Going to ServiceNow’s Knowledge 2019 in Las Vegas? Meet us There May 5-9

Interested in AI-Powered Knowledge? Join Us in Las Vegas May 5- 9

Going to ServiceNow’s Knowledge 2019 in Las Vegas? Meet us There May 5-9

EdCast, the company behind the award-winning Knowledge Cloud, is excited to be attending and showcasing at ServiceNow’s Knowledge 2019.

Knowledge 2019, ServiceNow’s 13th annual event, is set to bring extraordinary people together to take modern digital workflows to the next level and to unlock productivity and transform the employee and customer experience. The Knowledge conference has over 150 registered sponsors and is estimated to attract a crowd of 12,000.

Edcast’s Knowledge Cloud is a certified application of ServiceNow and is available in the ServiceNow Store. The AI-Powered Knowledge Cloud solution is used internationally by Global 2000 companies and large government organizations, including HPE, Dell EMC, Schneider Electric, NASSCOM and World Economic Forum, among many others.

Will you or someone from your organization attending this great conference? Be sure to attend stop by our Booth (Booth # E26) and see our demonstration of EdCast’s Knowledge Cloud app.

How Digitizing & Automating Workflows Will Completely Change the Future of Work

How Digitizing & Automating Workflows Will Completely Change the Future of Work

While the public debates questions about AI and automation, one thing that virtually all enterprises and employees agree upon is the huge potential of streamlining complicated or repetitive internal business processes.

Customers want simpler digital experiences as well.

“By reinventing and automating key business workflows, as well as digitizing data, organizations can create experiences that meet the lofty expectations of employees and customers alike,” wrote a contributor to Digitally Cognizant.

The Benefits of Automating Workflows

Digitizing and automating workflows by helping eliminate the manual transfer of data can lead to happier customers and employees, while also providing serious additional benefits. According to OroCommerce, digitizing workflows can:

  • Increase productivity by reducing the number of actions required to accomplish any given task
  • Reduce paperwork  
  • Prevent human error
  • Lower operational costs
  • Ensure more consistent performance

A contributor at OroCommerce wrote, “Keeping some business routines undigitized might simply cause a mess or even have business critical impact.”

Four Statistics that Show the Business Value of Digitizing Workflows

Another key benefit of digitizing workflows is a healthier bottom line. Here are some statistics that illustrate this:

  1. Digitizing workflows can increase efficiency by 25 percent.
  2. Companies that go paperless save an average of $80 per year per employee. By automating workflows, businesses can effectively eliminate paper-based processes.
  3. By digitizing information-intensive processes companies can cut costs by up to 90 percent and improve turnaround time “by several orders of magnitude,” writes McKinsey & Company. According to this McKinsey report, “One bank digitized its mortgage-application and decision process, cutting the cost per new mortgage by 70 percent and slashing time to preliminary approval from several days to just one minute.”
  4. A report by Forrester indicated that workflow automation increased employee productivity by 8 to 15 percent

These are some of the reasons why 94 percent of senior leaders place digital transformation high on their list of priorities for 2019, with 51 percent planning to move forward on digital initiatives within the next month, according to TechRepublic.

What Will the Future of Work Look Like?  

Work will look very different in the future — and these changes are coming quickly.

“The future of work is more agile, decentralized, autonomous, cross-functional, and integrated than most organizations can imagine,” wrote Greg Petroff, ServiceNow’s Head of Design in Forbes. “That which is analog must be digitized. That which is manual must be automated…. This changes everything—including workflow. And the question isn’t whether it will occur, but how.”

Petroff is right. Digital transformation is here. The problem is that most senior leaders cannot easily and consistently define what digital transformation really means.

EdCast and ServiceNow may be able to help you and your organization. Learn more about best practices in digitization and automating workflows across the enterprise by joining us for our free webinar, “Digitizing HR and IT Workflows to Unlock Employee Productivity.”

