Article (November-2019)


Discovering the future of organizational learning and development

Dr. Prashant Rao

Designation : -   Vice President & Head - Corporate HR

Organization : -  Deepak Group Co., Vadodara (Gujarat)


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There has been a paradigm shift in learning and development in past few years due to technology intervention. What is your take on L&D of the future?

PR The L&D function has witnessed a paradigm shift, the technology has redefined the content, context pace, speed, the methodologies with focus on purpose, outcomes and agility in execution with deep insightful intricacies of alignments with business processes and outcomes. The focus has moved exponentially from know-how and skills acquisition to experiential and exposure-based change management interventions.

The future of L&D is to make the unexplored possible, realize the potential into performance, dissemination of knowledge with key focus on replication, customization, transmission and distribution with relevance is one of the biggest challenges for the futuristic learning organizations. In this era of continual sustenance of the learning organizations, the organizations which do not commit to the DNA of learning in their ecosystem learn shall distinct. The new indicators for future of Learning and development shall be the capabilities of the organization to create effective eco-systems for assimilations of the new learning and translation into meaningful, purposeful and impactful outcomes with enhanced organizational capabilities for the unique and differentiated value propositions. The learning for the future shall be more enabled, empowered, engaged, enriched and effective in view of the whole lot of advancements in the technology. There shall be immense availability of know-how, the challenge shall be exploration and aligning it with the requirements, build up the skills and catalytically fuel up the overall learning curvature for the people as well as the organizations.

The one biggest challenge which we all shall have to face along with technology is to enhance our capacities along with learning to continuously unlearn and Relearn. My visualization on L&D professionals for the future is demonstration of enhanced employee experiences, the power of passion with purpose and the speed to make people learn, unlearn and relearn, build engaged, and enriched ecosystems of powerful conversations for continual disseminations and knowledge management.

What are some current trends that you are optimistic about in the L&D function?

PR I see the four major trends for futuristic L&D function. Firstly, the canvas of L&D shall exponentially increase, the L&D function shall not only be limited to learning and development in the so called learning centres, they shall move forward with an integrated business aligned function as a key pillar for Talent Solutions with an objective of fulfilling the human capital requirements for the future organizations.

Secondly, the focus of future L&D function shall be transformational in nature, we have seen L&D more as an evolutional developmental ecosystem, moving forward the focus shall be from a process-centric approach to the outcomes and we shall see the new measures from input indices to the output indices with key integrated focus on cadre building, talent management, performance management and knowledge management. The coming trends shall come with the Performance Dashboards for measuring the experiences, exposures for key talents to cater to the organization requirements.

Thirdly, the futuristic trends shall see an innovative paradigm shift to see learning as an integrated experience for enriched engagements with the organization, moving from a participation mindset to a certification mindset and learning shall be a mutually rewarding experience.

Fourthly, last but not the least Technology shall continue to drive as a big game changer for the methods and we will see evolution of usage of innovative tools of virtual reality, simulation for experiential learning. The new definition of engagement with technology shall be demonstrated where we will learn the art of blending the human interface through engagements and using the newer technologies for the unique propositions.

Do you consider L&D as one the key challenges for talent management leaders in fast changing skills scenario, if so, how it should be addressed?

PR The key to success of a robust talent management intervention is on the strong foundation of the solutions from a L&D perspective. The success of L&D Strategy and Talent Management Outcomes is determined how the two functions are aligned with the overall strategy of business and the degree of the alignment and the integration with which both the functions operate.

One of the biggest challenges for all CXO's is to answer what percentage of talent management actions and outcomes have been deployed in the organization. The answer to this question is encouraging once the L&D functions as a partner to the business in providing the solutions for capacity and capability enhancement with expectations from a big basket of education, experience and exposures simultaneously required along with big expectations of ensuring that the inputs are well nurtured and groomed for the effective outcomes.

The challenge for the talent management leaders is to focus on the key accounts for the organization who believes shall make a great impact on the business outcomes. There is a wide gap in the speed of development, speed of expectations and the speed of outcomes. I feel we need to balance the space with L&D and talent management. The process is much more aligned when L&D is effectively integrated with the talent management as a function along with processes and systems.

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