Pieter Nel

Learning – To be or not to be – Phase 1 

As I did in the last article on Learning - To be or not to be, I highlight a few other crucial points.

In this article, I am focusing on the importance of the first bullet point: Quantify the specific skills required. As a practical example, I will refer to the cybersecurity domain in this article. One can, however, apply the same concept to data science, machine learning, Cloud, etc.

When we consult with clients in the first stage of the Capability Academy journey, we focus on three specific skills areas, i.e., hard skills, also referred to as technical skills, behavioral skills, also referred to as Human or Soft Skills, and leadership skills. 

In the field of hard skills for cybersecurity, we would typically look into:


  • Scripting – it is an essential skill for a cybersecurity specialist to write scripts, but also be able to read scripts and provide advice to the development team 
  • Framework – an in-depth understanding of best practices, policies, and tools will go far to help secure your data and business operations. This includes CISA and CISSP. 
  • Intrusion Detection – knowledge about the usage of both IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems) and IPS (Intrusion Prevention Systems) 
  • Network Security Control – both wired and wireless
  • Operating Systems – both traditional and mobile
  • Incident Response – procedures and processes to respond to security incidents
  • Cloud – with the growth in Cloud, Cloud Security is critical  
  • DevOps – when considering the number of applications used on a daily basis, one is required to incorporate security into the DevOps process
  • Knowledge of threats – the whole field of Cyber Ops

This is, however, all based on hard skills. What about behavioral areas? This must, at a minimum, include:

  • Agile
  • Critical Thinking
  •  Design Thinking
  •  Problem-solving
  •  Communication
  •  Emotional Intelligence
  •  Resilience and grit
  •  Risk management

From a leadership perspective, the following areas need consideration:

  • Expert Insights on agility and collaboration
  • Leadership Insights on problem-solving and decision-making
  • Building Innovation cultures and leaders
  • Developing a team of Creative Gurus
  • Leading innovation
  • Leadership Insights on Leading a customer-centric culture

All of the above can be seen as only a list of items; however, the depth and breadth of the skills requirement still have to be identified and documented. This is a crucial aspect as it forms the foundation of the next article, “Measure your people against these criteria”, and then creating structured learning journeys to overcome the gaps. 

 The LRMG IT Talent team can play a significant role in ensuring that the first phase of realizing your investment in skills development is successfully completed. 

The LRMG group of companies specialises in igniting the high performance of people. We have a 25-year track record in partnering with high-consequence industries.

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