EdCast Exhibiting at ATD May 19-22; Presenting with HPE on May 20th

EdCast to Sponsor and Present at ATD (May 19-22)

EdCast Exhibiting at ATD May 19-22; Presenting with HPE on May 20th

EdCast, the company behind the award-winning Knowledge Cloud, is proud to be a sponsor at Association for Talent & Development International Conference & Exposition (ATD ICE).  

Are you or someone from your organization attending this great conference?  

Be sure to attend our discussion on Digital Learning in the Enterprise and stop by our Booth (Booth #1242).

In addition to discussing your unique learning and knowledge-sharing needs, we will have customers in the booth to talk about impact, engagement and implementation. That’s right — join us in the booth to hear how EdCast customers have moved to digital learning, implemented AI and ML solutions, provided a great user experience to drive engagement and more. Keep checking our booth for 10-Minute Talks throughout the day.

And remember, we will be presenting our learning solutions in conjunction with HPE on May 20th at 3 pm. Please add to your calendar and stay tuned for more details.

But let’s not wait to connect until then–let’s pick a time that works for us to chat at the event. Contact us at marketing@edcast.com and we can schedule some time.

EdCast Ranks #6 in Top 25 Product & Engineering Departments to Work For, According to TechRepublic/Comparably

EdCast Continues to Rank High on TechRepublic

EdCast Ranks #6 in Top 25 Product & Engineering Departments to Work For

TechRepublic/Comparably Rank EdCast as 6th best Engineering Department, Alongside Amazon, Pendo and Hubspot

EdCast, the AI-powered Knowledge Cloud for unified discovery, knowledge management and personalized learning, is pleased to announce being ranked as #6 in the top 25 best Product and Engineering Departments according to Comparably.com and published in TechRepublic

Employees across the U.S. anonymously rated their departments on Comparably between March 2018 and March 2019. Winners were determined based on a series of more than 50 workplace questions across categories including compensation, leadership, professional development, work-life balance, and perks and benefits.

Founded in 2014, EdCast has grown to over 200 employees, and has offices in Silicon Valley, India and the Netherlands. Clients of EdCast include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell EMC, Schneider Electric, ANZ Bank, among many others. EdCast offers an AI-powered Learning Experience Platform and Knowledge Cloud, in-app guides and automation with MyGuide, and best-in-class blended learning solutions with Leapest.

“Comparably’s Best Outlook Award recognizes companies that have the best business and financial prospects, as rated by their employees,” said Jason Nazar, Comparably.com CEO. “These industry-leading organizations have teams that are incredibly excited and engaged about working for innovative leaders with a long-term strategy for success.”

“We are thrilled to be ranked #6 by TechRepublic and Comparably’s list of companies with the best outlook and brightest futures,” says Karl Mehta, Founder and CEO of EdCast. “EdCast is excited about our customers’ response to our award-winning upskilling and learning solutions. Our employees share a common optimism about our company’s potential and continued growth prospects as we deliver training and knowledge solutions to millions of employees around the world.”

EdCast Recognized By USA Today and Comparably on “Best Outlook” List

EdCast Recognized By USA Today and Comparably on “Best Outlook” List

EdCast was named one of 50 small/mid-sized companies in the U.S. with the best outlook and brightest future.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — March 29, 2019 — EdCast, the AI-powered Knowledge Cloud for unified discovery, knowledge management and personalized learning, is pleased to announce being recognized with a 2019 “Best Outlook” award for small/mid-size companies by Comparably.com and published in USA Today.

The award is granted after reviewing 10 million ratings from employees at over 50,000 companies. Comparably.com, the compensation, culture and career monitoring website, identified the top 50 large and small companies that have the brightest futures, according to their workers.

EdCast was founded in 2014, has grown to over 200 employees, and has offices in Silicon Valley, India and the Netherlands. Clients of EdCast include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell EMC, Schneider Electric, ANZ Bank, among many others. EdCast offers an AI-powered Learning Experience Platform and Knowledge Cloud, in-app guides and automation with MyGuide, and best-in-class blended learning solutions with Leapest.

