Decide Where To Invest And Where Not To Compete
Colleges and universities are playing a crucial role in the process of upskilling by customizing courses based on the changing needs of the business especially in respect to individual technical verticals.
In today’s dynamic world, both in terms of academics and the corporate jobs, change being the only constant, the need of the hour is to regularly upskill the employees to maintain a competitive edge in the industry. From an organization’s point of view, it works both ways, organizations can provide the employees with regular opportunities to learn and employees can contribute by implementing the learnings in their work, hence adding a value to the system.
Colleges and universities are playing a crucial role in the process of upskilling by customizing courses based on the changing needs of the business especially in respect to individual technical verticals. A very crucial part of this process will be that the employees, as well as the organization, may have to unlearn and relearn a few methods/techniques to drive efficiency in the system. The existing challenges can be addressed by using the current management principles with the help of facilitators/mentors from these institutes wherein the employees can focus on how these principles can practically be implemented in their work. With success over a period of time, this process can be used as a business case and can further be replicated in other verticals.
There are a lot of common courses run by these institutes, however, the organizations need to focus on their existing gaps and requirements and choose the programs accordingly and should not only focus on following the industry trends. Hence an organization should not approach the concept of executive education in an ad-hoc manner, a purpose needs to be defined followed by a plan to ensure that the implementation is successful. The approach can be as follow –
Identify the key areas
Focus on short-term and long-term outcomes
Define a process - Identify the key team members and provide them with opportunities to learn under these programs
Conduct a training need analysis and based on its results, assign courses to the employees to fill in the gaps
Define metrics to measure the impact of these programs on employees’ performance and organization’s performance as a whole
Executive education is still in its nascent stage when it comes to the Indian market, however, there is a visible surge in the programs on offer today with the institutes going an extra mile by customizing them as per the business verticals or at a time based on the organization’s requirements. Though it’s good to know the concepts in theory, what’s important is their practical implementation to resolve the existing business problems.
Another area, where the organizations can make use of executive education programs is to invest right in the leaders of tomorrow also known as HIPOs (high-potential employees). They can be enrolled in the accelerated development programs offered by the premium institutes for them to learn the tricks of the trade, hence, adding value to the organization in the long-term, also acting as a pillar for succession planning. There are a series of programs on offer in the market, hence, the organization needs to ensure that they have clarity on the areas that they want to invest in. Focus more on practical aspects, preferably making use of action learning approach wherein the employees are able to absorb more information as compared to the traditional classroom training programs as it helps the employees in applying the concepts in their respective jobs. These training programs should be relevant to the sector that the organization is functioning in or wish to expand its verticals in the future.
This dynamism in the corporate world today puts in additional pressure on the institutes to constantly keep on upgrading the content and programs which are relevant for the continuously changing needs of the consumer, in this case - the corporates. They are losing out to institutes working in the training and development vertical, whose primary customer is the corporates unlike the institutes wherein the primary focus is on full-time programs which still holds more value than the executive programs. Hence, the organizations need to choose wisely and focus more on refining individual skill set to develop the employees instead of just getting them enrolled for generic management/technical programs. A structured approach should be followed wherein initially a clear line of difference should be marked between training & development and nominating the employees based on whether they need training in a few skills which are their weaknesses in their current profile or do they need to be put into development programs to prepare them for the future projects/roles. Executive education programs like executive MBA, Management development programs, accelerated development programs etc. are more development-focused and investing the time and money in the employees can help the organization in the long run.
We need to create a balance between investing and competing. This should be based on parameters defined by the organization’s insight and its vision for the future.
This article was published in BW Education issue dated 'Nov. 20, 2018' with cover story titled 'BW Education Issue Nov-Dec 2018'
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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