Pic : IMAGESBAZAAR
Despite having years of experience that helped earn the position of a senior executive, some consider it important to retreat back to the basics
"I feel the best place to acquire new skills is school. It is important to get back to basics to refresh one's thought process and shape new perspectives to solving problems," believes Ravi Golla, head HR, Enteg. Golla, as a senior manager in 2008, pursued an M. Phil (strategic management). In his view, "Although experience teaches us of ways to improve upon operational efficiency, it at times, does not enhance your strategic decision-making abilities. In the initial stages of a person's career, strategy and decision-making are just words and often have no relevance to the work that needs to be executed. Over a period of time, when these words attain meaning, one tends to forget their value, thus making it important to refresh the mind."
The economic meltdown made the importance of strategic agility and sound knowledge quite apparent. Since we are still not out of the woods yet, it's important for every manager to know the basics of business in order to put them together and find innovative and newer solutions. "Crisis management is a subject we often tend to ignore until we're hit with a crisis. However, while you're in a classroom with other bright minds and their unique perspectives, games and simulations of real-life situations allow you to think differently and come up with new and unorthodox solutions," says Vimal Kejriwal, alumnus of the Kellogg School of Management and currently president - transimission, KEC International. The best part of going back to school for him was meeting different kinds of people from different places within and outside India. "The business I run at the moment has set up shop in 28 countries. Having met people from 13 different nations during my 'back to the classroom' stint really helped me understand how they thought and what their different needs were. This knowledge helps me today in making several crucial decisions," adds Kejriwal.
For some, the inspiration behind the decision spurs from a feeling quite simple, yet one that can change how you see and approach the world. "I was bored," says Anil Misquith, country business manager - education, Intel South Asia. Misquith opted for the Advanced Management Program at IIM, Bangalore because, "Beyond work and family, I was keen on investing in myself for a change. I thought it would help widen my horizon. I applied my learning into developing strategic project proposals within the company while partnering with the ecosystem. Some of the modules like 'strategy' and the case studies were of immense help to get fresh insights into handling challenging assignments." Another important take-away from such programmes is the emphasis on leadership. "The mandatory on-campus stay at the beginning of the year for personal growth and leadership lab at the end of the year for strategic leadership was really helpful. It helped me introspect and concentrate on personal growth. That resulted in me carving out 'self time' to rekindle my old hobbies like gardening, reading, listening to music, and developing new ones like photography and trekking," adds Misquith.
Going back to the classroom seems like an amazing opportunity for those looking for a change while at the same time, looking to change for the better in the process.
- Tanya Thomas