“Comparably’s Best Outlook Award recognizes companies that have the best business and financial prospects, as rated by their employees,” said Jason Nazar, Comparably.com CEO. “These industry-leading organizations have teams that are incredibly excited and engaged about working for innovative leaders with a long-term strategy for success.”

“We are thrilled to be included on USA Today and Comparably’s list of companies with the best outlook and brightest futures,” says Karl Mehta, Founder and CEO of EdCast. “EdCast is excited about our customers’ response to our award-winning upskilling and learning solutions. Our employees share a common optimism about our company’s potential and continued growth prospects as we deliver training and knowledge solutions to millions of employees around the world.”

Recently, EdCast announced the acquisition of Leapest, an online marketplace for corporate training with 5,000 learning products and a focus on high-tech upskilling, to expand its knowledge management and blended learning offerings.

About EdCast
EdCast is the AI-Powered Knowledge Cloud solution for unified discovery, personalized learning and knowledge management across the enterprise. Its award-winning platform is used internationally by Global 2000 companies and large government organizations, including NASSCOM and World Economic Forum, to solve the discovery and curation problems across all external and internal knowledge sources. EdCast’s offerings include its Learning Experience Platform (LXP) and MyGuide’s in-app guides, intelligence, and automation for business software. Follow on Twitter @EdCast.

Webinar: Digitizing HR & IT Workflows to Unlock Employee Productivity

Webinar: Digitizing HR & IT Workflows to Unlock Employee Productivity

We’ve all been reading about how digitizing enterprise workflows delivers great experiences and unlocks productivity for the employees and the entire organization. But how can your organization meet these goals quickly, easily and without disruption?

Come join us for a webinar on Wed., Apr. 24 at 11a PT / 2p ET for an interactive discussion about how enterprises are doing so in 4 straightforward steps.  Specifically, the webinar will focus on:

  1. What specifically does it mean to take traditional, step-by-step processes and streamline them in to efficient digitized workflows
  2. How this workflow digitization process can streamline both HR and IT efforts, resulting in big enhancements to employee experiences and productivity
  3. How an integrated Learning Experience Platform (LXP) can efficiently facilitate workflow digitization for HR and IT teams with minimal disruption
  4. How ServiceNow and EdCast are delivering Training & Learning in the Flow of Work solutions to its customers and partners, fulfilling the vision outlined by Josh Bersin here: Learning In The Flow Of Work: Arriving Now

This information-packed webinar will be led by Deepak Bharadwaj, VP & GM, HR Product Line at ServiceNow, Philip Levinson, VP, Marketing at EdCast, Michael Khait, CTO at EdCast. The recording and presentation will be made available to all registrants.

Register Webinar Button

3 Ways to Improve Employee Productivity

3 Ways to Improve Employee Productivity

Productivity is critical to the health of your company’s bottom line. When staff performance suffers, so do sales, customer service and retention, corporate culture, and employee morale. Even when productivity is sufficient, there is always room for improvement.  

3 Tips for Boosting Team Productivity

Improving staff productivity doesn’t always have to be a multi-step process. Implementing just one or two performance-promoting tips can be effective. Here are three ideas for boosting team productivity.

  1. Emphasize collaboration and connectedness — When corporate culture lacks a sense of community, productivity suffers. “Productivity improves by 20-25 percent in organizations with connected employees,” per the McKinsey Global Institute.1 To increase connectedness, foster a collaborative company culture.

According to UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, collaboration initiatives fail when employees don’t feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.2 A contributor wrote, “In the collaborative process, trust means creating an environment where everyone can openly express concerns, fears, and differences of opinion (i.e., be vulnerable) without fear of rejection, aggression, or retaliation.”

Promoting trust and vulnerability via leading by example facilitates collaboration and connectedness, which ultimately improves productivity.

