How 3M India broke the traditional mold of learning
The model has provided us all with very different perspectives and multiplied the learning opportunities
This column presents the thoughts of Managing Director Amit Laroya and Maclean Raphael, Executive Director - HR of 3M India & Sri Lanka about conceptualizing and participating in XChange, an innovative consortium-style leadership development program together with Coffee Day, Bosch, Titan and SAP.
The XChange story can be read here.
XChange is an excellent example of a disruptive HR practice. We in 3M collaborated with other leading companies in Bangalore to form a learning consortium. Bosch, SAP, Titan, Café Coffee Day, Amazon, Mindtree and Biocon, who are all leaders in their fields, came together with us to redefine learning for our HiPo employees. The model has provided us all with very different perspectives and multiplied the learning opportunities by bringing together the best of practices, faculty, and learning methodologies from these companies.
3M caters to businesses running in diverse fields – from automobile care to healthcare products. XChange as a learning platform has showed us so many possibilities and models to learn and adopt from. We can learn not only on the product and the business side – but also on the system side, customer service, financial services and supply chain from companies in different verticals.
In the session on Innovation competency that 3M owned, we focused on different kinds of innovation, including Product, Process, Marketing and Customer Insight innovation. This allowed the participants from the various companies to get a horizontal and a vertical understanding into each company’s innovation process. The life cycle process from concept to commercialization of 3M’s product innovation gave an insight to the challenges at every stage. We took them on an exhibition of the Innovation lab and got them to engage with the scientists who worked on developing various products. Likewise, experts from Titan were invited, who took us through the journey of jewelry designing and how they commercialized it. Thereafter, Coffee Day presented on customer insight innovation allowing the participants to understand the significance and role of customer insights in driving CCD’s strategy. Entrepreneurs from the best and the latest startups were also invited as panel speakers to enrich the participants on the cycle of ideation, risk, getting buy-in from venture capitalists, commercialization and scaling up.
Among participants, we had individuals from different backgrounds like tech, finance, business, supply chain and industry come together for this program. They all got to experience the culture of each company as they had a different host and venue every month. They treasured these moments and intended to apply the newly acquired ideas in their workplaces. This entire experience has bred a lot of positivity not only amongst the participants, but also with the organizing team of HR Heads and the L&OD teams. They have become a very close knit group continuously sharing best practices, challenges and learnings in the HR space as well. The organizers realize that they have a winning formula and are keen to nurture and sustain it over the years.