Breakthrough Collaboration of Business Science and ‘SEE’ Model, Unlocks Pipeline of Women Leaders for India’s Future

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Published: July 14, 2015 9:41:18 AM

In a first of its kind, forty corporates collaborated to tap new science, the SEE model & innovative approaches to solve one of India’s most pressing problems: tapping the potential of women leaders and paving their way to the top.

In a first of its kind, forty corporates collaborated to tap new science, the SEE model & innovative approaches to solve one of India’s most pressing problems: tapping the potential of women leaders and paving their way to the top. While India businesses are struggling to fill Board seats and cultivate leadership for the next phase of growth, a vast pool of talented women leaders are left underutilized. To address this compelling issue, leaders across industries including CEOs, women business leaders & global influencers recently came together in Gurgaon to launch INSPIRA – a movement to develop and build pipeline of women leaders to meet India’s growing demand for top-notch leadership.

Held recently on 7th and 8th of July 2015, a two-day innovative intervention kick started the flagship movement INSPIRA at the Westin, in the heart of Gurgaon City.INSPIRA has a unique development model SEE which is aimed at fast tracking women leaders to the top. The model leverages research from Catalyst, McKinsey & Six Seconds in the Leadership space. SEE, is an acronym for Strategic Thinking – breakthrough thinking by design, Executive Impact – transform your leadership presence and Emotional Intelligence – the x factor that makes INSPIRA, unique

On the INSPIRA movement, Ramona Miranda, MD PotenciaMentis Global Consulting & Founder of the INSPIRA movement said, “SEBIs mandate to have a woman director on boards signals a turning point in India. In order for our economy to evolve to the next level, we need the best leaders to be at the top & this includes women’s untapped potential”. Anant Maheshwari, the President, Honeywell India kick started the INSPIRA Movement with pertinent, thought provoking questions. Nissan Joseph MD, CROCS India shared his insight at INSPIRA – “Diversity and convergence are critical ingredients to fuel business growth & leverage women at the Leadership table”. Rishi Srivastava, independent board member Xerox believes “We must leverage India’s strengths and diverse perspectives and that includes fast tracking women to the board” – it’s time to take the leap. Sharing similar sentiments was Joshua Freedman, CEO Six Seconds who explained  “To effectively collaborate, solve problems & grow exponentially, we need remarkable leaders – our research concludes that women are more likely to have many of the required talents to fuel innovation and growth – they are the missing half of the equation”

One of the tools leveraged at INSPIRA was the Six Seconds Brain Brief profile & the Dashboard to heighten insights & action on Emotional Intelligence & its impact on Leadership. This also set the context for PotenciaMentis Global consulting to initiate an India wide Six Seconds ‘State of the Heart’ survey thereby leveraging the global State of Heart study:an Emotional Intelligence SWOT of 75000 global leaders. Joshua Freedman, one of the world’s pre-eminent experts on developing EQ for positive change & CEO, Six Seconds, led the innovative experiential LAB on the second day. In addition, the INSPIRA’s Strategic Thinking LAB focused on breakthrough innovation by design and was facilitated by none other than the innovation guru Ranjan Malik, Director, Erewhon.

The Strategic thinking panel questioned paradigms, cultural codes & shared their unique experiences of how thinking strategically has impacted business, products, customers and career decisions. Prominent Industry leaders such as Anurag Batra, Chairman BW| Business World highlighted the need for change in the way we do business. He said, “INSPIRA has put leaders ‘on the spot’. Walking the talk –hiring diverse leaders at the leadership level is inevitable. I would like to take the step of hiring senior women leaders in my companies”. Anisha Motwani, Chief Marketing & Digital Officer Max Life Insurance  encouraged women leaders at INSPIRA to shun their ’Best Before’ syndrome to skyrocket to their careers. The discussion was enriched by Rica Roy, Asst. Cricket Editor of NDTV who shared her personal experiences of being a woman leader & highlighted the need for women to leverage ambition & the strengths of being a woman & fast track to the top.

