Saturday, April 29, 2017

Learning from Thane HR group event about learning and development


After a long time I attended Thane HR Group HR event. Thane HR group is a not for profit HR body for HR professional in and around Thane. Occasionally, multiple times in a year, on a Friday evening they keep learning session which is free of cost. The session lasts for around 2 to 3 hours and enriched with learning. The speakers are well known personality from HR fraternity. This time, the speaker was Dr. Prince Augustin, Mahindra Group. He is  ‎EVP - Group Human Capital & Leadership Development at Mahindra & Mahindra.

This was a great learning session on learning and development initiative and change management. Change management is not an overnight things. It needs lot of efforts and collaborative efforts. It is not easy either. People resist for change and even Mahindra faced it. They faced lobbying from people but succeeded.

Mahindra is a value based and people centric organisation. It is probably India's only debt free organisation with more than 2 lakhs employee in more than 40 countries across the globe. The company's business includes auto sector as a number one utility vehicle makers, farm sector where it has in top position based on volume, financial services as largest NBFC in rural and semi urban area, IT sector as one of the top 5 IT companies in India, Hospitality as largest hospitality company in non US area (Club Mahindra holidays) and as a largest pre-owned car in India. Other diversified area includes defence, B2B, real estate, agribusiness, e-marketplace, retail, construction and industrial equipment, boats and aerospace.

Mahindra & Mahindra was set up as a steel trading company in 1945 in Ludhiana as Mahindra & Mohammed by brothers K.C. Mahindra and J.C. Mahindra and Malik Ghulam Mohammed.After India gained independence and Pakistan was formed, Mohammed emigrated to Pakistan where he became that country's first finance minister. The company changed its name to Mahindra & Mahindra in 1948. It has traveled the journey from being a steel trading company to a multi national purely due to its leadership and vision.

You can find more about it at

Here is the learning from the session

How the change took place since joining of Prince Augustin.
Change management take place gradually when one join an organisation, they should not start changing things. One must scan the organisation environment and carefully roll out the plan.
 In 2003 there was nothing such as learning and development centre, change management centre etc, Till 1 year of joining, Prince did nothing. He Created engineers drive in auto business, created PMS system, used balanced scorecard and set goal for everyone in a month's time He brought 300 top people together  for this drive. Engaging people in change management drive is very important. Then organisation goal  was set , then department goal and finally individual goal. All these were linked together. It  took 2 years to complete the process and roll out. Then talent management council in each business launched in 2005. Participation of top management in such initiative is very important. Mr. Anand Mahindra spends 15 days every year in listening talent management initiative. Anand mahindra and HR discuss rotation. The top management's action also reflect in buying such initiative. This gives a clear message across the organisation. 

After 1945, first time, Mahindra changed its core purpose in 2009 and Mahindra Rise came to existence. Rise is the new brand positioned and company budgeted spending of Rs. 120 crore to redefine the brand and to have common message across all companies of Mahindra group. The rise message evolve around three main pillars i.e. accepting no limits, alternative thinking and driving positive change. It was all about involving,  organisational soul-searching and seeking to unite the Mahindra workforce as a group of unconventional thinkers who create world-class offerings. HR had to play vital role in this. Prince and his team definitely put lot of hard work. He explained this further as 

 The year 2011 to 2014 was very crucial after launch of Mahindra Rise initiative. He had to  revamp the entire hr processed and aligned to the 3 pillars reflected in the Mahindra Rise. He created algorithm to map all the HR processes, need aligned with 3 pillars of Rise initiative. First year was disaster. We need to learn from mistake. When any change initiative taken, there can be issues.  While giving presentation to  Mr.Anand Mahindra, the presentation was not upto the mark. LATER THE HR AND TALENT MANAGEMENT TEAM CORRECTED AND AUTOMATED THE PROCESS INCLUDING SUCCESSION PLANNING. They learned from it and evolved step by step.

How they did it- change management, succession planning, aligning HR processes?
It started with Mahindra Rise initiative. 
You can see all the core principle in House of Mahindra

Image credit:

The next was aligning all the business and making all people agree to these core purpose and core values. This happened gradually. 

house of Mahindra- House of Mahindra is part of Rise initiative which is combination of core values: The 5 core values are: good corporate citizenship, professionalism, quality focus, customer first and dignity of the individual + core purpose i.e. accepting no limits, alternate thinking and driving positive change.

You may see detailed explanation in the above image.

To drive this and to make the Rise complete, the next thing required was moving talent across globe and it was not easy. The ultimate goal was that all employee should agree to it and speak the same language of the Rise. They used Kotter's 8 step change model (1. create urgency, 2. form a powerful coalition, 3. create a vision for change, 4. communicate the vision (Rise), 5. remove obstacles (resistance from managers initially and lobbying, different business verticals, different working styles), 6. create short term wins, 7 build on the change 8. anchor the changes in the corporate culture )

To develop the competencies for this, they created Mahindra University and LMS module. They integrated it with coursera MOOC. They worked on competencies and framework. They made people accountable. Mahindra never force for any of the training program to any employee, it is they who need to take it voluntarily. However, they are made accountable. Since they have chosen a program, they have to finish it. Otherwise it impacts them. He explained further about initiative of Mahindra Leadership University. 

Mahindra leadership university focuses on group aspiration + Mahindra Leadership University role + Mahindra Leadership University (MLU) objective. MLU has governing council and its chairman is Mr Anand Mahindra. Group presidents are governing member. Academy develops content and talent management is managed by business. Anybody can develop content but has to be delivered by academy only. No force to attend any program as stated,, it is upto employee's. There .is e learning program but there is consequences if you enrol but do not complete.

