Episode 21 December 17, 2020 00:09:57
The Edge: A Skillsoft Podcast

Dec 17 2020 | 00:09:57


Hosted By

Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek

Show Notes

In 2021, more industries, organizations, and professions will need to throw out pre-pandemic era playbooks and learn to thrive with Agile.
Skillsoft Chief Technology Officer, Apratim Purakayastha, explains why a digitally-transformed economy is a perfect fit for agility.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 <inaudible> Speaker 1 00:00:07 Welcome to the edge, a Skillsoft podcast for learners and leaders alike. In every episode, we engage in candid thought provoking conversations on the topic of learning and growth in the workplace. But this, this is different. This episode is one in a special five part series. We're going to be talking to five Skillsoft experts. Each of whom is going to share his or her predictions for the field of learning and development in 2021. Now, to look at the year ahead, you have to take into account what you've seen and experienced in the year. That's about to end and, Oh, wasn't this one, a doozy. I will say it started auspiciously for me. I actually broke my ankle on January 1st, but now let's come back to the industry because I think one thing that we've witnessed is that the learning industry looks a lot different than it did a year ago. Speaker 1 00:00:59 And that's largely because of the pandemic. 2020 was tough. It was full of challenges. It was full of sacrifice and a whole bunch of stress. 2020 was a tough year full of challenges, sacrifice and stress. But I do believe it is important to look for the silver linings. Clearly 2020 has prompted so many of us to question norms, to rethink how we've always done things to grow as people and to speak up when events have called for it. So with 2021, just around the corner, it's imperative, that is champions for learning and growth that we build upon those silver linings and ask the important questions. Like what are the key learning trends that will define 20, 21 and how can organizations act upon them even more? How can we create inclusive, innovative, and safe environments that allow people to learn, grow, and gain access to opportunities? That's what we're going to unpack in these sessions. I hope you enjoy the series. In this episode, we're speaking with team put a <inaudible> or AP chief technology officer for Skillsoft who will share his 20, 21 prediction focusing on agility as a core competency, AP. Welcome. It is a pleasure to have you here. Speaker 2 00:02:25 How are you Michelle? Speaker 1 00:02:27 You know, I think for our listeners, it would be great. If you could share just a little bit about yourself and your role here at Skillsoft, would you do that for me? Speaker 2 00:02:34 Glad to, um, I have had about a 20 year career in software and technology covering many areas like mobile computing, payments technology, and now learning technologies and for the last four years or so, I'm the chief technology officer of Skillsoft and SumTotal systems. Thank you. Speaker 1 00:02:52 You know, I think this episode is all about predictions, particularly what we see in 2021. And I am sure that you have some thoughts or ideas as to what our listeners need to be thinking about. And you can feel free to focus on a big idea or a theme that's at the center of it all. But I also want you to talk about what implications your prediction might have for leaders and learners. Speaker 2 00:03:18 Thanks for that question. It's a great question. The team that I see emerging loudly and clearly is agility to emerge as a core competency. It's like reading, writing, arithmetic, and agile. What is agile after all? You know, agile is not just trained software development paradigm. It's actually a way of working. It's about continuous planning doing and validating. It's about fundamentally about a team working in specialist roles, but optimize for team goals. It's about planning work in short quantifiable sprints. Um, it's going to be so much more prevalent than it is today in all functions, things like marketing, things like back office operations, uh, things like sales and go-to-market will all be agile much more so than today because at its core, the agile principles manage a hybrid work environment, much more agile principles would be much more applicable in the near future where we'll have much more remote diversified workforces. And by the way, digital is the fuel of agile and they will actually kind of compliment each other and drive each other forward. So that's how I see 20, 21 March all functions across all businesses adopting agile as a core principle, much more so than two. Speaker 1 00:04:47 Well, you know, I mean, it's interesting AP because you know that we have in marketing here at Skillsoft adopted agile and operate them entirely in an agile framework. What would you say though, to organizations that may not be fully agile across disciplines might be interested in learning more or adopting the framework? What do they start? Speaker 2 00:05:10 Yep. Uh, first of all, I would say that they are missing out on an opportunity and if the don't become agile sooner, they're actually much more efficient, much will be much less efficient, uh, than they ought to be. Um, I think agile has a few principles. First of all, there's a huge learning opportunity for leaders and learners alike. The core agile principles are important to learn and catch up on. I also think, as I said, data science fuels agile, as I lose all about quantification is all about measurement. So learning about data processing data and managing data is actually very important and goes hand in glove with agile and, um, all the digital technologies, um, being totally conversant on everything goes hand in hand with agile. So all of these are pretty pronounced and obvious things that our organization leaders should actually kind of pick up on. Uh, the more subtle thing that actually sometimes it's overlooked is the role of inclusion and diversity in agile. What happens in a post pandemic world where this agility will be more applicable is that we'll have globally diverse workforces over the phone with different cultures and different countries and as a leader, or even as a participant being sensitive to different cultures and how people collaborate across the globe, which will be much more important. So I think that aspect of agile is sometimes understated, but it'll be much more important in the coming future. Speaker 1 00:06:45 You know, I love that. And I think that is so important for us to think about because as we build global agile teams, what I'm hearing you say is we've got to be far more mindful of the cultural nuances as well as, you know, it could be ways of working. It could also just be as simple as time zones and making sure that when we do ups and, and other meetings that we are aware that not everybody is at their best at 8:00 PM or 10:00 PM at night. So, you know, when you think about building these global agile teams, what are some of the, the core guiding principles that you think of? Cause I know you've got a global agile team. I mean, you, you have people all over the world. What are some of the things that people need to think about as they look to build these teams? Right. Speaker 2 00:07:31 I think some of the things that are actually cultural, like you just mentioned being sensitive of time zones, being, being actually careful about finding common work times that work for global teams, sometimes it's difficult, but it's actually possible, right? That's a very important part. Uh, being able to understand, and actually have artifacts that are common and shared able to everybody so that having digital artifacts where people can share results and clearly collaborate asynchronously is very important. So synchronous and asynchronous collaboration tools and adoption of them is actually quite important. Uh, and the whole thing that I just mentioned about data, right? Digital and data and the awareness of all of that and applying it to measurements and progress is actually very important. Speaker 1 00:08:26 Thank you for that. I'm as you know, I'm a huge fan, um, and you know, have been working agile for a while now. I would encourage anybody out there to, to learn and read up. We have a number of, um, books on the topic as well as courses that you can take, uh, on Percipio. And that's not a plug for Percipio, but it is a plug for Percipio stuff. Um, thank you so much AP for joining me. This was great. And I am sure that we're going to see a lot of people looking at, and I'm interested in learning more about agile and there you have it. One of the five predictions that will shape and define the field of learning and development in 2021. Boy, I can't wait to see how this unfolds and I encourage you to check out the other four predictions in our special edition series of the edge podcast. Speaker 1 00:09:15 I'd like to thank our Skillsoft guests for taking the time to join me here today and share their visions and to our listeners. Thank you for tuning into this. And every episode as we unleash our edge together on behalf of the entire Skillsoft team, we encourage you to keep learning and keep growing. And in light of our conversation today, look ahead to 2021. Think about these predictions and make a game plan for how you're going to contribute to a new game changing era for the learning and development field. I'm Michelle Bebe. This is the edge be well Speaker 3 00:09:48 <inaudible>.

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