Source | Anand Bhaskar
As a Talent & OD lead in one of my jobs, I once confronted my CEO as to – Why are you slashing my L&D budget each quarter? After a few minutes on niceties, he blurt out in frustration – you are spending my precious tomorrows dollars to solve yesterdays problems. I do not see what value L&D brings?
It took me a few seconds to realise what he said. He was so damn right! Most companies have an LMS system that churns out training needs based on previous year’s appraisal. The development needs are of the previous year. The L&D function takes 3-4 months to consolidate needs etc. and develop a calendar. The calendar is then run for the next 12 months. From gap assessment to actual development, the time could be anywhere between 6-15 months. In the ensuring period the market requirements may have changed, the functional skills required may have shifted (esp. in the IT or digital world). I would agree that some fundamental softer skills or attributes or behavioural gaps may remain constant. So the CEO was damn right. He could have invested the L&D dollars to grow his business instead by investing into new markets.
The truth of the matter is, most HR and L&D functions have struggled to embrace “agile” learning methodologies. As HR professionals we have stuck to old age proven models and not reinvented ourselves to deal with the world radically changing around us. This is where a learning market place model, where demand & supply dynamics balance each other, could play a defining role. Ability to diagnose the right issue, focus on the right audience with the most agile approach, is critical to the success of any L&D intervention. In a changing market, where old skills need to be shed as fast as embracing newer ones, a learning market place approach provides the “agility” that CEO’s would like to see.
Are we as HR and L&D professionals willing to reframe our thinking? Isn’t staying relevant important to HR’s credibility. What do you think?
A professional, an entrepreneur, a humanist & thought leader with 25+ years of Industry experience across varied sectors – Petroleum, FMCG, Financial Services, IT Product and Digital & IT Services. Worked with well respected companies such as BPCL, Unilever, GE, Microsoft & Sapient.Specialties: Executive Coaching, Management & HR Consulting in the area of business & HR strategy, Org design & change, Talent Management and Leadership coaching & development. Professional Certified Coach (PCC) from International Coaching Federation (ICF), USA.
He is currently the Founder & Head of Planet Ganges, a Global Learning & Collaboration Eco-System leveraging “digital” to bring global learners, learning providers, corporates & universities on one platform to collaborate & enable boundary-less learning opportunities for every human on the planet.