The other day, as I was lazily flipping channels trying to catch something interesting on TV, I stopped at one of the Hindi movie channels. They were airing Dil, an Aamir Khan movie from the 90s. I let out a yawn and continued flipping channels again. After a while, I stopped at another movie channel. It was another Aamir Khan starrer, this time Dil Chahta Hai. I continued flipping forward. After a while, he appeared again. Dangal this time. I almost felt like a viewer being stalked by a movie star. But jokes apart, it got me thinking about the man himself, his journey and most importantly, some key takeaways for modern organizations from his career. He joined the movies at the end of the 80s, had a fantastic run for about a decade or so, then hit a roadblock, survived, came back and is at the top of his game again today. Somewhere in between the roadblocks, survival and return, a whole lot of unlearning, adapting, evolving, relearning and personalizing happened.
Cut to the business world, with the invasion of IOT, AI, Machine Learning and the gig economy, organizations all over have either hit a roadblock or are about to hit one. They are in a state of constant flux today as they prepare to battle the demons associated with the workplace of the future. And I believe that the way things are progressing, the key to survival will lie in being privileged or being prepared. Being privileged is more a matter of chance than choice. But being prepared is surely in our hands. Basically, we need to unlearn what we have been doing all these years, adapt and relearn newer techniques so that we may be hired and paid by the privileged lot to help them survive and thrive. Or else we just risk getting perished. That, in a nutshell, is going to be the focal point in the story of “The Learning Continuum - Survival via learning” in the new world. The Learning & Development function is undergoing the biggest transformation in the history of the corporate world. The solution however, lies not in trying to beat them, but in joining them and leveraging the power of AI to create a more personalized learning experience. The trick lies in ensuring that policymakers working with education providers (traditional and nontraditional) improve the basic STEM skills through the school ecosystem, put a new emphasis on creativity as well as critical and systems thinking, and foster adaptive and life-long learning. As personalized learning gradually picks up steam at the school level, the same be carried forward in our workplaces.
As the dots connect back and I flip the channel to watch an old episode of Satyamev Jayate, I feel that’s exactly what Aamir Khan did, he dropped out of the star-driven rat-race, reflected back and started doing work based on his own pace and style. Sure, he was privileged enough to leverage his family lineage, but he chose to prepare himself instead and emerged a winner. Why he even made a whole movie to propagate the idea. Taare Zameen Par, anyone?
(The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of his employer.)