Steering Toward True North By Investing In Tomorrow’s Talent

Story image for Investment from Forbes

If you want to understand the direction any organization, enterprise or body of influence is taking, simply inquire as to the top three things they are currently investing in. Investment is one of the leading activities for most economic functions. Some technologies and products are able to be reverse-engineered or licensed, but most individuals and entities of the future are those who embrace first-mover advantage.

How are we investing in capital and labor? These are two very important inputs that help power our economy. Tracing back to centuries past, labor has arguably been one of the most essential components of the growth of any project or enterprise. And not just any labor, but talented and well-skilled labor. There is no doubt that the Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed by an extremely advanced civilization. This eight-sided wonder is the most accurately aligned structure in the world in its relation to true north. It’s an extremely intriguing illustration of the level of investment, management, leverage and influence it must have taken to lead a talent pool toward this great feat.

When I enrolled in undergrad years ago, my original designation was The College of Engineering. I remember sitting in the computer lab during late nights, working on Pascal assignments and going to NSBE networking events; it was a lot of fun. Somewhere along the journey, my business acumen came into sharper focus and I eventually finished my degree in a business management curriculum, with other career interests at heart. It was great to start out that way because the seed of creativity, design and innovation was planted. When I think of capital as it relates to the rapidly changing professional climate, some of the greatest assets to any organization are intangible assets and the investment therein.

Investment in software, database development, research and development, product design, training, market research, branding and business process reengineering are a few examples of great avenues toward which to direct investment dollars. The return on investment may not be felt right away, but the eventual exponential impact could be massive. Dell Technologies surveyed 3,800 business leaders from around the world to get their pulse on the future of work. Mostly all of them expect transformative change at a very large scale. For example, the financial services industry is currently going through the biggest transformative event of its history. It is, in essence, The Great Decentralization. It’s exciting, concerning and intriguing to see parallel measures play out in many other industries as well.

Here are three fields of labor that will grow exponentially in the coming growth cycles, offering ways for industry executives to maximize this talent for their organization.

Mathematics And Actuarial Science: The way we measure and calculate intangible assets and valuations will continue to evolve. It will not be surprising to see accountants, statisticians, actuaries and futurists collaborating more regarding how the new math will directly and indirectly affect our planning, budgeting and forecasting. Organizations that staff their rosters with keen mathematical minds will see an increased advantage over their competitors.

Tech: The digital shift is not going away. It is our tomorrow, it is our today. The omnichannel experience will be a key driver of growth. The rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, innovation and new product lines will continue to grow in demand. Organizations that maintain and invest in a sharp and cutting-edge product portfolio will have a key competitive advantage in the marketplace. If they do not have the treasure chest to make these investments, it may be best to join forces or partner with congruent resources to foster this absolutely essential advantage. Hiring top-notch techies in your enterprise is also a tremendous win.

Thought Leadership: The majority of the top 10 skills needed for 2020 deal with some type of specific thought capacity. Organizations and bodies of influence who invest in exposing their cultures to renown thought leadership and motivators will do well as the playing field continues to become more competitive. The dynamic insights and go-getting energy these individuals bring to your people have a way of motivating and generating a next-level surge that opens up new windows of thought and growth.

Years ago, I had an inspiring dialogue with a young man from Nigeria who was in the final stretch of completing his residency on the journey to becoming a practicing physician. He told me that in his Igbo tribe they had a saying that translates to “tomorrow will be better.” He told me that no matter how tough things are today, there is always hope that the next day will be the day things take a turn for the best. During moments of challenge, I sometimes think about that conversation and it helps keep me centered.

In a world that is constantly changing and shifting, as leaders, what measures do we have in place to keep us keenly aligned toward true north? Find your place of equilibrium and focus as a front-runner, while generating benchmarks that routinely appraise the purpose of your leadership. This culmination of awareness maximizes a greater level of influence and growth for your organizations and, most importantly, your people.