Highly Adaptive Learning for Organizations of the Future

By Sapnesh Lalla, CEO, NIIT Ltd.

Businesses have experienced significant change largely brought on by digitization and evolving customer expectations. However, the years 2020 and 2021 so far have been particularly disruptive. As companies continue to deal with the Pandemic along with a variety of other business issues, learning has become an urgent priority. Every employee, manager, and leader is being forced to learn, and learn in new ways, driving L&D organizations to move faster than ever.

Data across organizations shows that employees spent more time learning over the past 12 months, as compared to previous periods. Across the working population, there is a fear of becoming outdated, a fear of missing on the future of work, and a strong desire to invest in learning.

We, at NIIT, have studied practices in corporate training over the years and we have always found that the ability to adapt to an everchanging landscape of business and talent priorities is key to L&D’s success. Between January and November 2020, we conducted comprehensive research on Adaptive Learning Organizations (ALOs). The research indicates that companies that have ALOs outperform other organizations in both business and talent outcomes.

This research, which involved in-depth conversations and surveys with more than 100 large, global companies, found that companies with adaptive learning teams spend 27% less on L&D and deliver far greater business outcomes. For example, highly adaptive companies are 53% more likely to have experienced growth during the last year, they have 14% higher reported career opportunities, their senior leaders are rated 15% higher by their employees, and their overall Glassdoor ratings are 13% higher. These are very significant variations.

As we interviewed learning leaders from across high-performing organizations, we found that there were three areas where these learning organizations excelled. We found three characteristics of adaptivity that enable a proactive and fluid learning ecosystem. These include:

  1. Their ability to sense. The ability to harvest, measure, analyze, and draw actionable insights from multiple information and data sources to create forward-looking internal and external views.
  2. Their ability to make decisions. The ability to make accurate short-term and transformational decisions based on known information, collaboration, and with built-in pivot points that allow for quick and efficient course correction.
  3. Their ability to quickly The ability to implement changes and transform both for the immediate and sustainable future.

We also identified an initial shared list of 24 learning practices. However, amongst these, we found 16 that were mature and pervasive. ALOs are far ahead of their peers in digital design and delivery strategies, learning in the flow of work, highly targeted programs, learner experience, collaboration, personalization, and understanding the future of work. These firms have the capability to sense market changes and flex learning structures, operating models, planning, and resources to serve the learning needs of the business quickly, efficiently, and effectively.

The external world will continually change and disrupt businesses and the employee capabilities that are required to perform well in the new environment. COVID 19 is obvious in its disruptiveness and impact on learning, however, change is always occurring, whether it’s an economic recession, technology upheaval, or climate change, the ability to adapt is now a key requirement for businesses and the learning function.

Join us in an ongoing discussion on learning organizations of the future and download a complimentary copy of the report by visiting https://info.niit.com/alo

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