Cul­ti­vat­ing lead­er­ship


MDPs launched by the Mahin­dra Group has cre­ated value for the com­pany and built a strong lead­er­ship pipe­line, says Dr Prince Au­gustin, Mahin­dra Group.

The per­cent­age of com­pa­nies with strong role-based and ex­pe­ri­en­tial lead­er­ship pro­grams grew from 9% last year to 20% in 2016.* Many com­pa­nies now cus­tom­ize their train­ing of­fer­ings for de­vel­op­ing fu­ture lead­ers. The Mahin­dra Group too has been build­ing a strong lead­er­ship pipe­line by lever­ag­ing a com­mon plat­form which de­liv­ers learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment across the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

We live in an ‘age of rapid dis­rup­tion’—shifts in dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy, de­mo­graph­ics, poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions, cli­mate change, glob­al­iza­tion, and geopol­i­tics. At the heart of com­pa­nies that do well in this ‘new nor­mal’, is tal­ent. If they are able to un­leash the true po­ten­tial of tal­ent so as to cre­ate sus­tained busi­ness out­per­for­mance, it can build agility and adapt­abil­ity. This in­sight has been the theme of sev­eral man­age­ment re­ports such as Global Hu­man Cap­i­tal Trends pub­lished by Deloitte and BCG press re­leases. The Global Lead­er­ship and Tal­ent In­dex released by BCG in 2016 has re­vealed that those com­pa­nies which rated them­selves strong in their lead­er­ship and tal­ent man­age­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties have in­creased their rev­enues by 2.2 times and prof­its by 1.5 times ver­sus those that have not fo­cused on lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment prac­tice.

The growth story of the Mahin­dra Group—from a bil­lion-dol­lar en­tity in the early 2000s to an 18-bil­lion­dol­lar In­dian MNC in a decade and half — speaks vol­umes about the man­age­ment de­vel­op­ment pro­cesses and prac­tices that have been put in place over a pe­riod of time. Tal­ent de­vel­op­ment is linked to the Group’s as­pi­ra­tion of be­ing amongst the top 50 most ad­mired global brands by en­abling peo­ple ev­ery­where to ‘Rise’. To make this a re­al­ity, sev­eral de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives were in­te­grated across the Group by cre­at­ing a plat­form, Mahin­dra Lead­er­ship Univer­sity (MLU). The ob­jec­tive is to bring the ‘learn­ing so­lu­tion’ and the ‘learner’ to­gether to cre­ate a learn­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion.

MLU’s gov­ern­ing coun­cil mem­bers in­clude Anand Mahin­dra-Chair­man; Dr Pawan GoenkaManag­ing Di­rec­tor; Anish ShahGroup Pres­i­dent Strat­egy; Ra­jeev Dubey-Group Pres­i­dent Hu­man Re­sources; SP Shukla-Group Pres­i­dent Aero & De­fense Sec­tor;

V S Parthasarathy-Group CFO; Ul­has Yar­gop-Group Pres­i­dent and Chief Tech­nol­ogy Of­fi­cer; Ramesh Iyer-Manag­ing Di­rec­tor, Mahin­dra Fi­nance; Harsh Ku­mar-Di­rec­tor of Mahin­dra In­sti­tute of Qual­ity; Ad­mi­ral (Retd) Anil Cho­pra an ex­ter­nal leader of emi­nence. And I serve as the Secretary. The role of the coun­cil is to drive and en­able the strate­gic po­si­tion­ing of MLU, re­view the progress made vis-à-vis the pur­pose, and ap­prove its fund­ing and bud­gets.

MLU fo­cuses on build­ing both lead­er­ship and do­main ca­pa­bil­i­ties

through its var­i­ous acad­e­mies, with each be­ing headed by a chair­per­son and sup­ported by func­tional lead­ers, busi­ness lead­ers, and ex­ter­nal ex­perts from academia and the in­dus­try. All acad­e­mies con­sult busi­ness lead­ers in the Group to iden­tify and pri­or­i­tize ca­pa­bil­ity de­vel­op­ment needs, cre­ate cur­ricu­lum to build these ca­pa­bil­i­ties and of­fer it to busi­nesses for de­liv­ery, and re­view the im­pact of the same. The do­main acad­e­mies are busi­ness spe­cific and the func­tional acad­e­mies of HR, fi­nance, sales, and mar­ket­ing run across busi­nesses.

The Academy of Lead­er­ship De­vel­op­ment and the In­no­va­tion Academy are for the en­tire Group. MDPs are of­fered by the Academy of Lead­er­ship De­vel­op­ment across busi­nesses. The pro­grams at each level fol­low the lad­dered ap­proach to lead­er­ship pipe­line de­vel­op­ment. The ped­a­gogy and con­struct rest on prin­ci­ples of in­struc­tional de­sign.

The de­ploy­ment of pro­grams is based on a 3E ap­proach to de­vel­op­ment viz. ed­u­ca­tion, ex­po­sure, and ex­pe­ri­ence. The flag­ship pro­grams are:

■ Fu­ture Lead­ers Pro­gram (FLP)

is de­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with IMD Busi­ness School and Yale School of Man­age­ment for the top two lev­els of the Mahin­dra Group.

