I saw this question asked in the context of robots & artificial intelligence taking over jobs.
“If you had the tools, why would you not use them?”
A rational question indeed. Yet, it reminded me almost instantly of a few people I know whose hobby is collecting stuff. I may have even considered labelling their predilection “hoarding” but never out loud. Tools, in the hands of those competent in wielding them. Stuff
– to use a George Carlin descriptor – for others who have no idea what to use them for but still have a deep desire to accumulate them.
In the context of organisations collecting skills, the predilection for collecting skills without quite knowing them is also pervasive. I didn’t think it possible, to be honest. After all, any organisation has no room for skills that don’t advance its motive – whether profit or otherwise.
The more I observe though, the more I see organisations collecting skills that they have no idea how to employ effectively. Robotics, automation, data science, decision science, artificial intelligence – these seem buzz words that deserve to be in the organisation but with little to no real understanding of what they are, or how they should be used.
To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Quite often you see how disengaged & disappointed employees are (high engagement survey results notwithstanding) because their primary skills slowly wither away through disuse, while their top-grade employer has them doing things a fresh graduate with some spreadsheet skills could do.