Disruptions are impacting the enterprises and many of you will know about many different disruptions. But the primary disruptions that every enterprise is actually undergoing today are the continuous explosion and emergence of different digital technologies, which is making life simpler for almost everyone. We are all used to that and the fact that many of these new technologies are coming in and they are helping you to reimagine things which would not have been possible. While I’m calling it a disruption, it’s not necessarily disruption as long as you use it in an opportunistic way, and figure out how you can improve your customer experiences.
Primarily we should be focusing more on how different technologies are being brought into the market, and how different possibilities are being imagined with the technologies. The important aspect to look into is the kind of expectation that the digital native customers want.
You and I are using a different sets of devices, and different sets of apps, in our personal life. If you want to shop for something, you just go into Amazon product shopping, if you want to watch a movie, you either watch Hotstar or Netflix, and that is already shaping your own thought process around what you expect from every industry.
The digital customers are clearly setting expectations on how they want the products and services to be rendered to them by the respective companies and if you do not handle them correctly, there is a clear possibility that you will be disrupted by a more agile competitor and that is where we go into the third disruption on how anyone can be a competitor, no longer your traditional competitors are the ones who should be worried about. It can be any new-age competitor who is not necessarily in your field but who knows how to leverage the power of technologies, understand the expectation that the digital natives have and quickly create a product that will help them to kind of overshadow you and take away the market share from you.
Its imperative to understand that there is a technology bloom, and there is an expectation from natives users and that is basically leveraged by the new age competitors. While you understand that and address that innovation in your own space, every company is also grappling with the cost in practice. How will you manage your operations? How will you manage your cost is what actually is going to drive your competency universe in the market. While all of this is happening, the business leaders, and the business product teams are much savvier and much more clear in terms of what they want to do. Unlike the old days when a business leader will give a little set of requirements to the technology team and the technology team worked on it.
Essentially, what we’re seeing is these are the five important disruptions that we are seeing in the market, which is impacting pretty much every company. So there is a workforce that is the talent that is working in the context of your workplace and delivering a particular piece of work.
When you deliver a particular product, sometimes it can be from the same set of teams or sometimes it can be from a diverse set of cross-functional teams working together and providing the seamless convergence of technology and creative skills, and a lot more open source adoption that is happening. But with so much wealth of information available, how you effectively leverage the open source ecosystem to accelerate your delivery of work is going to be that much more important. It needs to be really an hyper-productive outcome you want to achieve in your work, which basically needs you to think and aim for 5x productivity or 10x productivity, and you can already see how hyper scale is like Cloud ecosystem are providing you with that facility.
Everyone may have lots of physical campuses, they may again be reimagined after COVID. But even then, wherever whatever physical workspaces you have, how do you infuse that with technologies like AR VR, make your physical campus or physical setup much smarter, that is an extremely important aspect to be focusing on.
Thinking about the employee experience, Most of the companies were struggling to figure out how do you make remote working and remote productivity that much more effective, because we never really focused on employee experience and that is extremely important to focus on. At Infosys, we have invested quite a bit in infrastructure related to employees and that is what actually helped us when COVID happen. 93% of our employees were seamlessly able to work remotely, just within a week’s time, because it was all a result of the efforts that were put into providing apps and experiences to them. The gig economy is coming in and there is a need for managing multi-generation workforce. Multi generation workforce is something that we are seeing suddenly where four generations of the workforce are working together. How do you make sure that they work together? And How you make sure that they understand and create empathy and experiences together is important?
The world also is changing so fast and that means the employees have to adopt a mindset of Z-shaped culture, which means you have the ability to not only be learning continuously, but you have the ability to learn, unlearn and then relearn, so that you can seamlessly move from one function to another function.
When you’re trying to drive your future of learning. Make sure that you understand the other aspects you are going to make an impact unless you will never be able to kind of drive meaningful learning interventions in your company. How do all these disruptions and the themes emerging? What exactly is a blueprint? Where you can find the ecosystem of lifelong, centred and pivoted around digital learning. And that’s what we call a a digital ecosystem.
For a digital ecosystem, you need to have a set of guiding principles, which is important for you, for company, and contextual to your company, defining what is the core talent of digital learning. Once you have that core framework and core guiding principles, you need to know how are you going to deliver those experiences, using a powerful set of solutions platforms, seamlessly interoperating with each other, and then providing those experiences.
