The Human Factor:
Re-defining Value in the Digital Future
with McKinsey & Company, Ashoka, Life Based Value, The Five Chairs, CNN Money Switzerland
On Thursday, November 22nd, the first SmartPlan event of the #FutureWork series took place in the heart of Zurich, at the Spaces business club.
Here a few highlights of the engaging evening.
Our expert speakers Angelika Reich, Partner at McKinsey, Louise Evans, CEO at The Five Chairs, Stefania Avanzini, Director at Ashoka, Riccarda Zezza, CEO at Life Based Value, and our hosts Hannah Wise, Anchor at CNN Money Switzerland and Manuela Andaloro, Founder of SmartPlan and CEO at SmartBizHub, discussed the one overlooked element critical to business success now: the human element.
We enjoyed hearing from the speakers some best practices and research on the digitalization of businesses, how the nature of our work has fundamentally changed, and the natural shifts towards technological skills.
The audience had great questions like:
Q. What soft skills do top executives most struggle with?
"Most definitely empathy! It’s not fixing other people or giving advice or solving problems. Pure empathy is about listening hard and empowering people to find their own solutions. Leaders feel there isn’t enough time to do that."
Q. 87% of execs say not ready to address the skills gap. How would executives pick the right employees to re-skill or up-skill, and in what direction?
"By three principles. One is self-selection. People need intrinsic motivation to undergo such a shift. Second is for line manager to have genuine conversations about what is possible or what is unrealistic. The third principle is about having a filter to draw a line between how much is enough and how much is too much."
Q. Are top execs being incentivized to take the step? How do stakeholders, share prices, quarterly results play in? And social entrepreneurship is not tied to those numbers? Is it about having the right incentives to take the risks?
"Incentives matter. Re-skilling must be treated with the same importance as the financials. Quantify the value of the re-skilling and show the risk of not taking action. Some business leaders are held accountable for their re-skilling initiatives and that helps change happen."