The rapid fire interviews on Executive Impact: Women on Boards – a seat at the table, had eminent speakers and corporate leaders like Rishi Srivastava, Independent Board Member, Xerox; Jayne Morrison, Regional Director, MEA, Six Seconds; Anil Gupta, President & Head Board Practice & CEO Advisory services, Corner stone International; Meenu Handa, Director Corporate Communications, Amazon & Alpna Khera, Advisor, Growth Markets, Keolis International. They shared insights on ‘evolving from ceremonial & passive to effective and active boards in India, a balance of risk management competencies, governance & adaptability make boards more vibrant & effective. The panel also highlighted what women could do differently to tap into the 1500 vacant board seats in India i.e. what got you here, won’t get you there.

Shalini Lal, VP HR, Deutsche Bank, Nissan Joseph, MD, CROCS India, Joshua Freedman, CEO Six Seconds,  Pankaj Bansal, CEO, People Strong; Stuti Jalan, MD, Crosshairs Communication and C.K. Kumaravel, MD, Naturals, shared their views on the impact of Emotional Intelligence on leadership and the bottom line, in India.  According to Freedman “EQ is a learnable, scientifically-grounded skill set that is essential for increasing people-performance.  Leaders with higher EQ build collaboration across boundaries because they build a context of trust.  They make more effective decisions as they have insight into human dynamics. They retain talent because they are leaders we all want to follow.” While men are stronger in some aspects of EQ, Freedman says, there are others where women tend to excel. “Women senior leaders score higher on a skill for emotional insight – they are, on average, better able to pause & predict the emotional impacts on employees & consumers. This allows senior women leaders to have a kind of ‘crystal ball’ to plan strategy that will actually work with and for people…. thereby optimizing bottom-line performance and top-line sales.”

The last session on day one:  the learning pod was facilitated by seasoned leaders in the HR & OD space – Nisha Verma, Head Talent Management, Vodafone, Leena Sahijwani, Director C&B, GE and Arun Prakash Raj, Head Training and Development, PVR cinemas. They consolidated insights from the women leader participants, enlisted innovative approaches and recommended a way forward to grow the INSPIRA movement and build a pipeline of women leaders India Inc.

The glittering evening culminated with the INSPIRA Honors – the wind beneath her wings. The first-of-its-kind, to celebrate two remarkable people; a woman achiever & the wind (inspiration) beneath her wings. Recognizing these women achievers will in turn motivate other women to aim and achieve the higher echelons within Corporations, Entrepreneurial ventures & thereby our Society, at large.

The guest of honor for the evening was Mr. Anurag Batra, Chairman, Business World. Yuvaraj Srivastava, Chief People Officer, MakeMyTrip led the INSPIRA Honors council with Preeti Singh, Regional Director, South Asia YPO, Runa Maitra, Ruby Thapar, Director Public and Government affairs, India, Dow Chemicals. Seven remarkable women achievers were honored by Anurag Batra, John Miranda &  Yuvaraj Srivastava. The INSPIRA Honors women achievers shared their inspirational stories & named their source of inspiration : Ms. Kirthiga Reddy, MD, Facebook chose her husband Mr. Devanand Reddy ; Dr. Malvika Sabharwal, Padmashree Awardee, Dept. of Gynae & Obst, Jeewan Mala Hospital shared the stage with her husband Mr. Vinay Sabharwal, her inspiration;  Ms. Deepa Malik, India’s first Para-Sportswoman was excited to receive the honor for the first time with her daughter Ms. Devika Malik, Ms. Advaita Kala, Author, ‘Being Single’ honored her editor, Ms. Karthika.V.K;  Ms.Rachna Chhachhi, Nutritionist also chose her husband, Mr. Vikram Chhachhi as the wind beneath her wings; Ms. Garima Avtar, VP BD, Delton Cables & car rally racer honored Late Shri Vishnu Avtar Sahu, her father, the source of her inspiration and last but not the least, Raahgiri, a movement to build and facilitate non-motorized transport infrastructure in Gurgaon & Delhi dedicated the award to the citizens of Gurgaon who always supported and encouraged them whole heartedly and made Raahgiri a success.

The 40 corporates that participated at INSPIRA, expressed solidarity on its vision and committed to affirmatively bring in more  male ambassadors and other women leaders to build and sustain this  journey thereby enabling INSPIRA gain momentum and raise the bar on developing and building a pipeline of senior women leaders, India Inc. Join the movement. Reach out now !!! or 0124-2572455 | 56

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