Article (November-2019)


Learning how to learn

Anil Kaushik

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With changing landscape of work and workplace, where more than generations are working together under the continuous intervention of technology, learning and development function of the future will also have to reshape and re-imagine in view of emerging needs of organisations. Since workplace challenges are going to be unique so with the L&D. The increasingly connected workforce is giving rise to different learning behaviours from the past where skills were pre known and stable. Fast transformations and growing disruptions will also impact the L&D function to be away from stereotype working, be future focused and leverage the positive influence of technology in training. Training drives skills, skills drive talent and talent drives business. So from content to delivery, everything is changing. Online learning will also make its own prominent space.

By keeping fundamentals of L&D intact in place, it has to be purpose driven. It has to move from an activity to investment by keeping the future role clarity. Systematic learning will help create a culture where people see enough learning opportunity. To make a high impact learning culture in organisation, L&D professionals will face challenges. Unlearning the past, re-skilling and up-skilling to match with requirement quickly when people are flooded with information in their mailboxes every minute, the danger is of losing the ability to be conscious to delve deeper. The problem is not of learning content but its abundance. So L&D professionals also need to be content curators and aggregators which is not easy. Making employees learn how to work with the robots as co-employees instead of humans would be another area of challenge.

Amid automation, where L&D will move around developing skills in AI, machine learning, cloud technology and critical thinking to cope up with an unknown future, it would be a mistake to presume that soft skills will lose its relevance because technology will take over people work. One recent research indicates that skills like innovation and creativity, problem solving, adaptability and flexibility, communication and leadership will remain important and relevant.

To make L&D future ready, organisations need to change the mindset of managers who still believe that relieving the employee for training is nothing but a time waste and he can only learn while on the job. ROI can only be talked about when the very fundamentals are in place. Building an ecosystem where people can learn from each other is also desirable and making L&D employee led.

Nov. 2019 edition is centred around the theme of L&D of the future where HR leaders and Industry practitioners delve upon the nuances of the subject addressing the dilemmas and changing role of professionals.