To be in Competition One must have Knowledge and Education

Firstly you’ve to educate yourself because the half life of knowledge is three years. You can’t just know a few things and get away. The ones who will survive are those who are constantly learning, changing and adapting. A lot of people stop learning after they leave school. But you’ve got to read voraciously your whole life. Secondly, young professionals should think about contribution. Young people should not think about how much they get paid, where they can be more successful etc. Instead they should think about how best they can contribute to the society and leave a lasting legacy behind etc.

Firstly the HR profession especially in growing economies is increasingly important and strategic. HR is definitely finding it necessary to become more strategic. Historically they’ve been looked as a staff job. But today, they are finding themselves to be very relevant. We all know that the most important person in a sports team is the personnel leader because in a sports team, talent is everything. A personnel leader is responsible to recruit the best talent. So why should it be any different in the corporate world?

We have to move away from the industrial age approach where people are controlled and managed and move towards the knowledge worker approach where people are treated as the organization’s greatest assets. At the center of all, leadership is about unleashing people’s potential, their talents towards a unified purpose. If you treat people fairly and with respect and empower them, they will offer their full skills and creativity.

First of all, leaders are made and not born. But then leaders are not made without training. To scale the corporate ladder in today’s competitive world, managers need to constantly update their knowledge base and hone their skill set in order to better adapt to a dynamic business environment. The focus remains on constant and continuous learning, unlearning and re-learning.

Few recently conducted empirical analyses show that there is a strong positive relationship between cross functionality and team innovation. Wikipedia defines cross functionality as a team where people from different functional (read: HR, finance, marketing etc), expertise work towards a common goal.

Cross functionality is the coming together of unified cultural mindsets where all functions and departments work synergistically towards enabling the growth of the enterprise.

Nowadays in most futuristic organizations being a cross functional employee has become an important pre-requisite. It means that when in an organization, the employees are expected / given a chance to work in different departments so as to get a feel of how the other departments outside his /her field of expertise function.

Most senior level managers who have made cross functionality a part of their career phase are known to be assets to their company simply because they derive a lot of practical experience and are well versed with the nuances of each function. In very organization cross functionality is raising trend and team managers put together a team of diverse people and assign them with different responsibilities. For best results each member is encouraged to explore their skills enhance their work relationships and chase organizational goals. Even though it is a very well accepted practice very few organizations follow it in India.

Cross functionality if encouraged can also be the contributor to the personal growth of the employees as the experience enhances their professional skills outside their line of expertise. Cross functionality is an innovation practice wherein a company first scouts for talent within an organization to provide growth opportunities to its employees. This practice helps to gain cross functional exposure.

At senior managerial levels cross functionality is a well received practice and most senior managers feel that it gives leverage an individual when he /she has to deal with more than one field of expertise. This practice can be used as an HR tool for motivation and also increases company loyalty. When an employee is assured that he /she can gain exposure to various departments as to how they function and their requirements, they prefer to department hop rather than job hop. The encouragement of this practice is beneficial to HR as well as the employees as it also reduces the cost for hiring and training for HR. In the case of a cross functional team, the concerned employee is aware about the common objective, all they have to be is trained in the working of that particular field of expertise.

Indian organizations need to encourage this practice as a regular HR activity instead of treating it as an additional exercise. Sometimes, when HR introduces a practice as this, the employees are not sure of the intention and think of it as a step down in their professional careers as mostly growth is associated with vertical growth in terms of higher designations and salary. But when presented as concept fostering employees’ personal growth as well as that of the company cross functionality can become the solution of many problems that exist in the running of an organization.

Excerpts from Education Times