Bangalore, By Surya Prakash Mohapatra, Global Head- Talent Transformation, Wipro BPS: What 2018 has in store for L&D? Is L&D destined to succeed in 2018? Well, it will depend on how L&D professionals are shaping up and scaling up to take on the challenges 2018 will throw at them. We are living in a VUCA world today. Organizations and businesses are locked in a bitter battle to reach their customers faster than competition. Each organization is trying to launch the best product and service, provide the best experience to their customers. The key differentiator in this bitter battle is going to be organizational capability. Business leaders will look up to their L&D functions for help. Will L&D be able to enable and accelerate an organization’s competitive business strategy?
I have been closely watching the evolution of L&D over the last decade or so. Basis my observation and analysis, I would encourage L&D practitioners to adopt the following 5 success mantras in 2018, If they want to survive and thrive.
- Focus on Value Creation
If you want to build a best-in-class L&D function, focus on value creation for the business. Organizations where L&D team is merely focused on churning out content, rolling out training programs, conducting assessments etc. will either perish, or disintegrate (and merge with business functions) or will be reduced to a non-entity. L&D leaders need to up the game to survive. They need to ask themselves:
- Are we solving any business problem?
- Are we fostering innovation in the organization?
- Are we building organizational capability needed to succeed today and tomorrow?
If the answer to the aforesaid questions is ‘yes’, then you are taking the right steps and moving in the right direction.
- Match the speed of change
Technology is changing everything at lighting speed. L&D needs to match this speed to survive and succeed. The time taken by L&D to design, develop and deploy new learning solutions is usually very long. Often, by the time the L&D team goes through the process of content design, development, assessment creation, train-the-trainer and pilot roll out, the skill-set becomes obsolete. L&D needs to find out ways and means to churn out learning solutions at a fast pace to match the speed of change. They need to produce just-in-time content for people who need to upgrade themselves at regular intervals. The age old ADDIE model is a thing of the past now is being replaced by other fast track instructional design models.
- Embrace New Age Learning Tools and techniques
New age learning tools like videos, social media, mobile learning, gamification, chat bots, voice bots etc. will revolutionize the learning space. Use of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual reality, augmented reality, Internet of Things etc. will take learning to a different level in your organizations in 2018. Are you ready for this technological revolution in the learning pace? Tools will significantly improve employee experience, optimize effectiveness and improve efficiency. These tools will give the learners the power of choice. The learner can choose what to learn, when to learn, how to learn and who to learn from and who to learn with.
- Leverage findings of research in neuro-science.
L&D leaders need to leverage Neuroscience to build powerful relevant and meaningful learning solutions. Over the last two decades, neuro-scientists have done a lot of research on how the brain learns and how we can optimize our brain’s ability to learn, retain and apply knowledge. Forward looking L&D practitioners are going to connect the dots between their learning design and development strategies and the findings from research in neuro-science.
Please watch this video to learn more about the application of neuro science in learning: https://youtu.be/P0avoMrlYH0
- Focus on the Skills that would always remain useful
Technology is changing everything today. New technology is replacing old ones. This is leading people to upskill, cross-skill and reskills themselves all the time. Today, most professionals need to upgrade their skills every 12-18 months. While people will figure out ways and means to learn on their own, L&D needs to switch over their focus to skills that would always remain relevant. Skills like problem solving, innovation and creativity, leading people etc. would always be in high demand. L&D is not sure about which technology or business model would emerge in near future. However, they can be reasonably sure that people would always need to develop capability to solve business problems, innovate and create new products and solutions, negotiate and influence and work effectively with other people.
Are you game for the L&D challenge? If yes, then you are heading for exciting times in 2018 and beyond.
About the Author: Surya Prakash Mohapatra, Global Head- Talent Transformation at Wipro BPS is a thought leader of international repute in the HR and L&D space. He has over 20 years of experience in various leadership roles in several leading IT and ITES organizations. Prior to Wipro, Surya worked with HP, Microland, Computer Garage and a few other organizations.
Surya speaks regularly in various national and international forums on topics related to HR, Learning and Development, Corporate Culture and Spirituality. World HRD Congress has recognized Surya as one of the 25 Most Talented Training & Development Leaders in the World. Moreover, Global Knowledge Management Congress has conferred the Knowledge Management Leadership Award on Surya. Recently, popular HR Journal, Human Factor featured him in their 2016 Listing of Best HR Heads in India.