  1. Reduce stress by changing modes of corporate training — It’s impossible to eliminate stress from the workplace, but it is important to reduce it if you want to increase team productivity. According to Willis Towers Watson, “Employees suffering from high stress levels have lower engagement, are less productive, and have higher absentee levels than those not operating under excessive pressure…”3

Employers know that stress affects team performance, but they don’t always understand how to reduce it. One way is to train employees informally. Josh Bersin calls informal learning that happens during the course of the workday “learning in the flow of work.”4 This type of learning takes the stress of having to attend formal training sessions off employees’ shoulders and frees them to get more done, which is why companies should promote learning in the flow of work.  

  1. Use technologies that boost efficiency — Seventy-five percent of Americans believe they do not have access to the latest efficiency-boosting technology.5 This means they don’t have the tools they need to be as productive as they have the potential to be.

To boost efficiency, consider moving to a Knowledge Cloud. For example, the EdCast AI-powered Knowledge Cloud has the capacity to increase productivity by up to 50 percent. It solves the discovery, curation and recommendation problems of content fragmentation across external, internal, and tacit knowledge sources. Also, the Knowledge Cloud engages employees, customizes content, and delivers all learning content to staff in a personalized learning feed, which maximizes productivity.

Related Reading: 8 Benefits of Moving to the Knowledge Cloud

Begin Turning Productivity Problems Around Today

Companies across all sectors experience issues with team productivity. Promoting collaboration and employee connectedness, offering informal, on-the-job training, and providing staff with efficiency-boosting technology, such as a Knowledge Cloud, can work wonders for your company’s bottom line. There are many tips for boosting productivity, but these are a good start.

Learn more about how a Knowledge Cloud can help increase productivity for your organization.

References:

  1. The McKinsey Global Institute. The social economy: unlocking value and productivity through social technologies. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/the-social-economy.
  2. UNC. Creating a collaborative organizational culture. https://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/~/media/files/documents/executive-development/unc-white-paper-creating-a-collaborative-organizational-culture.pdf.
  3. Willis Towers Watson. Workplace stress leads to less productive employees. https://www.towerswatson.com/en/Press/2014/09/Workplace-stress-leads-to-less-productive-employees.
  4. Bersin, Josh. A new paradigm for corporate training: learning in the flow of work. https://joshbersin.com/2018/06/a-new-paradigm-for-corporate-training-learning-in-the-flow-of-work/.
  5. Staples. The state of the workplace in 2016. https://www.staples.com/content-hub/company-culture/work-life-balance/the-state-of-the-workplace-in-2016.

2 Steps to Building a Continuous Learning Culture

2 Steps to Building a Continuous Learning Culture (and Why It is Crucial)

Continuous learning is a key to driving business goals and developing a competitive edge. “…continuous learning is critical for business success. For today’s digital organizations, the new rules call for a learning and development organization that can deliver learning that is always on and always available over a range of mobile platforms,” stated Deloitte.(1)

The Incredible Benefits of Continuous Learning for Businesses

Most company leaders know that learning and training promote corporate success. Fewer individuals understand the importance of continuous learning which, according to LinkedIn(2), is important for the following reasons:

  • It increases employee competence.
  • It promotes innovation.
  • It develops critical thinking skills.

Also, and perhaps most compelling to employers, continuous learning increases profitability and productivity.(3)

2 Tips for Establishing a Continuous Learning Culture

Here are two easy ways your company can build a culture of continuous learning starting today:

  • Utilize strategic knowledge sharing resources — Peer-to-peer, or informal, learning is often at the heart of a continuous learning culture. Foster knowledge sharing by creating opportunities for strategic sharing sessions. From LXPs to HCMs, there are many innovative solutions to help connect the dots.

For an example of traditional training efforts, Inc.com posted an article that suggested having employees complete a continuous education request form if they want to attend an off-site training, then having them “agree to schedule a sharing session with the rest of the company so that the knowledge they acquired (doesn’t) reside only with them.”(4)

Other ways to encourage knowledge sharing include scheduling off-site meetings and events and even setting aside time for face-to-face collaboration.

The channel to share this type of knowledge is key. Use available learning technology that connects employees and SMEs online to reduce the barriers of sharing information. Creating the easiest path possible to benefit from informal knowledge sharing will encourage continuous learning, and will have business benefits.

