Enquire Now

CEO — Now Needs to be Disruptive, a Transformer

– to Reengineer by Creative Destruction

In a post COVID world, the CEO has to revisit the past, reengineer the present, crystal gaze into the future and possibly relook at what to keep and what to let go.

As everyone grapples with COVID which will not go away soon, the business model has to be “Unlocked”. The unlocking will take different dimensions, with different sectors, different regions-countries, and opening up in different ways and at a differing pace. The virus resurgence will likely bring about renewed restrictions.

In situations such as the Great Depression in 1920, the World War II, the Financial Crisis of the 90’s a CEO had to be adept at the P&L, productivity metrics & number crunching, spending time to decide on launches and reenergizing the PLC.

However today these factors are hygiene and the need is the ability to have an extremely high EQ and a personality to integrate with the teams as they get more result oriented, ready to experiment and more tech-savvy.

Integration is required across teams, which now meet on cloud meetings viz — ZOOM, across time-zones, departments with the absence of geographical boundaries. A CEO and an aspirant needs to be ready to disrupt, be tech savvy and highly EQ enabled to manage the emotional upheaval people will go through as everything around them changes — have the intellect to identify trends, be courageous to plan on what to keep and what to let go and be able to handle diversity of thought.

Mckinsey in its article, The Toughest Leadership Test avers “The pressures can seem daunting. Coping with the sudden shutdown of the global economy was hard enough; figuring out how to restart in such an uncertain environment is, if anything, even harder, many told us. CEOs are expected to show “deliberate calm” and “bounded optimism.” Everyone wants them to demonstrate empathy — and, at the same time, be highly engaged and fact based in their actions. They are expected to make a positive difference in people’s lives with their leadership and wield both telescope and microscope adroitly”

It is said that a crisis brings about the best & the worst in people and separates the men from the boys.

The moment of truth for the CEO is to- Reimagine the Business, to Reengineer and maybe destroy the “old way of working” and adapt to the NOW, and also manage the family at home and keep smiling.

As a CEO are you ready?

Simulation Games Enhance Learning Outcomes

The biggest challenge of our education system is to leverage the learning of concepts and theories with the use of modern technology to create engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences for all students that represent the reality of their future.

Most B-schools and universities follow a teaching style that is a blend of theory and practical. The traditional methods of teaching within the four walls of the classroom that include lectures and textbooks do set the basic foundation for a student. However, to attain the skills, which will be required at the workplace, these concepts have to be applied. The application of the learning will ensure that the student has been able to improve their critical thinking skills. The two years of PGDM should comprise of this blend of theory and practice giving the student a comprehensive curriculum.

Subjects like Entrepreneurship give the students ample opportunities to collaborate and work with peers. For subjects like this, the implementation of simulation is the best solution as it deals with the real-life application of the knowledge gained in the classroom.

What are the benefits of Simulation?

Simulations are games that follow a system or a phenomenon. The players are expected to achieve certain pre-specified goals and the environment of the simulation is pre-defined through algorithms and programming. The biggest benefit of simulations is that students get involved in playing the simulation and they consider it as a game or a competition in the real sense. In the process of playing the simulation, the students start applying the concepts that they have learnt in the classes. This provides them with an opportunity to find out how the concept actually works.

It is also the best way to implement Action Learning, i.e., learning by doing. These days, simulations are available online so they can be accessed from anywhere. Students can form teams and access the simulation from any part of the world. It also encourages more interactions among the students that set the platform for learning from each other. They can also afford to do mistakes and learn from it as the stakes are low and they have nothing to lose in terms of money or any other resource.

How to include Simulation in learning pedagogy?

Since simulations are beneficial for management students, it is imperative that it is included in the learning pedagogy. IILM has been implementing simulations in its UG as well as PG courses. Some of the key aspects that need to be considered for including Simulation in the learning pedagogy are:

  • Decide the learning objectives of the subject and check the relation between the concepts taught and the simulation game. There should be a perfect match between the learning objectives of the course and the skills that the simulation tests in the student.
  • The simulation game should be in a sequence. The sequence should move in terms of complexity. For example, a simulation may be played over 4 quarters and the decisions that the players have to take in the initial quarters should be simpler than the ones that they have to take in the later stages.
  • The class has to be guided by a coach who will channel the thoughts and ideas of the students. There has to be a little bit of hand holding in the initial stages of the simulation so that the students understand the process.
  • The coach can first give a brief synopsis of the situation in which this simulation is being conducted. If required, the initial stages can be demonstrated by the coach so that the students can follow his or her footsteps.
  • As the students play the simulation, the coach should encourage the students to think about their decisions and predict the consequences of their decisions. The coach will then have to connect this analysis with the learning objectives of the course.
  • The teams should be able to present their decisions and if required prepare a brief report of the simulation. The coach can then give their feedback so that the concepts become clear to the students.

