Global leadership right here in India

Written by Taneesha Kulshrestha | Updated: Oct 18 2007, 09:14am hrs
When, global human resource consultancy Hewitt, the RBL group, a global leadership grooming consultancy and the Fortune Magazine announced the leading companies for grooming leaders in a survey called Top Company for Leaders 2007 late last month, six Indian companies, Hindustan Unilever, Infosys, ICICI Bank, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services and Thermax made it to the elite list. Five companies out of these found a place among the Asian Top Companies, while four found its way to the premier list of Global Top Companies for Leaders that included companies like General Electrics (GE), Procter & Gamble (P&G) and McKinsey.

Says Ajay Soni, Practice Leader, Consulting, Hewitt Associates, Indian companies are adopting global leadership practices as they expand on a global basis. They realize that nurturing leadership talent is a key to continuing success. ICICI is a case in point. It has a 2010 vision of being among the top five banks in Asia. Not surprisingly, it also has a well organized leadership plan in place. They have a 360 degree evaluation process covering 2500 people besides talent panels. The senior management makes a continued mentoring endeavour while leadership talent is exposed to global leaders like C K Prahlad, Wayne Brockbank , Mike Useem, Dave Ulrich Philip Kotler. They also share perspective with senior global leaders from organizations such as GE, HLL, Danone, Renault, etc.

Similarly, Wipro, the other company on the global top 20 list has a Wipro Leadership Qualities (WLQ) & Appraisals programme in place. It covers 100 leaders including 100 Senior leaders and 1000 leaders in bands Middle Management Cadre. Each WLQ entails 12 responses / leader on average. The chairman himself Chairman reviews over 300 leaders WLQ & Appraisal reports prior to TRP review while five days extending 12 hours each are spent in TRP review with Chairman, EVP HR and respective business unit chief manager and HR manager.

All leaders are then categorized into three categories A performers (best: 20-25%, B performers (core60-70%) and C performers (Least effective: 5-10%).

So what is it that these companies are dong to develop leadership talent Hewitt points out that over the few years, it has seen three key characteristics that a company must have for developing the same.

First, senior team involvement and support, second, having a maniacal focus on talent and third, having the right programs in place and utilizing them effectively. These mandate the active involvement from the CEO and Board of Directors while calling for significant investment in top talent. Companies making it o the list actively managed and developed their best talent. They had differentiated compensation, development, and exposure plans for senior leadership in place. These companies also differentiated themselves by effectively utilizing their practices to develop leaders in support of their business strategy.

In all, says Soni, These organizations have an intense focus on building development mechanism at all levels. A number of Indian companies test true to the above parameters. Adds Soni, Apart from the companies on the list, there are a number of other Indian companies that one will see on this list going forward. The rest will do well to begin now.