations will need to rethink their approach to talent. The race is on for the FS industry to learn new ways of learning. Success here will require a shift in focus from institutions to individuals.

It is broadly accepted that FS organizations need access to a broad mix of skills to grow and thrive. They need creative thinkers, analytical experts, computer programmers, leaders, and so on.

The optimal mix of skills in the industry changes over time, obliging organizations to monitor and update their talent pool. Organizations change their talent pool by hiring. A bank looking to explore use cases for blockchain might hire a collection of blockchain experts, for instance.

This approach has led the FS industry to focus on institutions like universities and teams of recruiters to address talent gaps. As game-changing intelligent solutions and digital tools accelerate the pace of change across the FS industry, this institution-led approach to curating talent will need help. The right blend of skills for each role will shift with increasing speed. FS will need to foster a culture of lifelong learning.

Skill change set to accelerate

Here’s an example of what that looks like.

The need for more creativity and empathy within FS organizations doesn’t mean they need to hire more ballerinas or sculptors. It means their existing employees need to become more creative and empathetic. This will require a new approach to skill acquisition.

In fact the skills needed to succeed in different roles has already shifted significantly, Accenture research shows. For example, here’s how the importance of skills for science and engineering roles has shifted in the last 13 years.

Science and engineering roles already require greater creativity and socio-emotional intelligence. This trend will accelerate with human-machine collaboration.

Machine-human collaboration is likely to accelerate such shifts beyond the speed at which traditional learning institutions can keep up. Completing a university degree, after all, takes years. In other words, FS organizations will need to learn how to help their people learn over the course of their careers if they want to take full advantage of intelligent solutions. Lifelong learning also helps to attract and retain top talent.

What does this look like in practice? New developments in corporate training give us some idea. For example, Coorpacademy, a European corporate trainer, recently developed a new blockchain course for its clients. The course is focused less on specific technical details and more on helping managers create a culture that will ease collaboration with blockchain experts as this technology increasingly plays a role in business.

Key questions to position your talent for lifelong learning

Such developments point to a new future of learning where FS organizations empower employees in new ways to keep their skills cutting-edge. Of course, many other challenges will need to be overcome to reach this future. Here are two key questions FS leaders should ask themselves to get started:

  • Has our organization assessed the evolving blend of skillsets that our key workforce groups need to acquire?
  • Can our learning systems and metrics adapt to develop a broader range of skills within individuals?

If you’d like to continue the conversation about lifelong learning in FS, I’d love to hear from you. My contact information can be found below.

Otherwise, come back next week for my next post, which will look at another step the FS industry can take to prepare for the future of learning. And in the meantime, you might be interested in the Accenture report on this topic: It’s Learning. Just Not As We Know It.

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