Acceleration framework of MLU = Prince explained about it and it was quite interesting. learning framework was coded as yellow, green and son on. When green is compeed yellow 50% red is not started done. The framework is copyrighted. and not available in public domain. An individual's competency and role in the organisation is decided on the basis of this.

Role matrices at Mahindra
Mahindra's leadership has 7 competencies: strategic business orientation leadership through sustainability customer focus, innovation led transformation, leveraging human capital, result orientation with execution excellence , weaving passion and energy at work.
You need to be collaborative in order to sustain in Mahindra environment

How many training program an organisation should have?
He explained that any organisation need only 5 to 6 training program at a time but to show we are busy, we have 30+ program which is not required. To do away with too many unwanted training programs algorithm is used. Mahindra HR does not involve any consulting form to design learning and development program (and it was interesting to know)
Doing training need is most difficult thing. Mahindra does not have any training need analysis. Designing product is an art. They used Bloom taxonomy for instructional design. It has 7 level :understand apply should be able to practice, analyse should be analyse to behavior strength and practices and last level is create you should be able to create difference. Mahindra trains people in instructional design otherwise development does not take place and program lose value.

About Conceptual framework of Mahindra
1. Leadership pipeline model there is a global program fot leadership development . HiPos and yellow HiPos (in pipeline) solid citizen , PIP. Mahindra does not label people. They are classified as 1,2,3,4 and 5. People migrate in this label constantly. They learned from failures and developed module.

image: Bloom's taxonomy for instructional design. 

What next
After instructional design, implementation, Kirkpatrick's level of measuring effectiveness is used. It has essence such as line managers should be able to understand, should be able to run. Reaction based and evidence based. 1. Reaction 2. Level 2 learning level 3

Flagship program of Mahindra for leadership development
Mahindra has integrated with MOOC programs with Coursera and also creating e based module for knowledge based program. Skill based and talent based program

Before going to managerial level a person is screened on yellow
People attend training according to band. It has also tied up with University of michigan for global management development program. This is usually meant for those with 10 to 15 years experience. the Chairman and senior leaders attend this in Nashik. Retired senior people are involved in the assessment and teaching at leadership centre. Global Management Development Program has element of 7 days in singapore, USA and India each and the participants learn from global organisations about their practices.
Future leaders program are not like MBA focussed on future of business and incubation 2 modules covered there and a break of period of 3 years. People have gone through this program have to grow. It is part of strategic talent management program

Under this 30 people group to be subdivided into group of 10 each they will go to different companies in US and then come back. they will assimilate the learning.

Reflective conversation: certification is given to the participants. 3 months intervention based on appreciative inquiry. Appreciative inquiry is the process. For RC there is an ecosystem. This is towards becoming top 50 companies goal. ACC certification from ICF is given to the participants.

There is a GMC. They are brought from top B school and it is part of the infusing leaders from external.

Aon hewitt ranked Mahindra and Mahindra no 10 in global compaies in leaders list (you may read about it and Mr. Anand Mahindra's interview for more insight) only 3 Indian companies figured in the list. This result of process of last 10 years.

Mahindra's philosophy also reflects in the business decision they make. Prince explained when Satyam was a negative company full of litigation, Mr. Mahindra spoke to the client globally. Whatever scam Raju did in Satyam, it was a customer centric company and 50000 people working there had no fault. Thus, he decided to buy Satyam a company nobody wanted to take- with negative value and lot of litigation. Now, the same company Tech Mahindra is among the top 5 IT company in India. It's all about value, leadership and business which turns a sick company into profit making.

Leadership philosophy. You may not succeed in everything you do. If you failed need to think why did not work. A leaders should be able to use both brains (left and right). Mahindra uses harrisson assessment also use firo B. and Mahindra 360 degree for competency mapping.
A leader should have mindfulness, multiplier , whole brain thinker + trust creator + manage failure

Where Mahindra and Mahindra lacked

In its candid acceptance Prince said "We created diversity council, had vision, idea, framework and focussed in the area however it still could not work for diversity for LGBT community but definitely this will be achieved one. He praised Godrej for excellent culture of inclusiveness for LGBT community.

Future ahead
Mahindra and Mahindra does leadership brand at workplace level. Participated in Great Place to Work,in Hewitt survey where participation by top leaders visible.
Another aspiration is to be top 25 companies in leadersh grooming byp 2021
The company's result talks, 5000 invested 25 years has beco,e 30 to 40 Lakhs. Senior leaders are wealthiest and their wealth has grown 80 times through ESOP.

Conclusion: It was an excellent session. I could feel the experience of Mahindra value. Even after 4 years of buying my bike, Mahindra Centuro, I get excellent support. My friend has a Honda bike and every time the service centre loot him in pretext of this and that whereas on a single email, Mahindra take cares of everything. I was so happy to recruit people for Mahindra (that time Intertrade, I guess HR was Nora Bhatia- not in touch now) and was so happy to see the process, professionalism and people's interest to join the company. The session was very good. In 2 hours, Prince covered so many topics and gave lot of insight. Few takeaways are: It's leadership, value and the way leadership shows interest in those what defines success of an organisation. Change management is not an easy task even the best organisation face challenge. They took almost 15 years to manage the change and it is still a continuous process. Often, Prince referred his team members during presentation and again he showed the value of Mahindra and Mahindra i.e. including everyone, being participative.

February 29, 2017

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