Welspun develops strategy to create leadership pipeline


This three-dimensional model develops potential leaders on three aspects – culture, capabilities and performance.

Building a leadership pipeline has been a strategic mandate of most organisations in the recent past. However, not everyone has mastered the technique of creating great future leaders from the available talent. The complexities in the path of readying future leaders are many. Hence, a holistic approach and a planned journey to reach that outcome are required.

The Leadership Centre of Expertise (Leadership COE) launched by Welspun group, this month, is one such initiative that has a 360 degree approach focussed on building leaders of tomorrow. The Leadership COE helps build leaders from a full life cycle point of view.

It is a three-dimensional model that develops potential leaders on the three aspects of culture, capabilities and performance.

Rajesh Padmanabhan

While leadership development initiatives at most organisations look at capabilities and performance for developing potential leaders, culture is usually overlooked. Since culture has a huge influence on business performance and long-term organisation building, it ought to be a critical factor in building effective leaders. Therefore, it is this metric that provides the COE a holistic approach to leadership development.

Rajesh Padmanabhan, director, member-group council & group CHRO, Welspun Group, believes, “Culture impacts performance directly and influences leadership development consequently”.

“Culture is however the soul of the entire initiative, as culture makes the foundation of one’s movement ahead. Even the general performance assessment system at Welspun has a high weightage on culture.”

In line with this belief, the Leadership COE has a ‘Culture Meter’ that assesses and nurtures four core values in the leaders undergoing the journey— customer centricity, collaboration, inclusive growth and technology.

Amongst the three metrics on which leaders are assessed, performance is a vital aspect that one needs to be high on – which is measured based on business outcomes and KRAs delivered. Capabilities surely have to be there if one is a high-performer and can even be built further, resulting in better performance.

Culture is however the soul of the entire initiative, as culture makes the foundation of one’s movement ahead. Even the general performance assessment system at Welspun has a high weightage on culture.

The company also has a ‘Welspun 2.0’ cultural dissemination program that makes use of gamification, quizzes and similar methods to impart cultural values. There are special cultural sensitization programs in place for not just those leaders undergoing the Leadership COE but across levels.

The Leadership COE also has culture workshops and value workshops as part of the program. In fact, Padmanabhan says, “By 2017 end everyone across the organisation would have to undergo a self-administered online culture test that will assess their understanding and application of organisational cultural values”.

Padmanabhan says, “The most unique feature of this COE is that the development journey for the identified leaders is customised, on the basis of their assessment of role (both current and targeted), making use of technology and predictive leadership analytics.”

The purpose of the COE is to also ensure leadership readiness for a sustainable organisation. For this, it has handpicked a critical set of leaders based on their current effectiveness and future organisational building.

The set of people will be observed in all the three dimensions together, for the business and customer impact they create.


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