Saturday, December 3, 2011

WHY THIS 'ZILLA veri di? SiliconIndia Strategic HR Summit, Bangalore: the heinous bias!

WHY THIS 'ZILLA veri di? SiliconIndia Strategic HR Summit, Bangalore, Dec 1, 2011

I attended SiliconIndia's Strategic HR session at Bangalore in 2011 on Dec 1.
Sessions were very average and dull and boring. No excitement. No flavor of leadership or passion of an HR evangelist, so to say.
There were many panel discussions and some solo presentations by tired (read re-tired) HR folks, who are at the top of HR hierarchy in their organisations.

Read my observations--

Observations-

Observation#1

With due respects to all communities, including mine, if I have one. Yet to figure out as I am so shocked. Unfortunate reality of modern day corporate India! They were presenting at the summit.

A Malayali dominated company has a Malayali HR head
A Tamil dominated company has a Tamil HR head
A Bengali dominated company has a Bengali HR head
A UP/North Indian dominated  company has UP/North Indian HR head
A Telugu dominated company has a Telugu HR head
A Kannadiga dominated company has a Kannadiga HR head
A Marathi dominated company has a Marathi HR head

SiliconIndia can give you names if you approach them.

Is this just a coincidence or a purposefully designed linguistic/regional colonialism? Shamefully prejudicial and biased.
Surprisingly all these companies claim global outlook, global clients and " an equal opportunity employer" tag like EC for European Compliant.

You will wonder, why do I say, it is a Bengali company or a Malayali company?


I say it as it's MD/CEO/India Head/Founder is a Bengali or Malayali or majority of top management is having such affiliation, affection or infection. Who says, culture is not injected? Bad cultures are certainly injected!

Observation#2

In the audience, there was a serious dearth of senior HR folks and especially large companies abstain from such low profile summits. They just come to present there but do not send their HR teams to attend them. Hypocrisy!

Are these HR heads who present at these summits not just publicity hungry? Do they not keep such summits only for themselves and not for their teams? Is this not a bourgeois and colonial mind set?

Observation#3

All these HR heads, talk through their presentations, what is their co's best practice or policy as far as topic is concerned and keep justifying it. While the expectations are that, they talk about what are the leading practices in the industry and how they are trying to emulate them and what challenges they face while trying to do so. What they present through slides could be done by any Senior HR exec. It does not require a Head HR if it is just a sales pitch.

Observation#4

A new bunch of HR heads, particularly the women folk have exhibited very different characters. I define them as WORKING HOUSEWIVES! 

1. While presenting, One Head HR gives examples of her son when she talks about 'connecting' aspect in developing leaders. A few mins later she gives example of her 4 year old daughter, when she talks about 'contacts'. I believe these housewife HR heads have a serious job at home than at work.

2.Another HR lady head comes very close to be called a 'Drama Queen' while inflating simple facts as too dramatic and subtly positioning herself as a Game changer in some strategic decisions that their company management took in sending one cocooned R&D Manager for 3 months sabbatical and other newly hired Sales honcho to 3 months in Europe to know business closely.
Are these not very obvious and routine steps that senior management of a company will take when they position a person for a global role. Best aspect is that the lady HR head dramatized these action items in super-similar EKTA KAPOOR Soaps. I believe these housewife HR heads can be better used for TV serial script writing rather than strategy formulations for companies.

2. One more lady HR Head appears more like a business or operations person PASTED into HR role and for her every basic level HR experiences and surprises that she faces today and shared at hiring and managing attrition, seem like she holds better secrets than Julian Asange's wiki leaks. With these kind of pasted HR leaders, it is a struggle of not resolving critical HR issues but in packaging and presenting the basic HR issue findings for top management. Leave HR to HR experts, don't experiment with non-HR trade people. HR has more important tasks at hand today than helping someone establish as an HR leader who just has facade that gets uncovered so often. 

Observation#5

A company who had their HR head presenting at a panel discussion has a Ph.D from XLRI and throughout the discussion he talked about how he brought Dave Ulrich to his office for "free". His comment on Kasturirangan was uncalled for as he tried questioning matters of personal religious faith in PUBLIC. Not worthy of a Ph.D, if not s an HR leader. I saw the risk of hiring a Ph.D for HR leader role as it is a great fix for them to talk simple versus talk big names and big books. At the end of such presentations it looks like yet another session at Aastha channel, a PRAVACHAN session. Please talk facts and we do not need you as poster boys of HR, you have to be a solution guy for fundamental HR issues and just not keep projecting that you have a Ph.D and so we all acknowledge it and do a SHASTAANG DANDWAT Sir.

Over all an eye opener (read shocking) day!

Learning that I got? You are kidding me!

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