In the present dynamic environment, the main focus of higher educational institutions is to enable student-centred teaching. This will be possible only when learning happens in an active and collaborative environment. The inclusion of Simulations in the teaching and learning of management concepts will not only make the students better learners but will also prepare them to face the challenges of the corporate world.

To know about other Management teaching best practices like case based learning, mentoring have a look at the following:

Business Case Studies – An Effective Teaching Tool

https://blog.iilm.edu/case-based-teaching-learning-management/

The Many Avatars of a Teacher – A Facilitator in Learning

What is the Mantra for right mentoring?

 

 

 

 

How Leadership Works: And What Motivates People to Follow.

This is one question that every leader thinks, that is how to persuade others to do what you want them to do in the most effective manner. To come to the definite answer to this question, there is a need to start reflecting on what motivates you  to follow or listen to someone. The moment you start reflecting on this basic question, you will immediately start pondering upon what makes you passionate about things in life for which you are ready to expand your comfort zone.  In majority of the cases, it’s all about making an impact  in the lives of others with your work.

Purposive Leadership

The purpose in leadership is all about who you are and what makes you distinct, it’s all about your own unique brand. It is not so much about what you do or your educational qualifications but how you do your job.

It is your ability to articulate purpose behind your work that makes you distinct.  Your ability to help your team members connect with the larger purpose behind your work i.e. making a difference in the lives of others, helps you to connect with your team and motivates them to go to any level to make a remarkable contribution at work.

David Ulrich , Professor of Business Studies at The University of Michigan, who is an expert in the field of human resource and leadership and has authored more than 30 books, shared that leaders in the organisation who enable their employees to find meaning and purpose from their work  create a work culture in which employees are more enthusiastic and generate more value for their customers and investors.

Suresh Narayanan, MD of Nestle India, is one such leader who inculcates a sense of strong purpose amongst his team members and successfully brought the company out from the Maggie crisis and is now steering Nestle successfully during the Covid-19 crises with no retrenchment amongst his existing work force. He shared that it is important to have clarity of one’s purpose in life and it is not about becoming a corporate CEO or an entrepreneur or making a million dollars, but it is all about understanding what you want to be known for, and this makes the whole difference.

How to Lead With Purpose

The first step is to identify your purpose, which needs to be real and authentic. The second important step is to articulate that purpose amongst all your stake holders clearly and persistently. The third important step is to realise that when we use our strengths at work, then we reach in the state of flow, where we become so engrossed at work that time just flows by – and the same is true for our team members. So, help your team members identify their strengths and use it at work. Lastly, create a positive work environment by encouraging a positive work relationship and by giving positive feedback to your team members. Remember, you can help your team members grow by focusing on their strengths. It is only an uplifting and supportive work environment that can help your team members connect to the deeper meaning of their work.

This is what Yuon Chouinard, CEO of Patagonia, an American outdoor clothing company, has done. He clearly aligned his purpose i.e. “cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to environmental crisis” in all his processes, be it product-lines, supply-chain or the pricing of its products. This motivated the company to switch to organic cotton in their clothing lines. The result is that today Patagonia is thriving due to its  focus on overall purpose behind their business and not just the profits.

Purpose Assures Safety in The Times of Crisis.

Leaders who lead with purpose can easily bring their organisations out from crisis. American energy company, DTE Energy, could overcome the 2008 financial crisis by inculcating training programmes for employees that spoke about purpose behind their work. They conducted town hall meetings and conducted culture-binding activities that increased employee engagement to a new level. DTE won a Gallop Great Work Place Reward five years in a row, their financial performance skyrocketed, with the company’s stock price tripling from year end 2008 to year end 2017. Hence, the most important factor that makes an organisation grow amid challenges and crisis is its leadership, with strong purpose which is beyond one’s immediate interests.

