Book Release

Neoskilling for Digital Transformation ‚Äď Prof L Prasad, S Ramachandran, Wiley India publication

Prof L Prasad, OB & HR (Retired) and S Ramachandran, Principal Consultant, Infosys (PGSEM alumnus 2006-09) have authored a book on reskilling. The book is titled ‚ÄúNeoskilling for Digital Transformation and the Artificial Intelligence‚ÄĚ and was published by Wiley India. The book release was part of the ‚ÄėFuture of Learning 2019‚Äô conference at IIM B on Jan 4th 2019, in the presence of Professors V Rajaraman and S Sadagopan.

Managers reskill their teams, to meet today‚Äôs needs. Leaders think ahead, for the futuristic long-term needs of their organization and the overall ecosystem to excel and reap the benefits of the Digital Transformation we are currently undergoing – ‚Äúneoskilling‚ÄĚ in short. Neoskilling is holistic and beyond formal class-room training, requiring a mental metamorphosis. It includes soft skills, cultural aspects and instills a higher-order thinking in individuals and groups in preparation for the Workplace of the Future.

For influencers and policymakers, neoskilling helps in socially inclusive growth, taking digitization and its benefits beyond corporates to every section of the society and for employability. The book offers a blueprint leveraging established management frameworks with new ideas, industry specific insights and several expert opinions for neoskilling. It is available on Amazon India and in the campus book store.

It was a 2 year project for Prof Prasad and Ram from the time the book was conceptualized to conducting interviews, running a survey, deciding the structure, coming up with content and insights and the last 6 months on the editorial process. Several professors from IIM B have shared their inputs.

Author profiles:

Professor L Prasad combines solid academic credentials with the ability to integrate theory with practice, using an interdisciplinary approach that combines the behavioral, structural, marketing and strategic perspectives. When interacting with senior and top management, he emphasizes triple-loop learning, by getting them to rethink their organization‚Äôs raison d’√™tre, while focusing on Theory of Business and Symbolic Leadership. For middle management, he facilitates double-loop learning, i.e., how to be proactive leaders who understand the underlying dynamics of various organizational phenomena.

Prof. Prasad has more than 40 years of experience in the USA and India. His professional activities encompass teaching, research, consulting and training, center on the themes: ‚ÄėAchieving a Competitive Edge through People!‚Äô and ‚ÄėLeadership in a VUCA World.‚Äô His passion is ‚Äėhigh impact leadership‚Äô.  He now prefers to explore new horizons as a change agent and facilitator, to assist managers in applying the concepts presented in the classroom. He has therefore begun de-emphasizing one-off programs in favor of greater involvement and long-term partnerships.

S Ramachandran is a consultant for application of emerging technologies to address business needs, in the manufacturing vertical in Infosys. Ram’s focus is on developing thought leadership and points-of-views, based on recent trends in management and digitization. Ram also works with internal teams to incubate these ideas and nurture them into new market offerings. He is a regular blogger and also a speaker on topics such as Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0.

Ram has more than 20 years of global corporate experience, starting with Hindustan Motors. He spent a significant part of his career in General Electric, in Energy business in the USA and India, leading digitization projects for e-Engineering, PLM and Reliability programs. He was a Supply Chain Transformation Manager in Hewlett-Packard for a couple of years. Prior to Infosys, he was an analyst in IDC Manufacturing Insights, wherein his role involved ongoing industry leadership interaction and collaboration, conducting market research and driving consulting projects.

======================================================================================================================

Know Your Enemy Within – Bridging Knowledge and Practice of Management

by Subramanian K V (Kooveli Madom), FPM 88

Demonstrated experience compels one to believe that individual traits overshadow academic credentials in determining achievement in one’s pursuits. Disconnect between knowledge and performance has been a subject of continuing debate.

This book attempts to unravel the criticality of complimentary / individual factors in determining success. An endeavour to bridge the void between formal knowledge and real world demands, the book exposes chinks in application of management theories in isolation and their accelerating obsolescence. The intent is to sensitise students and practitioners on nurturing an open mind on continuous learning, challenging and application of knowledge with contextual sensitivity.

Formal educational system fails to address critical elements essential to effectively put into practice, knowledge acquired from an undergraduate /graduate program. Gaps between formal education and real world practice are filled by a mentor / coach, on the job, who interprets situations in the context of theories, to carve a judicious just-in-time amalgam of concepts to apply, and interpret outcomes. This book is expected to be such a coach or mentor; not a lecturer on theory, to compliment text books as a guide and a companion.

An attempt to demystify the role of complementary factors in determining success, the book is aimed at students, graduates, practising and aspiring managers, and entrepreneurs to internalise real world demands / drivers in the practice of management and its finer nuances.

