About two weeks back I taught a class to second year students at Wharton on ‘Driving Organizational Change’. Using Genpact’s example, we discussed how organizations drive change - what works and what doesn’t.
However, more than the subject of the class, what struck me about this session was how energizing it is to teach people who are eager to learn. Every time I talk to students, I’m amazed at how much it pushes me to think deeper and differently – and how it makes me more alert and agile. I fundamentally believe that when you enter into a dialogue with people who are keen to know more about what you’re saying, you think more about the answer and it gets better with experience. It’s a mutually beneficial exercise.
What was also interesting was the high level of interest that the students expressed in Genpact’s story. The class was a versatile group with some from Latin America, some from the US, a couple of them from Europe and some from North Asia. There was intense discussion on the “Corporation of the Future” – where more and more companies will only focus on doing things that differentiate them and prefer to buy services in other areas from external experts, rather than doing everything themselves. In that context, it was interesting to note that despite the diverse nature of the group, they all unanimously believed that the Corporation of the Future is the way the world is going to be. These are the future decision makers of the world and I was thrilled to learn that they thought the same way as I did!
The other interesting conversation was around process vs. technology. These are 25-30 year olds – not to be patronizing – but they have at most 4-5 years of work experience, and yet, they got it. The resonance was that it's always been about technology in the past but we know that technology alone doesn't always work. They were all very impressed with what process itself can do for organizations to do work better and felt that process in general is not accorded the importance it deserves.
This is the third time I taught in this program and each time the experience is terrific. I strongly feel one should grab every opportunity one gets to sound off ideas and provoke your audience to think differently because it has better outcomes each time.