Article: Personalisation: the new frontier for L&D

Learning & Development

Personalisation: the new frontier for L&D

Stefaan Van Hooydonk, CLO of Flipkart gives an insightful session on personalization of learning during People Matters L&D virtual conference. Read on and watch the complete webcast to know more on the vital subject.

The session on personalization reflected some of the key imperatives which L&D professionals need to focus upon in order to make right learning personalized for all. While the business case for personalization of learning is being recognized by many companies extensively; an important question mulled over by many L&D professionals is - how to go about structuring processes, tools, and approaches for personalization. Also, they ponder upon what kind of skills can be tackled through personalization? And most importantly, what new skills do L&D leaders require to accomplish the task. 

Stefaan Van Hooydonk, CLO, Flipkart quenches curiosity of viewers and provides the solution to all the relevant questions addressed in the session on the business case of personalization. In this session, he spoke in detail about 

  1. Standardization vs Personalization
  2. Frederick Taylor vs Daniel Pink

He mentions that companies today are not used to personalization at all. He tries to explain -what has shaped our thinking on HR, L&D, Management for the last 100 years and is preventing us from making a shift from standardization to personalization. 

What drives us towards excellence? 

Stefaan highlights crucial factors responsible for driving professional towards excellence. He mentions the book titled ‘Drive’ written by Daniel H. Pink – which is ideal for every HR professional to read. He says that book talks about motivation and three dimensions that drive us towards excellence. Its not the boss or the bonus at the end of the year that motivates us rather it is ourselves looking to becomes masters at what we are doing – is the true motivation driving factor.  It incorporates choices, agency, and self-direction.  Second is autonomy – which is to experience the freedom to pursue the goals and third is the purpose. Stefaan connects quest for excellence to a higher purpose, which is very important. 

The pertinent question, he says, you can ask yourself is - How much I am supporting myself and my organization so that people can be better at what they are doing? Also, are you helping people to be autonomist or are we helping them to discover their purpose and the company’s purpose? 

Why have we not embraced other dimensions for learning? 

He further explains we learn constantly in pursuit of our goals and we learn through different means such as online material, social media – LinkedIn, Twitter etc, through connecting with people and pursuing hobbies etc. Then why do we in L&D focus primarily on (e)-classes. Why have we not embraced other dimensions for learning? 

In classroom set-up, he shares, content is usually standardized and the program is designed keeping target average student in mind. The students are unpowered and focus is more on the trainer. It is a production model of knowledge where somebody else has already decided knowledge that is to be imparted to the students. The idea of classes focusing standardization was originated by Frederick Winslow Taylor, who is the biggest management thinker of the 20th century. He is the father of our how we (still) think about management, HR, and Learning. 

We still practice segregation of planning and execution where the focus is on the manager, who is the thinker and non-manager is the executor. There is control based organizational models and strategy is decided at the top. Today maximum HR set-ups support the organization and not the individual. Frederick Winslow Taylor also taught ‘emphasis on efficiency’, where the focus is on ‘doing things right’ and people are considered as ‘resources’. The competency management ensures replicability / best approach (till now) but today Stefaan says many companies are moving away from it now. 

Stefaan also explains in the session- what learning philosophy fits in the 21st model? He compares Taylorist model to the new model i.e. Daniel H. Pink model Then, he asks viewers to measure L&D in their company on the Taylor and Pink scale? In the end of the session, Stefaan shares two exciting case studies – Philips Lighting and Flipkart.  Watch the enclosed webcast for more insight. 

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Topics: Learning & Development, #LAndDVirtualConference

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