“If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive.” Lew Platt, CEO, Hewlett-Packard.

  • Enable learning in the flow of work — There is no better way to constantly learn than to learn in the flow of work. When an employee is learning in this way, he or she is naturally accessing fresh knowledge and skills throughout the workday directly within the business applications they use most frequently. No need to go to a seperate system to search for relevant content. This is why companies should promote learning in the flow of work.

Josh Bersin, who is popularizing the learning in the flow of work concept, said 49 percent of employees want to learn in this manner.(5)

For example, you can now connect your valuable learning content directly to applications like Salesforce, Microsoft Office, Slack, ServiceNow, and other popular options enhancing the productivity of the average employee’s workday.

Imagine being in the middle of creating that Powerpoint presentation that is past due and you need to reference those new sales materials that we posted on the LXP channel. All you need to do is highlight the keyword term in Powerpoint and the content comes directly to you, instantly. No searching, or even leaving Powerpoint, needed. That exists and is how learning in the flow of work is revolutionizing access to content for innovative organizations.

“In the research we just completed, we found that employees who spend time at work learning are 47% less likely to be stressed, 39% more likely to feel productive and successful, 23% more ready to take on additional responsibilities, and 21% more likely to feel confident and happy. And the more you learn, the happier you become,” wrote Bersin.(5)

Drive Business Goals with a Continuous Learning Culture

Successful businesses, and especially every industry leaders, support a continuous learning culture. Establishing and maintaining such a culture is not as difficult as you might think. It can be as simple as facilitating strategic knowledge sharing resources for employees and giving staff the tools they need to learn in the flow of work. All you need are the right tools and the right perspective to make a foundation of continuous learning that will pay dividends as your organization evolves.

 

References:

  1. Deloitte. Learning in the digital age. https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/human-capital-trends/2017/learning-in-the-digital-age.html.
  2. LinkedIn. 7 reasons why continuous learning is important. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-reasons-why-continuous-learning-important-amit-nagpal.  
  3. CEOWORLD Magazine. Increase productivity and profitability through continued learning. https://ceoworld.biz/2014/09/03/increase-productivity-profitability-continued-learning/.
  4. Inc.com. 5 unique ways to create a culture of continuous learning. https://www.inc.com/marissa-levin/5-unique-ways-to-create-a-culture-of-continuous-learning.html.
  5. Bersin, Josh. A new paradigm for corporate training: learning in the flow of work. https://joshbersin.com/2018/06/a-new-paradigm-for-corporate-training-learning-in-the-flow-of-work/.

Why organizations must embrace consumerization of learning?

Why organizations must embrace consumerization of learning?

Learner experience is much more than a buzzword; it heralds a paradigm shift. With learner experience, organizations are not creating a learning plan. They are creating an experience, one that will translate to the single most differentiating factor. Experience embodies a “consumerized” approach that is hyper-personalised and multi-modal. Employees today are demanding the freedom to consume the knowledge when and where they want and how they want to from a wide range of content resources, tailored to their learning needs, style, preferences and interests. The learner as a consumer is now leading L&D.

The conventional model of learning delivery is a “one-size-fits-all” approach where knowledge is shared with a broad range of people in exactly the same way. It often ignores the different learning styles of individuals. Today, organizations are being compelled to take a consumer-focused approach. They are making learning available on demand, listening more attentively to their employees, understanding their needs and creating & curating their corporate learning content that learners find useful, relevant and engaging.

Technology is playing the role of a catalyst in revolutionizing learning. Over the last decade, the Internet, social media, and mobile access have become huge factors in our personal and working lives, changing how we interact with information. Now, with information available to us at the click of a mouse or keypad, we have come to expect immediate answers to recreational and job-related questions. In the world of learning, learners can now “pull” the knowledge they need, when they need it, shifting control from L&D departments to the learner. This has led to the expectation that L&D functions should provide contextualized content that is directly mapped to individual needs leading to a surge in personalized learning. It breaks through age-old practices in the world of learning and development, and shifts the focus to the learner, turning the learner into the axis on which rests all other decisions – What path do organizations take? What method do they adopt? How do they bring the knowledge to the learner? – Everything falls into perspective when an organization adopts a singular approach – user-centeredness. While organizations and often learners blame paucity of time as a primary reason for poor learning habits, the actual culprit very often is content and the methods of delivery.

