Jumping On The Corporate Learning BRANDwagon
Global corporations are realising the importance of creating a recognisable brand for their Learning and Development portfolio. While branding is not new to the learning domain, we are seeing a strategic shift in the system; it is not just about branding independent interventions, but that of the overall agenda.
To start with, it is important to understand and articulate why the organisation should invest in learning, what value this brings to the table, and what problems it can solve. After these issues are broken down satisfactorily, interventions can come as a means and of addressing the why and the what.
When we brand the learning and development portfolio, we infuse enthusiasm and interest in learning. In today’s digital world where information is easily available, it is no longer enough to organise standalone training programmes. When employees learn specific skills required by the business, it helps them perform better at work, which in turn helps them grow faster within the organisation. Branding articulates this atmosphere of learning to employees, and strengthens the connection between the people and the organisation.
Building a successful brand
Simon Sinek, in his Golden Circles theory, speaks about asking the right questions to run a successful business. In the learning and development scenario, this concept can be used to articulate the brand. Responses to the questions why and what will evolve in a collaborative manner with inputs from business leaders. The brand must be aligned to business strategies and be a business enabler.
To build a successful learning brand, organisations must identify senior leaders as sponsors and ambassadors who will own the brand and talk about it, within the organisation and outside. When senior leaders, the HR and the learning team talk about the brand in a consistent and positive manner, it will come alive in people’s minds and create the necessary impact.
The idea for #CiplaUniversity came about after much discussion between HR and senior leaders. Its intention is to be a key business enabler and build capabilities needed for present and future. Efforts to brand and promote the same gives it an instantly recognisable identity.
Cipla University, positioned as CU – Cipla and You, strikes an immediate chord with the employees.
There is a sense of ‘we-ness’ in the brand; bringing people together to Learn, Excel and Grow.
— Prabir Jha (@PrabirJha) June 16, 2017
Reinvention and versatility
— Amin Roy (@AminBRoy) February 25, 2017
A successful brand needs to constantly reinvent itself to be current and contemporary. Corporate universities that have shifted their approach to leverage digital platforms and facilitate continuous learning have remained successful. Today, the corporate learning space is seeing a sea change. When the brand is versatile and contemporary, the organization will see the overwhelming positive influence of learning on the growth of the business as well as the employee.
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Meet Challenges Head On – Dr Ranjana Pathak To Women Leaders In The Making
My journey has been a roller coaster ride, filled with laughter and some tears. The challenges were numerous, since I started at the very bottom, this forces you to learn, understand the nuances of the job, the expectations of the organisation, and the regulators.
This job soon became a career and now a calling. I have always been driven, spent hours reading trade journals, studying books on key topics such as chromatography, the USP etc. By the way, the USP is a great book to learn from if you are in the lab. When I started my career, I was the only girl in the QC lab, it was daunting because I had zero experience, this was a challenge to overcome. For me it was a new country, working for the first time in my life, so I suppose the survival instinct kicked in. I have always been very focused. I have the drive to be the best in what I do. These two traits have enabled me to be a perennial student, keeping me in the learning mode. I never liked the status quo and always opted for harder tasks, taught courses because it would force me to learn and be challenged by pharma executives. The need to excel has been with me literally all my life which drives me to take challenges head-on.
In summary, it is my purpose, drive, doggedness, persistence and courage that have enabled me to overcome the numerous challenges that faced me and I know I am not alone! I have also been blessed with having a very supportive family, bosses and colleagues.
Challenges for women leaders
Time is the biggest challenge, the pharma industry is competitive and by nature, timeline bound. There is seldom tomorrow, everything seems to be needed yesterday, a very fast paced, exacting and demanding industry, full of challenges, some anticipated and others binding. For women, to play their classical roles in society and families becomes difficult, because of their innate nature.
Women from time immemorial have been jugglers, they must juggle the needs of their families, children, work, friends, communities etc…the list goes on and on.
Given that the number of hours is limited for all, women need to be able to prioritise the ‘must dos’, and let go of those tasks that cannot be done and will not matter in the long run, ‘take help’ from family members, friends, neighbours to be able to juggle everything on their plate.
Creating a conducive growth environment
The government can and should execute laws that are conducive for women to work, the organisations then must follow through to make the workplace environment safe. School and universities should promote science and maths so children join science rather than hanker for business degrees alone, don’t get me wrong we need those as well but I think I see a tip towards business. If there is no product, there will be no business to manage. Today’s generation wants instant gratification, the millennials are different from the baby boomer generation, their needs and tolerances are not the same. Careers in disciplines other science seem to be more popular. The pharma industry needs sharp scientists, engineers, biologists, microbiologists, physicists, computer science etc. to ensure that new drugs/devices are developed, existing drugs are made more affordable, the quality is uncompromised. This is a daunting task where the government can help in ensuring the platforms exist. The government can do a lot to make this feasible for women/ girls in urban and rural schools.
