The Talking Agility podcast is produced by Accenture FS Talent & Organization and hosted by Accenture’s Elitsa Nacheva. It delves into big ideas around innovation, disruption and agility. Ithis episode, Nicholas Whittall, who leads the Global Future Workforce practice for Accenture Strategy, joins Elitsa and me to discuss the impact of digital on the workforce. It’s time to act. 

FS organisations understand the issues and know they need to reskill the workforce for digital, but the responses of many are sluggish—our Accenture Future Workforce Survey: Realising the full value of AI (see the banking and insurance reports) shows most are not acting. While 60 percent of organisations are increasing their investment in AI, less than 5 percent are planning to significantly increase their investment in reskilling in the next three years.

I believe organisations are a little bit paralysed. They have seen the research but they don’t know how to start. Nicholas makes the point, however: FS organisations are not underestimating the impact that artificial intelligence and other intelligent technologies are going to have on the workforce; they are underestimating the amount of time it’s going to take to prepare the workforce for that future of work.

One of their challenges is creating a pathway to develop the workforce in a logical and structured way. That’s partly because they’re not really sure exactly what sort of workforce they will need in the future. While we answer some of these questions in the podcast, I believe the biggest realisation FS organisations need to come to is that there are no overnight solutions.

Take cultural change—agility requires a huge culture change so I say, get comfortable with the idea of scrapping perfection. Don’t worry if it’s not been done before. The whole idea is to try new things and experiment. The worse decision companies can make now is no decision; they need to get cracking and figure it out as they go.

In this podcast, I cover key topics FS leaders are, in my experience, keen to explore:

  • What the future of work will look like.
  • The characteristics of an agile workforce.
  • Why many FS organisations are slow to reskill and gear for digital.
  • The role of leadership in building an agile workforce.
  • The skills and competencies leaders should be looking for.

How is your organisation building an agile workforce for the future? What new jobs and skills are you seeing? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Find the ‘Building the future workforce’ Talking Agility podcast here. For more episodes, go to or subscribe to the podcast on your favourite platform.

Meanwhile, for more insight on building an adaptive workforce, read Shaping the adaptive financial services organisation of the future. You can read the banking and insurance versions of our 2018 Accenture Future Workforce Survey: Realizing the full value of AI to understand the impact on the workforce and how FS organisations are responding.

To learn more about enterprise agility in financial services, download our report.

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