Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 53 “Helicopter Skills centric 360-degree Training”

My dear friends,

As head of Training & Development at Reliance Energy Ltd., I was responsible for training 25,000 in-house workers right from gross root level to the CEOs of various Units and several thousands of engineers from SEB’s and DISCOM’s. There I realised that training them in their functional areas was inadequate and was in fact only 1/4th of the job to make them complete professionals. The value-vision domain on which organizations survive for centuries has a strong bearing on mind-set, attitude and constant learning of working people to be competitive at all times.

A “360-degree training model” was evolved at Reliance Energy Management Institute (REMI) –with the 1st quadrant circumscribing attitude which decides the altitude and is fundamental to self-growth. An IIT/MIT topper with a negative attitude will not be acceptable to any department. One’s mind-set exhibiting features like “Can you think big”, “Can you think in other’s shoe” etc. is extremely important. According to Harvard University research, whatever growth one achieves in terms of promotions, quantum jumps in business etc., 85% of the time it is due to his attitude and not his qualifications, gender, colour of the skin etc.

Attitude is inside while the behaviour is outside. Therefore in the 2nd quadrant, the model emphasizes on development of individuals in a people’s organisation where their behavioural planes are polished like diamonds, going beyond courtesies to ‘elegance and dignity’. This becomes necessary in Business organisations where customer interaction becomes highly relevant. Behaviour decides their spread.

In the 3rd quadrant the core competence, which is one’s exclusive strength, is addressed for its continuous reinforcement to upgrade a professional with the latest developments in his field to be competitive at all times, having an edge over others.

In this commercial world dictated by the global economy, each and every professional needs to have a commercial orientation and an understanding of the business, of which he or she is a part and therefore these aspects are covered in the 4th quadrant. Commercial sense and acumen make all the difference; Bill Gates and Dhirubhai Ambani have proved it.

According to MIT executive report on innovation, 80% of all innovations are made by people working outside of the discipline for which they are trained. It is important not only to be trained in your area of expertise, but also to have a bird’s eye view of the other functions prevalent in the organisation periodically. At least once in a quarter, one has to rise above the horizon of his own discipline and rise above his own working area (like a helicopter) to have a broader view of the entire business.

There is a depth of knowledge and there is a breath of knowledge. Deeper you go; there would be chances of invention once in ages. While breath of knowledge has capacity to funnel down from all lateral sides ideas that are capable of creating spirals of innovations which are more relevant in business context. “Six sigma” was not innovated by a Quality Engineer but a Communications Engineer. Cross-functional teams can bring in more innovative ideas than the specialised teams.

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Their down-to-earth questioning is perhaps responsible for it.

In view of the above, our training model was upgraded to “Helicopter skills centric 360-degree Training Model” as depicted alongside.

Programs like Finance for Non-Finance, Technical for Non-Technical, Electrical for       Non-Electricals, Commercial for Non-Commercial, HR for Non-HR, Legal for NonLegal, Customer orientation for back-end executives and ‘Power Business for all’ proved to be very helpful in developing “Helicopter Skills”. The kind of programs covered in different quadrants is listed in the exhibit. These were suitable for a Power Distribution Company. This training model created a history in Reliance Energy Ltd. and power industry as a whole. It was mainly responsible for Golden Peacock National Training Award to REMI as ‘Best Training Institute in the Corporate Sector’ in the year 2006. This model’s application is universal with suitable selection of programs.

I wish more and more companies take advantage of this model !!!

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI) Govt. of India

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)

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