Conclusion

Finally, it is important for a leader to help his team members not only to envision the outcome of their daily routines, but also to find meaning in those tasks. So, for me, I not only give lectures but as I teach, I also contribute in preparing Next Generation Business Leaders.

Purposeful leadership is all about creating value and leading a contributive life. It is about being genuine and helping others to develop and display their highest potential. Finally, leaders must create their own brand and think what they want it to be remembered as.

 

Book Review of Dan Ariely’s “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations”

payoff-9781501120046_hr

ISBN: 1501120042 (ISBN13: 9781501120046)

Motivation is a topic of great interest to behaviour and organizational scientists who are generally looking for ways to improve performance and productivity. The subtitle of the book “Payoff” attracted my attention, whetting my curiosity with the promise of the hidden logic behind motivations. ‘Payoff’ is an engaging melange of research findings with personal stories and experiences, blended into an interesting read as much for a lay person as for a researcher. Catchy chapter headers also added to the appeal.

Dan begins with a dictionary definition of motivation and how it is a significant part of all aspects of our lives – personal and professional. In the author’s own words “This book explores the jungle of motivation’s true nature, as well as our blindness to its strangeness and complexity”. His introduction talks about an interesting theory that motivation is a sum of a number of factors suggesting the equation:

Motivation = Money + Achievement + Happiness + Purpose + A Sense of Progress + Retirement Security + Caring About Others + Your Legacy + Status + Number of Young Kids at Home2 + Pride + E + P + X + [All kinds of other elements]. He presents the complexity of the concept of motivation and how we tend to attribute it to different factors before a project and during the project. He also points out that often we become aware of the various factors affecting our motivation levels only after the negative effects are evident.

He then goes on to describe an experience that made him realise that what pushed him to come out of a tragic incident was the strong need to conquer a feeling of helplessness. The need to “reclaim even a tiny modicum of control over his life” was the motivation to endure the pain and to get better. With these words the author brings out the significance of experiencing meaning in life as against living an easy life.

Dan cites several interesting studies that he and his colleagues have conducted where performance of research participants as well as actual factory employees went up much more significantly when they were able to find meaning in their work than when their work was simply rewarded with monetary returns. In fact his research points to the fact that monetary rewards actually hampered rather than helped productivity whereas a simple word of acknowledgement from the superior worked wonders.

Through four easy to read chapters, Dan enlightens the readers on what kills motivation, how joy and finding meaning in work are significant, that money is a wrongly over-rated motivator and how often the need for finding meaning unconsciously extends to encompass even the afterlife. Dan concludes with the answer to the ultimate question alluding to the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Expressed in a light and humorous language, while the book reiterates what several other researchers have found in recent years, it also encourages the reader to ponder some of the simple yet often ignored aspects of leadership and motivation. It is a small book, quick to read and packed with wisdom.

Workforce Diversity and Organizational Culture

Organizational Culture, as conceptualized by Schein, can be understood as a layered phenomenon with the surface level artefacts visible in an organization as the topmost layer, the espoused values that fuel those just underneath and most importantly the assumptions and beliefs that underlie the above two layers. Culture is the invisible yet powerful force that drives morale, engagement and performance. Needless to say that the culture of an organization comes from its people and is both top-down as well as bottom-up, resulting from the numerous interactions (or the lack thereof) among its people. The diversity in the workforce is therefore, a strong influence sculpting the culture of organizations of today.

schein

Experts are of the opinion that in the glocal world that we live in today, diversity is the key to maximize organizational effectiveness. But what does this diversity really refer to? Is it the variety or multiplicity of demographic features that characterize a company’s workforce, in terms of race, gender, culture, religion, national origin, handicap, sexual orientation and age? Or are we referring to the more intrinsic differences that exist between individuals that surpass the group level differences? Whatever the definition may be, it is true that in any workplace today, we are surrounded by people who often think and work differently. It begins with how people perceive themselves and others and the variations therein, which directly influence people’s interactions and communication within the organization.

The challenge for organizations really is to manage this workforce diversity to benefit from it, to make it advantageous. It is ‘Easier said than done!’

What exactly are these advantages that researches keep talking about?

There are several benefits for an organization that embraces diversity in its culture:

  • Increased adaptability – Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems that arise on a day-to-day basis. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands.
  • Broader service range – A diverse collection of skills and experiences (e.g. languages, cultural understanding) allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis. IBM is one organization that created several minority task forces focusing on groups such as women and Native Americans. In the ensuing years these task forces expanded IBM’s multicultural markets growing from $10 million to $300 million in revenue in just 3 years.
  • Greater Creativity – A diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a larger pool of ideas and experiences. The organization can draw from that pool to meet business strategy needs and the needs of customers more effectively.