As those responsible for talent development – encouraging learning and rewarding learner behaviors? Self-directed learning is the purest form of talent development – but what are organizations doing about it? A philosophy where an individual feels responsible for their own development is essential to build an everyday learning culture, rather than an isolated training one. As Dr. Kalam put it: “True learning is not a process of pouring in from without, but a calling forth what is within. It’s a process of nurturing, of allowing, of evoking. It is a process of bringing forth the person one is meant to be…”

Learning initiatives must be intrinsically driven, for ensuring commitment over compliance. It’s just like therapy – you can’t really change, unless you know there is a problem and want to. Self-driven learning is a natural corollary to well-designed talent programs that allow individuals to achieve mastery in fields of interest or appeal to their sense of purpose. Some talent development programs come with an application form, which is a great way of how we can treasure learning, and not mandate, it. The idea then, is for organizations to create a talent development ecosystem to appeal to learners and for all to be similarly motivated in their own development.

Here are a few best practices organizations can build into their learning programs to encourage self-driven learning:

  • Curated knowledge and programs available for learners to choose keeping in mind what is best for them
  • Learning tailored to individual differences and styles
  • Self-owned, intrinsic learning with some guidance on long-term learning journeys
  • Driving culture change to create an environment where individual experiences work as an opportunity for growth and an opportunity for self-discovery.
  • Teaching; learning, and helping individuals help one another develop. 
  • Learning leaders actively promote and facilitate networking and mentoring opportunities to grow interdependent relationships for improved outcomes and overall healthier organizations.

To create a culture of continuous learning, democratization and personalization of learning is a prerequisite. Learners should be encouraged to anticipate and not just react in determining the needs for new learning. The organization should encourage sharing of information and knowledge freely where every employee participates in collective learning activities. Learning should be integrated to the whole where the importance of learning is connected to the well being of self, others and all of life. They should promote a culture of curiosity and keep alive the power of wonder, welcome situations that raise uncomfortable questions and knowledge gaps. Learning organizations actively look for what needs to be ‘unlearned’ before new learning can take place. It is equally important that organizations create a psychologically safe environment where there is focus to learn from the fears, concerns and what is most meaningful to individuals. An environment of ‘abundance’ rather than one of deficit mindedness emphasizes learning that builds of strengths rather just fixing weaknesses.

Learning is a product whose demand is growing exponentially. L&D teams should act like Product Managers and start thinking about how to meet the growing consumer demand. Here is a checklist of some of the key considerations:

  • Product: Is the learning aligned to business needs, contextual and of high relevance to the employees?
  • People: What are the learning needs of employees and how do they learn?
  • Place: Where are the employees based and how can the organization efficiently provide them with knowledge? How accessible is learning? How can an organization set up a system for delivering learning that is agile and responds to changing needs but maintains quality?
  • Promotion: What is the brand of learning? How does the organization communicate the importance of learning to its employees?  
  • Price: What is the cost of creating, curating, transferring and applying knowledge?  
  • Performance: How does learning link to performance? 

How healthy is your learning ecosystem?

How healthy is your learning ecosystem?

Addressing your learning ecosystem as a ‘whole’

Organizations that have a compelling vision of employees skilled at “Creating”, “Acquiring”, “Transferring” and “Applying” knowledge are more agile and have the ability to respond faster to changing environments compared to their competitors. As a result, their employees continuously deliver higher performance. Learning fitness or learning health is an organization’s collective ‘abilities’ to perform. All too often, companies’ efforts to improve the learning ecosystem are concentrated in a single area – greater involvement of leadership, or more focus on mentoring. In the short term, gains are visible but soon disappear. Each of the building blocks of a learning organization is itself multidimensional and inter-connected.

