Monday, December 7, 2009

Training the Leadership Talent - Prof.M.S.Rao

“A business short on capital can borrow money. But a business short of leadership has little chance of survival.” - Peter Drucker

Currently some companies are struggling for their survival due to recession. It indicates that there is dearth of leadership talent across the world and urgent need for honing the same. Warren G. Bennis rightly put, “Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.” Both the failing and struggling organizations need to realize that it is more of leadership rather than managerial challenge.

Recession has thrown several challenges across the world. But when viewed positively, recession offers more opportunities than threats. With an intention to cut the costs the organizations are in a hurry to axe on training and development. It is indeed a retrograde step.

In fact, it is the right time for companies to concentrate on training and development as during peak times they are all busy with booming economic activities. Now it is the time to cool off from overheated work activities.

Engage the employees actively in learning and development as it prepares the ground for booming period. It is like grooming the employees ready for a bullish period. If the budget is not adequate, engage the senior managers and leaders from within the organization in taking up the training programs for their employees so that they get in close touch with their employees in the name of training programs. They get to know the practical problems faced by the employees at the lower level as well. It engages the senior staff actively and briskly for institutional building and organizational development rather than being concerned about recession. The employees too appreciate the good gesture of their employers for widening their mental horizons as well as for not firing them during downturn. Since employers handhold their employees during downturn, the employees will extend their hands to their employers during upturn. It promotes long term bonding between employers and employees leading to better productivity and performance and employee loyalty.

If organizations feel that it is inevitable for budget cuts, they can cut down expenses arising out of hiring external facilitators and trainers and bank on existing in-house experts in building strong leadership potential.

During downturn the organizations should upgrade the talent by engaging employees constructively and creatively. Instead of fighting against their employees they should take the support of their employees and fight against recession. They should explore other areas and avenues of cost cutting.

The secret behind the success of several global companies is their continuous investment in the learning and development. These companies focus more in innovation and creativity during downturns and reap rewards during subsequent upturns.

We encourage unemployed individuals going for higher studies and courses during downturns. Similarly organizations should encourage their existing employees to prepare ground for organizational growth and prosperity as it is the right opportunity. Instead of treating training as an expense the companies should treat training as an investment and hone the skills of their employees.

The End

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