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Treading the Middle Path: Making Sense of Skilling in the Age of Technology

Written By Bhuvi Kathpalia

Anirban B Roy
Chief Revenue Officer Mercer | Mettl

He opened with the what, the who, and the how of an effective L&D strategy. While one set of organizations termed AI and automation the most significant existential threat to humankind, the other group believed that the future was far more begin. However, the truth was a mix of both. Anirban noted that the future might witness machines and humans cooperating and co-creating the future of work.

Reskilling, thus, was the need of the hour. The first step towards building a future-ready workforce was to stop speculating and gaining an insight into the skills needed in the future, he suggested. These skills were needed to be incorporated into the business strategy so that humans were ready to work alongside technology, Anirban added.

The skills listed by the World Economic Forum, likely to be adopted by industries, were mostly focussed on technology. However, there were other skill clusters such as high order cognition and social and emotional skills that were still going to hold high relevance in the future.

Anirban Roy discussed the key constructs that were pooled together to create learning agility: mental agility, people agility, change agility and result agility.

Skill proximity was yet another concept that Anirban talked about, which could be helpful in an L&D initiative. The farther the skill in a skill proximity map, the higher should be the learning agility of the individual to successfully practice that skill, he said.

Anirban borrowed insights from Mercer | Mettl’s ‘State of Workplace Learning & Development 2020’ report to stress on the importance of measuring learning agility, a future-looking business strategy. He also talked about using skill simulators, assessment centers, and customized development plans for recording higher training effectiveness.

With supporting case studies of Tata Communication and Generali where Mercer | Mettl successfully enabled laying the path for a future-ready workforce, Anirban Roy summarized his session with the following takeaway:


  • Skills of the Future
  • Soft Skills
  • Scientific Training Needs Identification


  • Learning Agility
  • Skill Proximity
  • Feedback Tools


  • Employee Experience
  • Delivery Model
  • Measurability


Topics: News and Events

Originally published December 26 2019,updated April 04 2020

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