I wouldn’t exactly call it a dream come true, but I felt a gush of happiness when I saw him. He looks just like any of us, a normal ‘human resource’ I thought. For anyone even remotely related to the field of HR in India or abroad, the title of this article should be enough to explain who I am talking about. But for the uninitiated, the man is, T.V. Rao, Founder and Chairman of TVRLS, and more popularly, ‘The Father of Indian HRD’. This space could so easily be captured by Prof. Rao’s accomplishments, his contribution to the field of HRD and how he reached this stature, but here I’ll share my experience as a participant in a training session facilitated by him for 1.5 days i.e. approximately 12 hours. Any reader who wants to read more about Prof. Rao, click here.
Why We Hate HR? Is the question he put forward to the participants, in reference to the now famous article, written by Keith H Hammonds back in 2005. An apt beginning for a session titled “HR as an Enabler For Transforming Organization“, attended by around 40 HR managers. Step by step, Prof. Rao delayered the contemporary challenges faced by HR managers. ‘For getting the best out of your people’, he emphasized the role of OCTAPACE values in building a strong culture and the much needed shift of organizational focus from IR to HRM to HRD (Culture, Competency). Simultaneously, Prof. Rao used indigenous examples of Mr. Santrupt Mishra and Dr. Arvind Agarwal as HR leaders in India who have made a difference. As the discussion naturally progressed to identifying an individual’s managerial type, the participants were introduced to the four types of Managers i.e.
Type 1: Doers, those who get things done (Boss driven, Job Description driven)
Type 2: Achievers, those who do more than what they are supposed to (Aspirational, Career Managers)
Type 3: Visionaries and Leaders, those who have long term goals (Restless, Creative)
Type 4: Missionaries, those who are driven by a mission (Social and Community related goals)
What is the Purpose of your Life and, how do you want to make a Difference? Heavy questions waited the participants after a heavy lunch. Each participant jotted down his response after a careful thought and shared it with the fellow participants. As the discussions ensued, some clarifications were sought and a few ‘heavy’ questions asked to Prof. Rao. Fortunately, only he could have answered those questions with such ease, using simple language and relevant examples. A sense of optimism, positivity and motivation filled the room, as if, the participants had found or rediscovered their purpose. Further, Prof. used the concept of Jo-Hari window and Personal Effectiveness Questionnaire to help the participants understand themselves better, identify the blind spots and encouraged them to broaden the Arena.
The Performance Management System, HR Metrics, Intellectual Capital, Key Role of HR Manager, Time value of money and most importantly, the criticality of Intangibles (employee satisfaction, trust etc.) comprised some of the functional aspects discussed during the day. The focus on functional areas continued the next day with stories, anecdotes and relevant examples on 360° feedback system and its implementation, and the cost benefit aspect of a robust Induction program. Characteristics of World Class Organizations and approach of HR managers to handle the resulting opportunities and challenges were also discussed. A sound advice for positive intent and thinking beyond KPA/KRA(s) from the Prof. laid to rest the participants’ queries about the compulsive transactional and administrative nature of a HR manager’s job. Finally, ‘Think Ahead of your CEO’ is the challenge Prof. Rao gave to all the participants before bringing a close to the 12 hours of informative, thought provoking and an inspiring session. As the Prof. left amidst a big applause, I, along with many others, felt a little more enabled to transform, within, and without.