July 18, 2024

The political and regulatory landscape is changing dramatically on a global scale, affecting businesses from Washington to Europe and beyond.


Now more than ever, it’s imperative that businesses be adaptable. The companies that have teams that are agile, fast, and self-assured enough to make important decisions on the spot—teams with the necessary competencies who can quickly change course and still meet their business objectives—will prosper in this complex period.

These teams have the ability to see beyond the boundaries of their departments and silos, taking into account all of their competitors, the industry, and the larger context in order to guide their businesses toward maximizing value creation.

But there’s a lot of competition for great talent. Finding and retaining the right talent is the biggest challenge facing them, according to CFO after CFO I spoke with at a recent financial conference in the Bay Area. Twenty-seven percent of CEOs fear that a skills gap could hinder the expansion of their company, according to PWC’s 20th CEO Survey. And they claim that the hardest skills to come by are the soft skills, which they value most. There is a severe shortage of emotionally intelligent, creative, and inventive leaders who can propel a company to success.

Business leaders should think about implementing a structured program to help their current staff develop new skills, as it can be challenging to find the right talent. Business transformations frequently focus on updating and improving systems and procedures, but it’s also crucial to upskill your workforce. Without new competencies, your team won’t be able to fully realize the benefits of the systems you’ve invested in.

A talent development program can help you attract and retain new hires in addition to meeting your competency needs. A training program is also a financially advantageous approach to acquiring talent because the expense of rehiring and retraining will greatly surpass your costs of development and retention.

Finding the skill gaps on your current team and creating a program to fill them are the two main steps in developing talent internally.

Determining the essential knowledge and abilities

Finding the abilities and competencies required for each role and level is the first step. “What are the specific competencies required to provide value to the company, and what are the required levels of those competencies to ensure value is maximized?” is a question you should ask yourself for each important position. This entails assessing the level of knowledge needed to be effective in the position, as well as the necessary skills and tools that individuals in it should be proficient in.

For each role, competencies must be precisely stated and defined. Examining current competency frameworks can be a useful first step in determining the skills required for your team in order to attract, nurture, and retain the best personnel.

While the needs of every organization and job will be different, any talent development program that aims to strengthen business strategy skills should generally concentrate on a few main areas:

Thinking both strategically and critically

Cooperation and business alliances throughout the company

Recognizing the market and the outside business environment

Capacity to oversee and direct change

Capacity to inspire groups

Evaluating the gaps and current team capabilities

Once the competencies that employees should possess have been established, the next step is to ascertain which of those competencies they currently possess and which ones still require improvement.

For example, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) did a lot of research to understand the skills gap between what leaders expected and what finance and accounting professionals really did on a daily basis when they were developing the syllabus for the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation. In order to understand the skills and new competencies required in the current business climate, AICPA and CIMA conducted interviews with over 300 employers worldwide as part of the process. Through the use of strategic case study exams, the resulting designation and learning program concentrates on developing new strengths necessary for finance and accounting professionals and assesses their application of these skills in actual workplace scenarios.

In a similar vein, firms can also use employee benchmarking surveys or surveys of managers and business executives to conduct competency assessments and find out where they believe their teams’ competencies are deficient. The extent of the skills gap that many business leaders find within their organizations during this process takes them by surprise.

This is the best time ever to increase your investment in talent development.