Ms. Morello recommended five actions CIOs companies can take to prepare for the future.
Action 1: Elevate skills and talent to a true priority
Many CIOs say that talent is a priority, but rank people/workforce as one of their most disliked tasks. However, the ability to anticipate and orchestrate skills and expertise could become a way to characterize CIO success in the future. If CIOs can be responsible for finding talent at the time of or before companies need it, it could become a part of the leadership for the future.
Action 2: Build a long runway for skills and talent
Creating a runway for talent is about building up the pipeline so it can handle the ambitions of the future. Strong executives should be thinking about people in terms of three different timelines at the same time. First, ensure that the present workforce has the capabilities to handle the present business. Second, in the midterm, look to identify the knowledge and talent that will drive the potential of the business, said Ms. Morello. Finally, long term, consider how to prepare the present workforce for a different future.
Action 3: Experiment with new talent and work models
In an effort to create a flow of talent, Uber asks recently hired developers for the top two or three developers they’ve worked with and then makes job offers to those to exponentially grow their talent platform. Start to experiment with ways to find ideas and talent such as techquisitions.
Action 4: Bolster talent pipelines through universities
GM recently decided to establish a manufacturing center in Toronto that will need to hire approximately 1,000 employees per year. The company is working with the University of Ontario to change the curriculum to develop software engineers to fuel their pipeline. While many companies already have university programs, the current setup doesn’t allow for the amount of talent that will be necessary in the future. Consider co-sponsoring hackathons or exploring maker labs as a way to access younger talent.
Action 5: Build a trusted alliance with HR strategists
Sixty-five percent of leaders say their HR executives are true strategists who analyze complex situations to prepare for the long term, so it’s important to build an alliance. CIOs want to be trusted allies of top executives and HR is a good place to build alliances. Find the HR strategist whose job is most intimately tied with your success and build a relationship.