Need for regular campus placement
There are more number of science graduates coming out of universities who want to join the pharma sector. However, due to lack of job opportunities, they have to change their career goal. To address this, the pharma industry needs to be present on the campus to educate the graduates of tomorrow about the needs of humanity (need for medicines) and the need of society.
To my newcomers and those that are stalwarts: Always do the right thing, be courageous, know your subject, believe in yourself, look at yourself in the mirror each morning and say—Wow, I am looking at a great piece of art that is going to make a huge difference today!!! If I can do it…You can do it better!!
This article originally appeared in Express Pharma.
Books: A Cerebral Affair
“A Reader lives a thousand lives before dying. Those who never read live only once!”
All of us enter youth and the corporate world with the quiet confidence that we can change the world. Alas, this lasts only “until the coarse necessities of physical existence drag us from the height of thought into the mart of economic strife and gain”. Our everyday challenges – finding and then doing well in a good job, keeping up with an often fragile relationship, the heavy load of expectations from our parents and ourselves, lack of clarity on what we really want to do in life, the rat race and constant comparison with our peers – often pull us down into mediocrity. And the grand idea of being the very best we can gets quietly put aside.
So Why Read Books?
If we agree that good counsel can help us become much better, what better guide than books? Mentors and teachers can come and go and may turn out to be false Gods. Why not drink from the ageless wisdom of good books, learning from the myriad experiences of some of the best of our species?
As Durant said, “When life is bitter, or friendship slips away, or perhaps our children leave us for their own haunts and home, let us come and sit at the table with Shakespeare and Goethe…”
But What Exactly To Read?
There is a book for every mood and occasion. Choosing few recommendations is not easy (±130 million books have been written!), so let’s decide how we will choose:
- Life-changing: Will make us wiser. That can bring fundamental changes in our thinking and attitude, answer the big Why questions.
- Engaging and Fun: We want to grow, but also enjoy the journey. We may not have the patience (yet!) to go through deep but boring books.
Let me start with a few recommendations from my side (click each link for more recommendations and a short summary)…
- Are you feeling dejected and lost? Read Philosophy and delve into the deeper meaning of life. Start your journey of self-discovery through Siddhartha or ask a big question on God through The Case For God.
- Are you feeling low after your annual review? Lookup something in the Self-Help genre to improve yourself. Perhaps read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to understand what makes people successful or read The Happiness Project to understand what gives us happiness. Or even Tuesdays With Morrie to learn life’s greatest lessons from a dying man.
- Are you plain bored? Read good Literature, the narrative of our lives, and get entertained and glued. The Kite Runner will make you cry and cringe, and The Animal Farm will bring alive how power corrupts.
- Do you need more tips in managing people and work? Tons of Management books to choose from. The One Minute Manager to manage people and work better or Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff to get a new perspective on all the daily stress in our lives.
- The list wouldn’t stop. Popular Science like Physics Of The Impossible to wonder if science fiction can ever become reality under existing laws of science.
- Or History like Sapiens to read the beautiful and gripping story of our entire species.
- Or a great Autobiography like Screw It, Let’s Do It to learn lessons in life and business from none other than Sir Richard Branson.
(If you want more, see my blog on 100 Books To Make Us Wise).
Part of what makes a book memorable is our own life experiences that can relate to it. So look out for what appeals to you. Obviously, choose the books very carefully. Good books can be an everlasting love affair, just as bad books can be more enervating than a date gone horribly wrong.
Union Budget 2018 – A Budget That Improves The ‘Health of the Nation’
Union Budget 2018 did a commendable job in addressing critical social sector priorities such as healthcare, education and agriculture – a progressive move that will help improve rural economy, encourage entrepreneurship and trigger future growth.
We welcome the world’s largest government-sponsored healthcare scheme – Ayushman Bharat Programme which will extend the benefits of health insurance to 100 million families, ensuring access & affordability of healthcare products and services to a larger section of the society. While there is no immediate impact on the industry, the move could trigger a rise in demand for medicines.
The investment in Government health and education programs is indeed, an extremely progressive step that will usher in healthcare reforms in the country. The industry continues to remain hopeful of the Government to take steps to promote pharma R&D in the country through the rollback of phasing out of weighted deduction on R&D.
The extension of the lower corporate tax rate to MSMEs will support expansion and growth. It could have been extended to larger corporations as India’s corporate tax rate is towards a higher range when compared globally.
On the larger macro-economy, the focus on financial prudence and keeping the fiscal deficit under check is appreciated. The reintroduction of LTCG tax might be perceived as detrimental by market participants. The recommendations and policy changes in the budget have the promise to take India forward on a trajectory of economic growth. However, the implementation of the same on the ground level will prove to be the litmus test for the government.