Shackled by the skills crunch, a fish (business) rots from the head down


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Today I wanted to share with you a startling set of results that recently came out of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and a phrase that can help us think about how we go about applying this to our businesses.

The results of the survey are striking in that they imply that employers are struggling with skills on 3 fronts:

  1. To fill the vacancies they have because of a shortage of skills in the wider workforce;
  2. To fill the gaps in the skills of their existing team members; and
  3. Continuing to develop skills overall as a way of remaining competitive.

However, the report goes on to say that:

Organisations affected by skills gaps identified management skills and leadership skills as being in particular need of improvement. Managerial skills gaps and skills shortages potentially have very significant consequences: such deficiencies are damaging in their own right and are likely to carry myriad implications for the practical running of an organisation. Less obviously, but no less importantly, a lack of management skills may exacerbate and magnify the effect of other skills weaknesses by impairing managers’ ability to leverage and develop the skills of other employees and to manage their performance effectively.

You can get a copy of the full report on the survey here.

The ten most frequently occurring skills gaps

The ten most frequently occurring skills gaps

The phrase that I wanted to use to help us think about how we build the skills in our business and our competiveness is:

A fish rots from the head down

This old saying which has been around since the 17th Century and implies that when something fails or goes wrong in a business or other organisation, the root cause can usually be traced back to issues with the leadership, management or the strategy.

I would suggest that this is not always the case but it is a worthwhile exercise to check in the mirror first before pointing the finger at somebody or something else.

Therefore, when faced with difficulties retaining staff, customers, your team taking the initiative, driving new growth or implementing new initiatives, first take a look in the mirror first before doing anything else and ask yourself:

What have I done today to improve my skills and abilities as a leader and manager and how can I use these to help my people perform their jobs easier and better?

Personally, I do a lot of this by reading, networking, attending different events and talking to different from different disciplines. Currently, I’m reading Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking by Andy Sernovitz, which I would highly recommend.

What are you doing to build your skills so that you can build your team’s skills? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks to mag3737 for the image.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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