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My seventh guest at the Play to Potential Podcast is Abhijit Bhaduri. Abhijit is an Author, Columnist, Keynote speaker and a Digital Transformation coach to Leaders and Organizations. Abhijit writes regularly for Indian and International publications including The Wall Street Journal. Abhijit is the author of The Digital Tsunami (Published by Rupa Publications India in Oct 2016), where he talks about how Leaders and Organisations should reinvent themselves given the digital wave that is sweeping everything around us. He is one of the top HR influencers in Social Media according to SHRM, India. 

Till recently, Abhijit Bhaduri was the Chief Learning Officer for the Wipro group. Prior to this he has held HR leadership roles at Microsoft, Pepsi, Colgate and Tata Steel and worked in India, South East Asia and US. He is on the Advisory Board of the prestigious program for Chief Learning Officers that is run by the University of Pennsylvania. 

Abhijit is passionate about Theatre and has acted in plays and in a movie Apna Asmaan. He is an amateur cartoonist and uses sketches to capture key learnings across various fields. He has been blogging for about 10+ years. For a deeper insight into various other facets of Abhijit Bhaduri, please visit www.abhijitbhaduri.com 

This conversation was published around March 2017.

Intro to Digital Tsunami

In his book Digital Tsunami, Abhijit contrasts the erstwhile analog world with today’s digital world. How has this shift to the digital realm impacted companies and their cultures? What is the main difference between these two and how has that influenced leadership. Confused about why a company like Google is competing with Ford and GM? Hear more about all this and more in this nugget.

Hiring for the Digital World

  Unlike the analog world, employees and customers in the digital world are at the centre and the organization and processes are built around them. This makes the hiring of employees a very significant task. How does a leader go about hiring someone and what are their markers for potential? Don’t miss the insightful anecdote about The Knowledge test that the London cab drivers have to take and how that is relevant to this nugget.

Personal branding in the Digital world

  These days, personal branding is something that gets talked about a lot. But what is it and why is it important? More significantly, how do you go about creating a personal brand? In this nugget, Abhijit shares four vital aspects of personal branding that you should think about.  

Integrating into a start-up

  Culture is often seen as something that large organizations need to worry about. However, if a start up tackles the challenges of culture from the very beginning and clearly defines its competencies and values, it could be a significant competitive differentiator especially during the scaling up phase. Hear Abhijit elaborate on the startup ecosystem in this nugget. 

Leadership Development

  Like everything else in the business landscape, leadership development also has undergone change in this digital age. Think of the instances today where augmented reality is being used for skill building! Hear about this and more way the digital realm is influencing leadership development in this nugget. 

Digital Mindset

In order to be relevant in this digital age, leaders need to adapt to a digital mindset. What does this mindset look like? Abhijit discusses the digital mindset in this nugget and gives anecdotes of how extremely competent leaders of the analog era are struggling to adapt to this. He also shares two important core values which can help in acquiring skills to navigate this digital world. Look out for his views on the future being an ‘&’ world rather than an ‘Or’ world.

Building Digital habits

  So we know there is a digital world out there, vastly different from the analog one we have been used to. This digital world demands new kinds of leadership, culture and relationships. We need to have a digital mindset to navigate this new world but how do we go about it. In this nugget, Abhijit gives you simple tips to start the journey and formulate digital habits. 

Role of Chief Digital Officer

  According to Abhijit, the CDO is the mapmaker of the new digital world of the organization. He is the one who takes up the real opportunity in looking at the digital landscape in a holistic sense for the entire organization and not just using it as an easy marketing or feedback tool. Hear more about this popular position that is seeing many hiring ads! 

Career Planning 2.0

  Thinking about a career has moved away from a linear notion – educate, work, retire. Also the idea of working in one company for the rest of your life has become obsolete. So how should one think about their career in this digital age? How can people stay relevant? Abhijit believes that skills will become obsolete quicker and gives tips about how to navigate their careers.

In Summary

  To conclude, Abhijit answers three quick questions: One piece of advice to students leaving B-schools and making their transition into the workplace; three things they don’t teach enough at B-school and three apps he finds valuable! Find out the answers in this nugget.

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