Management Skills and Indians

In a recent alumni meet of the engineering college that I studied in(NIT, Rourkela),we had organized a talks by alumni and external speakers. The gathering was given a jolt by Anand Pillai of HCL ( a brilliant speaker) who spoke on talent transformation.

First, his earnest call to make the degrees come with an expiry date made everyone sit up. I agree with him. Peter Drucker had a point to make on this – he said that knowledge is different from other resources because it dissipates and becomes irrelevant soon. The turbulent times that we live in ensure that the really important knowledge becomes outdated faster with rapid advances in understanding .So degrees received twenty to thirty years are probably useless from a current relevance point of view. We see this in our organizations when very senior people talk in a language that nobody else understands.

Second, Anand also mentioned that a recent Gartner research has shown major drawbacks in the Indian technical and managerial talent emanating from our cultural and educational conditioning. The top rated management skills for transformational leadership are initiative, decision-making efficiency (not accuracy) and willingness to take appropriate risks. Indians have high technical skills but register the highest gaps in the most-desired leadership skills.


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