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Team Leaders from across the Tata group reflect, deliberate and strategise in the Advanced Programme for Leaders (APL2020)

Published on January 23, 2020

CEOs, Senior leaders, Team Leaders of TBEM Assessments and Process Consultants from Tata Business Excellence Group (TBExG) met at the two-day Advanced Programme for Leaders (APL2020) at Taj Mahal, Lucknow on January 20-21, 2020. The session is organised each year at the beginning of the TBEM Assessment cycle to deliberate improvements to the process and reflect on the past year. This year, in addition to senior leaders sharing their experiences and expectations from the TBEM Assessment process, topics like quality of TBEM application, assessing financial fitness of companies and the role of internal assessors in the process were also discussed.

In his opening address, S Padmanabhan, Executive Chairman, TBExG, emphasised that the focus was on delivering value keeping the customer at the centre. He added that considering the maturity and size of companies along with the disruptions in the business world, TBExG will customise its services and go beyond TBEM Assessments. To enable this, building and supporting an ecosystem will be critical. Sanjeev Singh, AVP, TBExG, then reflected on the feedback that was received in the TBEM Assessment cycle 2019 and highlighted the emerging expectations from the companies.

Organisation culture is now a prominent element in the TBEM framework. Dr. Ajit Mathur, Founder, Right Culture, took a session on understanding organisation culture. In addition to highlighting how the culture of an organisation can drive high performance, he threw light on the OCAI tool which helps in assessment and training related to organisational culture. Dr. Mathur also took different examples from the corporate world to elaborate on different perspectives of organisational culture. The insights will help the Team Leaders understand and explore the subject in the assessment process.

Day 2 began with Team Leader Speak sessions by Dr. Pankaj Kumar, Head – Capability Building, Tata Steel and Priyadarshan Kshirsagar, Senior General Manager, Tata Motors, on the pertinent topics of ‘leveraging internal assessors’ and ‘dealing with quality of TBEM application’ respectively. Highlighting the benefits and challenges of having internal assessors as part of the team, Dr. Kumar stressed on the need for an enhanced guideline document, which would bring clarity related to their roles and engagement. Mr. Kshirsagar reiterated the importance of a good application, since the quality of the application impacts the initial hypothesis. He has also stressed on the fact that assessment is not about assessing the application, but the applicant.

Puneet Chhatwal, MD and CEO, Indian Hotels, shared the company’s excellence journey with the participants. He threw light on how the company embarked on a re-imagination journey with Aspiration 2022, which took the culture of Taj-ness to the next level through customer centricity, a culture of completion, collaboration, communication, capability building and code of conduct. Mr. Chhatwal also gave some inputs to the Team Leaders in the session: have a consulting mindset; focus on long term sustainability of the applicant company; highlight potential blindspots; be appreciative of what the company is doing; and increase the focus on One Tata.

The next session was by Avneesh Gupta, Vice President – TQM & Shared Services, Tata Steel, who took the participants through how the company is getting future-ready, including preparing for disruptions, co-owning facilities, focus on R&D, sustainability and workforce-friendly policies. He also provided some suggestions for the TBEM Assessment process, which included simplifying criteria, emphasis on assessing future readiness of an organisation, differentiated approaches for companies at various maturity level, agile methodology, etc.

The participants were then divided into four groups for break-out sessions to strategise and suggest improvements for the coming TBEM Assessment cycle. The following topics were brainstormed:

- Effectively using PitStop approach
- Exploring the narrative way of providing feedback
- Optimally leveraging SMEs and senior leaders in teams
- Customised assessments: What and how?

A representative from each team shared their respective findings with the participants.

Avijit Bhattacharya, CHRO, Tata Capital, then shared how one can assess financial fitness of the applicant company. Mentioning that the financial analysis toolkit comprises balance sheets, P&L and cashflow statements, he took illustrations of companies to make his points. He also added that there are four areas to consider for financial health – solvency, liquidity, profitability and operating efficiency.

An Open House with Mr. Padmanabhan provided the participants with an opportunity to get clarifications and ask questions on various topics. The two-day programme came to an end with a summarisation of all the sessions by Subhrajit Basu, DGM, TBExG.