Reinventing SPJIMR

Lata Dhir

Author: Lata Dhir

Date: Sun, 2016-09-04 17:46

How do you read and play with ideas in a book? Well, you pick it up and read it, page by page and reflect. How do you read 10 books at one go, in one sitting, in a span of six hours? You come to the SPJIMR faculty lounge!

That’s what all of us faculty members did last fortnight; we devoted an entire session of a regular faculty meeting, duly extended, and sat down to hear each other talk about a book read over the past 10 days or so. The plan came from our intrepid Dean, who opened it up as voluntary activity so that we could choose if we wanted to do it and pick the books we wanted from a pre-announced list.

One of them was Working Identity (by Herminia Ibarra), which discussed reinventing one’s career by reinventing one’s identity, a time when one wants change but doesn’t know how  and exactly what  to change. Talking particularly about Reinventing Identities and implications for SPJIMR, we try to put forth some thoughts.

Rethink Your Skills
Participants at SPJIMR have to choose their specialisation well in advance, even before admissions, mostly based on previous background, what they have heard or their preconceived ideas about the specialisation itself. Though this helps in keeping the participant focussed on acquiring skills of the named specialisation, it also creates barriers to cross-functional learning.  

SPJIMR hosts a number of programmes for participants coming from diverse backgrounds, not only in terms of demographics but also in terms of age, family background, culture and work experience. This in fact is the very strength of our Institute. Rethinking your skills can be effectively implemented by promoting cross-functional learning at SPJIMR.

This helps at two levels. First, when participants from different specialisations work synergistically, it provides a holistic view of the management domain and makes them ready for all kinds of challenges. Second, participants of various programmes are at different stages of their life and career, which equips them to make significant contributions to each other’s career paths and life tracks, if their experiences are shared across common platforms and serve to provide ideas for many others.

Get Random
SPJIMR is noted for its unique pedagogy, and one important aspect of this is our belief in ‘Learning by Doing’, through thought experiments and field work. This typically is planned, prepared and to that extent structured though there are vast elements of unstructured learning when the actual assignment pans out. But to reinvent one’s identity, one has to get as random as possible, and sometimes witty too. How about some ‘Ordered Randomness’ in the pedagogy, through innovative ways of participant-centric learning, which will be fun and at the same time learning too? The learning can get random by entering into the realms of arts and crafts, games, interaction with children, outbound activities and so on. We will be able to explore vistas of knowing and learning that many MBA participants haven’t had the opportunity to look at before.

Don’t Jump Too Soon
Reinventing is as thrilling and challenging as paragliding. Once one leaves the ground, bearing wings, however hard you try, you can never know where would you end up reaching. Risks are necessary in life, but safety cushions make them sufficiently bearable.

On similar lines, one should have the liberty to experiment with the existing work, while trying out new selves. One should have the freedom to get away from the routine, without actually getting away from it, to explore new possibilities of the self.

SPJIMR can give this liberty to its competent and experienced faculty, to hunt for their new identities, after they have seen several milestones in their life. In the long run, it can also be extended towards the participants of the programme, wherein they get a chance to get away from their hectic routine to explore new possibilities which may or may not be linked with management education. All this will strengthen learning.

SPJIMR has been the pioneer in many of its initiatives and can be considered to be an ideal model of continuous re-invention. On a journey to re-inventing its identity, SPJIMR will definitely find its alternate self, which could be strategically diverse but significantly harmonious with its current identity.


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I strongly believe that the blog highlights the value of SPJIMR in the field of methodology of giving education. Diversity in the potential of participants of class invariably inculcates idea of learning from each other and their experiences. Uniqueness in everyone is something to be admired and taken into account for. Change of identity happens not because of book knowledge alone but by personal interactions, observations and togetherness. Although books are man’s best friend but the knowledge that is shared by environment is out-class. I am thankful to SPJIMR that has exposed me to a group of experienced faculties and learning environment. I hope in the coming contacts, faculties reinvent different methodologies for teaching that enhances collaborative and cooperative skills of students.

I would really appreciate the exercise which was carried out at the SPJIMR faculty lounge. It reflects how output could be multiplied by dividing the tasks. It reminds me of my college days when some of our friends would come together for group studies. We would target to finish syllabus of a particular subject subject in 3 days. We would divide the chapters among us and on a pre scheduled day we would sit together and share and teach one another. I am thankful to the approach adopted because this way I could overcome the hurdle of understanding a electric circuit.

