Prabir Jha's Thoughts on L&D's Role in Organisational Effectiveness and Its Growth

The business environment has changed with intense pressure on organisations, to become ‘Learning Organizations’ and stay ahead of their competitions by bringing innovation/reinvention in training and development strategy while emphasizing on planning, designing, implementing and evaluating the training programs.


BW People, in association with BW Businessworld had organised a day-long conference, with the name of Learning and Development Excellence Summit & Awards 2020. Prabir Jha, Founder, and CEO, Prabir Jha People Advisory was invited by the BW team to give a keynote on L&D's role in organisational effectiveness and Growth.

Jha began his keynote by emphasising the fact that it's good that we are talking about leadership & development and not training. As somewhere or the other, the unsaid mindset continues to be called training and L&D seems far more comprehensive. Secondly, he laid thrust upon organisation’s effectiveness. According to Jha, “it’s like building soft and a hard fabric, skills, capabilities, tools, etc. to make an organisation effective at what it does. And now, landing onto the third dimension, Jha claims that growth is an extremely important aspect because if we look at it strategically growth is a function of the way one frames their strategic lens. “The choice of strategy that we have, the context of business/industry, the aspirations which we possess, is all that needs to be imbibed as new skills within,” explains Jha.

Hence, L&D is a very important and integral part of the transformation. Jha also emphasised 3 key-hooks to be noted as a Bible for getting an organisation ready to walk the path of growth;

  1. Mindset

This implies that the mindset of the L&D department and the larger organisation has to morph. This is sometimes almost blast famous to imagine. Jha explains that there is a difference between L&D’s function and agenda. Unfortunately, very much like HR, the obsession is always with the function and not with the agenda. Therefore, it gets lumped into a particular set of people, department, or function.

So, if we tend to understand the difference between the two, then we need to plan as to how do we move from an ‘execution arm,’ to an ‘agenda-setting arm.’

This is a big mindset shift that one has to make and ask as to how pro-active and anticipatory are we in visualising where the organisation and business are likely to move.

At the end of the day, the important message is that if you want to play a meaningful role in the effectiveness of the organisation and its growth story, DON’T COME TO THE PARTY TOO LATE, as if you come late then you will be only trying your hands on the leftover crumbs.

Also, one needs to RESHAPE the way they have been thinking and imagining the role, alongside thinking and doing from what is more reactive to what is more anticipatory.

2. Proritising organisation’s capacity over personal capacity

Looking at it strategically, where would one spend their time, money, and effort?

Such strategic choices are the ones that one needs to make for organizations and individuals themselves. The question is, what will make the organisations distinctive? What will ensure that the organisation just doesn’t have a ticket to play but a ticket to win?

Further, Jha stated that “I would strongly urge the L&D professionals to think about fewer but much sharpened strategic focus.”

What makes your organization ready to fight the battle is where one must prioritize their focus.

3. Moving from activities transactions to culture

“If you look at it strategically, I am personally convinced that a lot of elements of culture are the reasons why many companies actually begin cap-sizing or they start slowing down or they are not ready for the challenges,” asserts Jha.

Sometimes it's very important for L&D to sense it out ahead of time. It’s very important that at the end of the day, learning becomes a fabric of that culture.

The leaders of L&D functions need to revolutionize their approach by creating a learning strategy that aligns with business strategy and by identifying and enabling the capabilities needed to achieve success. This approach will result in robust curricula that employ every relevant and available learning method and technology. The most effective companies will invest in innovative L&D programs, remain flexible and agile, and build the human talent needed to master the digital age.


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