Bizongo, an early startup co-founded by three IIT pass outs, providing supply chain technology, has initiated a leadership development programme, to harness the power of executive coaching not only for its senior executives, such as the VPs and directors, but also its first-time managers and mid-level managers.
The first batch of the programme started in the beginning of this year itself.
A total of more than 30 leaders are currently taking this leadership-development programme, of which 17 are part of the senior leadership team and around 15 are first-time managers.
Each leader has been provided an individual coach, to ensure personal attention and design a learning path for each one, as per their individual needs. The coaches are all professionally trained and come with a lot of experience in the field of coaching.
“This leadership-development programme is like a gift to all our leaders. They will get an opportunity to develop themselves for the future and be better versions of themselves, which will be good not just for the Company, but also for them,” says Ankit Tomar, co-founder & CTO, Bizongo, speaking exclusively with HRKatha.
“All the co-founders at Bizongo, including me, have experienced the benefits of personalised coaching from an executive coach, and we realised that the experience was worth extending to all the leaders at Bizongo,” he adds,
Tomar has observed that in many companies, the benefits of personal coaching are only enjoyed by the senior leaders. However, he strongly believes that one should not wait for people to first prove themselves and then train them for executive leadership roles. Instead, they should be trained for leadership well in advance so that whenever these first-time leaders reach that stage, things are much easier for them. They should be trained to become visionary entrepreneurs early on in their careers.
“All the co-founders at Bizongo, including me, have experienced the benefits of personalised coaching from an executive coach, and we realised that the experience was worth extending to all the leaders at Bizongo”
Ankit Tomar, co-founder & CTO, Bizongo
The senior leadership batch will go through an eight-month long training, while the first-time managers will be trained for three to four weeks. The content and curriculum for each leader is tailor made by their personal coaches. In case of first-time managers, there are group-learning sessions first and later they get the opportunity to be trained and coached personally. This ensures personal attention to each one.
As per Tomar, this programme is not some kind of a succession-planning initiative with all the participants being promoted or given additional responsibilities. It is more about self-development, which will benefit not just the Company but the very sector and business in which Bizongo is operating.
“What makes the programme unique is that while it is meant more for employees and their career development, at the same time, the organisation also stands to gain in the form of strong leaders who are capable of taking up crucial and key roles in the future,” mentions Tomar.
With this leadership-development initiative, the Company wants to build two key leadership qualities in their leaders — first is of problem solving and second is of empathy and care.
“I believe leadership skills are universal in nature and can be applied in any sector. However, for us, the ability to empathise with team members and be problem solvers are the two critical skills which we aim to equip our leaders with in this programme,” tells Tomar.
Bizongo’s employees, like so many other professionals across the world today, are working remotely. So how are they managing to achieve the best out of this programme, considering that executive coaching works best when experienced face to face?
Tomar reveals that at the beginning of the programme, there are some chemistry-building sessions between the coach and the participant, which helps them to get to know each other and get along well with each other during the process.
Like all other people initiatives, the foundation of this programme is also the values of the Company, collectively referred to as ‘CULT’, an acronym for collaboration, upskilling, leadership and transparency.
Collaboration – The Company strives to build an ecosystem where leaders and employees collaborate with each other and follow a tech-first approach.
Upskilling – Employees skill themselves to prepare for the future and this leadership development programme is designed to facilitate that.
Leadership – The Company aims to make its leaders live and lead with an entrepreneurial mindset — taking all the tough calls, keeping in mind the success of the Company, making important decisions even in situations where there are less approvals, and owning their decisions.
Transparency – The Company believes in a complete 360-degree feedback where all leaders give a transparent review in a civilised way, and at the same time, also receive feedback from their subordinates.
Apart from this, to build a culture of learning, the Company has an LMS system installed. It has also allocated a budget for employees, who wish to upskill themselves externally or from outside, as per their choice. This gives employees the flexibility to design their own learning paths.
The leadership-development programme ensures that these leaders are visionary entrepreneurs and torch bearers of organisational values.