The book chronicles evolution and transitions in management concepts, contrarian views on celebrated theories / models, highlights significance of soft elements, addresses issue of (un)employability. 

This book has gained from handling assignments for MBA students from universities across the globe, three decades of consulting practice, association with management education, management students, employers and those employed.

Most theories get revisited, challenged or rewritten as fresh concepts, fresh considerations emerge and new practices evolve. Many times this evolution is less documented, till it reaches a level of maturity when practice gets the stamp of theory. The practitioner needs to be alert, to challenge his own understanding.

One learns the art of reaching one’s goal, ingeniously, using tools from formal education or even challenging them. Same tool used differently by equally competent persons turns out different outcomes. Equally endowed persons may follow different trajectories for the same origin destination set, ending up with different outcomes. Both could be successful depending on what one considers to be success; the trajectory he/she follows and when and how success is measured. Plurality and ambiguity are reality, not to be despised

The book is available at https://www.amazon.com/Within-Bridging-Knowledge-Practice-Management/dp/1482874873/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1495030430&sr=8-2&keywords=know+your+enemy+within+bridging+knowledge

============================================================

Management Consultancy Through an Academic and Practitioner Perspective by Dr. K V Subramanian( FPM’88) ,
Prof. Paul A. Phillips, and Prof. Victor Newman

Management Consultancy has caught the attention of Management professionals: MBAs from management institutions as well as seasoned practising Managers. While, for the former, it is an opportunity for entry into the ranks of high profile career management consultants, with global consulting firms; the latter visualise it as a coveted post mid-career avocation or vocation of choice and dignity. Perception that the vocation brings in respect, autonomy, opportunities, networking and earnings, and get noticed; overshadows the challenging elements of reality in the ‚Äėmanagement consultancy‚Äô profession. 

To stand up and perform to own satisfaction while exceeding client expectations is the dream of every professional. Management Consultants are no exception. To realise the above, it is imperative that the individual is armed with insights into the nuances of the profession in addition to technical skills. Insights / practical knowledge is tacit in nature, buried in the mind of the practitioner; whose value is rarely derived by those in the early stages of their consulting career.

While technical knowledge is acquired through formal training in professional institutions, there is no choice for the informal tacit knowledge gained from experience. The closest substitute to  knowledge from own experience is learning from (access to) experience of others; enriched with variety in depth, context, vintage and client diversity to mimic a holistic view. 

This book is an attempt to deliver the less documented tacit knowledge to the reader as explicit knowledge from experience. ‚ÄėManagement Consultancy Through an Academic and Practitioner Perspective‚Äô is designed to bridge this experiential gap.

The three co-authors to the edited book are a judicious amalgam of academe and practitioner, of long standing. Contributors to chapters bring in the diversity in geography, domain, vintage and scale.

The book has nine chapters each addressing a topical issue. The chapters bridge the academic camp‚Äôs precision orientation with the practitioner expediency to deliver value.  The chapters help bridge the perception – reality gap, build awareness, competence and confidence for a new entrant, give wider exposure to those in the profession and a ring side view to clients of ‚Äėmanagement consultancy‚Äô to help them manage consultants effectively and productively. The authors take the readers through the ‚Äėpast‚Äô and ‚Äėpresent‚Äô to the ‚Äėfuture‚Äô. The diversity of authors provides a holistic and global view.

The complexity of ‚ÄėManagement Consultancy‚Äô space is well brought out. Need for composure,  maturity, communication skills, risk management and individual traits of a high order are illustrated through examples and case studies. The dimension of ethics in ‚Äėconsultancy management‚Äô and cultural sensitivity are highlighted and discussed with illustrative diagrams. Case studies for each topic provide the real life material for analysis and group discussions, making the reading valuable.

The book is an effective and holistic aid for aspiring Management Consultants to bridge the knowledge – experience gap. It will be of immense value to institutions offering courses in Business Management, executive development as well as short term refresher courses in management.  The book is available online https://notionpress.com/read/management-consultancy-through-an-academic-and-practitioner-perspective, https://www.flipkart.com/, https://www.infibeam.com  and https://www.amazon.in

The book provides a perspective on how management consultancy firms need to stay relevant to compete effectively; and seeks to bridge the gap between the practitioner and academic camps and an appreciation of reality to the management consultancy landscape. It is particularly relevant for undergraduate, postgraduate and MBA students interested in the ‚Äėmanagement consulting‚Äô profession; who may study this subject as a core module or as an elective, or who may use it for further reading to supplement their strategy and international business modules. Aspiring and practicing management consultants will find it helpful to deliver quality outcomes to clients and sustainable.