The second part of a three-series roundtable organized by BIMTECH, People Matters & Aon Hewitt on ‘Art and Science of Developing Leaders’ witnessed a gathering of dynamic industry veterans and academicians who shared their invaluable experience in building brands that stand for attracting, nurturing and developing leaders
Leadership development has become a central theme not only for teams and organizations but nations too and hence the need to enhance the capabilities of professionals across the spectrum is of utmost importance. The second part of the three series ‘BIMTECH - People Matters - Aon Hewitt’ roundtable dwelt on the ‘art and science of developing leaders,’ and the industry-academia panel demystified the leadership challenges facing the country as a whole. Dr H Chaturvedi, Director, Birla Institute of Management Technology, in his inaugural speech stressed upon the researches being carried out in the field of developing and nurturing leaders. He specifically cited the HBR study, “The Indian Way” which talks about how Indian CEOs lead organizations and develop leaders. He also emphasized upon a study by the Centre for Creative Leadership, “A new terrain of leadership development- an Indian perspective” which states that Indian organizations can use the 65-30-5 thumb rule to unlock leadership potential. While defining Indian leadership as a combination of ‘holistic employee engagement, improvisation and adaptability of managers, creative value delivery to customers and a sense of brand mission and purpose,’ Dr. Chaturvedi stressed upon the need of developing ethical global leaders who believe in ‘excellence with values.’
In the second session of the roundtable, Radhika Gopalakrishnan, Director- Leadership Consulting, Hewitt, discussed specific cases of six Indian companies which figure in the Top Companies for Leaders (a study conducted jointly by Aon Hewitt, Fortune and RBL Group) all of who have turned the tide in terms of institutionalizing the process of leadership development. She brought to light the five key aspects, viz. building a leadership brand, unrelenting focus on talent assessment, customized learning opportunity, taking top talent out of the comfort zone and diversity of thoughts with execution as the key differentiator. This was followed discussions on caselets of Aditya Birla Group, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI, and John Deer amongst others. “There is no crystal ball gazing; the power of action and to take flight is now,” said Radhika.
The third session of the roundtable was a panel discussion moderated by Ryan Lowe, Senior Consultant, Aon Hewitt. The panel discussion on ‘building a leadership brand to sustain growth in India’ had a mix of industry and academics and the panelists included, B. L. Bagra, Chairman and Managing Director, NALCO; P T Joseph, Director, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar; Rajeev Bhaduri, Director -Group HR, Jindal Steel; V C Agrawal, President–HR, RP Sanjeev Goenka Group; and Radhika Gopalakrishnan, Director–Leadership Consulting, Aon Hewitt. Bagra emphasized on the vacuum of political leadership and also stressed upon the fact that businesses look up to government policies, initiatives and of late, regulatory supervision. He said that a “platform or mechanism is needed to develop leaders.” V C Agrawal affirmed, ‘all the robust systems and processes are at place in PSUs to develop leaders from within.’ According to P T Joseph, if an individual has to become a transformational leader then he/she ‘must overcome the negative traits.’ Rajeev Bhadauria dwelt upon the lessons from the pre and post Lehman Brothers debacle. He said, “the magnitude and complexity of change is becoming less manageable.” The discussion emphasized on the fact that a leadership brand is not the prerogative of a large organization and that leadership brand in essence is what is core to the business and what works for the business.
The panel concluded that there is a need to constantly reinvent so as to stay ahead. They agreed that organizations must not lose focus and learn to manage and thrive amidst the new evolving business dynamics.