Thursday, October 25, 2012

Preparing 1000 HRD Missionaries

1000 HRD Missionaries
If I am restless about one thing in life that is the way HRD got diluted and the way HRD Managers have functioned or not functioned. My professional life and writing provide ample evidence of this. We (Pareek & Rao) started the HRD Department as a separate entity by separating it out from the Personnel Department or Function in mid-seventies (thanks to L&T) with glorious objectives. The main purpose of HRD is to create enabling capabilities in the organization at the individual, dyadic, team and organizational level; integrate individual goals with those of the organization; create a culture of openness and integration and enhance the respect for people in the organization. In short, competence building, commitment building and culture building (3Cs). There was no HR Department in India or the US at that time. Training was being re looked as HRD and being renamed so. Soon in India many companies re-titled their training as HRD without imbibing any of the HRD concepts we outlined. The personnel departments also began to rechristen or re-title themselves as Human Resource Departments (HRD). By mid eighties HRD was filled with confusion: in some cases new name for T&D and in a few other cases for personnel and in very few cases with a genuine understanding of the 3Cs. To clear this confusion we started the Centre for HRD at XLRI. After finding the limitations of a single Institution to promote the HRD spirit, we started the National HRD Network and preferred it to cover various sectors as the 3Cs are for all sectors of the society. It is for the Network I have written the book “HRD Missionary” in 1990 and made it available along with the book on Excellence through HRD (with MRR Nair) that described the role of HRD Manager. After finding the limitation of professional bodies in doing research and pursuing education we started the Academy of HRD. Liberalisation in India brought many new opportunities for HRD Professionals to make an impact and build the new profession and its knowledge base. However things have not moved the way we anticipated. While a lot of new titles and new approaches in HRD surfaced in the last 20 years, they rarely measured up to the mission of HRD we envisaged in mid seventies. Partly the Management schools did not adequately prepare the new generation fully to perform these roles and many CEOs have not even understood what roles the HRD Missionaries were envisaged to play. A series of surveys conducted by us to study the perceptions of line managers at around ten years interval three times in the last thirty years indicated a gradual decline in the perceived performance and image of HRD Managers and HRD function. Symbolically the article that appeared in the International scene “Why we Hate HR?” (Keith Hammonds, 2005) seemed to be so true in India too in spite of the fact we always considered India as ahead of other countries in terms of conceptualising and designing HR departments. What I envisaged in the first edition of the HRD Missionary seemed to become true world wide by 2005, and India in 2012 is no exception to this.
In many companies HRD Professionals don’t know: how to do competency mapping, how to design and conduct Assessment and Development centres or how to conduct employee engagement or organizational health surveys, how to ensure that L&D activities give a good ROI; how to design an on boarding or induction and integration program or how to undertake organizational diagnosis or organizational restructuring and role redefinition exercises. They are constantly in need of external consultants to do the same for them. A number of HRD Managers are still struggling with performance appraisals and applications of normal curves to them. A few other HRD managers particularly in some of the Public Sector are filling their time floating tenders to do HRD work for them and avoid vigilance issues.
The state of HRD in India is rather painful. Looking at the state of affairs some time I am even tempted to suggest that it is time for some of the organizations to do away with such HRD departments whose main job seem to be to rely on outside interventions than to make every manager a self-driven HRD manager to take care of their own 3Cs. The bodies like NHRDN, NIPM, ISTD, AIMA and CII are doing some good work sporadically but are nowhere near what is needed. The HRD Competency model developed by NHRDN and CII, the Doctorates produced by AHRD, the Journal started by NHRDN  focusing on impressive topics like leadership, Institution building etc.; the occasional theme based conferences of ISTD & NIPM are small contributions but have not yet touched even an iota of the need for genuine HRD. In a recent presentation made at IIM Lucknow I have outlined the following seven challenges of HRD:
1.      To think ahead of the CEOs and top management in terms of business or mission, vision, values, goals and activities of the organization;
2.      To influence the thinking of the CEOs, the Board and the top management with new ideas particularly in relation to Talent Management issues;
3.      To focus on developing leaders and leadership competencies in the organization;
4.      To promote continuous learning among all employees and particular learning of seniors from their juniors and Gen Y;
5.      To make the corporation entrepreneurial and innovative by promoting a culture of innovations and proactive problem solving;
6.      To focus on talent, culture, values and other variables that add to the enhancement of Intellectual capital of the corporations; and
7.      To restructure their roles and the roles of others in the corporation by undertaking OD and self renewal or HRD audit and such other activities that reposition them and others or effective functioning.
The task before HRD Managers and HRD profession is daunting. Our colleges and Management schools are responding to some extent. However they lack competencies to cater to this important task of taking HRD spirit forward. Everyone is doing his best both good and bad. If we leave things to happen on their own they may not happen.
To take this forward and o achieve the glorious mission with which we founded the Human Resources Development Movement we need committed people who understand HRD in the right perspective and carry out various HR activities skilfully. We need therefore thousands of HRD Missionaries.   
With a desire to create at least a thousand such HRD Missionaries in the next three to few years and sow seeds for several thousands of HRD Missionaries, I am starting this Foundation called as HRD Missionaries Foundation (HRDMF). The first activity of this Foundation is to prepare a thousand HRD Missionaries.
All my books and writings in the last couple of decades since I have first written the HRD Missionary are focused on HRD skills and how to do things in the HRD missionary way. The books deal with topics like:
1.      Competency mapping
2.      Designing and Managing HR systems
3.      Performance Management
4.      360 Degree feedback and Leadership Development
5.      Organization Development, Self renewal and Institution Building
6.      Assessment and Development centres
7.      Climate and Culture Surveys
8.      HRD at National Level and the Future of HRD
9.      HRD Audit and HRD Score Card 2500
10.  Experiential Learning and Development
I have devoted my life to work on these themes and the underlying theme in all these books and recent articles and seminar talks is to build the 3Cs. I am convinced that there is no alternative to having “HRD Missionaries” or HRD Managers who take HRD as a Mission in their life. I have defined Missionary managers as mission driven. Their goals are not personal but more social and community related. They are highly driven by their goals, and there is an element of sacrifice involved in what they do. Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Dr Varghese Kurien, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Ila Bhatt, Ravi Matthai, and Vikram Sarabhai are all examples of such missionaries. We need such missionaries in HRD. They are needed in the society. I have a lot of faith in the modern youth to take the Mission of HRD forward.

