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Conclave on Challenges in Developing Leadership

Hyderabad, 24th January 2020: Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad organized a Conclave on Challenges in Developing Leadership at Hyatt Hyderabad. The event was organized with the aim of facilitating a conversation regarding the leadership challenges encompassing the volatile and ever-changing business environment around us and how to tackle those. The conclave saw the participation of some of the most renowned and eminent personalities from the HR domain in the industry.

The august list of speakers and panelists who graced the event with their esteemed presence were-

  • Mr. Yogi Sriram, Senior Vice President- Corporate Human Resources and member of the Executive Committee, Larsen & Toubro Limited
  • Prof. E. S. Srinivas, Professor, Organizational Behavior and HRM area, IIM- Bangalore
  • Dr. Arnab Banerjee, Principal Consultant, Enterprise Application Services, Infosys Limited India
  • Mr. Deepak Gupta, CHRO and Vice President HR, KARVY Group
  • Mr. Narayan Rao, Vice President HR, NCC Limited
  • Mr. Richie Joseph, Leadership Development Consultant, Tech Mahindra

The event began with a welcome address by Mr. Prakash Pathak, Head- Corporate Relations & Placements, who noted that “a conclave cannot change the world but can change how we look at it.” This was followed by an address from Dr. Sriharsha Reddy, Dean Academics, who said that the theme is something which we experience when we grow in the organization. Reminiscing his MBA days, he talked about the inquisitiveness that he developed then; lead him to ask questions like “How to find the right balance between being consultative and autocratic especially when the decision making is getting procrastinated” even during his work. He emphasized the need for a partnership between the CHRO and other top executives in order to maximize efficiency of the firm.

The first keynote speaker to take the stage was Mr. Yogi Sriram, who pointed out the need for the companies to be agile in the current environment, with special emphasis on the culture inherent in the company. “If you have money, but no judgment, you lose the money.” He stressed on the need for a leader in developing a sound sense of judgment. Talking about the importance to improve one’s skill, he said that the new age customer, demands experience and not just products. The biggest challenge in the leadership arena often turns out to be the leader’s own bias, which becomes especially evident at the time of succession planning. It often happens that during succession planning, the leaders end up selecting someone, who would not disturb their legacy or who is a sculpted model of themselves and hence cannot be better than them. “Humility is at the mid-point of arrogance and self-confidence and a good leader needs to tread carefully on that fine line.

Dr. E S Srinivas, as the second keynote speaker, enthralled the audience with his refreshingly new take on what is the next big thing in the leadership domain. “If there is no challenge, there is no development. “He said that there is a three-step process to developing leadership which includes assessment, challenging and supporting. He specially emphasized on the support aspect of developing leadership by stating that for the organization to change, the organization needs to let its brightest people use their acumen. He explained that for any change to be sustainable there should a complete overhaul of one’s mindset. He concluded his address by stating that the future of leadership would be more informed by behavioral economics and neuroscience.

This was followed by an enriching question and answer session wherein the audience posed several questions about the various challenges they face in their journey towards becoming an effective and efficient leader. The key takeaways from this highly informative session were- the learning you attain when fear is removed from the picture, which is more fruitful than the learning acquired in a fearful environment and the transient nature of charisma, what sustains is your empathy, humility, and the respect you command from others. The keynote speakers also noted that leadership is long term because we are talking about changing mindset, attitude and perspective.

After two highly informative addresses and an equally illuminating question and answer session the event progressed towards an even more enlightening panel discussion. The panel discussion on ‘Developing the next gen leader’ saw the participation of Mr. Deepak Gupta, Mr. Narayan Rao, Mr. E.V. Srinivas, Dr. Arnab Banerjee and Mr. Richie Joseph. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Tumpa Dey, who provided a meaningful direction to the entire discussion and made the whole exercise seamless and invigorating. The discussion encompassed areas such as gaps in today’s leaders in terms of succession planning’ self-perception regarding where one is currently and where they hope to go and preparing the leaders for the opportunities that exist.

The event came to a conclusion with the presentation of mementos to both the key note speakers and all the panelists and a vote of thanks by Prof,. B. Pavan Kumar who took the opportunity to share his opinion regarding millennials as leaders and how all they need is a little autonomy and they would surely give you results.

The event intended to provide a platform to emerging HR professionals to gain from the experience of the veterans and it was successful in achieving that. As a B-school, IMT Hyderabad has always tried to play an active role in exposing its students to how things work in the real world and this conclave too was a step in the same direction. Everyone who was a part of this conclave managed to gain an insight into what really goes around in making a great leader and what are the challenges one comes across in that journey and how to overcome those.

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