The 7th edition of the 'Human Is Not A Resource' programme organised by Isha Leadership Academy began at Isha Yoga Center in Coimbatore on Friday. The Day 1 of the interactive programme saw industry veterans Samit Ghosh, Founder, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Ltd; Vasanthi Srinivasan, Professor, IIM Bangalore; Amit Anchal, Board Member, Ola Electric; and Himanshu Saxena, Founder and CEO of Centre of Strategic Mindset (COSM) share insights from their fields with participants.
“We have to be equally good to all the stakeholders who are there—the shareholder, the customer, the employees, the regulators, the community we work with. All are equally important to us,” said Samit Ghosh, emphasising on building an organisational culture.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Ghosh stressed, “We did not see our employees just as a resource but as a stakeholder.” The Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOP) offered by the the Ujjivan Small Finance Bank brought a sense of ownership among employees in the organisation and resulted in creating remarkable stories of transformation, he said.
Every year, the 'Great Place to Work' identifies India's 100 best companies to work for and Ujjivan SFB has been consistently featuring in the list. “We get the Great Place To Work award because these people are so proud to be a part of the work they do and how aligned they are with the objectives of the organisation,” Ghosh said.
Earlier, Vasanthi Srinivasan led the participants through sessions on Understanding Culture. “The first thing when we talk about culture is there is no good culture or bad culture. There's only an appropriate culture or an inappropriate culture,” she said.
Drawing outcomes from a short exercise where participants attributed a one-word perception about different renowned brands, Srinivasan underscored, “Culture is often not entirely an internal attribute. Culture is also feeding into the image and which is why I'm going to make this distinction between organisational image, which is how outsiders see us, to building organisational culture, which is largely internal”.
“We ought not to lose sight because unless the organisational image and organisational identity internally align, people won't know how to perceive you,” cautioned Srinivasan.
The post-lunch session began with a dance performance by students of Isha Samskriti and then advanced to Culture Transformation Stories from industry experts.
Amit Anchal laid out his career journey and stories of transformation in Airtel and Ola. “If we are able to get the teams through the various hierarchies to actually own the vision of what we are doing and where will we reach, then that becomes the biggest pull for any culture of this sort,” he said.
He further said: “As entrepreneurs or as leaders, we become too fixated at times with the vision that we have. We may feel very, very enthusiastic about it. But what is equally important for us to think about is what is in it for the person who is working on it, who is coming to the office…and that is very, very important in percolating down the overall vision in terms of, what does it mean for me as an employee, as an individual?”
Sharing his lifelong learnings, Himanshu Saxena said: “Culture is an amalgamation of beliefs, business practices, and behaviors.”
Envisioned by Sadhguru, Human is NOT a Resource (HINAR) is an annual leadership programme organised by the Isha Leadership Academy. The 3-day program brings together thought leaders, business, and HR practitioners from diverse fields to discuss practical steps to enable a paradigm shift from human beings as resources to human beings as possibilities.