You are probably familiar with at least one of the following two situations:

  • You are new to the company and one employee is highly praised for helping the company a lot 10 years ago. However, after getting to know each other, you notice that this employee is currently hardly worth any more and is more like a hype.
  • You have an applicant who talks about numerous successful projects 10 years ago but the CV of the last 5 years is actually rather poor.

“It used to be good”

Many employees believe this sentence when they come across such employees. I often notice that old successes have a long-lasting effect on employees who have been with the company for 10-15 years and often such successes still carry great weight when changing jobs. But I see a danger:

Such employees tend to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s methods!

The last 5 years are crucial!

The IT world in particular is turning incredibly fast. Software development, for example, has been fundamentally changed by the cloud. Instead of monoliths, small micro-services are built, which are managed like a kind of orchestra and in terms of management methods such as Scrum and co. It is important to implement these new methods in the company.

I therefore believe that the successes of the last 3 and 5 years are the most important. Employees often start a quieter phase after great success and often miss new developments. There is a risk that the potential of the new technologies and methods will be missed. Especially in terms of long-life learning, this is often dangerous if the appointed messiah throws the company back 2 years rather than moving it forward.

Conclusion: opportunity for young talents!

Of course, this is a bit exaggerated but true. As a manager, I therefore like to rely on a mix of young, educated and hungry talent as well as old hands. However, I am not afraid to address current gaps in knowledge with old hands and not be blinded by old successes.

However, there is a great opportunity here for young talents, which I have also used. With my doctoral thesis on the use of technology to increase agility, I was able to assert myself as a department head against other applicants. I knew how a department can work completely virtually and how leadership works in digital space. Such insights are very new to this day and for many experienced managers still a book with seven seals.

In endangered professions, it is important to consistently develop further with the help of new IT skills and to change the job profile. For example, a clerk can use IT skills to configure the automation software or a construction worker can operate intelligent machines. As employees, we should start to take 100 percent responsibility for occupational safety #Employability, as companies can no longer assume this responsibility for employees. Nor can you rely on the educational systems in companies, you have to continue your education through active learning in your free time. A survey by Haufe already shows that more than a third of over 1,000 employees surveyed already receive further training on the weekend and in their free time.

Survey by Heap for further training

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Dr. Dominic Lindner
Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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