Generative learning cannot be sustained in an organization where event thinking predominates. Organizations want learners to become fully immersed in learning, so that they can develop new strategies on how to solve problems or scenarios. This requires a conceptual framework of “structural” or systemic thinking, the ability to discover structural causes of behavior. Organizations aspire to improve their overall learning health knowing that it is next to impossible to build a culture of continuous learning, where employees exhibit life-long learner behaviors without having a fit and healthy learning ecosystem, but often forget that it takes a whole system’s approach.

The learning health of an organization comprises of several key building blocks:

  1. Strengthen the partnership – Align Learning with Strategy

Aligning learning strategy with business priorities is the starting point of leading successful learning function. As strategic business partners, organizations must ensure that their capability development initiatives support the mission of the businesses they work with. Key questions to address include – the extent to which the current and future needs of the business drive the learning strategy & plans in the organization, how learning & development budgets are being prepared and allocated and how agile the learning function is to change course and respond to new business requirements. To build alignment L&D teams must: 

  • Clearly articulate the few critical priorities and must-win battles to which the company and CEO are committed over the next three to five years.
  • Align current offerings (courses, content, target audiences, etc.) with the strategic priorities mentioned in the CEO agenda.
  • Get inputs and buy-in for the learning agenda from both the learning organization and leaders in the rest of the business — all the way to the CEO level.
  • Activate the learning agenda through programmatic activities and changes to the learning portfolio.
  • Ensure that the Budget allocation and planning mirrors long term and short term business priorities. Link all spend to performance metrics to ensure scrap learning is minimized and move to a near-zero learning inventory.
  • Set up governance councils to review the functioning of L&D periodically and improvise continuously to keep pace with the dynamic business environment. A mix of HR, Learning and Business Leaders in the governance councils can ensure balanced functioning.
  1. Impact Assessment – Play the role of a return creator

Resources are scarce, and ensuring the effectiveness of spend is critical. As Drucker said, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” The one thing we cannot emphasize enough is creating accountability for the money we spend on learning. The L&D budget is at times referred to the “largest unmanaged investment in a company”. Often because of the wasteland of learning that is delivered but not applied on the job- “scrap learning”. Learning which is successfully developed but not applied on the job—comes with high costs. When learners can’t put what they’ve learned into practice, time and money are wasted. This hinders L&D’s ability to raise performance and contribute to impact. L&D’s responsibility is to not only impact change, but also make results measurable and visible. Often, they leave the value they create hidden, taking away from its importance. Most of the times there are simple ways to establish the return on investment. Key aspects to address include –learning metrics that should be used to measure efficiency and effectiveness of learning and the extent to which an organization uses data analytics, predictive modeling in taking decisions related to talent and learning.

This should, in essence, lead to commercial gains, productivity gains, and individual performance gains. At the end of the day, L&D’s goal is to tie learning to results. If organizations can figure out how to help people learn better, they can immediately solve all the other problems. If they get the objectives right, the design right and the delivery right, they will be able to get the effectiveness right.

  1. L&D Policies & Processes – Learning must be complemented by an aggregated input that spans across the complete employee life cycle

Learning processes involve the aggregation, creation, curation, collection, interpretation, and dissemination of knowledge. They include experimentation to develop and test new products and services; intelligence gathering to keep track of competitive, customer, and technological trends; disciplined analysis and interpretation to identify and solve problems; and education and training to develop employees. The underlying need to build core processes stems from the fact that effective learning cannot be the result of isolated capability development initiatives. All learning must be built around a consistent input of information across key employee “touch points” right from the start of the employee lifecycle to the end.  

