Building a Learning Organization

Many organizations find it difficult to keep pace with the changes and know-how necessary when emerging technology such as AI and data analysis and workplace automation are needed. Furthermore, the epidemic has driven businesses to learn these skills with priority in order to deal with the long and short-term problems. These are many concepts which businesses should use in improving their efforts to develop and to keep the employees of the organization up-to-date on the right skills to flourish.

Identifies a major goal for L&D guidance

Organizations best positioned to adapt to the changing working life are led by a major goal which informs employee skills and growth decisions.

Dell has moved from a conventional hardware technology business in the United States to a cloud-based infrastructure supplier with the intention to allow its clients to convert their digital systems. This is the North Star which led Dell to reconsider the organization’s skills base. For this purpose, Dell has developed a new career structure with 23 key skills and a set of leadership values. In essence, the key skills guide L&D in application design and content curation.

Another example is Novartis, a global pharmaceutical company, which set a major goal of evolving into a data-driven business in order to reimagine medicine and improve patients’ lives. Novartis defined five strategic objectives to support this Mission and developed the basic L&D elements to support each of them. The program is supported by a five-year commitment of $100 million in learning and growth, to enable all workers to spend 5% of their time learning. It comprises collaborations with educational networks such as Skillsoft, GetAbstract, LinkedIn and Coursera. For example the Coursera benchmark data helped the L&D team to recognize the need for improved data visualization capabilities in accordance with their strategic data and digitalization priorities. The team took a range of actions to build these skills and close the gap, tracking performance on a quarterly basis. Within two years of the program’s launch, Novartis surpassed the industry benchmark for data visualization skills.

Align L&D efforts with strategic priorities

Plan new talents systematically that are required in the future. AI and automation are two fields that are not taken care of by businesses, but this is reinforced during this epidemic as companies that have not acquired these skills are lagging behind in their attempts to deal with the consequences of the epidemic. At the same time, carefully consider the need to invest in skills valuable in the past and that may not have any potential benefit. The potential configuration of workers and the role of technology to replace repetitive jobs, rescue and redeployment activities need therefore to be driven by an adequate strategy.

Make sure the L&D team has the appropriate expertise and tools

The skills that L&D practitioners require evolve rapidly for all employees in general. We also noticed a growing need for technical and analytical skills among L&D teams in the field of digital learning, virtual enabling and online content curation. We have experienced a rise in L&D professional standards about their business and strategy expertise and the coaching and consultancy capabilities needed to collaborate thoroughly with and provide strategic value.

This requirement has led to an L&D team that is less than it used to be, but more qualified and provides the company with better value. As a more trustworthy advisor for the firm, the team now has more demanding discussions with market executives to ensure that the content and even distribution modes are aligned with business demands and standards. The team has also helped to question outdated perspectives on learning priorities, focusing L&D investments on the future. Data analysis and simulation skills, along with deep market experience, have played a major role in this journey within the team. In the latest rehabilitation activity, both team members had a new level of employment that reflected their enhanced efforts.

Technology also plays an increasingly important role as a platform for enabling L&D to support a company’s organizational strategy. In some cases technologies will make people more efficient and free to build value. We have seen a digital bot for scheduling preparation in 2019 deployed at ICON, an Irish international health organisation. This bot unlocks the ability of a full-time team worker, allowing this individual to concentrate on more critical tasks. Other organizations have invested in technologies for the upgrading of learning management systems to equip L&D teams to provide learning during the crisis and beyond.

Design learning to adapt to changing circumstances

Economic reversal will lead to budget cuts, and L&D is usually at the top of the list. This gives L&D teams the chance to move from formal event-based preparation to learning during the entire business day. The use of brief crisp videos and the workflow will help workers properly interact.

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