Let’s recalibrate learning & development as the key to future success

By Ravi VS

As we step into a new era of innovation and creativity in 2024, I’m reminded of a profound truth: In the tapestry of progress, every thread of failure is essential to give strength to the weave of success.

In a world that’s rapidly evolving, the only constant is change. This isn’t just a challenge; it’s an opportunity – an opportunity to rethink, reimagine, and reinvent the ways we approach our work, our leadership, and our impact on the world.

I recently came across a staggering statistic: Nearly 70% of digital transformations fail. But why? Often, it’s not due to a lack of technology or resources, but a resistance to change.

As leaders, it’s our responsibility to not only navigate this change but to inspire others to embrace it.  

Collaboration is key. Collaboration is the melody created when individual talents are played in harmony, not in unison.

The best ideas emerge from diverse perspectives coming together, challenging the status quo, and creating something truly innovative.

Growth Mindset: We must cultivate a growth mindset within our teams and organisations. Change is the eternal dance of progress, moving to the rhythm of time and the beat of human endeavor.

Encourage continuous learning, risk-taking, and embrace the lessons that come from failure.

My experience spanning three decades has repeatedly highlighted a concerning trend: the treatment of Learning & Development (L&D) as mere box-ticking exercises to meet KPIs.

Globally, whether in blue or white-collar jobs, almost 90% of learning initiatives fall into this trap. It’s time for a paradigm shift.

The Case for Inquisitive and Insight-Driven Learning: Just as no child should be left behind in education, the same principle must apply to adult learning. But mere engagement isn’t enough.

Adult education needs to be inquisitive, curious, conversational, and, most importantly, insights-driven. This approach fosters a deeper understanding and a more personal connection with the learning material.In the quest for knowledge, engagement without curiosity is like a lamp unlit.

The Fundamental Skill of Thinking: A crucial skill that is often overlooked is the art and science of thinking and thinking for oneself. This skill should be nurtured from as young as two years old.

Mastery in thinking independently is the foundation upon which effective learning and development are built. In the garden of the mind, the seed of independent thought blooms into the flower of wisdom.

A guiding quote always at the forefront of our interactions is from Marcus Aurelius: Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

This mindset is vital in fostering critical and independent thinking. I urge CEOs and leaders to recalibrate their L&D strategies, particularly in the first quarter of 2024. Focus on developing individual thinking skills and teaching employees to think for themselves.

Through my 30 years of experience, I can assert that this approach will yield results far surpassing those outlined in your 2024 business plans.

Remember, critical thinking, design thinking, and creative thinking are methodologies, not substitutes for the fundamental skill of thinking.

True change whispers not in the echoes of our words but in the dance of our actions. The impact of thoughtful L&D means that facts and data consistently back the effectiveness of this approach.

Companies that have embraced a thinking-centric L&D model report a notable increase in innovation, problem-solving abilities, and overall employee satisfaction. These organisations are not only meeting their KPIs but are also setting new benchmarks in their respective industries.

As we move forward, let’s not just teach our workforce to learn but to think. The future of our organisations depends on it. Teach not just to learn, but to think. For in the minds of our people lies the future of our organisations.”

Ravi VS is Founder, CEO & Chief Foresight Officer of Invictus (Transforming Organisations & People Through Foresight-Driven Insights)