Most corporate training is classroom-based and tends to have only a 10 per cent impact on the actual learning. Organisations will have to radically adapt their cultures, structures, systems and processes in order to survive the new world order – and managing in matrix structures, where information flows around the organisation and around the globe in a way that renders traditional hierarchies and reporting lines redundant, is one of the biggest challenges. So how are organisations looking to develop their future leaders?
Today's corporate scenario requires a leader to be a visionary who ensures that the business is dynamic and employees are engaged. A true leader should be innovative, engaging, and strategic and should work to attract, retain and develop the best in class talent in the organisation. However, to groom future leaders, we can't rely on classroom training alone as it tends to have only a 10 per cent impact on the actual learning. "It may not be possible to create leaders in classrooms, but it is eminently possible to galvanise them there. While potential and experience are the raw materials for creating leadership, they cannot be processed and finished into effective leadership without the appreciation of the actual role and true meaning of leadership. Leaders can certainly be coached, and leaders are by no means restricted to the higher levels of management alone. Leaders are everywhere in the organisation. Which is why coaching has to happen at multiple levels in the organisation based on the results. The clear imperative is to tap into the respective strengths of various competency groups," says Shankar Srinivasan, chief people officer, Cognizant.
With organisations relentlessly trying to carve their niche in the global arena, presence of a leader may catapult the success trajectory of the organisation or lack of it can be consequential. Global arena is replete with boom and downtime. This necessitates the presence of a strong, able and resilient leadership at the helm. "A successful leader must possess meritocracy to adjust to global economy, positivity to build a resilient leadership and organisation and pragmatism, vision and adaptability in face of uncertainty and unforeseen events and doing all this while attaining results. Results, not only in business terms but also be able to maintain high touch with its employees, retain employees and of course sustain high output with minimum input," states Neelam Gill Malhotra, vice president - HR, CSC India, on how does one identify a future leader in today's corporate scenario. Leadership is much more than the sum of traits and observable behaviors. Adds Navyug Mohnot, chief executive officer and co-founder, QAI "See who is able to deal with ambiguity. While this is a critical skill there are other new and many classical indicators and competencies. The role of leaders hasn't changed in a fundamental way, and empathy, integrity, holistic thinking, systems thinking, interpersonal skills, perseverance all remain the same."
Each organisation, depending, on its stages of growth, would have different parameters to identify leaders and inputs to groom future leaders. What are the various initiatives in organisations to identify and groom future leaders? It is imperative to constantly develop the leadership bench required to steer an organisation to the next higher levels of growth and success. But there might be multiple deterrents in building such a module pool. "Some of the main challenges in leadership development arise from the effectiveness of programmes for certain individuals. Different people learn in different ways. A programme around leadership training is not going to work on every single individual. There needs to be flexibility around how training is delivered and ensure that all participants are engaged. If this does not happen, leadership development won't occur as effectively," states John Francois, director -HR, APAC, McAfee. Organisations today seek sustainability in their functioning and this has created a need for development of a strong chain of leadership which falls in line in due course.
- Manoj Reddy