Collaborative Talent for Future Cities

Collaborative Talent for Future Cities

Why Talent Management within Smart Cities is just as much about collaboration.


The Lewis Davey team took in the first day at Ovum’s Smart to Future conference earlier this week.  It was a great event with some fascinating speakers from Living PlanIT’s Steve Lewis, to Peter Madden of Future Cities Catapult, Joe Montgomery from the Urban Land Institute, Stuart Thorogood of Schneider and Andre Stelzner CIO of Cape Town to name a few.  It was a truly global event, taking in future, and resilient cities including Capetown, Bilbao and Copenhagen.


What was interesting to note, from speaking to quite a few of the speakers and attendees over the course of the conference, is a theme of collaboration within businesses.  In regard to Smart Cities a lot of businesses and specifically the more engineering & consultancy orientated groups have essentially drawn together existing talent from within the business to provide a collaborate pool of resource rather than look externally.


This mirrors the dialogue I’ve been having recently with those leading Smart Cities offerings to senior management thinking about how they position themselves – most of the resources are already there within an organisation.  There’s usually an innovative thinker who has positioned themselves with an interest in Future Cities and they have then taken a lead in developing a joined-up and collaborative approach to bringing together the right talent, developing the marketing material and a go-to market strategy. 


I’ve always been inclined to think that many organisations working within Smart Cities might struggle with the convergence of IT, Telecomms and Engineering. This is a very diverse set of skills that typically wouldn’t exist in anyone organisation.  You only have to look at the diversity of attendees at the conference to appreciate the diversity in talent that operates within Smart Cities.   From Engineers turned CIO’s talking about SAP and ERP to Local Government Climate Change Managers and Financiers…the challenges our future cities represent require access to a diversity of talent.

Bridging that gap between IT and Engineering is always an area where I thought many businesses might struggle but it would seem that the majority of outfits are essentially looking to partner with those that are specialists in their field thus providing a holistic offering.  I still think that an engineering consultancy, for instance, might be wise to upskill their IT know how if they want to be in position to advise independently and avoid a client that feels they have been miss sold some platform that doesn’t address their needs and that seems to be a very real problem. 


And then this morning I read this… which suggests that “Most Of What We Need For Smart Cities Already Exists”


What do you think? Do we already have the know-how and resources to create our future cities or do businesses need to think more creatively about their Future Cities Talent?


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