Creativity and confidence for the digital age

Success in the new e-economy will depend on a commitment to developing
skills, argues Javier Bajer

Leading organisations agree that human skills are paramount for success in
the e-economy. There is no shortage of talent – only of talent development.
Until now.

On 17 March, more than 20 leading organisations including BT, British
Airways, Andersen Consulting and National Police Training signed the E-Talent
Declaration, a commitment to ensuring that the latent talent in their
organisations is developed to the benefit of both the individual and the
business in the new digital economy.

The E-Talent Declaration acknowledges that the economy is accelerating
change in the way we live, work and communicate. Patterns of employment are
changing, together with people’s attitudes and expectations for work

Organisations attribute their loss of competitiveness and innovation to not
having enough of the right people, and they are fighting a costly war for
talent as they strive to attract and retain the best people. Yet investment is
insufficiently focused on developing human skills

The signatories to the E-Talent Declaration are pledging to give priority to
investment in:

  • Self-esteem, confidence,
    motivation self-management in each individual
  • Effective collaboration,
    leadership, creativity, risk-taking and knowledge-sharing
  • Flexibility and adaptation
    through learning to learn, inspiring innovation and holistic thinking in
    all their people

The initiative is led by The Talent Foundation, a global, independent,
not-for-profit organisation, created to provide pragmatic and innovative
answers for the development of talent in the world of work. The declaration
represents a recognition from these leading UK and global organisations that
the current focus on technology skills development will not create success in
the emerging economy.

Flexibility, creativity, and confidence are examples of the key skills
necessary for success in the 21st century. Individuals, now highly
sophisticated in managing their own careers, place personal development at the
top of the list of job requirements.

The fast-moving Internet economy also needs self-starting, motivated
individuals capable of quickly applying new skill sets as necessary. Businesses
must realise this to profit in this new environment.

The E-Talent Declaration represents both a realisation of the new
requirements of the digital age and a commitment to take steps to change the
way talent is used. The signatories, all thought-leaders in this area, will act
as beacons to others to adopt the articles of the declaration.

We hope that the declaration will be uncomfortable for businesses and spur
them into acting to develop the talent latent within them.

We want not only a debate, we want action. Only by acting now will
businesses and individuals succeed in the new economy.

Javier Bajer is chief executive of The Talent Foundation. The full text of
the E-Talent Declaration and a list of signatories can be found on The Talent
Foundation’s web site www.talentfoundation.org
where you can also add your own name to the list.

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