Friday, January 19, 2024

g-f(2)1868 Decoding Success: How Digital Academies Transform Workforces in the Age of Digital Evolution


genioux Fact post by Fernando Machuca and ChatGPT


In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital transformation, organizations face a critical challenge—bridging the digital skills gap. As the demand for digital and data science expertise outpaces the available workforce, traditional recruitment strategies fall short. However, a promising solution emerges in the form of "Digital Academies." This article delves into the success of these academies, with a spotlight on DuPont's Spark Digital Academy, offering insights into their design principles and transformative impact.

genioux GK Nugget:

"Digital academies, exemplified by DuPont's Spark Digital Academy, prove to be a potent remedy for the pressing digital skills gap. Tailored to organizational culture, highly experiential, and encompassing diverse employee segments, these academies pioneer a bottom-up cultural shift toward digital proficiency." —  Fernando Machuca and ChatGPT

genioux Foundational Fact:

In addressing the shortage of digital and data science skills, recruitment alone is insufficient. Organizations must commit to training and upskilling initiatives. The article emphasizes the need for internal programs, such as digital academies, to empower employees with the necessary skills and foster a culture of innovation.

10 genioux Facts:

  1. Digital Academy Success: "Digital academies" stand out as highly effective tools for closing the digital skills gap, fostering innovation, and facilitating digital transformation.
  2. DuPont's Exemplary Model: DuPont's Spark Digital Academy serves as a compelling model, with a focus on bottom-up cultural change, data utilization, and digital technology proficiency.
  3. Targeted Employee Segments: Successful digital academies cater to diverse employee roles, including "citizen data scientists" seeking in-depth expertise and "translators" fostering a holistic, big-picture view of processes.
  4. Experiential Learning: Academies thrive when coupled with experiential projects, aligning digital principles with real-world business challenges and ensuring deeper, practical learning.
  5. Continuous Learning Relationship: Establishing ongoing relationships post-academy is crucial for sustained cultural change, involving alum communities, mentorship, and technical support for digital projects.
  6. Benefits and Limitations: Advanced upskilling programs correlate with increased innovation, productivity, and growth. However, organizations often overlook the added workload on individuals engaged in self-directed learning.
  7. Leadership Struggles: A mere 18% of leaders believe their organizations have made significant progress in upskilling programs. Challenges include delineating skills, resource allocation, employee motivation, and retention.
  8. Cultural Integration: Digital academies contribute to a specific digital culture within organizations, aligning technology usage with the organizational context and vision.
  9. DuPont's Impact: Over 500 DuPont employees participating in Spark Digital Academy have contributed to the optimization of processes and the creation of value with digital products.
  10. Flexible Design: In the era of hybrid work, successful academies offer flexible course content and delivery formats, combining self-paced and instructor-led elements to accommodate diverse learning preferences.


The proliferation of corporate digital academies marks a transformative shift in upskilling strategies. As organizations like DuPont reap the benefits of tailored, experiential, and flexible learning approaches, the model becomes a beacon for others navigating the complex terrain of digital transformation. The future sees a collaborative landscape where corporations may join forces with external institutions to meet the escalating demand for digital and data science expertise.


The GK Article

Rubén Mancha and Salvatore Parise, Using “Digital Academies” to Close the Skills Gap, Harvard Business Review, January 17, 2024.

Bing Chatbot's Summary:

"Using 'Digital Academies' to Close the Skills Gap" is an article that discusses the role of digital academies in addressing the digital skills gap¹. These academies are among the most successful approaches to closing the digital skills gap¹. They are specific to a company's culture and narrative, highly experiential, considerate of organizational team dynamics, and reach across the enterprise¹.

The article uses DuPont's digital academy as a model, suggesting that companies should design their own internal upskilling programs to serve broad employee segments, include experiential elements, encourage continuous engagement, and prioritize flexibility¹. The authors, Rubén Mancha and Salvatore Parise, emphasize that the problem most companies face in executing their digital transformation is not access to technologies but a shortage of workers with digital and data science skills¹. They argue that recruitment can only get a company so far, and to bridge the rest of the way, companies need to commit to training and upskilling, giving employees opportunities to learn about technologies and room to experiment (and fail) with them¹.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 1/19/2024

(1) Using “Digital Academies” to Close the Skills Gap.

(2) FEBRUARY 2023 CLOSING THE DIGITAL SKILL DIVIDE - National Skills Coalition.

(3) Using “Digital Academies” to Close the Skills Gap.

(4) Digital Skills Gap Index 2021 - Wiley.

Rubén Mancha

Rubén Mancha is an Associate Professor in the Operations and Information Management Division at Babson College³. He is part of a team of faculty members who are dedicated to exploring and teaching various aspects of operations and information management¹. His work contributes to the college's mission of shaping entrepreneurial leaders who create great economic and social value everywhere². Further details about his specific areas of expertise and contributions are not readily available from the provided sources.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 1/19/2024

(1) Using “Digital Academies” to Close the Skills Gap.

(2) Operations and Information Management Division Faculty ... - Babson College.

(3) Faculty Profiles | Babson College.

Salvatore Parise

Salvatore Parise is an Associate Professor in the Technology, Operations, and Information Management Division at Babson College¹⁴. He teaches multidisciplinary courses in information technology, as well as an elective course on social technologies at both the graduate and undergraduate levels¹³⁴. His academic interests and expertise include innovation management, intellectual property strategy, predictive models for decision making in law practice, quantitative methods, technology, and law².

Source: Conversation with Bing, 1/19/2024

(1) Operations and Information Management Division Faculty ... - Babson College.

(2) Babson Faculty Spring Promotions - Babson Blogs | Babson College.

(3) Sal Parise, Author at Babson Thought & Action.

(4) Faculty Profiles | Babson College.

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