All of these benefits have a clear impact on the bottom-line of a company.

Challenges of Diversity in the workplace

While the benefits of diversity are evident, this path is not devoid of challenges for the organization.

  • Unconscious bias is one of the most significant barriers for an organization on the path to embracing diversity. Simply because it is unconscious makes it all the more challenging to overcome. While each individual comes with their own set of unconscious biases, there are some that are common such as those stemming from stereotypes related to women and people from certain cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Communication is another important challenge in organizations often resulting from basic differences in the style of communication as well as different meanings associated with non-verbal signals. For example, high-context cultures such as India, Japan and China, rely on implicit communication whereas low context cultures such as USA rely largely on explicit verbal communication. Such differences, when not understood, often lead to miscommunication among teams/employees.
  • Resistance to change – Any change is often met with resistance, it is a human tendency. There are employees who refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. The “we’ve always done it this way” mentality sometimes silences new ideas and inhibits progress.
  • Implementation of diversity in the workplace policies –This can be an overriding challenge to all diversity advocates. Policy level change marks the beginning which then needs to be implemented across the organization. It is important to recognize and accommodate at the policy level cultural and religious holidays, differing modes of dressing, dietary restrictions and needs of individuals with disabilities.

All the above challenges, while real, can be overcome by building awareness and skills through sensitization training programmes and coaching sessions across all levels. Most importantly the top management, the leaders need to be good role models, displaying their support for diversity, respecting people from all backgrounds equally.

Placement Week at IILM

Whenever the human capital of an organization thrives, the organization will prosper, and vice versa. With this belief, a student’s personal potential and workplace potential is intervened, placement week was organized for PGDM 1st year students from Feb 9 -13, 2015 to optimize opportunities and circumstances for summer intern-ship and understanding job market well.

Placement week was a great endeavour to bridge in the gap between demand of companies and students’ expectations.

Industry people from Vodafone, Wingreens, Singer India, Mccain Foods, Silver Arrow, Nova beans (3D Printing), UAS international , IIFL, Deloitte, Garmin Navigational Tools were invited to interact with students. Campus to corporate, how to prepare for an interview, importance of preparing LinkedIn profile in a professional manner in corporate world, understanding corporate culture for professional effectiveness, importance of team building among budding managers,how to develop soft skills, orientation about current job market and various job profiles offered by organizations were the topics appreciated by the students. Some of the companies offered summer intern-ship during the placement week. Face to face interaction with industry people added value and knowledge on understanding job market among students.

Last but not the least, TED videos on motivation, improving body language and enhancing interview skills were also appreciated by the students.

Enhancing Workplace Learning: Role of Coaching and Mentoring

Swiss Re, a Zurich-based global re-insurance firm achieved an impressive turnaround moving from a loss of $ 663 million in 2008 to a net income of $4.2 billion in 2012. By 2015 the company aims to generate 20-25 per cent revenues from high growth markets. This requires talented people with right skills and languages as well as agility and passion to perform. In response to this, the company has embraced the 70-20-10 learning and development model to support the targeted business growth. In this model, 70 per cent is geared to learning on the job through rotations and stretch assignments, 20 per cent is focused on learning from coaching and mentoring and 10 per cent is invested in formal training methods such as seminars and e-training. Thus the company is using a range of means to strengthen continuous learning and development with strategic investment and focus on workplace learning.

Today, organisations are working in an environment that is increasingly disrupted by consumers, technology and regulatory shifts. In such a scenario the traditional classroom model of learning is doomed. As a result, organisations are exploring new approaches for employee development that are not tied to the formal structured methods around the classes, courses and curricula model. In part this interest has been driven by economic consideration. Pressures to lower training costs and reduce budgets for travel have been a major factor. But this focus is also driven by the realization that a majority of adult learning occurs not through formal learning but through experience, practice, conversations and reflection in the workplace. Added to this is the emerging appreciation of the important role the context plays in learning. Focus on workplace learning has not been confined to any particular business sector or to specific group of employees but is being adopted across wide range of industries, agencies and government departments.

