Question: There have been many theories/models on learning & development in management (from Kolb’s to now 70:20:10 rule), which ones have you practically used and benefitted from in your current/previous organizations?
Answer: Kolb’s theory follows a four stage learning cycle
Experience – Reflection – Conceptualize – Test
70:20:10 rule says
“70 percent of knowledge comes from job-related experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others, and 10 percent from formal educational events”
Come to think of it. In both cases the focus is based on experiences. It’s true. Only experiences teach us how to change. If you want to be a game changer, you have to take on the challenge of “Creating change”. Kolb in 1984 was right in talking of the learning cycle, In 2016, you have to follow the life cycle which is
Thought – Action – Experience
To create change one has to go to the root which is the “Thought”. The action is a result of the thought and the experience a result of the action. That is what I use. For me it’s all about creating the change in thought. And then instead of the 70:20:10 rule, the new rule kicks in
100% of the people change 100% with a change in mindset.
You are right. “There have been many theories/models on learning & development in management”. It’s time to change the game.
Question: There are various ways of developing competencies in an organization- function specific/behavioral/level specific/business specific/role specific etc. In your experience, what is the best way of defining competencies in an organization?
Answer: Once upon a time teachers would decide the intelligence of a young child by checking his vocabulary. “He is 7 years old- he must know 3000-5000 words. If he does not, he is an idiot”. If you read “Thing Explainer” by Randall Munroe. You will realize that you don’t need more 1000 words of English to explain the most difficult concepts.
We are talking of L&D as a game changer. Traditional ways are Passé. It is more effectiveto identify the one or two competencies that are needed to meet the short to medium term goals and work with them. You can have ten identified competencies attached to you based on “function specific/behavioral/level specific/business specific/role specific etc.”but do those ten need to be worked on to reach the goals or is it an 11th one that has suddenly become critical?. L&D has to understand business, its realities and its people.It then has to think on its feet to create solutions that bring about the results.
Question: What are some of the challenges HR faces while implementing competencies in an organization? How can those be handled?
Answer: The biggest challenge comes in when you copy paste competencies dished out by consulting companies. We call it ‘boxing’ solutions.And organizations are buying the box. The world is moving towards Innovation and creativity. As I said earlier, if you don’t create competencies based on the business needs and then acquire talent who is passionate about the role, HR will continue to face challenges trying to implement competencies decided by some consultant somewhere using some philosophy.Fun is not to do what is acceptable. Fun is having the guts to do the right thing.
Question: How can technology enable a more effective delivery by learning & development function?
Answer: I am still old school here. In our world where we are working on the Thought, technology does only two things. It helps in easing out the backend work and it helps in predictive analysis. We use the predictive analysis part to understand the behavior pattern and use that data to work on the “Change”. Nothing beats human facilitation. The warmth and the emotion which are so essential during the learning phase can’t be given by technology.
Question: What are the unique/differentiating competencies required in a successful L&D professional?
Answer: A surgeon is a specialist and not a general practioner. L&D for us is a specialist job. He is an Artist with the ability to comprehend a business and its goal completely and influence the mind of the leader by challenging him to think differently to achieve that goal. Especially when they say “It won’t work”. The need for awareness of the latest developments in the field and in the world requires them to be eternally hungry for knowledge. Has to be knowledgeable to know what is right and extremely courageous to stick to that, no matter what happens.
About Ajit Menon
Ajit Menon Kashyap has over 26 years of experience in Aviation, Hospitality, Business Process Outsourcing, Media and Manufacturing. Ajit holds a Degree in Business Administration, International Business, Distinction from Washington International University.