THE BUSINESS OF ORGANIZATION DIAGNOSTICS.
Dr. Rajesh Mohan Rai is a Human Resources professional and a Certified Coach. He runs conferences, Start-Up summits all across the globe. He is on the Advisory Board of India 5000, an MSME Body based in Gujarat. Dr. Rai was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business by Global Triumph Virtual University. His exceptional work has been recognized and rewarded at various forums.
He was awarded as one of the “100 Most Influential Global HR Leaders” by World HRD Congress, Mumbai, 2018, ‘Best Performance Coach’ by World Coaching Congress, Mumbai 2018. While he has also lauded with the prestigious Golden Globe Tigers award for “Outstanding Contribution to HR” (HR leadership Excellence Award) at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and many more.
Here, we share a few excerpts of thoughts on living a story of passion for business.
Sir, how would you describe your style of leadership/mentorship?
Dr. Rai: I would like to believe that I lead by participation. Providing an opportunity for our team to learn-by-doing. This enables the team to be proactive and handle real-life situations. Being an emotionally stable mentor, I prefer not to react, rather intentionally respond, post keen listening to all the stakeholders involved. While the focus is to achieve results, goal setting by each member, setting their own targets and timelines enhances the spirit of responsibility and hence the organisational goals are achieved.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business? What was your mission at the outset?
Dr. Rai: With over two decades of industry experience, with large corporates like HCL Ltd., ITC Hotels Ltd. and Microsoft India. Having repositioned to consulting as head of operations, grew to the director and was soon a Board Member.
In 2016, I decided to launch RMR, with the purpose to support the SMEs with a focus on Human Resources. This
rose from my firm belief – ‘It is the people who either make or break the organization.’
While SMEs have ambitious plans, yet they needed help to hire and retain the relevant talent. However, I have continued to coach large corporates as well.
Dr. Rai’s Vision: ‘More the employment generated, lesser the social disruption. I strive to contribute back to my nation and its people.’
Wow, sir that is an incredible purpose. Dr. Rai,was there a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? How did you bounce back? How did you learn to embrace risk-taking?
Dr. Rai: As a popular saying goes, you realise the pain only when you bite your own tongue. At the onset of my entrepreneurial journey, I would spill all the beans in the excitement to resolve the business problems, without
fully measuring the willingness of the business owner to engage with me. Despite my experience and calibre, it took me six whole months to unlearn and learn the art of negotiation.
The urge to divulge my thoughts, carefully knowing and reading the clients requirements, took both time and patience. Nevertheless, I did not give up, my virtues of patience and taking deliberated risks made me stand up tall and get noticed.
Which leadership skills were the most difficult to develop?
Dr. Rai: Doubtlessly, Influencing is the knottiest ability to develop and master. However, for my being a relationship-oriented person never felt the handicap for this skill.
What is the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how has it proven invaluable?
Dr.Rai: I have always been a strong proponent of People first policy. In my learning and experience, the goals/objectives/vision must be co-created with the team members. It is then ‘owning the vision’ sets in versus just a lucid statement from management. I always suggest “People for the Positions” and not “Positions for People”. People management is the key for employee engagement which helps the organization deliver the desired output while keeping team satisfied. Creating and valuing the connect with the team directly from the heart, by being humane and allowing space, produces phenomenal results.
In your opinion, how ready are the next- generation leaders in terms of knowledge, expertise?
Dr. Rai: The next generation leaders are highly ambitious, however, in the hurry to expect instantaneous results, they may not be able to fulfill their ambitions. While younger professionals are well-read, aware, have a broader perspective, they must have gratitude for small successes too. In my opinion, if nurtured and guided, in their initial
years of career, they prove to be an asset for the organizations, with a very fair and practical approach towards work and life. We have a large number of millennials now ready for embracing entrepreneurship and will surely increase the benchmarks.
How important is it to stay connected to key influencers, who do not work in the same office or geographical area?
Dr. Rai: For sure, it is the most critical success metrics in today’s virtual world. As most of us are getting used to working in a virtual environment, wherein team members operate from assorted geographies, it is also convenient and time-saving.
Do you have any quick tips for re-energizing an overworked team?
Dr. Rai: In my case in point, I ensure the team is fully engaged, contributing to fullest and satisfied at all levels. This
was possible by a simple yet effective policy – ‘By the People, For the People’. At RMR, we enable them to learn a new skill/course every year. Once that skill is used or acknowledged in measurable work, the course fee is reimbursed in full. This inspires the team to learn and enjoy the process of learning and using the same for organization growth. My team is aware that we are a young organization and understands the significance of maintaining the rigour and vigour in their actions.
That is quite impressive, Dr. Rai – do you have a template that you use for long-range visioning and strategic planning?
Dr. Rai: Ofcourse, I have a few standardized and vetted formats, that we utilize for visioning. However, they are highly customized, as each organization need and stage in the life cycle is unique. The variables are industry, stage of the organization on the Life cycle, Maturity of the Owners, team member interpersonal skills and more. We believe in co-creation of the vision board, as nobody washes a rented car. I also conduct a SLOP (Strengths, Limitations, Opportunities and Problems), Organization Diagnostics study before we go for Visioning of the Organization.
What is your upcoming project, how ready is it for the millennials, what purpose/problem will it solve?
Dr. Rai: I am a Gallup Certified Start-Up Coach. I am currently coaching a few Startups/ Entrepreneurs and Leaders
who are likely to take up the CXO Level roles in their respective organizations. Simultaneously, I am also instructing
a few Gen Z entrepreneurs ( 2nd generation in business), however not managing the same business established by their father.
These are both unique and independent of each other. This a generation which beliefs in DIY, live in a Phigital (physicaldigital) world. While they also have FOMO, supremely dependent on Technology and yet realistic. I try and
remove the ambiguity and resolve their anxiousness and make them strike each of self-set goals, while I also continue to learn in the process.
Dr. Rai, any Plans to minimize your business ecological footprints? Are you a ‘Green Earth’ Crusader? What are a few things you have been personally involved to make an impact?
Dr. Rai: I am associated with an NGO which supports the education for EWS children. We provide them with books and other stationery material throughout the year, this helps translates our endeavors to give back to society.