In a scientific manifesto titled, Novum Organum Scientiarum, (‘New Instrument of Science‘) published in 1620, Francis Bacon wrote that “knowledge is power.” It seems obvious today, but the relationship between science and technology was not recognized for a long time. Scholars were engaged in their studies while inventions were left to be discovered by enthusiasts or simply to chance.
On the cover of Novum Organum is a galleon sailing between the mythical Pillars of Hercules that borders the Strait of Gibraltar, a place of exit from the Mediterranean into the Atlantic Ocean. The Pillars—the boundary of “the known” and at the same time the opening to the new world for exploration—gave a nice visualization of the hopes behind Bacon’s experimental approach to research.
Today, everyone agrees that it is not possible to develop new technologies without proper scientific research. To spend money on a research that doesn’t lead to a development of a new technology, or at least support one, is not a wise option either. Bacon’s statement was revolutionary in the sense that it hinted on possibilities that different domains may be somehow connected. The relationship between economy, politics, technology, science created an understanding of a constantly evolving network of ideas and concepts that impact all aspects of our lives.
We can look at those relationships from a global point of view, but if we zoom in to explore the mechanics of how a modern engineering company operates, we find that the connections between all aspects of the business are critical. A manager needs to understand the skills and expertise within the company. Not only to understand the current state of it, but also to see what are the new competencies that people are developing. At the same time, it is critical to keep a close eye on what the competition is doing.
This knowledge alone doesn’t guarantee success. A manager needs to know who is available, who is mobile and willing to travel and who can work remotely. Who is willing to relocate and for how long? Lastly, who can divide their time and provide assistance to projects based on their high and unique skills?
Maintaining and applying expertise in the core skills required by current projects is critical, but this alone will not fulfill the long term goals. This requires a real understanding of the business and how it is creating value for its customers. In the most successful companies, everyone is driven by and engaged by the company’s core mission. In essence, every employee is the CEO of the company. Take a look at G Adventures built by Bruce Poon Tip – another connection to be discovered where business and social skills play a dominant role.
TeamFit has this unique ability to occupy the space between the science and technology. It helps to build bridges between people, teams, business units or companies. Bridges that are based on skills and competencies. There is only a handful of information that anyone can process and the amount of data that pours in is not getting smaller. We can however make it smarter. TeamFit will uncover and match availability, mobility, skills and expertise in a set of dashboards that are both, insightful and actionable.
It was interesting to hear Matt Moore, Product Manager at Google describing the Jobs API at the Next ’17 Conference. Skip forward to around 37 minute of the video. Google’s Commute Job Search option shows how job opportunities changes depending on the type of commute an applicant is willing to commit to. Now, if this interface idea is injected into the company skill graph and combined with upcoming projects, the manager will be able not only get the right set of skills in place, but also all the consultants will benefit from their mobility preferences which in return results in better utilization and job satisfaction. I should mention that Bruce Poon Tip was invited to speak at Google campus about the unique culture he and his team was able to build inside G Adventures. So, Francis Bacon, Google Jobs and the Palace on the Water are connected. At least in my mind.
Understanding the skills you have and the skills you need shouldn’t be so hard.
TeamFit can quickly and precisely give you the skill insights you have always wanted.
Steven Forth is a co-founder of TeamFit. See his TeamFit skill map here. See also The ROI on Skill and Expertise Management: Part 1 Win More Work and The ROI on Skill and Expertise Management Part 2: Utilization. The ROI on …
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