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Success or stagnation?

For telcos, human capital development is key to winning in the digital age.


To accelerate growth in a challenging marketplace, successful communications service providers will need to unlock the value of their human capital in the digital age. These industry leaders will re-balance their traditional and digital workforces and organizational structures to optimize performance. They will source talent beyond their payroll and reinvent traditional jobs. Equally important, they will establish a culture and leadership approach that infuses digital talent, tools and ways of working across the organization.

For an industry at a crossroads, a fundamentally different approach to sourcing and developing the workforce of the future could spell the difference between success or stagnation.


Key Findings

Success in the communications industry depends on reinventing the human capital agenda for the digital era. This reinvention has four dimensions:

  • Workforce composition and design: For many CSPs, an inability to shift workforce composition and organizational design puts them at risk of being outflanked by nimble competitors with more digital talent.

  • Talent sourcing: Rather than trying to bring all critical talent in-house, companies need to think in terms of tapping into academics, suppliers, consumers and on-demand talent in a more strategic, collaborative way.

  • Job reinvention: Many traditional jobs will still exist in the CSP of the future. However, the nature of the work, the key capabilities required and the tools used will change in the digital world.

  • Leadership & culture: Effective leadership in the digital age will depend on managing complexity and exercising judgment in the face of ever-increasing amounts of data and the collapse of traditional hierarchies.

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To create the workforce of the future, CSPs should:

  • Master the balancing act: Rebalance their workforce across all jobs, traditional and new—shifting scarce resources to focus on driving digital across the enterprise and with consumers.

  • Connect the dots: Develop an operating model that embraces the contributions of outside talent while also fostering development opportunities for employees.

  • Reinvent traditional jobs: Use digital technologies to re-invigorate traditional roles. Update job descriptions to include critical capabilities for the digital age.

  • Crack the leadership code: Combine recruitment of outside digital leadership talent with pioneering training and development activities.

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