Day 1 of HR summit @ IIM Kozhikode saw the emminent personalities from the field on the dias with their precious insights and thoughts for the world with the common agenda of ‘High-tech people, High touch HR. Are we missing the human touch?’
Sandip Dash, AGM (Personnel & Training; Faculty at Management Training Institute, SAIL)
The day saw the discussion on “Spirituality at Workplace”. Mr. Sandip Dash, AGM, (Personnel & Training; Faculty at Management Training Institute, SAIL) began the proceedings by narrating a story about Heisenberg and his mystical experience. He spoke about the existing philosophy which is not sufficient to explain the new dimensions at workplace and how spirituality can provide answers to these issues. He quoted “Uncommon Wisdom” to relate spirituality and science. Spirituality according to him is the conditioning of inner self. One can look beyond what is visible the natural way. If science can accept this belief, then why not implement it in the organization.
He stated his example at SAIL. When he joined SAIL, the quality was not up to the mark. There was some issue with the group, the same group which was flawless in its execution of previous projects. Now, it was in a completely different state. This was in congruence with the two kinds of behavior – War, when people are autonomous and self-dependent and Peace, when different tools and techniques are required to get them motivated. He believed Spirituality had answers to both these situations.
He defined “Work” as something which is offered to make us evolve. This was his motivation to try and bring spirituality at his workplace where it was important to see things differently and condition accordingly. So, he started two activities – “Prayatna” at the beginning of the day and “Sameeksha” at the end of the day. He coined words to simplify the concepts such as “Smile” for delivery to the customer. Gradually, the employees began to appreciate it as a reward within them. They started looking at things differently and beyond what they could normally see. It became easier for them to reflect on their contribution rather than expectation.
He concluded by saying that organizations now have a bigger and better role to play than just measuring performance. They should try to evolve spirituality as a concept. It is not only applicable at the workplace; instead spirituality provides an opportunity to find out about oneself, the interaction with the surroundings and thus enables to act in a better way to the stimuli. The need of the hour is to change the mindset and things will automatically fall into place.
Kalpana Sinha, Co Founder and CEO, Cosmode Consultants
In continuation with the discussion on “Spirituality at Workplace”, HR Summit 2013 hosted talks by eminent personalities. Next in the series was Kalpana Sinha. She is Co-Founder and CEO of Cosmode Consultants. With over 20 years of rich experience in Human Capital Management, Learning, and Organisation Development, she is passionate about aligning the disciplines with business strategy creation and implementation. She has built world-class HR teams and systems. Kalpana is regarded as a trusted advisor to business leaders and recognized as an inspirational “person to work for and with” by peers, she has facilitated over 500+ workshops at senior leadership levels. Having operated across Asia Region with extensive project-related travel through the United States and Europe she has deep cross cultural skills. She has worked with large organisations like Microsoft and McCann Worldgroup and has had entrepreneurial experience in establishing consulting and e-learning organisations; she is also a pioneer in bringing principles of neuroscience to implementing change management.
She related spirituality with neuroscience and talked about the five basic blocks – understanding, deciding, recalling, memorising and inhibiting. She perceived ‘mindfulness’ as something which organizations try to cultivate among their employees to get better. If one is mindful, he/she remembers well and is able to focus. One should try to inculcate awareness in oneself until it becomes a habit. According to her, mindfulness represents spirituality at the workplace. This avoids the statements like ‘the employees have lost their voice’. One can achieve something only by creating an environment to achieve.
She highlighted the role of HR managers in case of retrenchment who are entitled to make things happen. Even the worst kind of news can be delivered in a pleasant manner which avoids unnecessary hassles. But she feels this has to be engrained in the culture of the organization concerned. And to sustain this culture, one needs to have the tools in place. Spirituality is one such tool. She concluded by saying that the practices elsewhere in the world are more evolved. To reach at par with them, we need to learn and start making serious efforts and this can easily be done by incorporating spirituality.
Dr. Prasanth Nair, Head HR – Cipla.
Dr. Prasanth Nair is the head HR – Cipla. He was previously associated with Thomas Cook. A graduate from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, he talked about the origin of Cipla and its role in the modern day industry. Cipla being an organization without formal structure, managed to scale great heights. According to him, this was made possible due to the purpose of organization. Even without a structure, every employee knows why he/she is there in Cipla. The leaders play a greater role; leadership in Cipla is without title and people follow them.
He stressed upon making the connect among purpose, respect, role of individual leaders, development of individuals and success of the firm to achieve objective and repetitive measure of success. He discussed the challenges faced by the organization like Cipla in the present day scenario and the ways to sustain the organization. An organization needs to continue even after its leader. This successful transition is very important for an organization to remain competitive in the industry.
Talking about Corporate Social Responsibility, he mentioned that for Cipla as an organization CSR lies in providing life-saving drugs at the lowest possible rates. Selling life-saving drugs is not a means to earn profit. Rather, they focus on other drugs to sustain the organization. Cipla’s contribution in the AIDS/Cancer treatment is way higher than the government norms for CSR. He believes that great HR managers are those who make profit keeping the interest of the people at the heart of it. This is the core philosophy of Cipla.
He concluded the session by stating the challenges which the modern organizations face. Initially, the people in an organizations followed similar culture. But with rapid expansion, companies tend to hire from different organizations in the same sector and from different parts of the world. So, the biggest challenge lies in maintaining the culture of the organization.