Rationale for workplace learning

The publication of research and survey data over the past decade indicates that workplace and informal learning offer an effective and efficient solutions to improved workplace performance. People learn 70 per cent of what they know about their jobs informally (Loewensteinn and Spletzer,1996). This has been validated in the body of research in the ensuing years. Capital Works study reports that approximately 75 per cent of the skills employee use on the job were learned informally through discussions with co workers, self study, mentoring by managers and similar methods. Casebow and Ferguson (2010) found that most frequent and effective approaches to learning used were informal chats with colleagues (80 per cent) and on the job instruction from managers and colleagues (45 per cent). Exact percentages may vary from study to study but it indicates the importance of workplace learning . Some of the most critical skills to workplace success, communication, collaboration, teamwork and even technical skills, are cultivated through invaluable and ongoing informal workplace learning: mentoring, coaching, peer reviews and job shadowing.

Coaching and mentoring

Workplace coaching is a collaborative, solution-focused, result-oriented and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance and the selfdirected learning and personal growth of individual (Greene & Grant, 2003). Mentoring is an interactive process occurring between individuals of differing levels of experience and expertise which incorporates interpersonal or psycho-social development, career and/or educational development, and socialisation functions into the relationship (Carmin, 1988). Broadly speaking, coaching supports individuals and teams in building skills that increase performance while mentoring is primarily about developing capability and potential. (CIPD,2009). Coaching has a short term focus vis-a- vis mentoring which focuses on long term development.

Most companies position coaching as an investment in high-performers. Individual coaching often focuses on the top layers of the firm. Team coaching is offered using experiential learning such as business simulations and team exercises. Mentoring is offered to emerging talents as a relationship outside the regular reporting line that helps them develop and move successfully through times of change and transition. A more experienced person is matched with another less experienced one and acts as a listener and guide in questions of business and personal development. Interaction with senior managers helps develop a more sophisticated and strategic perspective on the firm and its direction, values and ways of working (Day 2001). Coaching and mentoring help accelerate learning to create impact at the individual, group and business level as they are geared to people and teams with significant involvement in organisational change process (Vera&Crossan,2004).

UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel Management reports that 51 per cent of companies (sample of 500) ‘consider coaching as a key part of learning development’ and ‘crucial to their strategy’, with 90 per cent reporting that they use coaching. More recent research in 2011 by Qa Research found that 80 per cent of organisations surveyed had used or are now using coaching. According to Toyota’s philosophy, the responsibility to develop people falls squarely on the line manager, not on the HR department or the trainer in the classroom. The next generation is developed through coaching of daily work. Employees are given challenging assignments by managers. The development lies in the stretch between their current ability and the learning they need to go through to complete the assignment successfully. In addition to defining the right stretch to each member, the manager must also coach and support the member throughout the assignment to help him or her succeed, all the while leaving enough room to think, allowing mistakes and using each one as a stepping stone to development.

Companies like Smithkline Beecham, Cadbury, Hewlett Packard, Mckinsey & Co, Infosys to name a few are using mentoring to develop their employees from initial stage Mariott International and Bank of America have formal mentoring programmes. Here, more senior professionals and mangers team up with less experienced protegees with the aim of assisting the protegee to improve their performance and career progress. The accounting firm KPMG made ‘online mentoring program’ part of its employer of choice initiative . Nestlé has launched several mentoring schemes at different levels in the organisation. Credit risk company Experian has since 2008 been running a global talent development forum and internal mentoring initiative the Experian Business Network for its high potential and diverse emerging talent.

Benefits of coaching and mentoring

Coaching and mentoring help employees to

► To adjust to the culture in an organization: The Coach/Mentor can provide the new worker with information on the corporate culture, organizational structure and procedures that will help the younger professional settle into his role in the business.
► Help in employee growth and development: Coaching and mentoring programmes provide the mentee with real-world knowledge that bridges the gap between educational theory and actual business practices.
► Those serving as coaches and mentors within an organization gain personal and professional satisfaction by sharing their expertise with other employees.
► A supportive atmosphere can improve employee morale and loyalty, thereby helping to reduce turnover and boost productivity.
► Companies can align the goals of the business with a mentoring programme to gain a competitive edge.

Conclusion

Coaching and mentoring, whether formal or informal, provide a simple and cost-effective way to enhance enterprise learning and provide direct and specific learning and development to employees. They help employees improve their essential skills, reinforce strong relationships among employees, support a learning culture in the workplace, and increase productivity.