Infosys Institute Attracts Global CEOs For Leadership Series

Mumbai: | Updated: Apr 24 2002, 05:30am hrs
Leaders are not always born but they are often moulded with the right environment and action plan. Realising this leadership maxim, the Infosys Leadership Institute has recently roped in renowned corporate head honchos and management consultants to conduct leadership training and workshops at the Infosys Leadership Institute.

Indra Nooyi, president, PepsiCo
Says Dr GK Jayaram, director, Infosys Leadership Institute: “The institute is fully operational and for our distinguished series of lectures, we have been roping in eminent leaders such as Mr Rajat Gupta, CEO, Mckinsey and Company, Ms Indra Nooyi, president, PepsiCo, and Mr Robert Tomasko, International consultant and author”.

According to the institute, in an effort to give an international orientation to the various dimensions in leadership, such leadership workshops will also be conducted in the global arena. “The workshops are being offered all over the world, and three have been already completed in the US”, says Dr Jayaram.

According to the institute, 220 high potential candidates have been identified from every level of the organisation. Further, the 360 degree assessment and feedback processes have been initiated towards attaining the objective of internalising the culture of leadership.

Explains Dr Jayaram: “Based on this feedback, every high potential candidate has designed a Personal Development Plan (PDP). A major series of workshops titled Leaders Teach has been completed, with all the members of the board including Mr Narayana Murthy and Mr Nandan Nilekani conducting workshops on a subject of relevance to the identified leadership competencies”.

Dr Jayaram further informs that significant progress has been achieved in other elements of the ‘Leadership Development Model’ including mentoring, feedback intensive learning and internal consulting.

Commenting on how the specific concept—where right from the driver to the CEO everyone goes for a leadership training—is implemented Dr Jayaram explains: “This plan drives the individual’s leadership journey for a period of three years. The individual high potential chooses from amongst the institute’s offerings, those that are relevant to his/her developmental needs”. Further the institute is also working towards building specific assistance programmes including preparation of material in Indian languages, which would address specific segment needs such as those of service personnel like drivers, security staff and attenders.

Adds Dr Jayaram: “As part of our ‘internal synergy model’ we would be roping in the top leaders of Infosys too as experts in their respective functional areas”.

Explaining on the extent to which the institute has been able to trigger a leadership culture, Dr Jayaram reasons: “At the end of six months from the day we initiated the implementation, we are hopeful that we are in the right direction. The programmes of the institute have earned an average rating of 4.5 on a scale of 5.0 from the high potentials. There is an increasing demand generated from all parts of Infosys for special programmes and consulting help from the institute”.

In an effort to take the initiative forward, the institute plans to focus on the strategies of the nine pillars of wisdom, the internal synergy model, and the internal and external consulting programmes.

Apart from learning aids like simulations and group exercises, Dr Jayaram believes that feedback-intensive learning is a powerful and valuable methodology that is being utilised to help the present and future leaders to enhance their inherent potential. “However, traditional methods such as use of cases from around the world’s best companies, experiential exercises and scenario planning are in our portfolio of learning aids”, he further says.

Commenting on these initiatives, a Mumbai based HR practitioner opines: “Initiatives like setting up leadership institutes are an effort towards creating a pool of in-house resources for developing future corporate leaders”.

However, the practitioner is of the view that such leadership endeavours can become a real success only if the level of CEO participation is enhanced and experiential communication elevated in the area of CEO mentoring.