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SOIL or School of Inspired Leadership, a Gurgaon-based business school, recently concluded its annual Inspired Leadership Conference 2016 on a promising note.
This year, the event involved talks on underlining the importance of establishing 'Dialogue across Differences' for developing competency in leadership roles.
The two-day conference commenced on October 14. The inaugural address was chaired by the event's key note speaker Arun Maira - former member of Planning Commission of India, and former Chairman of Boston Consulting Group (India).
For some time now, industry leaders have witnessed that differences across gender, age, ideologies, identity, income groups, etc. are some of the key reasons that have contributed in lack of competency within leadership roles. Thus, keeping these factors in mind, SOIL decided to design this year's leadership conference around 'Dialogue across Differences', and why establishing dialogues for the same is a critical factor.
Anil Sachdev, Founder and CEO, SOIL said, "Nowadays, almost all sectors and industries witness cut-throat competition, whether in India or around the world. Be it people or organizations, all of us are attempting to become an integral part of the elite group, i.e. the ones who lead the way. However, the brutal reality is that not all of us manage to beat the odds and/or thrive under pressure. Moreover, lack of relevant skills in most candidates renders them unfit or inefficient to hold strong leadership roles. As a result, the world pays a heavy price owing to our inability to resolve such issues.
Thus, as an institution that upholds the practice of imparting proper skills in management, we were compelled to raise awareness about the same through this Inspired Leadership Conference. We are confident that the success of this forum will encourage management students to seriously consider their training as the first step towards becoming future leaders."
The conference also witnessed participation of experts like Vivek Katju, Ujala Bedi, Ashish Sonal, Nidhi Arora, Sanjay Jorapur - CHRO of Hero MotoCorp., and Vivek Tripathi - CHRO Lava International.
Maira said, "India is a beautiful country known across the world for its diversity. Each one of us special and has something wonderful to offer to the world. Therefore, it is our responsibility today as global citizens to ensure that we understand others and study their points of view, however different they may be from ours. To facilitate this very dialogue across a plethora of differences, listening is of paramount importance and should be followed deliberately".
The keynote address was followed by panel discussions on 'Differences across Gender, Age and Hierarchy'.
These groups adopted the 'Open Space Methodology' of dialogue and presented the essence of their output to a larger group. The day concluded with another panel of stakeholders on this issue, who responded to their views by suggesting ways of channeling this conflict into innovation in the workplace and the community. They also summarized the 'learning about the skill' segment of dialogue across differences.
On October 15, the event established a dialogue on the 'Complex conflicts of our Times', like the Naxalite-Maoists insurgency in various states, the Kashmir conflict, the Cauvery river water dispute, the Singur land dispute, and other protracted conflicts. Panelists in this segment attempted to build conversations on these sensitive and emotional issues by listening mindfully to each opinion on these matters.
The conference concluded with a valedictory address by Shazia Syed - CEO of Unilever, Pakistan, followed by a Closing Circle that involved all small groups and a panel of leaders for an interactive Q and A session.
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