We join the conversation as our hosts discuss some big investment in L&D for the automotive industry. Listen to the conversation in full above or read an excerpt of the transcript beneath, which has been edited for clarity.
Kate Graham: The automotive industry is obviously an interesting one in terms of transformation, because it is fundamentally having to change how it does everything, because of the fuel situation and the changes with electric cars, etc.
And we had somebody on leading a roundtable discussion from Lotus earlier this year. He was very much talking about the skills piece that was the thrust of the discussion and how they’ve invested in accelerating learning within Lotus. And this chimes in with that for Mercedes, who are obviously an enormous business. So I think it shows the level of importance of skills now. And I think what I keep saying to people is that skills is elevating the learning and development agenda. IBM talk about skills as the ‘golden thread’ that pulls everything together.
So from recruitment and onboarding, and hiring for skills rather than experience through to talent management, succession, internal mobility – all of these different areas across which HR is trying to juggle so many balls – they talk about skills being that golden thread that connects everything, and I absolutely love that.
Because this is proof-positive, right? Because they would not be investing this kind of money were it not fundamental for the business; they’re not doing this so nice-to-have, fluffy training program, or whatever – it is business critical.
And I think it’s an example of how other organizations can frame their skills investment, and their learning and development planning. So yeah, it’s great to see them talking about it so openly as well.
Jon Kennard: Completely, yes. A statement from Sabine Kohleisen, who is on the board of Mercedes, human resources director, couldn’t have put it better, really: “Turn2Learn will create limitless opportunities for lifelong learning. Everyone can continue their education independently of time and place across all units and levels. As a company, we primarily rely on learning paths that enable us to forge ahead with digitalization and electrification”.
A lot of that is quite standard stuff. But certainly the last bit to your point about undeniable and unstoppable transformation in this world; what’s happening with their products is also happening with their people. And that’s great.
KG: Yeah, we’ve got a webinar coming up with Google, funnily enough in September, which you can find underneath the events and webinars section on the website – casual plug there – but I say that because I was just looking at the copy for it earlier, and it’s talking about the five factors that are breaking your work model at the moment and how to fix them.
And without giving away what those five factors are – come along, if you’re interested – it’s these big picture transformation pieces, and which parts of those that you need to tackle. And I think that that’s obviously what Mercedes Benz have done here is they’ve gone, right, how do we survive? How do we grow? How do we thrive? And worked it back through the problem. I think yes, it’s fantastic to see and I think other organizations will be following suit.
There’s no playbook for skills, right, organizations are still figuring their skill strategies out. Big time. We see that in every conversation we have across our different events. With the UNLEASH audience, so it’s exciting. And it would be nice if Mercedes want to come and tell that story in 12 to 18 months…
For the full conversation – listen above…
Learning and Development