Thursday, 10 April 2014

JIMS-International Seminar on "Rethinking Human Resources in a VUCA World"

JIMS-Jagannath International Management School in association with the PHDCCI, AMDISA and KAS, Germany organized an International Conference on “Rethinking Human Resources in a VUCA World” on at PHD Chamber, New Delhi. The Conference provided a unique opportunity for world renowned members of academia, corporate heads, thought leaders and opinion makers to interact and provide fresh perspectives on the various themes related to the Conference topic.

The proceedings commenced with the Welcome Address by Dr. (Cdr.) Satish Seth, Director, JIMS, Kalkaji.  Dr. Seth stated that the term VUCA was coined by the US military at the end of the cold war to describe a nation or its leader’s capability to engage situations marked by change and challenges.  For leaders in the military and beyond the VUCA doctrine underscores the importance of strategic decision-making, readiness planning, risk management and situational problem-solving.

Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Executive Director, PHD Chamber in his inaugural  address said “India has a high demographic dividend. Public sector is stronger in India (3.1%) as compared to developed countries- USA and Canada (2%). India needs a national mission focusing on academic and research initiatives.”
Dr. Jean Harrison, Director (HR), Westminster University, UK in her opening remarks stated that essentially “VUCA is thinking, planning and being ready to undertake any job.”  She spoke of the various steps taken by Administration of Westminster University to plan and prepare in advance for contingencies. 

Guest of Honour Mr. Rajiv Sachdeva, former Managing Director, Siemens Power Engg. Pvt. Ltd. stated in his inaugural address that it is important to understand the dynamic business environment, which is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. He provided a clear perspective about various drivers of business environment: economic, political and technological. He explained the current economic scenario which is recovering from recession and has sluggish growth rates, sporadic investments and a struggle for cost leadership.  He stated that most global governance was patchy as there is political instability in Eastern Europe, Arab World and parts of Africa where there is an increasing demand for a clean and efficient governance. With the emergence of China and S Korea as new economic powerhouses the whole paradigm has shifted. Not only that but with rapid evolution of technology, new social pressures were being generated. In order to gain competitive edge in the market HR has to continuously evolve itself from being support function to being a strategic partner.

He said that the “only” constant in today’s environment is “Importance of people despite all changes, automation, processes and IT enablement”.
He concluded by saying that industry expectation from HR professionals was to provide stability through clean, transparent leadership and also by providing opportunities for spurring business growth.

The Vote of Thanks was delivered by Mr. C. M. Krishna, Hon. Advisor, PHD Chamber

Technical Session I was chaired by Mr. Vijay Rai, CEO, Power Con Knowledge Service Pvt. Ltd.
First  speaker of this session Dr. Jean Harrison, Director, Human Resources (Strategy & Development), Westminster University, UK spoke on “VUCA meets HE Culture: A Perfect Storm for HR?” She stated that today is the “perfect storm” situation for HR professionals and for survival “HR needs to simultaneously focus on both delivering now and developing for the future.” HR professionals have to be strategically proactive and their approach must align with business needs.

Mr. Andleeb Jain, Director (HR) Isolux Corsàn India discussed the topic “Globalisation and Workforce Diversity”. He explained that globalization has not only impacted ours lives but organizations too. With growing economic interdependence of countries and free international capital flows, organizations are operating internationally for subsidies, new markets and better raw material. This phenomenon has led to workforce diversity. He defined diversity as “its about how we value and appreciate those that are unlike ourselves”.

Ms.Heena Naithani, Assistant VP (HR), Citi Bank spoke on ““Managing the Millennials”. She talked about the “millennials” their aspirations, needs and traits. Organizational policies and learning interventions must have clear & transparent career progression chart and workplace fun options to retain and motivate them. She cited the examples of organizations like Google, Citi, GE, Delloite and Apple who have already implemented millennial friendly policies and programmes.

Mr. Ignace Hindrick- Senior Consultant, India Consult spoke about “HR Tools and Techniques for Creating Value in a Changing World”. He explained that the world is changing fast and becoming flat. Old borders, differences and distances are disappearing. To cope with change he suggested three tools. First we have to learn again because what we have learned applies to the old world, the old way of thinking and doing business. Secondly we need to absorb these changes and manage them to our maximum benefit. Thirdly most innovation experts tell us to look outside the box to create new ideas. Today you have to look inside the box.

Technical Session II was chaired by Mr. Pradeep Narula, Group President, Wave Inc.

 Mr. Ron McLuckie, CEO, Leadership Focus, New Zealand and Director, WIAL spoke on the topic Leadership Development in a Changing World.”He defined leadership as “inspiring people to achieve desired results.” He also revealed a shocking reality that “most conventional leadership development initiatives have little or no impact on actual organisation performance! The major reasons for this are: no alignment with strategy, flawed development methodologies and yesterday’s leadership thinking.

Dr. Katalin Illes, Principal Lecturer in Leadership Development, Westminster University, UK spoke about “Positive Strategies for Harsh Realities”. She talked about the two perspectives to see the VUCA world: one perspective is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous and the Second perspective is virtuous, united, caring and agile. Our predominant world views are formed through our own experiences, environment, Culture, belief system, values and personality type.

Mr. Manmohan Bhutani, VP HR, Fiserv Global Services talked on “Talent Management in VUCA World”.  He stated that we are currently operating in a V.U.C.A world where “Talent Management” has become challenging for the organization due to inability to anticipate, plan and continuously change and evolve as per the environment. Organizations can use these six levers effectively and they will be ready to survive and thrive in the VUCA world: Business Agility, Strategic Workforce Planning, Pursuit of Readiness, Talent Data Analytics ,Learning Organization and Talent Management Sustainability.

 Technical Session III was chaired by Ms. Anju Uppal, GM (HR), AIMIL Ltd.

The third technical session was the Research Paper Presentation Contest wherein 05 shortlisted participants   made their final presentations. The winning prize which consisted of a trophy and cash prize of Rs.5000/- was awarded to Ms. Sunita Shukla and Ms. Parul Agarwal.

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