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ASEAN Business And Investment Summit 2020 “Digital ASEAN: Sustainable and Inclusive“


Posted by Ngoc Thuy Nguyen

about 1 year ago

The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ASEAN-BIS) is South East Asia’s premier annual forum that brings together Presidents, Prime Ministers, and other leaders along with business and thought leaders at the ASEAN Summit.

Ms. Mai Nguyen - Managing Director at Navigos Search joined· the Panel discussion on Technology and The future of work in ASEAN on Friday, 13th November to share their opinions about: 

  • What does the future of work look like?
  • How can ASEAN businesses adapt to enhance their competitiveness?
  • What needs to be done to provide the right skills training for the jobs of the future?

A. The trends that are shaping the future of work & the portrait of the talent in the future

Before COVID-19 spread globally, digitalization and globalization have already been gradually transforming the way that organizations conduct business and the type of skills their talent needs. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated these beyond anything we could have imagined when it forces businesses to find efficient ways to work and communicate outside of the office, and most of these changes are here to stay.

The digital transformation is not about replacing employees with technology, but rather digitalizing the processes of how the workforce functions. It broadens the scope of work of many job categories and the lines among those categories are continuing to blur. For example, e-commerce initiatives forced sales leaders to grapple with some of the responsibilities that typically fell to marketing, then combined roles are increasingly prevalent. The rise of a new role, chief commercial officer, is created. Other familiar roles are Fintech, Martech…

The trends also change the job requirement and the portrait of successful talents. Besides the experience and technical knowledge, the talents need to have a business and career development vision, EQ, IQ, creativeness and have a sense of digital adaptation. Furthermore, the talent will need to improve their leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills to be able to work independently, and, at the same time, collaborate effectively with other stakeholders inside and outside of the organization.

B. What needs to be done to provide the right skills training for the jobs of the future?

The future of work creates a burning wave for the development of innovative large-scale upskilling, reskilling and redeployment initiatives. This trend requires lots of joint efforts among different parties: Enterprises to provide information on skill requirements for current and future needs. Media to help conveying the information to educate talents’ mindset about what is needed for their future career. Influencers to help civil society recognize the importance of those skills. Educators and training providers should address two issues: (a) timely updates of training curriculum with more practical knowledge and skills; and (b) creating new ways of conducting training to achieve the most effective outcomes of training.

Most importantly, the policy makers should have clearer role in pulling all forces for a big picture about future of work and in driving coordinated actions to address workforce transformations.

C. How can ASEAN businesses adapt to enhance their competitiveness?

“The digital transformation” has strong impacts on the way businesses are building up their is here, and many businesses have started applying technology to enhance their Employer Brand and grow their talents. AI, Robots have transformed the way businesses source their talents and make recruitment process more effective. However, under Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of priorities have been reconsidered.

Businesses have to balance between short-term solutions to maintain their operation and long-term strategy to build up their talents. Therefore, on the one hand, businesses still need to utilize all the benefits from technology to run their business more effectively and create a better working environment for their employees. On the other hand, they will need to make their more productive for now and more ready for the future. Some key actions that the businesses need to take:

  1. Review and benchmark their current capabilities against what will be needed to differentiate their business from others.
  2. Re-design positions and job scopes to make the operation more lean and efficient.
  3. Prepare the manpower plans based on different scenario to have the most optimal preparation for anything that may happen.
  4. Last but not least, never underestimate of learning & development. Even though the training expenses is normally in the top list of cost saving plan, business can be creative in training strategy. Different ways of training can be applied to build up the skills for the future, including technical skills for current jobs, new and transferrable skills for future jobs, and soft skills that help people adapt to the new era more smoothly.