Thanks for your deep insight Ma'am.I would like to share my views on point of reading books mentioned in your blog. Reading books is a source of immense Knowledge. I have personally seen many people in my life who are fond of reading books and while interacting with such peoples, you will realize that they are ocean of knowledge. Reading is a valuable way of self educating yourself and an excellent way of filling in time. Reading is the best way to improve your mind and if you want to get smart and stay smart so you can have the edge over the average person you will need to learn new things and reading is one of the best ways to learn and expand your knowledge. Reading keeps our mind sharp and intact. Reading takes our mind off troubles. There are many people who are successful and have realized their dreams only because of their reading habits.

It’s rightly said that the SPJIMR is an ideal model of continues re-inventing “Sharpening the saw”

Yes, we all can agree that SPJIMR has always been a pioneer in constantly reinventing itself and coming years will definitely see it transforming itself in new alternate with its core foundation belief of "Courage & Heart". Competition has always been in its highest form in business world with new generation of ideas and innovation pouring in from all over the world and to come out with a pedagogy to ensure that you fulfill the purpose of easy understanding of rapidly changing trends and producing fine managers who can take any challenge that business scenario can throw at them is a tough task at hand. SPJIMR has always been a forefront leader for upgrading itself and proven its ability to adapt, hence rethinking and reinventing is a simple and encouraging part of its culture

The blog introduces us to a fresh concept of accelerated learning using peer support. The concept of group study has been around for a long time, but applying it in a way that the faculty at SPJIMR did, is indeed an innovation. Well, the credit for bringing in this idea will go to our charismatic Dean sir, but I am also excited to learn that the faculty members embraced the plan and could spare time from their busy schedules to make it a success. In recent times, we have seen numerous examples of organizations around the globe, falling from zenith to nadirs of obsolescence. Examples like Nokia & General Motors, where the organizations failed to have a futuristic vision, could have been in a different state had they reinvented their identity. The same principle applies to us individually as participants and to SPJIMR at large. The participants need to have a holistic view of the management education and should be able to connect the dots of classroom learning with real-world experiences. SPJIMR, having attained an identity of a globally recognized premier B-school, should constantly endeavor to upgrade the pedagogy which is synergistic with the latest industry trends. The concept of “Ordered Randomness” could be essentially leveraged through PGPM participants, which come with a diversified organizational experience. Often this experience is confined to the boundaries of physical office spaces. When such an experience is given the liberty to step out and interact with the realms of society around, we can expect some tremendous learning results. These results have the power to be converted into business ideas, leading either to new organizations getting born or a social problem finding its solution. Another critical factor in trying to reinvent the identity is to have an unbiased knowledge of your existing identity. This is imperative to ensure that our “leap of faith” for reinventing identity has foundations on strong existing identity which has traversed and been tested through times. The objectivity to see our true identity gives us the power to take calculated risks and using the correct parachute which helps us land on the right spot with the new identity.

The Blog is very relevant in today's situation when the world is changing too fast. Technology is changing and becoming Old very fast. In this situation Reinventing every time is very important to remain relevant with the time. With this it reminds me of one of our value in organization among 3 C which is taught is challenging status Quo. We challenge the status Quo which persuades us to Reinvent new things. I personally feel that this is a real mantra to remain successful in life. How well it is Said by Professor Lata Dhir to remain Reinventing and this itself speaks about the success of SPJIMR. Rethinks your Skill , Get random and dont jump too soon are the tools to remain relevant in present situation. But this coupled with Collaboration and Passion will actually make us running on fast track of Reinvention. This I could very much see in faculties and Dean of SPJIMR. I am happy that the values taught in our Organization is some thing which I have been hearing in curriculum also. We keep on rethinking and working on new skills to remain competitive and if we do it passionately it becomes a matter of Happiness which gives immense pleasure to work upon. And one which pleases and gives happiness becomes interesting in life. We talk about work pressure and tensions in life what if we deal with them with new approach and from heart . The world will become less noisy. Getting random is like serious studies with a kind of play which makes some times interesting seriousness. It is like rowing through rough patch enjoying and very smoothly . It is a good means to keep new generation motivated. And again when we are at high pitch and acceleration it is necessary for us to have brake to think about the future risks on this path. This brings a complete balance of moving fast and at the same time analyzing the future risks. This can be a good recipe for success and good take away for all of us. Thanks to Professor Lata Dhir for giving this insight and rejuvenating our minds.

