Although corporate leaders have talked about skills gaps for years, the spread of automation and artificial intelligence is prompting some of the biggest companies — including Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, SAP, Walmart, and AT&T, to name just a few — to take action, not with small pilots but with comprehensive plans to retrain large segments of their workforces. These programs signal that the “future of work” is no longer an event on the distant horizon. It’s already here.
As intelligent machines take over many physical, repetitive, or basic cognitive tasks, the work that remains will involve both more technical and digital skills and more personal interaction, creativity, and judgment. The rising premium on these skills means that companies may not always be able to hire the talent they need to execute growth strategies. Increasingly, they need to develop talent from within. This approach helps organizations gain new capabilities while preserving in-house functional knowledge, experience, and understanding of company culture.