The Course of Study

To create a group of HRD Missionaries who understand, interpret and possess the skills to promote genuine Human resources Development in their organizing or the society I am launching this venture of “Certified HRD Missionaries”. As a part of this program I plan to give them a series of ten on-line certificate programs on the above themes. The candidate  will have to go through various books written by me and others with similar spirit and objectives. They will be certified at the end of each course on the basis of an examination to be conducted during the contact sessions. There will be ten such courses and ten such certificates. Each curse will be over a period of a month. There will be series of webinars or alternate methods of on-line instruction. Each certifcte course will ahve around ten to fifteen such web based interactions.
After the ten certificates they will go through an assessment centre and also 360 Degree feedback. During the course of their studies they may do various assignments. They will be certified as “HRD Missionary” and called “Certified HRD Missionary”. The certification will be based on a few days of stay at the end at Ahmedabad and observation by me or my associates.

Candidates interested in learning full time will come to Ahmedabad and work with me for a year. Full Time Missionaries in the making (MIMs) will need to stay for a year at Ahmedabad and work with me closely. They have to take care of their expenses. They will assist me in disseminating the concepts and skills to others. As they mature it may be possible to take care of their living with their own earnings. We may try and mobilise some Fellowships for them.

Part time MIMs are those registered for the HRD Missionaries program and will be required to pay the fee. The fee will be Rs one lakh with about Rs 10,000 per certificate. Some of the candidates who enrol and are unable to complete in one year may do so in the second year or through remedial to be designed in future.
There will be two to three day contact session every two months and the candidates will have to bear their own expenses for travel and stay.   

I welcome corporate sponsorships for this program.  This program will be hosted as a part of an existing or new “Not for Profit Organization” or an Educational Institution.
Interested candidates may register for the program by sending a detailed CV along with a one page note on their reasons for wanting to do this program. There may be telephonic interviews and selection on the basis of these interviews and on-line tests.
Address for correspondence
web site:
603 Parshwa Building, Bodakdev, SG Road (opp Rajpath club), Ahmedabad 380015, Gujarat, India
Tel: 91-79-26872718, 26870312   


  1. Dear Prof.
    This is a great Initiative. Wish you all the success.

  2. In the Hollywood Movie series named 'Mission Impossible, The Hero (Ethan Hunt)obviously emerges every time as victor overcoming all impossibilities of all the missions.Though this mission also appears similar due to the history, I am as sure as Ethan that you would make impossible possible with this missionary zeal.I am glad it is not only coming in movies as 'fantasy' but this time from TV as'3C'.