Thanks for your deep insight on this topic lata ma’am , this Blog is surely an answer to all my questions before I joined SPJIMR . Knowing about your identity is one of the toughest task in any person’s life especially in a country like India where since our childhood we are raised by being an ideal self by looking at an ideal some body else . There always comes a time in anyone’s life when the person is clueless as to ,what he actually wanted to do , and what he is actually doing . Its very important to bridge a gap between both of them so that work becomes fun & passion and no more a means to earn money . Its becomes very important for one to identify their skill sets & barge upon it like it is rightly mentioned in the blog . When we are recruited in SPJIMR , we are asked about what kind of a specialization we want to pursue for the rest of our lives . This does not come majorly by the theories taught to us in our subjects , but by the interactions with people , surroundings & real time situations . SPJIMR’s unique pedagogy of giving wings to people with different identities & goals in life ,is in itself a step ahead towards making it the an institution which believes in unity in diversity . It is very well evident from the fact that we have people from a plethora of careers wanting a change in their paths through curriculums like Global management Program : platforms for Future leaders with Indian hearts & global minds , PGDM : where Economists , Engineers & CAs become finance , Marketing, Human resource and other experts , PGPM : where experience is moulded with the passion of power . Thus , is unique blend of young minds creating revolution by being the CHANGE .

The article truly gives the true essence of SPJIMR which sets it apart from the other B-schools of India. The teaching pedagogy of SPJIMR includes a lot of practical and innovative ways of teaching. This ensures that it it able to maintain the entrepreneurial agility among the students. Not only this, with involvement of many unorthodox subjects and activities in the curriculum like Science of Spirituality, DOCC, PG lab etc., it strives to instill traditional and societal values among its students. In the today’s world, especially Indians, are so focused on acquiring the maximum knowledge and skills they can possibly acquire without realizing the importance of being able to execute them by actually putting them into practice at the time of acquiring them. This ensures the longevity and sustainability of these skills amongst the individuals. This is extremely important as ultimately, whatever we learn, we must be able to put them in practice when they are required. SPJIMR also strives to achieve an optimum mix of students from diverse backgrounds, age, work experience, location etc. through a very unique method of selection which focusses more on the overall profile of the individuals in contrast to other schools which usually focus on the competitive score or academic excellence. This is a very effective tool when it comes to group learning, managing people and multiplying your learning through diverse opinions on the same subject. SPJIMR breaks away the stereotype that management learning is through a professional curriculum but is one of the pioneering institutions to bring aspects like outside classroom learning, NGO visits, Science of Spirituality into its curriculum and change the landscape of management education at once. Therefore, in my opinion, SPJIMR is a one of a kind institution and I am proud to be a part of it.

Thank you, Madam, for addressing the ideology of reinventing oneself. This surely takes me back to school days where we used to discuss what we want to do in the future. But in achieving what we wanted to see ourselves in future, we were actually leaving behind or not considering some qualities which indeed form our unique character. These qualities vary differently in technical skills, physical skills, and cultural skills. For a person who is a dancer at heart is given options to choose a career which gives you money not only the pleasure. This has an effect in the thinking of that person in terms of what one is doing and what he wants to do creating a gap in his thinking because of which he might lose his own identity over the time and try to become a person who he is not. These results are part of a study wherein they identified reasons for their job satisfaction levels. Also, when a person is inclined towards what he wants to do, one might forget that in nature everything goes as a cohesion and might not notice what are the things that are going to affect him professionally and personally. Having an expanded thought i.e. thinking out of your limited realm will help you explore more about oneself in both ways. Such attributes will be imbibed in us when we were doing group activities and helps us identifying things that we fail to see as an individual. But in every situation, there are always limits. Clinging onto them is necessary as an individual as there many things you can do but might end up taking risks that you cannot handle. Finally, I would like to conclude that changing your thinking at times is necessary to grow as an individual. These traits will leave some impressions on the people who are traveling with you in life and perceive as a unique individual.

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