How Technology is changing the Landscape of Professional Development

By Girish Ganesan, Head of Talent, TD

Girish Ganesan, Head of Talent, TD

In the light of your experience what are the trends you’ve witnessed with respect to changing landscape of learning and professional development?

The learning landscape in organizations is shifting and a new era is being created in professional and personal development. This change, which has its roots in digitization, is brought on by the needs of the modern learner and the evolution of technology that is transforming every aspect of our lives.

The learning model is becoming more autonomous, where the learners look for personalized experiences. AI has enabled predictive learning, allowing organizations to empower learners to meet their development needs through personalized learning pathways. The needs of today’s learner shave grown increasingly complex and difficult to satisfy with a one-size-fits-all approach.

The ability to collect learner insights is building intelligence and adaptability into the learning process. Cloud computing is enabling learners from opposite corners of the world to learn together, at the same time, and mobile devices are offering more choice on how, when and where they do it. Social collaboration platforms have amplified learner engagement, where they are able to cross-pollinate. All of which means the way we learn, and work will continue to transform.

Could you elaborate on some interesting and impactful project/initiatives that you’re currently overseeing?

We recently oversaw the launch of a new mobile learning platform. This platform is revolutionizing our approach to learning because it allows colleagues to choose topics they're interested in, access curated content, and connect with and learn from others across the organization. This creates a culture of collaboration, digitization and engagement which is an important part of ensuring that every colleague feels empowered by technology.

What are some of the points of discussion that go on in your leadership panel? What are the strategic points that you go by to steer the company forward?

Today’s workforce is a kaleidoscope of generations and different generations have different needs. It is important to understand and cater to those differences, while ensuring that every employee feels individually valued and included. Millennials and Generation Z both grew up in a digital culture and entered the professional world accustomed to technological innovation and industry disruption. They will comprise two-thirds of the workforce over the next decade and are conditioned to rapid change and comfortable with exploring many different career opportunities. To retain interest, it is imperative to develop strategies to ensure their experiential needs are met. Employees should feel empowered to adapt, grow and continuously improve their leadership skills to feel content and empowered within their roles.

"Today’s workforce is a kaleidoscope of generations and different generations have different needs. It is important to understand and cater to those differences, while ensuring that every employee feels individually valued and included"

How has your learning and leadership evolved?

Having lived and worked in five countries, the world has taught me that each experience--including each sentence read, each word spoken, each image seen, each thought pondered--is something that contributes to the way we perceive the world. Some experiences have a bigger impact than others; there are always "aha!" moments that stick out in one's memory. But even seemingly insignificant cognitive, emotional, and sensory experiences shape our perception and appraisal of future experiences. 

The need for critical thinking in all aspects of life has been the driving force of my learning style, especially when dealing with the ambiguity of leadership-related decisions.

How do you see the evolution of learning with regards to workforce of the future?

Technologies of the future are going to change the paradigm of workforces and workplaces. With this, the ability to identify pressing problems of business and society and the use of technologies to solve them will be critical. This will require both an emotional quotient and an empathy quotient. Many jobs and careers no longer follow predictable paths. This is leading to a new generation of workers who embrace instability, continually reinvent careers and business models, and are poised to thrive in the new economy. For them, what’s enduring is ‘Growth’ in the sense of learning.

Across the world, everybody now recognizes that re skilling and repurposing talent is very important. The embrace of digital is so overarching and so pervasive today.

Micro learning is touted as the solution to the chaos and complexity of the new knowledge economy.

Adaptive-learning will also continue to prevail; enabling content to be personalized to each individual’s needs, and drawing upon knowledge domains to make a learner-centered vision of education a reality.

What advice would you give to fellow or aspiring professional in your field?

Being a lifelong learner is probably the most valued attribute in these times of digital upheaval. Be prepared to continue to grow on your career path. If you want to stay relevant, you have to be on top of all that’s new around you.

Stays focused on the foundational plank and align your learning strategy and business goals with a focus on performance outcomes.
Pass on great learning experiences as everyone benefits from mentorship at any company. 
Gain the digital skills you need to feel confident in making the right choices. 
Begin with the end in mind, envision the experience you would like to have yourself, and make decisions that bring you closer to that destination. 

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