In a previous series, I laid out a 5-step productivity process for leaders, which I then turned into a Productivity Blueprint (see my bio for how to access). This post goes deeper on the first of the five steps, planning for maximal productivity.
The last component of this first productivity step is to assess what is needed, in terms of materials, systems, knowledge and skills, to get the job done. Perhaps you’re lacking a sufficiently powerful computer system or CRM option. Maybe you need to learn something additional. Whatever it is, position yourself in advance to hit the ground running so you experience the fewest interruptions and setbacks possible before getting started.
While the range of tech instruments and resources is beyond our scope, it should be obvious that you want to be using the right tools to get things done. Investments in proper technology and information systems will increase productivity while decreasing frustration that comes with doing today’s work with yesterday’s tools.
Of course, it’s not enough to have the right hardware and software to support your goals. Without proper skills, you will go nowhere fast. To determine whether you are properly skilled to get new work done, use a skills gap analysis. A ‘skills gap’ is the distance that separates the skills that employers want or need and those that their team members currently possess. A skills gap analysis is a tool that is used to assess whether a skills gap exists and, if so, to what degree. Conducting this analysis helps you identify the skills your people currently possess as well as those they will need to master your business or other goals.
Doing a needs assessment will put you and your team at a competitive advantage. The World Economic Forum recently concluded that by the year 2022, more than half of all workers will need to update or completely replace their competencies. This is the result of rapid technological developments and an increasing digitalization that affect both our personal and professional lives.
After you have conducted the analysis, you can begin to determine the answers to such questions as:
- What strengths do your people presently have that can best help you meet your mission?
- Are they currently positioned to help you succeed?
- What critical skills are needed to perform the mission and meet your business goals?
Now that you have greater clarity about the skills needed to move forward, determine how they are going to get the needed training. Examples may include:
- College course
- Training seminar
- Online video
- Books and magazines
- Mentor or coach
- Peer observation
- LinkedIn or Facebook group
Of course, we can’t just focus on the present. As we noted above, our skills require continuous updating if we are to remain current and capable of meeting future demands. To determine which future skills will be needed in your organization and industry, you need to know, among other things:
- What jobs within your organization and / or industry are likely to be fully or partially automated?
- What skills are currently on the rise in your industry?
- Which jobs will your company need more of?
Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, is an executive coach who helps busy leaders be more productive so that they can scale profits with less stress and get home at a decent hour. For a free, no obligation consultation, please call 212.470.6139 or email email@example.com. Buy his leadership book, “Becoming the New Boss,” on Amazon. Download his free productivity blueprint at ImpactfulCoaching.com/ Productivity-Blueprint.