With close to 20 years of work experience in varied industries like Pharmaceuticals, chemical industry, Surabhi is currently heading India – Human Resource for the chemicals company Lanxess. Before this, Surabhi had worked with Blue Cross Laboratories Limited, Colorcon etc. as Director HR and Head HR respectively. Find her on Linkedin here
In a special conversation with Corporate Shiksha, Surabhi Mittal, she shares her perspective on Future of Learning such as shifts in Technology impacting workplace, creating a culture of learning in an organization, creating learning communities within organisation, building new Competencies by skilling/reskilling etc.
Q. How do you see Shifts in technology (AI, IoT, Big Data Analytics, 3D Printing, Robotics) impacting workplace in the near future
Today’s growth in technological capabilities, exponential increase in computing power available to both consumers and enterprises, and almost ubiquitous Internet connectivity among other digital advances is changing the way employees and enterprises work.
However, we are yet to see the full-fledged impact of this technological advances at workplace, because most of the much talked about technology is yet to be implemented in a holistic environment. At present what we see around is only a departmental application in disintegrated tech streams.
With the current pace of technological advances, its just a matter of time for the complete shift to happen – a clean sweep to a digital workplace.
- Concept of Workplace – Virtual /Digital Workplace
- Employment – Creation of new jobs with new skills sets and an error free predicative analysis on people behavior
- Business/People Decisions – From machine learning to deep learning to AI taking on the decision making process with high precision.
- Business Model – Proximity changes the competitive relevance of economies of scale
- Productivity – Measurement will be on real time value creation to the end customer through IoT systems – connected sensors over the cloud platform
- Workforce – Bots replacing the current jobs and the gig economy
- Govt Regulations – Cyber security laws and privacy protection laws
- Industry – A drastic shift from product to service industry eg – airbnb, netflix, uber
Q. Continuous improvement requires a commitment to learning. What is the secret formula of creating a culture of learning in LANXESS across all levels?
To create a learning culture within LANXESS the secret is to develop two critical aspects
- Creating a Growth Mindset for employees
A belief system in employees to develop and advance their skills and potential to grow further in t
heir career. And to take challenges and failures as opportunities to improve.
- Creating any time Learning Environment
Providing an anytime accessible and collaborative platform to learn, such as learning Platform, a single sign in platform
Q. Do you see shift in skills impacting your work force? How are you planning to build new competencies by skilling/reskilling and cross skilling your people?
With the technological change in the business world , reskilling is the only survival tool to be part of the game .
With Horizontal development as people development approach, reskilling has become critical for both individuals and organizations.
The Required Approach for reskilling has to be a three step procedure
Q. How are you preparing LANXESS for the Gig Economy?
To introduce the concept of a Gig economy into an organization, the two important aspects to be considered are
- The Business Model
- The Organizational Culture
For LANXESS, looking into the Core Business and Support Function, we can start preparing the organization to
- Introducing Project mode work in Research and Development (Core Business)
- Project on Process Innovation and Improvement (Core Business)
- IT Projects and Digitalization (Support Function)
Another important readiness for gig economy for the organization is introduction of reverse mentoring as part of the organization culture.
Q. According to you what qualities should leaders of the future should possess
In this relationship economy, where people are banking on the emotional currency of trust, transparency, and openness to leverage strong teamwork and business outcomes in the ever changing environment, following qualities would be very pertinent for the future leaders:
- Ability to deal with ambiguity
- Abundant Empathy & Emotional Intelligence
- Learn-ability & creativity
- Ability to co – create vision and enable others to visualize it
- Authentic speaking – you speak what you think and feel
- Risk taking appetite and encourage failures to increase the learning curve of the team
- Embrace Diversity in thoughts and nonlinear thinking
- Having courage of conviction
Disclaimer: The responses to the questions are solely interviewee views as a professional and do not reflect that of the Organisation interviewee works for.