How Learning can Help Drive Organizational Cultural Transformation?

Kamal Dutta, Managing Director India, SkillsoftKamal is an IT industry veteran with 25+ years of experience and has held a variety of leadership roles in software industry, including leadership positions across India and abroad.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast is a common vernacular however difficult to execute on. Increasingly the focus of enterprises is shifting towards have the right mindset and culture. The work culture of an organization influences how it functions. It determines the company’s productivity, its profits, and its effectiveness in the market. However, while every company has a different set of values and practices, they are largely led by social behaviours, technological developments, and business trends prevailing in the corresponding age. However, it is important to understand that, as time changes, these norms also alter. Once upon a time, the internet was considered the next big thing; having an organisational email address was a major accomplishment. Today, all of this is a part and parcel of even home run businesses. It is specially challenging in today’s information era where social and culture influence gets framed from a variety of sources, many of which are not within the defined paradigms of organizational control or influence.

Update to Remain Relevant
It is no secret that conventional 9-5 workdays are rapidly being replaced by flexible shifts, remote working, gig based work and 24x7 digital connectivity. Modern day employees have much more flexibility and convenience to accomplish their professional tasks than their preceding generations. Such constant change is necessary because the business ecosystem is not immune to the theory of evolution. The companies that survive and thrive in the long run are those with the ability to adapt to the changing technological and sociocultural environment. Those that evolve business models, accelerate innovation, and are agile to the changing market dynamics triumph and become successful, while those that do not see innovation and technology ass opportunity are struggling to grow and they become obsolete.

This brings us to the question: in a world that is rapidly being transformed by technology, how do organisations ensure that their current work culture is in sync with the demands of their target markets, consumers’ requirements, and employee expectations? How can business leaders drive organisation
wide transformation in the way they work whenever necessary, at speed and at scale? The answer to this question lies in two words: Continuous learning.

Skilling for Success: The Importance of Upskilling Employees & Creating a Culture of Continuous Learning

A company’s talent pool plays a pivotal role in determining its overall culture. It goes without saying, then, that the most important requisite for cultural transformation is readying the team for continuous, iterative change. Through continuous learning, a company can prepare its human resources for the rapid transformation that it requires to thrive in the dynamic business ecosphere of today.

One way that companies are doing this is through hackathons. Companies across the country are conducting hackathons to encourage the creation and sharing of ideas. This promotes a culture of collaborative learning where in employees are willing to adopt newer, crossfunctional skills. Further, companies are also leveraging social media, online courses, and even gamification to empower employees with relevant skillsets.

By aligning employee skillsets with the company’s longterm vision, companies can unlock opportunities for unbridled growth.

Ensuring that their employees are prepared with in-demand skills, companies can march forward amid ongoing change. Putting in place continuous learning strategies thus contributes to creating a culture where learning is highly valued and growth is the only norm.

How to Promote a Culture of Constant Learning at the Workplace?
With a view of promoting a culture of continuous learning at the workplace, companies are taking several learning and development initiatives. Several organizations are partnering with comprehensive learning management platforms that leverage technology to identify and overcome skills gaps in the workforce.

Apart from discerning skills gaps, these platforms also use technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict the skillsets that will be required in the future to bolster the growth of the organization. By aligning employee skillsets with the company’s long-term vision, companies can unlock opportunities for unbridled growth.

The Role of Learning Roadmaps
In order to create a learning culture in the workplace, organisations need to put in place an efficient road map. For this, they must know about their employees’ top skills and the relevance of those skills within the company. They should then make a plan that involves strategies to nurture these skills through various methods like reading, watching videos, listening to audios etc. This will help employees with different learning abilities to grasp all concepts in a unified manner. Organization then can start looking at upskill by understand adjacent skillsets to the existing roles and competencies and build a learning blueprint for every role and function.

This needs to be a live plan which will need continuous change based on technology development and market dynamics. Having the right partner can provide considerable benefits to enhance the outcomes and helps in understanding key industry trends and roadmap to be the best of the breed. The time for traditional work cultures has long passed as they are too static to allow for the rapid development that is needed today. They are straitjacketed and don’t permit cross functional learning that current business ecosystem demands. The only way forward, therefore, is a flat structure that inspires learning. It is only here that one can freely learn and grow amply and continuously.