I wouldn’t exactly call it a dream come true, but I felt a gush of happiness when I saw Prof TV Rao. He looks just like any of us, a normal ‘human resource’ I thought. The title of the article is a give away for anyone related to the field of HR in India or abroad. But for the uninitiated, the man is TV Rao, Founder and Chairman of TVRLS, and more popularly known as, ‘The Father of Indian HRD’. Prof. TV Rao’s accomplishments, his contribution to the field of HRD and his stature is a story worth sharing. But here I’ll share my experience as a participant in a training session facilitated by him for 1.5 days i.e. approx. 12 hours. Any reader who wants to read more about Prof. Rao, click here.
Why We Hate HR?
The question he put forward to the participants, in reference to the now famous article, written by Keith H Hammonds back in 2005. An apt beginning for a session titled “HR as an Enabler For Transforming Organization“, attended by around 40 HR managers. Step by step, Prof. Rao delayered the contemporary challenges faced by HR managers.
‘For getting the best out of your people’, he emphasized the role of OCTAPACE values. To build a strong culture and the much needed shift of organizational focus i.e. from IR to HRM to HRD (Culture, Competency). Simultaneously, Prof. Rao used indigenous examples of HR leaders in India, Mr. Santrupt Mishra and Dr. Arvind Agarwal who have made a incredible mark for themselves. As the discussion naturally progressed to identifying an individual’s managerial type, the participants were introduced to the four types of Managers i.e.
- Type 1: Doers, those who get things done (Boss driven, Job Description driven)
- Type 2: Achievers, those who do more than what they are supposed to (Aspirational, Career Managers)
- Type 3: Visionaries and Leaders, those who have long term goals (Restless, Creative)
- Type 4: Missionaries, those who are driven by a mission (Social and Community related goals)
What is the Purpose of your Life and, how do you want to make a Difference?
Although some deep questions awaited the participants after a heavy lunch. Each participant jotted down their response after careful thought and shared it with the fellow participants. Discussions ensued, some clarifications were sought and a few ‘heavy’ questions asked to Prof. Rao. Certainly, only he could have answered those questions with such ease, using simple language and relevant examples. A sense of optimism, positivity and motivation filled the room, as if, the participants had found or rediscovered their purpose.
Further, Prof. used the concept of Jo-Hari window and Personal Effectiveness Questionnaire. This enabled us to understand ourselves better, identify our blind spots and encouraged us to broaden the Arena.
Several topics were discussed during the day:
- The Performance Management System,
- HR Metrics,
- Intellectual Capital,
- Key Role of HR Manager,
- Time value of money and most importantly,
- the criticality of Intangibles (employee satisfaction, trust etc.)
The focus on functional areas continued the next day with stories, anecdotes and relevant examples. 360° feedback system and its implementation, and the cost benefit aspect of a robust Induction program were highlighted. Characteristics of World Class Organizations and approach of HR managers to handle the resulting opportunities and challenges were also discussed.
A sound advice for positive intent and thinking beyond KPA/KRA(s) from the Prof. laid to rest the participants’ queries about the compulsive transactional and administrative nature of a HR manager’s job.
Before bringing the session to a close, ‘Think Ahead of your CEO’ is the challenge Prof. Rao gave to all the participants. In conclusion, these 12 hours were informative, thought provoking and inspiring. As the Prof. left amidst a big applause, I, along with many others, felt a little more enabled to transform, within, and without.