November 15, 2015

Bursting the Bubble

If you read my first blog “Operating Inside of a Bubble,” where I set out to paint a picture of the life of a CMM inspector from my perspective, you now have a context for this conversation.

Some industry experts are forecasting a skills shortage. Some say we’re already experiencing one. On the surface, a skills shortage would pose problems. In a skills shortage, where would employers get the people who possess the skills they require for any given position? If an employer thinks along the lines of only people with skill “A” may succeed at job “A” then yes, a shortage in people possessing skill “A” would pose a problem…and you’ll miss out on some really extraordinary people by operating within these boundaries.

Given the opportunity, the appropriate resources and access to historical knowledge, it really comes down to finding the right person for the job, not necessarily the person who already has a given skill and experience—who, by the way, may also be entirely the wrong person for the job.

A few years ago I was introduced to the Kolbe A Index by a friend and business associate. The Kolbe A Index measures a person’s instinctive method of operation (MO), and identifies the ways he or she will be most productive. I took the short test, as did both my business partners and several other people I do business with. What I got from all this is that all the training and experience in the world doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll excel in a given position if the requirements of the job are not aligned with your natural method of operation or how you process information. So what if employers were used the Kolbe A Index or something like in their search for the right person for the job. In this scenario you can see that it’s not so much a potential skills shortage that poses a problem, rather the way an employer perceives it.

There are literally tens of thousands of talented people in Ontario alone looking for work. Skills shortage you say?

You may be wondering how this so-called skills shortage relates to our CMM community. Consider that one of the responsibilities of this community is knowledge management and that by sharing what we know, we create a resource for future generations. Sounds a bit melodramatic, I know, but please read on.

As I alluded to in my previous blog, the sharing of knowledge is something engrained or “hard-wired” in all of us and has always been part of what it is to be human, but really it goes much deeper than that. Civilizations have always depended on the passing down of the history, knowledge and skills necessary to not only survive, but to thrive and evolve in the environment they live.

Take a leap with me here and consider that our community of CMM inspectors is similar to a civilization in that without the passing down of history, knowledge and skills, how do we evolve and advance? The answer is we don’t. In fact it’s difficult to even sustain at some level since there is little in the way of “common” knowledge. We essentially keep re-inventing the wheel for ourselves, each wheel slightly different from the next. With little in the way of formal, standardized training and certification for CMM inspectors out there, how do we effectively perpetuate these skills? In my opinion, it’s up to this very community to do something about it.

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