Article: Art & Science of Developing Leaders: Part III

Leadership

Art & Science of Developing Leaders: Part III

The last of the three-series roundtable organized by BIMTECH, People Matters & Aon Hewitt witnessed an august audience of industry veterans & academicians in Bangalore, who shared their experiences and learnings on the science of developing leaders
Art & Science of Developing Leaders: Part III
 

Best practices in HR, particularly inleadership development, are critical in to predict future growth of organisations.

 

The last of the three-series roundtable organized by BIMTECH, People Matters & Aon Hewitt witnessed an august audience of industry veterans & academicians in Bangalore, who shared their experiences and learnings on the science of developing leaders

The increasing complexity in business has made leadership development a critical performance indicator for organizations. This draws the focus of the management towards an urgent need to pay attention to leadership development as a continuous process, to develop leaders across all levels in the organization.

The last of the three-series ‘BIMTECH- People Matters- Aon Hewitt’ roundtable on the ‘Art and Science of Developing Leaders’, focused on the third element of the leadership story. Having established the need for leadership, the roundtable at Bangalore particularly focused on how organizations can explore the science of developing leaders, which is an urgent need for most.

Dr. H. Chaturvedi, Director, Birla Institute of Management Technology shared some vital numbers in his inaugural speech that had the audience thinking. He said, “Earlier, companies used to grow 3-4 percent annually, but in the recent past, it has been found that companies are growing at a rate of around 150 percent. The changing circumstances and business dynamics demand a close discussion to look at the best practices in HR, particularly in leadership development, in order to predict future growth.”

In this backdrop, leadership development is a need that is seen across levels. There are certain critical aspects that can, in the least, prepare organizations to steer on the right path for developing leaders. Today’s organizations must take into consideration aspects such as - are excellent leaders made or born; how can one develop leadership in oneself or other; can leadership be taught in a classroom session or is it to be developed over time; how do Indian leaders differ from their western counterparts; or are western models of leadership relevant in the Indian scenario.

Ajay Soni shared insights from a research, which brought forward matters of concern for CEOs of large businesses facing a leadership pipeline problem. He shared nine themes that can enable the development of a strong leadership pipeline, as derived from an AON Hewitt research. He emphasized that retaining and attracting top performers to emerge as leaders, requires investment on building a leadership brand. There must be a talent review process through which potential talent can be checked through multiple lenses, such as IBM’s 360 degree appraisal. Further, leadership potential identification is becoming younger day-by-day as companies begin to start identifying leaders at a much early stage. Dayanand Allapur, Head - HR, TESCO, affirmed, “Programs like ‘Catch them Young’ are able to identify young leaders who are willing to face such challenges at an early age.”

The implications of India becoming a global player, propels a need to initiate global leadership acceleration programs in organizations. Dr. Santrupt Misra, CEO, Carbon Black Business, Director - Group Human Resources and Director, Aditya Birla Management Corporation shares his thoughts, “A common notion is that only a MNC needs to have global leaders, which is incorrect as even a domestic company requires global leaders to manage its supply-chain, competitors and customers who could be global.” S. Chandrashekhar, VP - HR, IBM adds to this and says, “The global mindset is about leveraging the best people across the globe, grooming them and developing the required competencies.”

Further, the leadership DNA must be imbibed through an organizational process of mentoring for future leaders. As Dayanand explained, the role of mentors is critical in facilitating employees to move ahead and lead.

The discussion also centered on creating an environment to learn when people are pushed out of their comfort zone. Having identified the leadership potential in employees, organizations must show confidence in them and provide them with more challenging tasks. As Sanjeev Sahi, Group President - HR, GMR explains, “The organization must create an environment for experimentation that will allow people to grow.”

Prof. J. Philip, President, XIME, Bangalore, explained how earlier scientists opined that behavioral aspects had nothing to do with leadership development, but now they claim that traits of leadership are visible through one’s behavior. Therefore, organizations can effectively identify the leadership qualities relevant to their business, should they incorporate the appropriate practices. The roundtable discussion ended on the need for ‘bright sizing’ in organizations, and not just ‘right sizing’, which is of essence in present times. And for this, organizations have to get the right ingredients in place, to nurture the right leadership brand, and DNA in order to attract leaders across all levels, retain them as well as encourage a continuous feed to the leadership pipeline.

“Best practices in hr, particularly in leadership development, are critical in to predict future growth of organizations”
Dr H. Chaturvedi, Director, Birla Institute of Management Technology

“Leadership potential identification is increasingly focusing on identifying leaders at an early stage”
Ajay Soni, Practice Leader, Leadership Consulting, AON Hewitt, Asia-Pacific

“Mentoring will facilitate employees to move ahead and emerge as leaders”
Dayanand Allapur, Head - Human Resources, TESCO

“As the leadership brand evolves with time, companies must focus on building their leadership brand”
Dr. Santrupt Misra, CEO, Carbon Black, Business, Director - Group HR and Director, Aditya Birla Management Corporation

“Components of leadership behaviors such as extrovertism, emotional intelligence, communication ability, are powerful attributes of being a successful leader”
Prof. J. Philip, President, XIME Bangalore

“Leadership development is not an art but it is a scientific issue. Companies must take time to mould the leadership plan”
S. Chandrashekhar, Vice President - Human Resources, IBM

“Grooming leaders can be done through the process of churning the brain and the heart as both dimensions must operate together”
Sanjeev Sahi, Group President - Human Resources, GMR
 

Topics: Leadership, Learning & Development

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