These days it’s all about people who can solve problems and are able to change and adapt quickly – so it’s increasingly important for graduates to have broader, softer skills as well as a technical background.
“Strong grades are great but we are looking past that to see the softer skills, whether they have been in any problem-solving competitions, whether they play team sports, their personal and social skills, so we can assess whether they have the ability to build relationships with clients and others.”
PwC New Zealand CEO, Mark Averill, was speaking ahead of the PwC-Herald Talks launch event where he will talk about the results of a survey of NZ CEOs where the need for problem solving skills, in addition to technical skills, was highlighted.
At Kepner-Tregoe, we see what value that deep problem solving skills bring to the organizations we work with. While some of these competencies come naturally, training to learn an established and proven methodology can quickly accelerate anyone’s problem solving proficiency.
Technical skills are important, but problem solving is a capability, the importance of which has long been underestimated. When things go wrong, delays in projects or day to day business activity can be very costly and technical ability can only get you so far. It is the ability to take a logical and clearly understood path of action using a problem solving framework such as KT, that can mean the difference between a quick return to normal service, or an outage that could potentially cost the business millions of dollars.
We are very pleased to see that business decision makers are recognizing the value of effective problem solving.
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