Preparing Today’s Leaders for Tomorrow’s Business World

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Every technological revolution—from the the wheel to the Industrial Revolution to personal computing—has introduced a shift in workforce skill requirements. But none has caused as rapid and dramatic a shift as we’re seeing today, as automation and AI transform the business world.

According to McKinsey, these advanced technologies will demand rapid growth in both technological skills and finely tuned social and emotional skills between now and 2030. On the tech side, advanced technologies will require people who can develop, maintain, and adapt them, and time spent using these skills is projected to increase by 50 percent in the United States over the next twelve years. Meanwhile, the adoption of these bleeding-edge technologies will come with a 26 percent increase in the demand for social and emotional skills.

On top of it all, McKinsey’s research indicates that a significant skills gap already exists and is only expected to grow as tech development and adoption continues to accelerate. The technical requirements certainly pose a challenge for businesses, but because these are objective skillsets, it will be relatively straightforward to bridge the gap. But the social and emotional skills—particularly communication—remain something of a mystery, and as businesses struggle to find scalable, effective ways to train their workforces on these “soft skills,” many are falling further behind.

Closing the Leadership Gap through Communication Training

There are shelves and shelves of books on the importance of leadership skills and how to develop them, but because leadership is such a subjective expertise, its skills are traditionally best taught through years of experience, training, and one-on-one mentorship. And communication, the most important of these skills, is one of the hardest to learn without investing significant time and resources.

But businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve—attracting, retaining, and promoting top talent—understand the importance of breaking through that barrier today in order to avoid falling behind in the next decade.

So the question is, how can we shorten the timeline and tighten the budget on leadership training to help all of our employees achieve lasting, measurable improvement on the skills they’ll use most in the coming years?

Automation Is the Answer

The very technologies driving this shift are the ones that will empower businesses to bridge the skills gap. AI-driven learning and development programs can offer the high-touch, personalized training employees need to succeed—in a measurable, scalable, and budget-friendly way.

HR and L&D execs may initially recoil at the thought of self-directed study, recalling the passive online classes that provide limited insights or results. And employees who have experience with old-school training programs (or who’ve snoozed through an online defensive driving course) may be hesitant to spend their limited time on automated training systems. But today’s AI-driven programs offer the same level of expert guidance, personalization, and feedback as one-on-one mentorship or high-end coaching, with the added advantage of measurable, trackable progress and results. These programs empower employees and high potentials to develop the leadership skills they’ll need to succeed—and give businesses a leg up in the new business landscape.

If companies can embrace these new-and-improved methods sooner than later, they’ll be rewarded with a stronger, more loyal workforce, and they’ll find themselves ahead of the curve as technology once again transforms business.