Joy Banerjee, Head - Learning and Development, Liberty Videocon General Insurance
The learning and development over the last two decades has witnessed a lot of change and approaches are now being taken with business objectivity and career development rather than only on the academic interest. The business demands and complexity is adding to this requirement. As a learning consultant, it’s first important to understand the business and the nuances which are linked to the business. Once, that is clear, it’s important to understand the human capital that is presently working in this environment and also the different levels of competency that each bring to business and then align the same to the business requirement and find out solutions that would help in optimizing the existing population and also provides a sense of development that each goes through in the process. This approach is what all successful consulting companies are looking at and also working out solutions which allow them to bring in the expertise and understanding of the market as well as the various tools that would enhance the results for the company.
Markets are changing very rapidly and we also are witnessing a high inclusion of social media and internet with all age bands and that enables everyone with a lot of information available at a click of a button. In these kinds of situations present around us, it is imperative to find out solutions that are going to have a real impact on all. A consulting organization thus is very effective in providing the same because they bring to the table a neutral platform where they also have exposure and access to other industries and business and so are able to share the learning and the environment from those and cross pollinate into a new brilliance. The new method of providing solutions so is witnessing a complete new paradigm in using knowledge and skills for development of both as individual as well as business.
Evolved learning consultants now don’t offer a fixed or canned program to companies. The focus is on understanding the problem statement and then identifying the metric that will be measured to find the shift that needs to be driven and then measure the same on the dashboard. The most important aspect here is to revisit and check if in case it has taken the right turn, in case it has not; quick course correction is required at this level so that the efficacy of the involvement is not lost. Most consultants lose sight of this and that’s the major source of not getting the referral for more business. Add to this the complexity of every individual. As humans, we are all different and we all have different patterns and acceptance norms. Something that works with some may actually repel another bunch of people, so the job becomes more complex in identifying the right kind of solution which would be able to address the broad principles that need to be addressed keeping in mind the complexity of diverse bunch of people to handle. The methods that are followed now are more driven from within than from outside because “I know everything, and I want to know more” is the mindset. The problem in this approach is it starts with non-acceptance to anything new, however in mind there is an inherent need to know something new.
We are born in the land where learning has been an integral part of our tradition as well as legacy. What we have possibly left behind is the ability to “stop” and “start” old and new respectively. Our country is diverse and learning pattern and acceptance is different for different regions. The new methods of learning thus need to blend this in offering solutions. The new age is looking at solutions “on my fingertip” attitude and believes that one will look for answers when required, so learning and development now is not restricted to class room or web based learning. It is now on mobile with choice of an individual to choose the convenience to learn and apply the same in his/her daily routine. The need for stimuli is very high in today’s world of Facebook, Twitter and Internet. Solutions that are able to integrate these elements would see more success rather than the traditional methods. In today’s world, there is more success to game based modules where two people can contest with each other or a method of earning points which one can exchange for gifts or merchandise of choice. This is the new mantra.
It is indeed interesting time for Learning and Development consulting as it plays an interesting role in aligning the organizational goals with people’s development needs which is based on the experience and learning from multifaceted business environment.
There is no one answer to all approach prevalent in our environment any more. To be successful and to sustain the same, it’s required to continue checking the latest market trends and people’s requirements and identify the areas that would commonly benefit all.