Human connection, not talent, is the key to success in a digital future
I'm just catching up on some of the great articles that were published during the World Economic Forum at Davos this year. As always there was plenty of food for thought, plenty of rich exchanges, and plenty to work with in this ever-changing global reality that is 21st century life on Earth.
One of the articles that struck me most was this one by Scott Snyder in which he writes about the importance of getting digital talent into the business - quite rightly, it's no use having killer systems and AI if you there's no one who can actually work them. The closing paragraph reads:
"[start] by having the right people with the right skills in the right roles to win will far outweigh picking the right technology, algorithm, or cool startup to work with. So make sure you get the human part right."
Yes, we need to make sure we get the human part right. But not only getting the right people for the right roles, bla bla. What about getting the right people to interact in a way that works? What about making sure that we get the communication and interaction part right?
Connection is a human being's lifeblood. We're made to connect and it profoundly affects our wellbeing and health. Studies have shown that having meaningful relationships, private and work, is fundamental to our overall wellbeing and our ability to cope with what life throws at us. We spend so much of our time at work that, really, we want to be in an environment that nourishes, energises, engages and makes us feel good - it's good for us and it's good for business. We're more productive and perform better when we're happier and more engaged. And we're happier and more engaged when we connect at a human level with those around us in a positive and creative way.
It's pretty much impossible to go through a day without connecting with another human - business is a series of conversations, relationships are a series of conversations, everywhere we go we interact, communicate, speak.
But what is the quality of those interactions? What is the quality of your conversations and interactions at work right now? For that matter, what is the quality of your conversations and interactions at home and with friends?
How do we feel after the conversations? Do we feel alive, nourished, energised? Or do we feel drained, stressed, anxious, lonely?
When do we really connect? What does it mean to make a real connection with another human being? What is possible when we step into that connection? Really lean into it?
Every relationship, business or personal, is a co-creation between people and when it's resilient, constructive, and energising it is a sign of real human connection. And from there it's possible to create, co-create, the extraordinary, both in your personal life and at work.
So, talent is key to success, yes, and absolutely critical to success is how the talent interacts and fosters real human connection - with each other and with the people in their world, at work and at home. After all, you want emotionally fit, productive, engaged talent, not washed out, embattled, stressed talent.