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4 May, 2022 - 5 min read

Know your own potential to help others find theirs

Ian Scott has a very full life - but he wouldn’t have it any other way. As GM of Client Solutions at Job and Recruitment agency Randstad, everyday he’s working to support people to reach their full potential. But Ian also recognises that means he needs to be tapped into what potential looks like for himself.

So alongside his full time role, Ian sits on Leukaemia Blood Cancer NZ’s consumer advisory board and is a committee member of the local junior rugby club. He’s a husband as well as a father to two young kids and an avid fly-fisher. Over the lockdown periods, while balancing working from home full-time, he took up fly-tying and renovated a bathroom. Ian clearly likes to push his limits on his own potential and give as much as he can.

Potential is what Ian trades in. So when he found the Human Potential for the Digital Economy programme, he saw a chance to extend his knowledge and immerse himself further in what potential looks like in the age where digitalisation is changing how we work and live.

Characteristically, when he began learning with Tech Futures Lab, Ian was still part way through completing two other courses in Design Thinking and Leadership Transformation in the Digital Age with another institute. But, he has absolutely no regrets about it.

“In honesty, it has been a juggle but I think this has been one of my most productive professional and educational moments in my life”

Exploring potential through others’ experiences

Ian began learning with Tech Futures Lab during the third (and hopefully) final lockdown period. For certainty and wellbeing, Tech Futures Lab made the somewhat difficult decision to continue the entire programme in an online environment. And in some ways, this delivered more flexibility to the learners.

“We had a new mother able to learn while breastfeeding her child, a site manager taking calls from her car after work, mums and dads in the park letting their kids expend their energy before dinner - the approach meant all sorts of lifestyles were able to accommodated”

That diversity and variety is what Ian loved about the programme, recognising that by learning alongside a cohort of people from all across the societal spectrum brought richness and depth to his own experience. “Everybody has gifts and knowledge to share in return.” And learning what others are striving for and working towards gave Ian even more insight into what’s needed to help people reach their potential.

Bringing together the humanity and the technology

Human potential - or moreover - realising potential, is what Ian already specialises in. 

And when it comes to digital transformation, the recruitment industry has been one of the leaders. Early adopters of online job listing markets, recommendation engines and smart online learning and development portals, the recruitment industry is now focusing on how Ai can support people to plan their career paths. In his role at Randstad Ian’s been in the thick of digital transformation for the better part of 6 years.

So why was a programme that looked at Human Potential for the Digital Economy relevant to Ian? Because despite this early adoption, there is still so much more to be done.

“Technology is impacting and disrupting my sector, as with most others, and I wanted to be a leader in that process, supporting my clients, my team and my employer to benefit from the disruption.”

Ian knew that by participating in a programme that looks deeply and critically at the intersection between human potential and digital transformation was a perfect platform to explore what more he could do to help people see their own ‘future of work’.

“I’ve used the programme to focus on how Ai is used in the recruitment sector, in particular how it can help people map their current and future skills to jobs that are emerging and in some cases don’t even yet exist, but are coming in the very near future.”

Ian sees the imminent disruption that Ai and digital change is bringing but he has concern that neither employees nor organisations have this view. Yet the urgency to discover it is building, as without that understanding, they’ll be caught short with limited skill sets to transition into a digital economy.

“More jobs will be created through this 4th industrial revolution, but we are woefully underprepared to bridge the gap between the skills our employees have and the ones we will all need in the very near future. Employers need to plan and invest for the changes now, upskilling and reskilling their workforces today to support the future needs of their businesses, or at the very least supporting affected employees to prepare for the challenges they will face in the new world of work.”

A passion for potential

Through his learning on the programme, and his final assessment submission, Ian is developing a strategic proposal that he hopes will help people create a roadmap to their future work options. He’s fully aware that to feel confident and prepared to see themselves in the ‘future of work’, people need to have a plan that includes new career pathways. To Ian, “wasted talent is quite frankly, a crime.” We couldn’t agree more.

His passion for helping people reach their potential and make the most of their skills is to be applauded. He’s developed a personal sense of duty to developing human potential that he’s committing himself to take this idea into a real world project. He’s opened a Pandora's box he has no intention of closing. In fact, he’s jumping into it. 

The Master of Technological Futures is now on his horizon as his own potential avenue to help further develop his thinking. He has an aspiration to expand his research area and expertise focused on the impacts of Ai and the future of our workforce.

“That is reality for business now, but we are not responding fast enough, and businesses are not yet equipped to manage the associated problems that are occurring as a consequence.  It is a solvable problem and one which I hope to play a part in resolving.”   

Ian Scott leads the Client Solutions team at Randstad, a job and recruitment agency. Despite over 20 years in recruitment, Ian still gained new knowledge as a learner on the Postgraduate Certificate in Human Potential for the Digital Economy. The postgraduate certificate is a 32-week part-time programme designed to compliment busy lives, by expanding knowledge, encouraging engagement and critically assessing the impact digital transformation is having on how we work and live. Learners on the programme are able to identify how emerging disruptive technologies can be harnessed to create flourishing, positive careers - either for themselves, within their communities, their organisations or wider industries.