Organizations need to integrate not just HR systems but also the structures, processes, governance models and strategies to succeed. Borrowing from the Gestalt school of thought “The whole is, after all, greater than the sum of its parts”

  1. L&D Portfolio – “Charter of Learning” that clearly outlines the L&D function’s reason for being- Raison d’être.  

L&D functions should continue to upgrade the nature and quality of services and solutions that they provide to meet the evolving and rapidly changing needs of the business. In many organizations, L&D is still tactical and operational while a few have raised their game where they continuously reconfigure the learning ecosystem architecture addressing both form and function, enable key performance outcomes through consulting, orchestrate and manage knowledge flows and exchange, drive change of learner behaviors and mindset, design learning experiences suited to the modern day learner, use instructional design to power specific learning outcomes, gather and mine business and employee data to improve the quality of decision making and curate content which is suited to the context of the organization.

  1. Tools and Technology: Connected of Things

We are currently witnessing a learning revolution of which technology is an integral part. Billions of dollars are being invested in new cloud-based Human Capital Management Systems. However, research shows that the HR technology environment is far more complex and chaotic than it was before. Though organizations are looking for a ‘single’ system of record for their employees, they are finding it difficult to find one system that addresses all of their requirements. Having said so, they are continuing to replace older heterogeneous systems including learning management systems that aren’t meeting business and learner needs and that are not integrated with other systems. Organizations require a set of software to deliver a single user interface; build and manage employee journeys, develop apps, create and monitor workflows and add forms of conversational interfaces to the mix to be able to meet business requirements and drive learner engagement. The introduction of Learning Experience Platforms (LXP) is helping them lead, enable, manage and support their L&D agenda and cater to the preferences and needs of the modern day ‘learner’. Such new-age technologies boost the learning health of the organization. Moreover, the ease of integrating such platforms & tools with enterprise-wide systems is ensuring that learning is at the heart and center of their businesses.

  1. Developing the Learning Professional: An evolving role

The role of L&D is that of a connector: connecting the learner to the learning, the learning to the business, the technology to design, and the context to the content.

L&D is a group of extraordinary potential: the potential to craft life-changing experiences, impact productivity and engagement and drive change. But to do this in today’s day and age, we need to go beyond the conventional and embrace the new.

L&D professionals today must have three emotions in their armor:

  • Business partners: A deep understanding of the business and strong stakeholder relationships are key. L&D professionals should treat business leaders as customers and must continuously challenge the business on needs and delivery methods and advise them on opportunities to impact business performance.
  • Empathy for the learner: Building shared empathy and understanding is a must-have skill for all L&D professionals today. In the times of experiential learning where we strive to craft life-changing experiences, learning design and delivery cannot be done unless L&D understands the “realities” of learners
  • Love for technology: For L&D to serve the modern learner, an appreciation of the role technology plays in the life of a learner is a must. In the age of modern learning, no learning intervention is complete without technology.
  1. The era of the Learner – Batch Size equals 1

Learner experience is much more than a buzzword; it heralds a paradigm shift. With learner experience, you are not creating a curriculum; you are creating an experience, one that will translate to the single most differentiating factor.

Over the last decade, the Internet, social media, and mobile access have become huge factors in our private and working lives, changing how we interact with information. By making personalized content available to learners anytime, anywhere and on multiple devices, L&D departments have a realistic shot at significantly reducing the learning curve.

  1. A lasting learning culture: Self Directed Learning

A philosophy where an individual feels responsible for their own development is essential to build an everyday learning culture, rather than an isolated training one. Learning initiatives must be intrinsically driven, for ensuring commitment over compliance. It’s just like therapy – you can’t really change unless you know there is a problem and want to.

Self-driven learning will come as a natural corollary to well-designed talent programs that allow individuals to achieve mastery in fields of interest or appeal to their sense of purpose.

As Dr. Kalam put it: “True learning is not a process of pouring in from without, but a calling forth what is within. It’s a process of nurturing, of allowing, of evoking. It is a process of bringing forth the person one is meant to be…”

In today’s workplace, where constant and rapid change is necessary to remain competitive, the best strategy is to create multi-faceted and flexible learning eco-systems, educate the learner on being a smart consumer, set and maintain context, and get out of the learner’s way.