Thought Leader Series

The Global Thought Leader Series (GTLS) is an important initiative by Great Lakes towards leadership development in India by enabling the best Business Gurus, Thought Leaders and Global Experts to share their knowledge and insights with the decision makers and corporate leaders of India.


Dr. Ram Charan speaks on Leading in Turbulent Times at Great Lakes Global Thought Leader Series

On January 16, 2014, Great Lakes Institute of Managementhosted a Leadership Development Program conducted by Dr. Ram Charan, renowned leadership coach, marketing guru and author of the best-selling book “Execution”. Held in Delhi as a part of the Great Lakes “Global Thought Leader Series (GTLS)”, an initiative to bring top Business Gurus and Thought Leaders, to share their knowledge and insights with the decision makers and corporate leaders of India, the workshop focused on, “Leadership in Turbulent Times” and was attended by over 150 senior management executives from both the private and public sectors.

Welcoming Dr. Ram Charan and the delegates to the workshop, Mr. Mohan Lakhamraju, Vice Chairman, Great Lakes Institute of Management, spoke about Dr. Charan’s work over the past 40 years nurturing and mentoring leaders all over the world, which Dr. Charan considers as his “Dharma”. This global impact rooted in Indian values makes Dr. Charan a perfect epitome of Great Lakes’ philosophy of Global Mindset, Indian Roots. Elaborating on the Great Lakes Global Thought Leader Series, a unique initiative by Great Lakes to propagate the best in global management thought in India, he said that Dr. Ram Charan’s program is the latest in the series that has featured such stalwarts as Dr. Phillip Kotler of Kellogg, Dr. Seenu Srinivasan of Stanford, Dr. SrikanthDatar of Harvard, Dr. Shyam Sunder of Yale and Dr. Praveen Kumar of Bauer College at Houston.

Dr. Himadri Das, Director of Great Lakes Gurgaon spoke about Great Lakes celebrating its 10th year anniversary this year and shared the many milestones Great Lakes has achieved in this short span including its being ranked among the best business schools in the country. He also spoke about some of the cutting-edge programs that have been launched recently including an executive program in Business Analytics.

Addressing the distinguished audience, Dr. Ram Charan laid out tools for dealing with turbulent times and suggested that “Leaders should keep a keen watch for sources of turbulence in their industries, changes in other industries likely to affect them and changes in consumer behaviour, all of which give out early warning signals.” Dr. Charan illustrated how companies like Nokia and Microsoft had plenty of early signals on Apple’s iPod and iPhone but failed to acknowledge and respond to them. “Microsoft had actually bailed out Apple with a major investment and was not exactly a stranger.”

Dr. Ram Charan urged business leaders to try to understand how major trends like “Digitization, big data algorithms, sensors and 3D printing are going to fundamentally impact their businesses irrespective of which industry they are in. Given the rapid pace of change in technology, consumer behaviour and business environment, Dr. Charan advised quarterly strategy reviews rather than sticking to annual planning cycles. Dr. Charan also urged business leaders to identify, cultivate and engage young talent and give them challenging responsibilities to ensure a strong leadership pipeline capable of responding to business challenges at all levels.

He further added that power has been passed over to the consumers via internet, digitization and easier communication. “Today, customers come first and competition is only secondary, if you run behind strategies to counter competition, then you will lose customer loyalty. If you take time in reading your customers better and addressing their needs, your market share will increase on its own. This is simply because people compete and businesses don’t. While defining your road blocks and challenges don’t use buzz words and complex methodologies, rather build simple answers to the problem.”


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