What do you do with the notes you gather at a conference, workshop or seminar? My approach has changed over the years; but, ultimately, I tend to find a way to highlight those spoken or power point gems that stood out for me. My latest technique is to draw a box around the sentence or quote.
Why am I telling you this? Well, I attended a workshop hosted by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in Toronto recently called “Capitalizing on Disruptive Change”. The content was top notch and while I was trying to figure out the best way to convey the messages from the four panels the light bulb went off…
Here’s what I drew a box around.
Panel 1: Leveraging the Capabilities and Strengths of the Four Generations at Work
We, as a workforce, are not efficient at getting talent into entry level jobs and put too much weight on social capital – The panelist expressed concern that too much emphasis continues to be put on “who you know” rather than “what you, as an employee, would bring to the table”. By not being efficient at this for entry level jobs, businesses could be missing out on hiring talent that could propel their business forward.
80% of employers can’t find talent and 1 in 3 employees want to move on in the next five years – For me this expresses one of the more consistent issues about workforce. Business needs talent, but talent isn’t necessarily ready to settle down in one career and training for someone who isn’t interested in staying can strain a budget.
Shaped by our generations – Historically, each of the generations in the workplace have been shaped by different world events, motivations, and how that generation was educated.
Attribution role – What are employers and employees attributing behaviour to? If it’s a negative sentiment, e.g. laziness, is that the true attribution or is it that the employee needs specific instructions beyond the original? If the employer is viewed as restrictive is that the case or is there a disconnect between the employee understanding
the process and the employers requirements as a business?
$24B in productivity lost because of talent strategy – How do we build pathways so businesses can find the talent they need efficiently to reduce lost productivity?
Panel 2: Positioning Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning in the Ontario Context
What’s the talent boundary? As a fledgling industry, what’s the equation where there are enough jobs in the AI field and students with required skills to meet those jobs?
Students need to understand the linkages between problems before solutions – Students of AI and its possible applications need to be able to understand the why and not just the technical side.
We want this to be consumable to the end user – The ultimate goal is to have AI augment the work of humans, not necessarily replace it.
The content of jobs has changed – When thinking about the type of skills required for AI application, it’s not just about the technical needs but how to apply the learning. We are consistently asking people to think more and robots to do more.
How can AI be implemented across sectors? The panelists saw AI as its own sector but with application in every other sector to help identify efficiencies and increase productivity.
Panel 3: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Discussing Strategies to Ensure Equitable Access to Opportunities in the Disruptive Economy
Mentorship and sponsorship are different – One is offering advice and guidance and the other is a specific commitment to helping someone with their career.
Access to capital – Men and women ask for money differently and at different stages of their business development.
Clarity of message – Whether you are asking for money, advice, or someone to become a customer, know your pitch inside and out, keep it short and deliver it with confidence.
Redirect people to your strengths – What are those qualities about you that come easy; that standout? Highlight those and don’t dwell on the negative.
Stay true to your work culture - Dr. Andressa Lacerda of Peterborough’s Noblegen Inc, one of the panelists,
said when hiring they focus on people who buy into their work culture and belief system of their business.
Panel 4: The Future of Ontario’s Digital Economy with Ontario’s Chief Digital Officer
Build trust and confidence; deliver together – Hilary Hartley is Ontario’s Chief Digital Officer. She explained that her division is looking to deliver efficiencies across ministries using digital solutions. Her seven point plan is based on building trust and confidence within the government to deliver stellar service to the taxpayer.
Common playbook – Hartley described how the health care sector in the US and the UK have started to develop a common set of rules on how to improve digital offerings and efficiencies.
Think differently about solutions – Is developing a solution to a problem actually the best solution? Does the identified issue continue to be a necessity to getting the job done, determining results or desired outcome?
Moonshots – What are those goals that you would reach for, all things being equal? It’s a question Google asks its employees and it struck me as good a question to ask within any organization.
My final thought as I packed up my bag and headed back to Peterborough was that change is constant and while it can sometimes feel like we’ll never be able to keep up, how we advocate for and use what’s changing to propel our work and our talent forward is the key to success.