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If you build it they will come Published: Sunday, February 9, 2014 12:01 am By: Rafael Ríos, VP Executive

For the last fifteen years we have been talking about a new world order where wealth is attained through the acquisition of knowledge. We saw the emergence of a new economic playing field, a global one, where the players would come from all over the world. In this stadium the price of admission and the price to play was determined by the amount of knowledge that you brought to the table. These new stadiums or playing fields have built upon solid state of the art technology foundations where real time access to information and knowledge is a reality.

This new playing field has created multiple forms of collaboration with partners and even competitors throughout the world. The metaphoric shrinking of distances between continents thanks to improvement of transportation and efficient management of supply chains; the global democratization of knowledge (Brazil, China, Chile, Peru, India, Panama etc,); the faster occurrence of obsolescence of equipment and technology; the sophistication of consumers and the diminished life time of competitive advantages have all had a significant impact on how we do business today in this knowledge economy. It is part of the playing field.

Today knowledge is considered “the most critical resource in any developing country”especially in a business environment  that has become so unpredictable and where the traditional models for anticipating and adapting to the market evolution are demonstrating their limitations.

Ever sense I can remember I have heard our economic gurus state that Puerto Rico has been economically disadvantaged because we have not been blessed with natural resources. They have said that we are an island isolated from the world. The question has been asked, what do we have to offer? Is it only our beaches or tax incentives?

These are complex questions that merit much analysis and intricate multifaceted solutions. Yet one solution organizations can take that doesn’t require vast amount of traditional resources is obvious. Decide to play the game. Build your own playing field use the most critical resources that gives completive advantage. Knowledge

We are convinced that if you build the field, they will come. Like in the traditional economy there are many questions to be answered. But now you have more control over these. If the passion is there to make it work, there is a way. 

There are many blocks that are needed to build this new stadium. The blocks are like questions that have to be answered. What is our value proposition? What channels are necessary to reach our clients? Who can we partner with? What key resources are necessary ect.

These questions can all be answered easier by using one critical resource that we have been talking about,…Knowledge.

So a key block that is needed to build the stadium is knowledge, state of the art knowledge. Many employers by themselves or in partnership with learning institutions are developing programs to provide that knowledge. Corporate universities are venues where these new knowledge blocks or competencies and be acquired and applied.

So what are the basic key competencies that are needed to play in this field?

Learning Skills – which will help the employee to keep in touch with what is happening in the real world and, at the same time, facilitate  adaptation to a rapidly changing environment; those players that are the fastest learners will be the leaders of the pack, This learning is both theoretical and organizations learning;

Innovations skills- which will use innovation to drive every element of a business, product and service innovation, managing processes, managing people etc.

Strategic Thinking – which will use the understanding of the playing field to anticipate and develop priorities for future action.

Technology skills – which will help the incumbent  to obtain, disseminate and process information; provide the skills to use  informational and communicational technology in order to collaborate, learn, construct models, produce creative works and interact with peers, experts and other audience,

Problem solving skills – which will reflect his/hers capacity of seeking and using information with a very well defined goal and his/hers ability of finding a proper systemic solution;

Teamwork skills – which will facilitate the knowledge creation, acquisition and dissemination; Develop expertise to play and collaborate in global teams;

Networking skills- which will create a network of contact and relationships that foster partnering business solution.

Communication skills – which will offer skill to present information persuasively to express himself/herself in front of a smaller or bigger audience, in a written or orally manner;

Risk-taking – which will put under light the employees capacity of predicting what is going to happen, assuming calculated risk and tolerate uncertainty

Critical thinking – which will reflect the employees capacity of analysis and synthesis of complex information and his/hers ability of analyzing the same situation from different perspectives.

Besides these organizational competencies, specialized functional knowledge is very important to play successfully in the game. Many times the companies value proposition is served by this functional expertise.

As you can see this knowledge economy is viable. We can build it, or someone else can, the thing is to be able to pay the price,  and Price = Knowledge.

 


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