ISB teaches management with a human touch to senior police officers

By Team Marcomm Oct 21, 2021

ISB with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy hosts its first cohort of mid-career police officers for leadership and change management training

Hyderabad: Where change is a looming requirement it is also essential to learn how to welcome, adopt, and apply that change in the best interest of stakeholders. Which is exactly what seasoned mid-career IPS (Indian Police Service) officers engaged in a multitude of roles came to learn at ISB.

Despite a colonial hangover persisting, India’s governance structures and methods are undergoing a sea change as policymakers adopt new ideas and technologies to get desired results. In this context, the Indian School of Business (ISB) tied up with the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad – one of the premier most police training academies in India- to provide training on Leadership development, change management techniques and others to IPS officers.

As part of this first-time initiative, 53 officers from across the country devoted a week (Oct 17-22) of their four-week mid-career training program to learn the essentials of these novel management techniques -- so far prevalent mostly in the private sector.

ISB’s ‘Leadership, team building and management programme for IPS officers, 2021’, therefore, focused deeply on building personal and team leadership, formulation and execution of strategy, negotiating with stakeholders and on using emotional intelligence as an essential leadership tool.

The IPS officials attending the programme said they found rich takeaways from it, which will benefit them in policing as much it would for the administrative roles, they are engaged in.

“The leadership development course at ISB is well structured and managed. During this leadership development course many concepts and doubts have been cleared through engaging interactions. We even found a midway between our practical experiences and the theory. I have personally gained a lot of conceptual clarity on many things, especially about change management. All thanks to Professor Ramnarayan for this,” said Shahnawaz Qasim, IPS (2003) and currently, Commissioner of Minorities Welfare, Telangana government.

“My main takeaway from here is that leaders will have to solve problems with a positive mindset and create a paradigm in which solutions can be given to stakeholders.”

For Pradeep Kumar Yadav (IPS-Punjab, 2002), IG-Technical Services Wing, the training at ISB will play a crucial role to help him change the future of policing. “I have received great insights from this ‘Leadership development’ course module at ISB. Incidentally, I am involved in driving the e-governance projects rollout including the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems) in Punjab. The insights gained during the various modules at ISB will help in improving the commissioning of these e-governance projects and building up in-house core teams thereby changing the face of the future of policing and e-governance.”

He said that the change management module in the SVPNPA-ISB programme was one of the most crucial. “It will aid in creating a sense of ownership of the undergoing projects by the stakeholders such as field officers, trial courts, forensics, intelligence units, highway authorities and related stake holders and help in intended monetisation of these technological interventions for crime detection, prevention and monitoring.”

Decorated police officer Shirish Jain (IPS-Maharashtra, 1999) who had once battled extremism in the red corridor of central India, and now officiates as Special IGP and Joint Secretary at the union cabinet secretariat in New Delhi, said the ISB training programme has brought about, “a change in my cognitive thought process”, after attending Dean Pilutla’s session on negotiation, strategy and organizational behaviour.

“It was a highly useful and well managed course held with utmost care in this beautiful campus.” The senior most police officer in this cohort, however, said that a few things in the course could be tailored to suit needs of police administrators better. He recommended that a similar program be made mandatory for IPS trainees as well.

Though toughness is considered an essential attribute for police officers, for Ruchika Rishi (IPS-Sikkim, 2004) and presently Special Secretary, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sikkim government it was the softer aspects of leadership as propagated by a ‘charismatic’ Professor Ram Nidumolu, Clinical Professor, Organisation Behaviour at ISB.

“In policing the softer human aspect in relationships is not really paid attention to so much. So, as a police officer I appreciated the human aspects of leadership that Prof Nidumolu taught. I will always remember Prof Ramnarayan’s CQ+EQ > IQ (Curiosity and Passion quotients score over Intelligence quotient) equation, as we normally assess people in a dry manner based on their achievements alone,” said Rishi.

She hopes to find many applications for the training derived here at ISB in her administrative role, which includes bettering the civil aviation environment to better the economic activities in the hill state of Sikkim.  

The cohort attended a valedictory session on the last day of the course and received their certificates from ISB. Mr. Atul Karwal, Director, SVPNPA, commended the Indian School of Business for preparing the Leadership Development leg of the Mid-career training Program for IPS officers, conducted by the SVNPA. He called on the police officers to be empathetic leaders in his address.

"We seem to be drifting away from men and women we command, and the rift must be narrowed. There has to rapport and authentic empathy for people we command. As police leaders we will be failing if we do not have these," said Mr. Karwal at his valedictory speech.

Professor Madan Pillutla, Dean ISB, thanked the SVPNPA authorities for reposing faith in the institution to value add to this important training program for senior police officers. “It is a great honour for us to serve the police service. The idea behind ISB was to have a research-led business school which can find solutions to a lot of the problems faced in India,” said Dean Pillutla. He evinced hope that ISB was able to contribute something of value for the participants of this programme.

ISB is likely to continue to train senior IPS police officers as the SVNPA is seeking approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking to make ISB a constant partner for his police training programmes.