The most important corporate resource over the next twenty years will be talent. It is also the resource in shortest supply. This is particularly true in the field of high tech and finance but also in the field of policy-making at the highest level of world affairs, such as in international organisations. Jasmine Champenois, from the Executive Education Department of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, offers some analysis.
In this time of high uncertainty on the
international job market, what is the
“war for talents”?
The “war for talents” is a term coined by headhunting companies to describe the shortage of qualified human resources forecasted in the next decade. Organisations, not only in the corporate sector but also on the market of governmental and nongovernmental organisations will have to fight to attract the best talented individuals and develop their skills. Talent is difficult to define. In the current economic context, new competences are clearly needed and it is necessary to build skills such as leadership, innovative and critical thinking.
Which skills do you think are important
for a young professional in the
world of global governance?
When we reflect on the cluster of skills needed by participants in our executive programmes, we come up with an endless list. What really matters, therefore, is for each individual to have a clear vision of where to find the information he needs, and not to be overloaded by it. For example, if one is looking to sell more milk in a new market or develop a local-governance project, what type of information should they be looking for? An efficient professional needs to build a framework for analysis and action based on expert knowledge, available global information and most importantly, what we term “innovative thinking”. This is very often the missing skill that participants are seeking when they turn to our programmes. It is this asset that gives any organisation a comparative advantage in the world today.
The Graduate Institute launches a
battery of executive education programmes
for professionals with high
potential: how do these fit in the
context of the war for talents?
It is while analysing these new trends that the Graduate Institute created its new Executive Master in International Negotiation and Policy-Making programme. It is a part time programme centered on the analysis of global governance, international negotiation and decision-making in the public and private sectors. As the Graduate Institute is ideally located at the heart of international Geneva, this programme enables professionals to refine their skills while working. Each year, about 30 professionals with high potential reflect upon key scenarios of evolution of the international arena. This programme aims at equipping professionals with the new skills that are critical to world affairs today.
What category of participants usually
attends this Executive Master in
Participants have between 3 to 10 years’ professional experience in both private and public sectors. They are usually well equipped in terms of professional expertise (engineering, administration, finance, communication, banking) but also wish to develop a set of new skills such as intercultural leadership and negotiation. The core of our participants is drawn from international organisations in Geneva such as UN agencies. Field workers, programme officers, public relations managers of these organisations have well understood that a traditional MBA is not appropriate for their career needs. They join our programme since it deals closely with what they face daily at work.
How do you see it makes a difference
back in their working environment?
An executive education programme usually helps participants to design their own analytical framework through which to quickly and critically make sense of their global environment. Our programmes on International negotiation offer participants a space within which to think beyond the frame of their own organisation and an opportunity to discover alternative perspectives that they might not have otherwise explored. For instance, one diplomat recently admitted that a case study that she had examined as part of our programme on international law had been spotted on! The very next day she had to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach in order to solve an issue with a business partner. She will definitely make a difference in the organisation she belongs to.
Do you think international organisations
recognise that they need to
equip their employees with this set of
Most organisations have realised that they are talent-constrained but have not yet defined long-term strategies for developing their competences. Without doubt, the organisations that are most likely to succeed are the ones that spend the most energy on attracting, developing, and retaining talent. Therefore, as the war for talents intensifies, training and innovative thinking will definitely widen the gap between the winners and the losers.
More information on the Executive Education at the Graduate Institute, http://graduateinstitute.ch/executive