Could India be facing an employment crisis in the future? A Deloitte VP recently shared concerns that there may be a coming talent shortage in Corporate India (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Huge-talent-deficit-may-hit-Corporate-India-Deloitte/articleshow/4925080.cms). He points out that the current education system needs to focus on more innovation skills and that managers need to learn soft skills, such as effective communications.
What caught my attention about this topic was that the educational system is not adequately preparing people to be innovative. I expect educators and employers in other countries have similar concerns — many organizations are dealing with the development of a culture of innovation. Teaching “innovation” means doing more than explaining an innovation approach such as Blue Ocean Strategy (http://www.blueoceanstrategy.com/) or Outcome-Driven Innovation (http://www.strategyn.com/).
This is a good start, but people need more than knowing how to apply and manage innovation methodology. They also need to develop personal mastery and leadership skills that promote collaboration, sharing of ideas, asking different questions, taking risks, honoring failures that educate, fearlessly considering if “that’s how we have always done it” is good enough, and promoting organization learning. Without these “softer” skills, it is likely that our organizations will continue to use the same thinking they always have. Albert Einstein cautioned that “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
For India and other countries who wish to promote innovation for the purpose of improving organizational performance, education and experience in both technical and soft skills need to be pursued.