Global Pro­gram for Man­age­ment De­vel­op­ment (GPMD) de­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Ross School of Busi­ness, Univer­sity of Michi­gan is aimed at high po­ten­tials who are two lev­els below the top lead­er­ship in the Group. Emerg­ing Lead­ers Pro­gram (ELP) of our Au­to­mo­tive and Farm Equip­ment sec­tor is a sec­tor­level course that iden­ti­fies high­po­ten­tial ex­ec­u­tives and de­vel­ops them over a pe­riod of 24 months on per­sonal lead­er­ship, busi­ness lead­er­ship, func­tional lead­er­ship, so­cial lead­er­ship, and en­ter­prise lead­er­ship.

Thou­sand Lead­ers Pro­gram of Tech Mahin­dra iden­ti­fies and de­vel­ops man­agers to take up crit­i­cal roles in its var­i­ous busi­ness ver­ti­cals. Par­tic­i­pants are groomed on func­tional and lead­er­ship skills by CXOs.

An­other Tech Mahin­dra pro­gram, Young CEO, in­cludes in­struc­torled train­ing, eLearn­ing as well as coach­ing by se­nior busi­ness lead­ers. These young CEOs then lead and man­age in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses for Tech Mahin­dra. Chakravyuh Pro­gram of Mahin­dra Fi­nance is de­signed for cre­at­ing an en­tre­pre­neur­ial cul­ture in the or­ga­ni­za­tion and is con­ducted an­nu­ally. It is a struc­tured pro­gram which strength­ens the par­tic­i­pants’ lead­er­ship com­pe­ten­cies and their ca­pa­bil­i­ties to man­age busi­ness pri­or­i­ties in real-time eco­nomic con­di­tions.

Each of the pro­grams listed above is nor­mally con­ducted in col­lab­o­ra­tion with a lead­ing univer­sity. While the learn­ing ini­tia­tives are fo­cused on ed­u­ca­tional in­puts, de­ploy­ment is ei­ther through Ac­tion Learn­ing Projects (ALP) or spe­cific as­sign­ments in a busi­ness. ALPs are re­viewed to en­sure de­ploy­ment of learn­ings with re­wards linked to foster in­ter­nal­iza­tion.

How­ever, we still need some mea­sures in or­der to un­der­stand if MDPs are ac­tu­ally be­ing ef­fec­tive. For in­stance, GPMD has been suc­cess­ful in im­ple­ment­ing busi­ness ideas which were con­ceived as ALPs into ac­tual

The pro­grams at each level fol­low the lad­dered ap­proach to lead­er­ship pipe­line de­vel­op­ment. The ped­a­gogy and con­struct rest on prin­ci­ples of in­struc­tional de­sign.

suc­cess­ful prod­ucts. For ex­am­ple, one of the projects set a tar­get of de­liv­er­ing com­fort­able buses for em­ployee trans­port. In two years, the prod­uct was de­signed and the bus was pi­loted. It re­ceived pos­i­tive re­views and was fi­nally in­cluded in the ac­tual prod­uct cat­a­log. Since then, there have been re­peat or­ders from cus­tomers.

One of the strik­ing fea­tures of GPMD is that it has been con­sis­tently rated high by its tar­get au­di­ence— se­nior ex­ec­u­tives of the Group. The 2016 GPMD edi­tion had a rat­ing as high as 4.9 out of 5. It has also time and again proved its ef­fi­cacy by de­vel­op­ing a lead­er­ship pipe­line. High-po­ten­tial par­tic­i­pants who have at­tended GPMD pre­vi­ously, now play the role of men­tors for batches. Many of them have been pro­moted to the next level and they are now be­ing rec­og­nized as the fu­ture lead­ers of the Group. The pro­gram’s suc­cess is ev­i­dent—it has been of­fered for the past nine years and has an alumni base of 244 em­ploy­ees across the Group.

We mea­sure the ef­fec­tive­ness of our pro­grams across the lev­els of the Kirk­patrick Model. The re­ac­tion level feed­back is over 4.5 out of 5 whilst the trans­fer of learn­ing and be­hav­iors are con­stantly seen across all MDPs. The mea­sure of suc­cess of our man­age­ment de­vel­op­ment ef­forts does not rest solely on in­crease in PBIT, PAT or EBITDA but on how lead­ers across lev­els con­trib­ute to build­ing the cul­ture of ‘ RISE’—by be­ing pas­sion­ate and ex­hibit­ing be­hav­iors re­lat­ing to the RISE phi­los­o­phy, the Mahin­dra Lead­er­ship Com­pe­ten­cies, and of a Mahin­dra leader of whole brain think­ing, mind­ful­ness, manag­ing fear and lever­ag­ing fail­ure, mul­ti­plier and trust. The pro­grams to­gether have cre­ated a bench strength of lead­er­ship across the Group. The re­ten­tion level of se­nior lead­ers is over 95% and the per­cent­age suc­ces­sion cov­er­age (up to three years) for crit­i­cal po­si­tions across the Group is nearly 72%. These and many other tan­gi­ble and in­tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits make us firmly be­lieve that MDPs of­fered by the Group de­liver value to our busi­nesses and help cre­ate sus­tain­able busi­ness out­per­for­mance. ■

The pro­grams to­gether have cre­ated a bench strength of lead­er­ship across the Group. The re­ten­tion level of se­nior lead­ers is over 95% and the per­cent­age suc­ces­sion cov­er­age (up to three years) for crit­i­cal po­si­tions across the Group is nearly 72%.

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