Deanna Mulligan is the former CEO and current Board Chair of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, and the author of Hire Purpose; How Smart Companies Can Close the Skills Gap. Deanna shares why investing in reskilling is the key to success. Employers of all sizes can and should reskill to attract, retain and outperform the competition. One of the ways you build empathy is you earn, and you earn it by doing the hard stuff.
[5:15] One of the things the pandemic has taught Deanna is that we are more innovative than we think. She rushed in and deployed technology that would normally have taken eight months to train and get familiar with, in under two weeks, and it had a very high acceptance rate!
[7:00] Now that she has freed up human capital, she can now train her staff in other areas and help them become more specialized.
[11:40] The role and the importance of actuaries are going to change as technology makes it easier to calculate complex math problems.
[12:30] For example, in the fraud department, AI and machines are much quicker at picking up these bad patterns than humans are.
[14:25] So what happens when these skill sets become irrelevant for a human to do? It’s time to put your people in a new training program to upskill or reskill them. Deanna developed a program where her actuaries can now become data scientists and they’ve seen great results from it.
[15:20] It’s a two-way street. Companies owe it to their employees to reskill them, but employees also need to be proactive and take advantage of learning opportunities.
[17:15] You can assist and boost your employee’s skill sets up even if you’re a small company. There are a lot of free resources out there!
[20:40] Yes, it is hard to train your brain to think differently or to learn a foreign tool, but the rewards are far greater.
[24:00] No one is immune to the need to reskill. CEO attributes might very well be outdated in two to three years.
[32:25] Purpose and profits are intertwined. The more you live the company purpose, the less you have to worry about profits because they will naturally follow.
[38:15] We’re all in this together, so let’s think through what we have to do to get to the end goal. It’s the leaders’ mission to include that goal and facilitate their frontline employees to use the tools.
[40:39] Although it might sound unrealistic, Deanna’s two-year sabbatical was much needed. It gave her the chance to step back and really think with intention and purpose about the kind of organization she wanted to lead.
[44:50] Listener Challenge: Never Stop Learning.
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Quotable Quotes“Purpose and profits are intertwined.” Click To Tweet “Human beings are endlessly adaptable and both our customers and our agents are endlessly adaptable.” Click To Tweet “When people are in adverse circumstances, they reach down in themselves and they learn how to do things and invent things.” Click To Tweet “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Click To Tweet “We can teach adults new things at a very sophisticated level.” Click To Tweet “Even though it’s difficult, investment [in your staff] is the answer.” Click To Tweet “One of the ways you build empathy is you earn, and you earn it by doing the hard stuff.” Click To Tweet “If you can’t connect what you’re doing every day to a higher purpose of some sort, then you’re going to have a hard time staying in business.” Click To Tweet
These are the books referenced in our discussion with Deanna
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