Sunday, May 17, 2015

Father of HRD

Father of HRD

The other day a friend of mine who is one of the Global Top Management Gurus from USA sent me a mail requesting me to vote for him to be nominated once again among the top 10 management gurus. I did that promptly as I know the wonderful work he has been doing. I always felt Indians don’t always respect their fellow Indians and it is my duty to take time to vote for him. In India we have no such system though some agencies have started recently. However, we are good at giving our own titles. It satisfied both the giver and the receiver. I must confess that some times like any one else I also enjoy these title though feel embarrassed at other times. The best title I have and no one can take away from me is "Professor". 

I don’t know who gave me the "Father of HRD" this title. It started almost 15 years ago. In one of the Conferences of SCMHRD, I was introduced as Father of HRD and Mr. T. N. Seshan who was on the dais got irritated and immediately said, " who says T V Rao or any one is Father of HRD? You have not read anything of Indian Vedas. Vyasa is the real Father of HRD".

Ten years ago most of the time when Dr. Pareek and I were present in seminars and conferences, he was called the Father of HRD and a few years later he became the Grand father and I the Father. Some referred to Udai as Bhishma Pitanmaha of HRD.

In India the best way to pull some one down is to give him a title. I know of many Padma awardees who are constantly pulled down because they become more visible. Someone did give me this title and some how it got in to Wikipedia. I had no heart to refuse the title for some time as it is nice to be acknowledged that way. It is true that for 50 years I have lived, talked, walked and breathed HRD. I got what I deserved- a lot of satisfaction of doing good work and enough respect and money to live a decent retired life. These were not my objectives of hard work in HRD. I believed it and what we preached and tried my best to practice. Whatever I got, I owe to IIMA and many others from whom I learnt a lot, and not HRD. At IIMA I was not professor of HRD but a Professor of Organizational Behaviour and also for some years Public Systems.  I am not even a member of HRM area. Whenever I taught course like HRD audit, Intellectual capital, Performance management etc. they were all offered by OB areas. In fact I remember still a piece of advice given by Udai asking me to spend more of my time in OB than getting so involved in HRD. He used to say that OB is larger than HRD. I don’t know if he changed his opinion in later part of his life as we never discussed it again. It is a mere matter of classification. In fact I am one of the two professors (the other was Prof. Sasi Misra) that opposed separating PMIR area from OB in 1975 by the Director of IIMA (Prof. Paul). I always believed in having them together as a part of the same OB or BS.

I certainly contributed and spent all 50 years of my life in HRD and for HRD. I proposed a center in IIMA. It did not work out. XLRI gave me that scope and appointed me as L&T Professor. Then we started National HRD Network and the Academy of HRD and popularized it. I don’t know what title I deserve to be given but the titles don’t matter because they are the best ways to create jealousy and pull one down.

Frankly speaking who is Father of HRD?

Certainly not me.  I have 3 children and none of them is named as HRD.

I was called some times as HRD Rao and National HRD Network used to be called TV (Rao) Network. Those were in eighties and nineties. Now HRD has so much grown to have any single father. It has many fathers: Fr. Abraham who is real Father as priest and is addressed as father and spent a lot of his time. Fr, E H McGrath is even greater. So there are clearly two Fathers of HRD. Jesuits will say many more. Like Seshan Indian Swamijis can identify many more.

Any HRD Manager who made a difference through HRD can be considered as father of HRD in that context.  A company can have a father, a city can have a father and any one can. It is contextual. Thus there are many Fathers of HRD. All those who have done a great Job in NHRDN or AHRD and pursued HRD as a philosophy and nurtured and have fathered it in their own contexts can be called Fathers of HRD. 

Lastly, why call someone Father of HRD. How about Mother? I think mothering HRD is a lot more creditable than fathering HRD. May be we should have a more appropriate title “Mother of HRD”. Mothers are a lot more nurturing than fathers and I think what many of us have done is mothering HRD than fathering HRD.

Be your own Father or Mother of HRD. Mother your own HRD or Father your own HRD. Best wishes!!!!

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