Everything has to be looked at it from the perspective of the learner, and the learner has to be at the centre of everything. So making learners collaborate with each other, with their friends, with their managers, all of that basically becomes a collaboration. This is the ecosystem for lifelong learning. Now, it is very easily easier said than done, how do you then drive this talent transformation, which is nothing but the future of learning is aiming towards? We again believe that if you want to simplify it, it can be done in a set of four important elements. Anything related to the talent transformation driven by a culture of lifelong learning can only be done if it is leadership-led, every leader in the company should take a very clear bottom line in terms of understanding what exactly you want to do, what are the expectations from your employees and that has to be driven from the top. While you drive it, you need to have a very powerful way to scale and the only way to do it is you need to make sure that you bring in your digital platforms. While you do this, how do you make sure that it is impacting the individuals in a positive way? and that is where what does that impact for each individual means you need to start thinking about it, you need to figure out what are the different sets of learners that you have. It becomes a kind of pull and pull model, where leadership and everything will try and create a culture which will help in pulling the information pulling the learning managers will take the responsibility of pushing the learning as part of mandated goals to drive that learning.
The idea is how you make sure that whatever you are doing is convenient for everyone. How is it accessible to everyone? How do you make sure that you put More philosophy of any time, anywhere, any device learning? and if I’m able to kind of watch a movie on my plane without having to worry about connectivity, where I download something, and I watch, why can’t you do the same thing for your learning? So, convenience is all about accessibility, taking care of not only your regular learners, but even worrying about the digitally accessible employees where they need, they have certain handicaps that you need to think about. Then finally, make it available at any time, anywhere, any device, whether online or offline, how do you promote that? making it relevant basically, is the second principle. The idea here is you cannot assume that everyone will learn the same way, it is not one size fits all and the advantage of the digital platforms is, you can look at every individual as if you are talking to them, you can actually look at every individual, and then bring the power of digital learning to drive each one’s learning. Making it relevant is all about extreme personalization. But not just personalization, you should be able to get content integrated from anywhere, content is a commodity, what is good three months back, will already lose its sheen.
I talked about the disruptions, I talked about the emerging themes, I talked about the ecosystem and I also talked about the principles. Now let us look at how you do it. To do this and where you also bring in the concept of micro-change management where you are changing the culture of lifelong learning. It is extremely important to first clearly define what are your boundaries. And by boundaries as a company? What are your horizon one skills? What are your horizon two skills? What are your horizon three skills? And then how do you make sure that you tell your employees where they stand and where they fall? And then how do you seamlessly allow them to move from one horizon to another horizon?
You need to keep on re-calibrating it and keeping on providing continuous guidance to the employees while you do that build a system where partnerships come into play. Don’t try to kind of do everything by yourself. Infosys-like partners is available. You should be able to build in the capabilities of universities and bring that entire partnership and you to be clear in terms of where you will use what partnerships and drive your lifelong learning culture within the company. I will also summarise it by saying all of this is good, but the culture of lifelong learning is necessary. We looked at its set of telemetry, which tells you how is it going, and that is where we created the 60s concept. Where if you’re really looking at learning, how do you know how many percentage of our what percentage of our employees are learning? How are they learning every day? What is the coverage itself? So if you are making sure that the coverage is slowly getting amplified, and you get 100% of your employees coming to the learning platforms, learning, that’s a very important first milestone that you would have achieved. And once you start improving your coverage parallelly, you should look at whether is it helping in consumption. Or are people coming into the platform and not just learning? Or are they just coming in and looking at it and going out? So once you start improving your coverage percentage, the next question to ask is, how is the consumption improving? Are they really learning? If they’re learning but not continuing? How do you use the NET Framework to kind of promote improving the consumption part of it? and once the consumption starts increasing, the third pillar is Completion. So once you start coming into the platform, you start consuming the content, and then the goal should be to complete it and once you complete it, the next element is whether have you really been able to take an assessment and a certification which validates whatever you learned on the platform. So once you get into certification, it has to necessarily result in a competency being acquired. That is the correlation, which means if someone has been learning someone has been able to complete the learning and satisfy themselves. And again, competency is really helping you as a company to take care of the business outcomes, you need to be able to measure that.
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