Why L&D professionals should stop taking orders

by HRD13 Mar 2018

L&D professionals have an incredible opportunity to step into a much-needed role to enable people at a time when the ability to learn and innovate is the new currency of success, according to Arun Pradhan, co-author of the DeakinCo Enabling the future of work report.

“For future sustainability, modern businesses need to recognise and address the growing gap between the need for L&D to support performance in a high pressure and volatile business environment and what is often a limited actual impact on the business,” said Pradhan.  

Pradhan’s comments come amidst new research from DeakinCo. which highlights the urgency with which L&D professionals across the board will have to review their roles.

The report stresses that in order to ensure organisations and their employees maintain relevance and value, they will have to reverse the culture that has been in place for decades.

Moreover, they must stop being seen as order-takers and instead take up the position of impactful business partners.

The first industrial revolution pales in comparison to the tectonic shift we are witnessing in the workplace now.

Pradhan said the only way for organisations to survive will be to continuously upskill their teams.

“Gone are the days of being able to train a team on arrival of a new product or system and leave them to get on with it until a few years down the track,” said Pradhan.

“Now, successful businesses are being forced to increase their attention and reliance on L&D professionals and here lies the opportunity for them to carve out their role as a partner rather than an appendix.”

DeakinCo. have used this report to explore the trends and implications that have created this current state of change and what strategies businesses of all sizes can use to make sure they quickly evolve and keep pace.

The top four reasons behind this accelerated shift include;

  • The rise of digital and in particular the development of the ‘augmented worker’ who is supported by high-tech tools and systems
  • The rise of human experience, particularly as a key competitive focus linked to the parallel focus on employee experience
  • Increased human and higher-order skills, significantly the demand for empathy, communication and creative problem solving skills
  • The rise of agility, particularly because of the rapidly changing and unpredictable external circumstances that demand speed and adaptability

In order to tackle these new and emerging challenges, the report identifies four key strategies for L&D to adopt to help them transform their perception and role within the workforce:

  1. Solving performance challenges
  2. Creating experiences and campaigns
  3. Enabling a culture of continuous learning
  4. Measuring, identifying and recognising


Related stories: 
‘I fell in love with HR and the ability to influence business decisions through people’ 
Inside Ricoh’s innovative L&D program 
“We tend to give up on our employees too quickly” 


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