Automation and Innovation are inevitable for OD

Q. How can an HR/L&D professional contribute strategically to the organization?

The advent of digital transformation has seen a definitive shift in the way organizations look at Talent Development. It is no more viewed as a cost centre, but a futuristic investment towards structured skill development with futuristic goals.

Building a sustained talent pipeline to quickly address the challenges and grab the opportunities that this emerging ecosystem throws up, should be pivotal to the way a talent development organization could contribute to the larger strategic goals.

Laying a structured approach towards talent consulting, by dissecting the organization, evolving a competency and skill glossary based on current and forecasted skill requirements for the various roles and leveraging/evolving best-of-the breed learning solutions to address them; would form the basis of any successful Talent Development function.

Q. Tips for a budding L&D/HR professional?

Talent Development is seldom a work and more of a passion!. It requires strong orientation towards making others feel better.

The first step towards achieving this is to know your audience well, develop a vice like grip over their scope of work and identify opportunities in them for improvement, making their lives better through optimization & innovation, weighed upon emerging challenges or opportunities thrown by the industry, as such.

It requires us, as talent development professionals, to keep our eyes and ears open to our environment, to perceive emerging technologies and skills, which would give rise to potential opportunities for us towards skill development.

Talent Development, like other sectors, is also in the cusp of massive digital revolution. Opportunities galore in this space! The opportunity statement is pretty apparent- “Go Digital! Deliver a better experience and efficacy! Achieve results!”

Hence, it has become imperative upon talent development professionals, to go deep into this “fourth estate of L&D” through use of AI, VR/AR and other technologies in the learning experiences that they design, to provide room for offering enriching experience to the learners. The use of chatbots as learning aids in a learning management system could be a simple use case to try!

Experiential learning is also about delight and fun!… This is where one can hit the double whammy! Introducing game-based learning elements using rapid authoring tools, and also making the overall learning experience itself gamified, by introducing points, leader-boards and build an ecosystem of competitive motivation, would definitely act as a driving force towards learning.

“Evolution starts at home!” Setting achievable, SMART and incremental goals for oneself, and working steadfast in an agile manner, would go a long way in transforming oneself into a successful talent development professional.

Q. Your personal achievement as an HR professional?

The joy of making others better and that creating a definitive business impact and reflecting in the bottom line of the organization, gives me much happiness, as a Talent Development professional, but, behind that happiness, is a realization, that learning is a journey which needs to be sustained, which is when it is construed as a success.

For me, personally, institutionalizing a multi-touch learning model with specific focus on on-the-job skill translation and sustenance in all my learning solutions, ultimately led to positive influence on key business parameters, and that is what I regard as my greatest personal achievement.

Q. One HR/L&D practice that has always worked for you as an HR. (share an example)

Not perceiving learning as an event but rather a multi-touch point journey, has been a practice that I have inculcated in all the learning offerings that I develop.

Building “Learning Stacks” has been my core focus. A Learning stack would typically consist of skill specific, sequenced collection of learning solutions packed with job aids, game-based learning elements and assessments that collectively address the larger skill requirements of associates.

These learning solutions intrinsically can be an amalgamation of internal contextualized knowledge sources & best practices, apart from a rich library of knowledge sources & practices available in the external world.

This germinates into a new thought process of building “Internal MOOCs” in organizations, with internal knowledge management marts as well as industry best practices as its primary constructs.

Q. Do you think robots can replace HR/L&D professionals in the coming decade?

The advent of automation has definitively made this question appear more prudent in today’s world. However, the reality lies somewhere in the middle. After all, it is the human mind that heralded the automation journey in the first place! Not everything can be achieved through automation! 

There are aspects that require strong judgemental capacity and innovation which crave for human intervention. But the message is loud and clear, “evolve or perish!”- There is a strong need, than ever before, to reinvent ourselves, imbibe the culture of innovation and make ourselves better, to stay relevant in this fast evolving world. That would certainly open the door for man and machine to symbiotically coexist

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