Pooja Velhal Head - Talent, Learning & Leadership, Schaeffler
Well, yes, the title sounds very intricate and complex but the subject is as well.
A lot of my thought comes from my latest reading on ‘Disruptive Innovation’ and I completely align by what Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen clarified on his concept, “It’s important to remember that disruption is a positive force. Disruptive innovations are not breakthrough technologies that make good products better; rather they are innovations that make products and services more accessible and affordable, thereby making them available to a much larger population.”
I have been internalizing this concept and relating to my industry and specialization – Talent, Leadership, Learning & Development. And in doing so, have come across many synergies.
Have the innovations in the education, learning and the training sectors disrupted the status quo significantly?
Learning solutions have moved from being Content- Centric to Learner-Centric. Content design began with Instructional design, based on the Kirkpatrick Model, which evolved into Multi-Simulation game-based E-learning, which in turn has transformed into Cloud-based data-intelligent interfaces today. A couple of weeks ago, I met some vendors for a new E-Learning platform. Some of their demonstrations were quite fascinating. I saw a strange combination of fun-&-learn and game-therapy. At some points during the demo, the system struggled to create a connect with me, it made me uncomfortable and challenged my opinions.
"Learning solutions have moved from being Content- Centric to Learner-Centric. Content design began with Instructional design, based on the Kirkpatrick Model, which evolved into Multi-Simulation game-based E-learning"
This led me into thinking about the learner audience at large. The complexity of this ‘disruptive’ platform may excite the Millenials, but will it also encourage the B oomers o r G en X-Y? A m ajority o f our working community is Gen X & Y, which look for more of nurturing based development platforms. A majority of our working population will be the Millenials very soon.
How much to re-create? How much is enough?
I am thinking!
The 70-20-10 principle of Adult learning creates its own space in this context. This piece of research did force the L&D function to look at learning patterns and effectiveness of learning channels from a whole new viewpoint. It moved the ownership developing people to the Manager.I have come across multiple organizations struggling to bring the 70-20-10 to life and struggling with the essence.
Building workforce capability now relies on Managers! In this light, we can see Managers adapting as successful people developers as well as process managers.
employees’ success, the respective department’s collective achievements and ultimately his/her own success as well. This led me into thinking about developing the Manager’s capability to play this new role. Without a focused approach and reasonable bench-strength in this area a comprehensive 70:20:10 strategy may prove futile.
Can we allow this excessive dependence on a line manager to drive our Learning Strategy? A re our managers equipped enough with the tools and methodologies of learning?
How much to Co-create? Where to focus?
I am thinking!
Speaking of the new ‘spice in the kitchen’ – The Blended Learning approach. Unlike other transformation efforts, however, the disruptive potential of blended learning does not depend on an Organization’s capability to implement it or judgments of the learner. The process of disruptive innovation weaves in change not necessarily through deliberate restructuring, but through organic transformation.
In the education sector, the initial approach of blended learning got its fuel by offering newer knowledge platforms for students who needed advanced modules, add-on courses, or learning opportunities in tough circumstances. Today, as blended learning continues to make its space in the learning domain, it makes an increasingly convincing case to parents, teachers and students that this approach is more effective and realistic than traditional classrooms at addressing their real-life-like challenges. Thus mainstream adoption of blended learning will come not a Government mandate, but from persuading the people who work at the ground level in education.
I am happy to see Toddlers playing with clay and make weirdshapes !
When I sent a batch of Vice Presidents to learn-build-sell hand made earthen pots, as a part of their session on Leadership Values, little did I think that it would end up as a life-transforming experience for many! Living with the Potter for a full day, dirtying hands on the wheel and then ensuring a profit on hand-made product wasn’t easy after all.
On a similar note, one of my leadership interventions was on Building In-House Entrepreneurs. This batch of middle level managers were asked to spend a day with a local grocery shop (The Kirana Store as we know in India). The task was to observe-do-help-provide-serve-bill. The exhaustive de-briefing session got rich experiences and insights to the surface – no classroom session could probably have.
Is learning blended enough? Are our faculties ready enough?
I am thinking!
The Next Century Learning will be:
• Learner Centric – Challenging the traditional roles of a teacher-student. Learner is the owner of information, data and the decision maker; and will create combinations of methodologies and content.
• Much more Media driven – Driven with Persistent and highly-consumable knowledge sources that allow easy revision of content and curriculum, delivery methods and resources.
• Inter-dependent learning – Increased interactions with the Social communities, Student bodies, Communities of Practice and the ‘external’ World.
• Diverse – It is and will be a mix of instructions, media, technology, collaborative co-created interventions, assessment platforms and futuristic. Can also be termed as ‘Adventure based learning’
• Knowledge – Transfer friendly platforms - With mobile apps flooding the market and a ‘go-live’ sharing, the learner will prefer easily adaptable, transferable and convenient channels.
The disruptions happening throughout the Learning Industry offer us many opportunities to challenge our thinking-patterns. An opportunity to look back at how we cultivate our employees’ development and careers -and hopefully build a way to channelize it in a better way tomorrow. This not destined either, of course, and will depend on many more creative solutions and modern techniques that crop up. However, this is definitely a calling for L&D, Talent and Leadership souls to re-think of this approach.