#70: Learning and Development as a Strategic Driver with Akkshada Maniyan

Leveraging two decades of expertise in coaching, talent development, and people operations, Akkshada Maniyan leads Learning and Organizational Development for Innova Solutions, a global digital transformation solutions provider. Akkshada has worked with renowned global firms including IBM, GlobalFoundries, Amazon, and Deloitte driving talent programs for over 50,000 employees. She has optimized her background as a Columbia University Certified Executive Coach and mastery in incorporating various personality assessment tools to impact over 10,000 leaders and learners. A published author, she regularly shares her wisdom on leadership, change, and curiosity with followers across various platforms.

Top 3 Takeaways

  1. Seek agility. The future is uncertain, so we need to be flexible. Embrace a culture of testing and iteration that builds on established principles and practices without being constrained by them.
  2. Will over have. When building a team, don’t get too hung up on demonstrated experience. High potential performers who have the will to do the job will adapt and persevere when given the chance.
  3. Get down to business. As a support function leader, you likely find your work very interesting. Ensure that you can draw a thick line to how what you do drives business results.

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From the Source

“in a company that's not that well established or that is growing, there's much more of a starter mindset. Amazon in particular I want to call out as they have a Day One mindset. Every day is Day One. They like to keep their founder’s mindset and attitude.”

“Companies that tend to go above and beyond to look at learning in a less established way and more of an experimental manner? It tends to be a lot more fun.”

“I chose people not necessarily strong with a learning background, but more of a sociology background, anthropology, or somebody who was interested in learning. People who are passionate about really making a difference in somebody's life. That's all we really looked for.”

“There are no set learning skills. Maybe instructional design. Yes. Right. Maybe some specialized skills within L&D/OD. Yes. But you can coach people. You can really empower your team members to get better.”

“The real magic is finding the will. If anybody who has the will to want to do more, they'll always find a way, and our job is only to enable them.”

“I've implemented a QBR system so each learning business partner, along with the learning delivery lead or the facilitator, they present results on a quarterly basis to the business teams using a dashboard. So we're very metrics driven.”

Connect with Akkshada

Book: https://www.amazon.com/Serial-Influencer-Akkshada-Maniyan-ebook/dp/B0CW2WX86M

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/akkshadamaniyan/