Published August 29, 2014

According to today’s Wall Street Journal, Apple and Google are on the hunt for software prodigies to develop apps. They see advantages in younger thinking (13 year old whiz kids are becoming more common). It is also a new avenue to find talent. As evidenced in my recent skills gap study along with daily feedback (and complaints!) from clients and key contacts, there simply aren’t enough high-skilled resources to fill today’s increasingly complex and global needs. Thus, it seems worthwhile to take a page out of Apple’s playbook and turn to innovation. Yesterday evening, I facilitated an executive roundtable discussion on innovation, and there was unanimous agreement that innovation is a “must” for success.

One tip to implement this week: Do you have enough of the “right” skills and “right” people? Unlikely so. Think about innovative ideas for filling these gaps. Ask your #1 source of innovation – your employees! Collaborate with supply chain partners – perhaps they’ll have ideas you haven’t thought about. Partner with local trade associations and universities. Can you attract the young and talented like Google? Is your work environment desirable? Why not ask your star employees to refer their friends? Could mentoring turn a medium skilled employee into a star? Can you bring in high-skilled talent for specific projects to supplement? Brainstorm with your team. You’ll uncover innovative ideas. We are all in the relationship business.