L&D in organizations: What should the focus be?

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

A Learning & Development (L&D) division in an organization is mandated to identify the current and future skills requirements of the organization, and create corresponding learning interventions to ensure that requisite skills are developed.

I am a Learning & Development professional and have often wondered what are we exactly supposed to learn and develop? And do we learn and then develop? Or is it a simultaneous process?

But the moot question is, we join the corporate world after having spent years in school, college and many-a times higher studies. So what more are we supposed to learn to be able to develop and work better in the corporates?

As mentioned above, L&D programs majorly focuses on skill development, whether it is communication, presentation, team handling or “leadership” which is categorized as a skill building area. Whereas we all know that leadership is more of an attitude, it is your values, beliefs and approach to life and relationships. And can these things really be taught? Isn’t it something that is a combination of nature and nurture provided in our formative years?

Ideally the education system should give the foundation on which we can then further build on. So instead of L&D focusing on how to communicate effectively or write with clarity (email etiquette), or how to build trust in teams, or how to present etc. (which our education system should have naturally inculcated in us), we should rather be focusing on higher aspects of human life, for example expanding the consciousness of the human beings. There is enough data to show that those who actively work on themselves either by practicing regular meditation, yoga or internal contemplation have become better business leaders and their businesses have also exponentially grown.

Speaking of meditation, in the Heartfulness Meditation system (heartfulness.org), the practitioners are directly taken to the 7th step of Dhyana of the 8 fold approach given in the Patanjali Sutras. Basically implying that we would have naturally learnt the previous 6 steps (as given in Patanjali Sutras) and hence we can straight jump to the 7th!

Then why is it that in the corporate world, where the crème de la crème of the society is employed, we have to start from the basics?

The L&D at the organizations should be like the advanced schooling system, where the individual goes beyond ‘knowledge’ and the mind and is ready to explore the heart and the expansion of the consciousness that is its real potential.

It is my belief that only when the major part of the population evolves, will this world as a whole also evolve and in this case there are 3 billion of us as part of the global work force, nearly half of the total population. So if we (as L&D) consciously focus on the “real education” that is exploration of human’s true potential, will this world truly move to the next higher dimension and the Satyuga will finally come to prevail.

So a question to the people from the education eco-system and especially the parents, should we not demand for a more holistic and value based education for our children, rather than the highly competitive and race for the 1st position that we have programmed our children for?

By Shalini Nair

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