I’ve just concluded an exhilarating 2 months of travel to the United States, Europe, India, and Southeast Asia to meet Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs), heads of Digital Transformation, CEOs and other C-suite leaders to understand how they are thinking about their human capital development in "The Age of AI”.

“Outcomes” and “Scale” are two themes that arose time and again when I asked the question, in this era of profound change, what qualities and attitudes are most lacking in your workforce?

In every conversation, there was a common desire for the development of 'soft' or 'behavioral' skills such as effective Communication, Collaboration, Empathy, and the ability to Think Critically.

Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, and Tim Cook have all also recently emphasized the growing importance of soft skills in the era of AI.

And while this list of top skills has been clear for some time, what emerged as new was that the themes of "Outcomes" and "Scale" arose repeatedly.

This underscores a crucial shift in industries, where questions that have long been dormant within functional departments like HR and L&D are now surfacing on C-suite agendas.

The C-suite is now demanding data-driven efficacy & insights to showcase the transformation of their workforce. They’re also seeking strategic and scalable approaches that enhance the ability of teams to collaborate swiftly and effectively, especially within the context of hybrid teams.

Companies have long touted that their most important asset is their people, but as we all know this has often been little more than lip service. Today, there's evidence that the best companies are digging deeper into talent transformation. They’re asking questions about the type of training, and the approach being used because they want to see Outcomes and Results rather than passive learning strategies that serve as simple check boxes for HR.

Consider this: You don't 'learn' to become a lawyer, surgeon, or chef; you are intentionally 'trained' to acquire and internalize these skills.

The notion that sending individuals on a two-day communication workshop will instill lasting behavioral change is increasingly and rightfully being questioned.

Managers understand that short term interventions don’t Stick, and training is forgotten.

This skepticism is heightened by the global trend, accelerated by COVID-19, of sending the workforce to self-serve from content libraries with less than 15% completion rates.

It's crucial to recognize that content alone does not equate to learning, and building a capable workforce demands an “intentional” training approach over time.

While there's much short-term enthusiasm about AI, real transformation is expected in the next 3-5 years. Large-scale models, such as 20,000-person call centers or software teams comprising tens of thousands, are now vulnerable.

This is why the ability for the humans in the workforce to think, focus, communicate, and collaborate rapidly and at scale has become paramount.

The good news is that outcomes at scale are achievable. Our clients enjoy 90-100% completion rate of courses, 62% skills gain, multiple measured behavioral outcomes, and a 74+ recommendation score on an average globally.

The best part is that the learning measurably “Sticks” even after 6 months of the course. How do we know that? We and our clients, that range from Fortune 500 to family businesses conduct extensive evaluation after the course ends to verify outcomes.

Exciting, isn’t it? To know that it is possible to achieve outstanding outcomes at scale to prepare teams for the world of AI!

Stay connected on LinkedIn: Anthony Hayward