Article: The king too needs education: Dr. Pritam Singh

Strategic HR

The king too needs education: Dr. Pritam Singh

Dr. Pritam Singh, Dean & Director General, IMI

I look at the crisis of leadership as a global crisis. It is a crisis in the area of public affairs, academic world, and bureaucracy. The role loading capability needs to be heightened in the individual, because many CEOs have not even grown beyond the general manager attitude. There is a mammoth need for executive education and for this, one needs to understand what this crisis is all about. Is it about knowledge, about competency or is it something different? And that is where we are not focusing on.

The trend in executive education in India is that most of the schools in the country have been focusing on the middle and lower middle level managers in the name of executive education. There are very few institutes which focus on the top levels or have programs for directors and the board level. At IMI, executive education programs include board level workshops and programs for directors and senior leaders.

At IMI, we have a 3 week program (1 week in India and 2 weeks outside) for senior leadership so that they can get the best of our world and the western world. We have been taking them to basically Europe, because it is a multi-culture continent. Second part of the program is the leadership issue which is addressed through outbound programs, theatre technique, and film technique. Leadership can never be taught through cases and lectures alone. Another issue addressed is to create a wealth creating mind, because not many people understand the meaning of wealth creation.

The reason why there is a lack of executive education at the senior level is because as the saying goes, the moment someone becomes a king, he feels that the king does not need to be educated. Corporations must come out of the king’s ego of one who does not require education. Even if there may not be competencies in schools to educate them, the 2-3 days can allow them to rejuvenate. That is why some companies make a statement that everyone must spend 3 days in a year for such programs. The problem is that everybody is busy proving their indispensability by not going anywhere, rather than proving their indispensability by grooming people.

Just as most people seek to measure any investment they make, one of the CEOs of a giant company once asked me how I can measure that the training has been useful. My response was - can you measure the worth of your CA degree? When trying to assess the ROI on education, one needs to reflect on this - If you sow seeds for grass, you can see the grass in a few days; but if you plant a tree and want to see a full grown tree, then you have to wait for 25 years! The value of education cannot be measured.

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Topics: Strategic HR, Learning & Development, Leadership

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