Disha 2016, Onimia, Day 4: “VUCA world and its impact on leadership”

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Mr. Sagar Khanna– PAN India Talent Acquisition HR, Mahindra Logistics

According to Mr Sagar, VUCA is more of an effect than a phenomenon. The changing political, economic and social scenarios, all add to the VUCA effect. Talking about the impact of VUCA effect in organisations, Mr Sagar said that the pressure on individuals and organisations to keep pace with the changes to remain competitive is very high. HR as a business unit should align itself to the strategic and business needs of the organisation. He ended the discussion by stating that the key to doing this is by hiring people who can tell us what to do rather than just doing what the management asks them to do.

Mr. Sanjay Srivastava, Director– HR, Boehringer Ingelheim

Mr. Sanjay emphasized on the point that VUCA is real and the problems posed by the VUCA world are real. He went on to explain the digital revolution which has changed the way organizations function and heavy dependence on technology for decision making process. The effect of big data and analytics is so huge that the organizations depend on technology companies to device a new product or service. All the changes i.e. political, ecological, technological, demographical etc. pose a great amount of challenge and needs to be countered in order to sustain in the VUCA world.

Mr. Sanjay proposed three methods to deal with VUCA. First one is the “effective leadership” which focuses on agility, self-awareness and resilience. The second method revolves around developing customized experience in order to retain employees who constantly seek better opportunities and the third method is to incorporate agility in workforce.

Ms. Anupama Rammohan– Director HR,IMS Health

Ms. Anupama was of the opinion that there have been more changes in the last five years in the industry. The market place is fast changing and the leaders need to adapt. The young working generation finds work monotonous very soon. It is important to keep the stimulation sustained as leaders.

One of the external factors that has contributed to VUCA is the increase in disposable income of the consumers. Marketing strategies have to be designed to suit the changing environment. She stressed on the willingness to let go of tried and tested ways. What has worked might not work again. She pushed the audience to embrace help and change from any source.

Ms. Meenal Thakkar– Associate director HR, Nielsen India

Ms. Meenal agreed with the other panelists saying that fifty years back the term VUCA did not even exist. Now it does because of the tremendous changes taking place. The strive among people to innovate drives the market.

In the next 50 years there will be 1.5 billion more people added on. Mindsets will definitely be more digital. As an organization it is necessary to ensure that the leaders are more adaptable and flexible. She firmly believed that instead of having multiple approaches it is better to have a single strong approach.

Mr. Siddharth Nag- Head HR, SPAR

Mr. Siddharth started by comparing VUCA with Entropy. He said, predictability of outcome is the main concern. Entropy is everywhere and more entropy is better. Today, with increase in speed of communication, volatility is no more an issue. According to him, it was as volatile as 15 years ago but people did not understand. Then he talked about SCARF (Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, Fairness) model developed by David Rock. According to him, VUCA is good, we should make pace with it and accelerate with it. He explained about three types of Emotional intelligence- cognitive, emotional and compassionate. They are needed to cope up with VUCA. He suggested that, if a person’s leadership style is moving from “Telling” to “Asking”, the person is fairly safe in the VUCA world.

Mr. Akchansh- Head HR- Shared services, Lava

Mr. Ackanch started his discussion focusing on uncertainty. VUCA came into wider picture in 2014 with the pace of disrupting change of technology. He said, people are suffering from VUCA system. Market has been shifted, technology disrupted, people are living in a serious volatile world. With the data integration, the world is much more integrated than before and as a result, business is moving at a faster rate. He explained VUCA Prime through Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Agility. He explained how we can deal with the VUCA world. Dimension of long term orientation needs to address volatility. Our leaders have longer vision. We Indians are much more comfortable living in uncertainty. Tolerance of ambiguity is higher for us. We are not high on individualism, rather we believe in collaboration. So we Indians are at a unique position, we are creating leaders. He suggested we should make employees much more empowered to face the VUCA world.



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