    I sincerely wish that many a gen-y and even some of gen-x would 'get converted' or even better 'get transformed' from being mere HR professionals to HRD missionaries for improved personal-D and Organizational-D.

    Here is the answer for all the gen-y of late wondering with the question---Why this Kolaveri-D??
    The answer is HRD.

  3. Dear Sir

    It is really great and I really respect you for this.

    I feel, You are the father of HRD movement in india, My respects for you.

    I feel, It is really great and I feel great and honour to support and be a team member of you for all such HRD initiatives.

    Please feel free to call me for any assistance and support.

    Sharad chandra
    M: 9866479173

  4. Dear Sir,

    Firstly i would like to thank you for giving such a wonderfull oppurtunity for up coming HR's and strengthing the HR.

    Focusing Why we are important in the Industry.

    But the Cost is lit bit expensive and duration of time, common man finds diffcult or cant afford bcz he need to take care of his family will find lot of challenges to enroll in this programme, so is their any other alternatives we can find.


  5. Cost can be worked out through fellowships etc. We like to explore alternate ways for a passionate individual.

  6. Dr. Rao I really admire you to take up such a mission for HRD. As a young HRD professional I can surly say that the 3 C 's is definitely the way.

    The biggest challenge is with the second 'C ' commitment and only passion in people would not be sufficient for this. It's about being selfless and taking largar responsibility with a lot of perseverance and patience. An element of spirituality would be required to get going the people who are willing to take this responsibility, I request you to facilitate this as a part of curriculum.
    My best wishes to you to take it forward and I am willing to contribute for this mission.

  7. Dear Sir,

    I have always been a distant disciple of yours and Prof. Pareek, during my 17 years of professional pursuit in HR. I was so excited to learn that a father figure like you is championing this immensely critical cause for the industry.

    I would request you to kindly take off the burden of cost on the candidate, otherwise your valiant and innovative efforts and ideas would be termed as yet another money-for-certificate course.

    The entry has to be very strict, training highly rigourous and success hard-earned for those getting in here. Not anyone and everyone who has a mere Rs. 1,10,000/- should be the missionary..

    I am sure Sir, your genius and vastness would continue to mentor and guide a novice student like me..

    Warm regards,

    Hemang Desai

  8. Respected Sir,

    I salute your intent, efforts and noble cause.

    Please let me know if I can be of any help or support, so that I can become a part of your project.


    Rana Vikram Singh
    +91 999 739 2277

  9. Dear Sir,

    At first this is a great vision which you are building for the future HR Faternity. I totally align with your concern of the diluted HRD.

    I would request if the cost paradigm can be worked on so that more and more HRD professionals can extract the maximum benefit out of this. I think of this because not many would have Rs. 1 Lakh approx to invest and secondly this should not become a just another certification which the beneficiaries post on their resumes just because they have paid a huge some for this.

    But on the contrary I know lot of us would definitely not like to miss the learning from the someone like you and Pareek Sir who are Father of HRD in India.

    With great respect and lot of good wishes.

    Sharat Paul Mechery

  10. A great initiative indeed!!!!
    Respected Sir,

    I hope you remember me (I used to be an academic associate in IIMA, when you were in IIMA).

    I invite you to Jaipur whenever you are in Jaipur. I would like to launch your courses in our University for our students

    T.K. Jain
    Gyan Vihar University

  11. Dear Rao Sir,
    It is indeed a great thought! It's a movement by itself. Although, the concept of HRD conceptualised and implemented for the first time in L&T, Gujarat, we are yet to see "Excellence in Human Resource Development" even within Gujarat. I am sure that HRD missionary movement will enable HR professionals to strive for Excellence in HRD. Sir, we are with you in this movement and rest assured for all the support required,
    Kind Regard,
    Naresh Mehta

  12. Wish you a great Success Rao.....!!!!


  13. Thanks for all of your for your support. I am now looking for a few volunteers who can team up with me and push forward this. Hopefully we can make an announcement of this soon and perhaps in the forthcoming HRD Network conference if they agree. It will be nice if some of those who would like to join this may sign up here.

  14. Dear Sir, how do one indicate interest for volunteerism?


  15. Through your comments here or a mail to

  16. One of the suggestions was to have a post-HR education internship scheme at TVRLS, Ahmedabad to work with TVRLS and promote the certification programs. Any takers from B-schools?

  17. I thank you all for your good wishes. We have announced an Internship program for fresh PGs in Management. Details are available for those interested. I am giving the details in a separate blog.

  18. Thanks for sharing beutiful information about competency mapping.
    Competency Mapping