In addition to providing our HiPos with a tremendous wealth of knowledge and a support community, XChange has also been a learning consortium for the HR and L&OD Heads
This column presents the thoughts of Director, Coffee Day Global & CEO - Cafe Coffee Day, A Venu Madhav and Balachandar Natarajan, Group Head - HR, Coffee Day about conceptualizing and participating in XChange, an innovative consortium-style leadership development program, together with 3M, Bosch, Titan and SAP.
The XChange story can be read here
There are many management schools with open programs that offer out-of-the-box insights, but influence on structure and design of such programs is negligible. But at XChange, we not only have influence on the structure and the design, but we also own different modules, host them and execute them. Thus we not only design our own sessions but also helped find faculty for other sessions which made it worthwhile to work together in co-creating XChange.
At XChange, we led customer-centricity because Cafe Coffee Day is our main company. But it was decided that none of the modules that we host will focus only on what we do in the company, but will have a broader impact on service or a broader impact on leadership. We brought an individual from Mahindra to talk to the participants about dealer channel satisfaction, and an expert trainer on customer satisfaction to do half a day training on customer service. While designing the session on customer-centricity, we kept in mind how different organizations like SAP, 3M etc. would react to that subject etc. so that it is not only B2C but a mixture of B2C, B2B, Service and Manufacturing. Practical learning also went into workshops and required the participants to go out and observe their customer service, the observations of which were shared and insights were generated.
Through XChange, our emerging leaders got a chance to meet and interact with not only peer-level participants but also with key leaders in each of the organizations. Outside-In perspective is a prime need among corporates and we all are getting mutual invitations to provide that outside XChange as well. Since relationships have become much stronger, we can now easily reach out to other organizations for e.g. to Titan and ask if their CEO Bhaskar Bhat could speak to our HiPos in CCD’s quarterly leadership development program. Titan had similarly invited us to talk about Coffee Day at the Sales meeting of Titan’s southern region.
In addition to providing our HiPos with a tremendous wealth of knowledge and a support community, XChange has also been a learning consortium for the HR and L&OD Heads. Professionally, we have all benefitted from it. All of the L&OD people have also grown a lot in their professional skill-sets, with exposure to different perspectives, ideas, strategies, priorities and participants. Along the way, we have all become a group of friends. This trust and friendship is undoubtedly a major takeaway of the program.