• Never Grow Up

Building a Learning-First Organisation Today



The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated large workforce transitions, highlighting the need to

reskill workers at scale. However, after the pandemic, the scope of learning and

development (L&D) must extend beyond just reskilling. In my opinion, L&D should become

the solution designer in an organisation. From bridging the talent gap to adopting new

technology, L&D teams can play a critical role in solving crucial business problems. Along

with offering new skills, continuous learning can also help shape the culture of an organisation. However, to enable that, we need to reimagine L&D.


The evolving role of L&D

We all work in multigenerational organisations; modes or platforms of learning have to cater to the learning pallet or experience. While the process must be continuous, we cannot stay restricted to classroom training and special time-bound training models. The value of L&D lies in adopting new learning platforms and designing customised journeys which will cater to individual aspirations and organisational needs.


L&D will have to stay focused on:

  •  Up-skilling employees

  •  Staying relevant in the marketplace

  •  Analysing an organisation’s vision and growth plans

  •  Predicting learning needs of future roles


We often say that one gets the best learning on the job. However, in this dynamic and

ever-changing marketplace, L&D needs to push workers further, through experiential

learning journeys. The vision should always be, “to create future-focussed development

experiences that encourage workers to try new things at work.


Data-driven L&D

Data-driven L&D is the need of the hour and the future. L&D professionals should be able

to use data, to design and roll-out agile learning solutions. The role of these professionals is

evolving and I truly believe that it will further change considerably – from content curation to business advisory, to helping bridge external talent volatility with innovative learning solutions. Learning platforms and content are becoming increasingly affordable and personalised. L&D teams must shift from content curation to defining the need and designing affordable learning solutions.


All changes must ‘start at the top’

In the current crisis, the slow pace of corporate bureaucracy has been replaced by

distributed decision making and has led to the birth of agile organisations. L&D teams

must ensure that the change is sustained through leadership development programs. They

will help align multi-generational leadership philosophies and shift leadership behaviours

towards future needs.


Currently, L&D teams are mostly torn between cost pressures and the need to deliver

training to reskill workers. However, I am hopeful that in the recent future, organisational

learning journeys will be completely personalised, through the usage of AI learning

platforms. Additionally, on-demand learning deliveries through smart wearable devices

will help L&D partners push boundaries constantly and help an organisation stay relevant.


Food for thought

I will sign off with a few questions that L&D should start thinking about, if they have not

already:

  • Which jobs in my organisation are likely to get impacted when we start adopting AI and Machine Learning platforms?

  • How do we re-imagine and re-create instructional design for virtual learning platforms?

  • How can we offer personalisation at scale?

  • How will this crisis and the future alter the training we currently offer?


The author, Budhaditya Dasgupta is a Regional HR Leader currently working out of Singapore. A pragmatic leader with extensive experience across industries in multiple geographies, he believes in the value that HR brings to the table in building great organizations.

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