The skills you need to step up to your next role

Alex: Gareth, many of the skills that we help people gain and the processes that we introduce them to, are about helping them elevate themselves in their role.

So, it may be either becoming super competent at the role that they’re in. Or perhaps giving them that capability to step up to that next role once they prove themselves. Now that’s interesting, isn’t it? Because sometimes if somebody’s really good at doing what they were doing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll then be a good leader, for example. How do we manage that conundrum? And how do we help people step up, where appropriate.


Gareth: Yeah. It’s very interesting. And people are often promoted on the technical skills and competencies of their current role. They get promoted and hence those skills and competencies aren’t necessarily fit for purpose for the new role. Hence, you get the phrase people promoted level of incompetence, which sounds harsh. But I think that it’s a reality of life.

So, there is something there about helping people into those new roles, but also making sure they’re fit for purpose beforehand as well. So, what are we doing to equip our future leaders in the commercial world with the skills, capabilities that they’re going to need in those roles. And I think there are some learning that we can take from other organisations.


Alex: Okay. So, tell us more about that.


Gareth: Well, as you know, I’m quite a quite a fan of history and things like that. So, one thing I know about is that the Royal Navy and the submarine fleets they put their captains through what’s called The Perisher.

Now they get an intense training and always bear in mind of course that these people are skilled people anyway. And what they do is they give them submarine training. But of course, what happens next is they are given them forty-eight hours in charge of a nuclear submarine and all the lives that are on board. Intense training. It’s about, I think a 50% pass rate.

So, it’s not prizes for all. And, of course, fail, you go back to the surface fleet, and you’re never allowed to go onto submarines again. But if you pass, you know you’ve got the skills, the capabilities, the leadership, to do the role. And more importantly, I guess, so does your crew.


Alex: So, I love the analogy actually and it’s a great metaphor for what we’re trying to do here, but we’re not in the life and death business. We’re about selling stuff and building great relationships with customers. So, what’s the equivalent in our world, Gareth? And how can we support? Or how can our clients support that kind of growth?


Gareth: It is interesting because when it is life and death, people put real thought into this. When it’s not, then people often don’t. So, of course, they’re not equivalent. They’re different things. But I think there is something there about recognising, well, what are the skills and capabilities that people are going to need in those new roles?

What help do they need? What training do they need? And how do we help them practice? And what’s the level of expectation that we put on people? So, what level do people need to get to be fit and purposeful in those roles and to give them the confidence to thrive. And there could be something there about accreditation involved as well. So, it’s not just a one-way thing from the organisation. Clearly, there’s an expectation and the responsibility is on the individual to not only engage but also demonstrate those skills.

So, I think, firstly, identify what those new skills and capabilities are, identify how we can equip those people with the skills and capabilities. But I think, thirdly, what’s the almost like the culture and the expectation of those people so that they become self, almost like self-starting so that they really are equipped for those roles.


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