Jul 19, 2004

Leadership talent management

Economic Times' Corporate Dossier has an interesting feature on Talent Management and how the Indian automaker Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) is grooming its leaders of tomorrow:
A seven-member team shadows the directors of Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) in every move they make. They follow the company’s strategy, do their own analysis and draw their own conclusions, even as they bid their time in anticipation of the day when they might take over. No this is not corporate espionage, but talent management at work. M&M’s Shadow Board consists of the company’s brightest stars and they’re getting insights into how things work at the top, even as they give their own out-of-the-box feedback to the top management

This article shows how much the non-glamourous sector compared to FMCG or IT places on long term thinking and succession planning. And this is an out of the box solution. I think M&M has got something fundamentally right, that training for leadership begins before the role, and in the real-world, not through simulation and not through "training programs". That might sound funny coming from a training person like me, but I seriously believe that "training" is not just an event but only part of a larger process which should look like something like the above.