Leaders must keep eyes and ears open for innovative ideas: Mukundan, Tata Chemicals

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai | October 19, 2016 10:54 IST

Stating that time was the biggest constraint for leaders, despite that the leaders have to ‘put standards and systems’ in place to receive ideas, and they have to personally spend time with their teams to attract more innovative ideas, said R. Mukundan, Managing Director of Tata Chemicals Ltd.

Leaders should keep their eyes and ears open for innovative ideas, whether it is from internal sources or his/her own team members or from outside, said R Mukundan, Managing Director of Tata Chemicals Ltd.
“The idea to launch ‘besan’ and other pulses related products by the Tatas has come from a retailer from Nagpur,” Mukundan said at the National Leadership Conference on ‘Leading and Managing Transformation’, organised by CII-Suresh Neotia Centre of Excellence for Leadership and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Leaders have to ‘put standards and systems’ in place to receive ideas, and they have to personally spend time with their teams to attract more innovative ideas despite time constraints, he added.
Dr NS Rajan, Chairman CII National Committee on Human Resources, said that galvanising the commitment of everyone in the organisation in support of intended change in the entity is one of the important components of change management for a leader.
“The leader needs to make people embrace the organisation changes. For that you need a cultural orientation. HR should build internal capability within the organisation, because what you have done till yesterday, served yesterday. It may not serve tomorrow,” said Dr Rajan, who is also the Group Chief Human Resources Officer of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group.
Organisations have to look at three core dimensions, including inculcating commitment to change. One of the first things that are required is clarity of leadership, and the leadership should take a position and create a shared vision. The second is embracing technology as you have to be agile and you want to deliver solutions to the customers with speed and expanding the customer reach, Dr Rajan added.
If an organisation is not ready to face change, then it might have to face the ‘jagged’ change, Dr Rajan pointed out. The process begins the leadership envisions the emerging changes in the society and evolve their responses for effecting the organisation change.
Listing the elements of leadership dimensions in change management in an ever changing (called VUCA) world, Gopal Nagpaul, Partner, People Advisory Services of EY said that the roadmap for change management process involved building an arsenal of technology to stay ahead, building leadership agility, building a culture of change, banking on distributed leadership and building change stamina.
Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, Global Talent Track Private Limited said that innovation was taking place at different levels in different companies.

“Though companies like Apple and Tesla are known for their innovative achievements, retail major Amazon has made several innovations in the process of changing the retil space,” Natarajan added.

Digitisation is the only way to expand the reach of financial products to 1.25 billion people in the country, said Rakesh Singh Chief Executive Officer of Aditya Birla Financial Services Ltd (ABFSL).

“We have embarked on digitisation of all our operations with a view to expand the reach of the products of its non-banking financial company (NBFC), insurance and mutual fund arms, far and wide,” said Singh.

Despite several efforts from the government and the financial sector, financial sector reach was limited to 40 per cent of the people in the country, before the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana was launched a couple of years back.
Launch of Aadhar, intimation of transactions on mobile phones on a real-time basis and e-KYC (electronic-know your client) norms (which proposes a one-time registration of customers for all financial products), have also improved the ease of banking in the country already.
CII- Suresh Neotia Centre of Excellence for Leadership, located in Kolkata, is a part of CII’s integrated agenda of building competitiveness through Centres of Excellence. This Centre has been set up by CII for nurturing and enhancing the competitiveness of organisations to successfully compete effectively in challenging market environments.

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