Outbound Leadership Lab, Purposing & Mentoring

IFIM Business School has observed that “targeting the real career should be a perfect blend of the aspirations of an individual in terms of what s/he wants ‘to do’ along with what s/he wants ‘to be’”.

Generally, preference is accorded to what somebody wants “to do” in life - become a stockbroker, or an entrepreneur etc. However, the real career target should also aim to dream about what somebody wants “to be” in life. These choices can be influenced by factors such as financial security, social status, fulfilment, power, family, happiness, peace etc.

Therefore, to reach a more holistic career fulfilment and to prepare management graduates for this, a new systematic mentoring approach has been introduced at IFIM. The following diagram depicts the overall road map which consists of a set of interventions.

The Road Map of OLL, Mentoring and Career Targeting

These changing times need flexible and adaptive measures which are responsive to the growing needs of the society. The existing models of Management Education in India are often deemed out-dated, rigid and out of sync with a rapidly changing world.

IFIM Business School’s integrated approach to Outbound Leadership Lab, Purposing and Mentoring is one of these steps towards the direction of tackling the quality of education as a new age management institution in India

The process of mentoring is integrated with various sub-activities and specified learning outcomes. Outcomes for each phase are designed in line with the two-year PGDM program goals. The entire program is spread over two years of continuous learning, grooming and mentoring of students, eventually leading to better career choices and placements as well as a mature transition into with the corporate world.

Experiential Stage

This stage is conducted as an out bound leadership lab in an off-campus destination.

The experiential stage aims to help students develop an ‘Individual Development Plan’ through experiential outbound activities and psychometric diagnosis leading to developing of self-transformational initiatives.

Students are encouraged to conceptualize a clear self-concept of ‘WHO AM I’ and ‘AM I A LEADER’ in the context of required behavioural skills. Students with a set of experts will identify their individual developmental needs and create a leadership plan for themselves.

This has two stages:

  • Activity-based Behavioural Diagnosis

    Students will be observed using observation protocols relevant for understanding their individual behaviour by experts or instructors. An observer witnesses certain behaviours and makes necessary notes to discuss later.
  • Self-Discovery through Integrated Psychometric Interventions

    During this stage, leadership and individual behaviour will be assessed through several experiential activities and administering of personality questionnaires like BIG-5, MBTI, FIRO-B and MLQ followed by self-scoring and in -depth interpretation of the obtained scores.

    Obtained in-depth psychometric scores will help students to identify disparities related to managerial competencies like self-awareness, inter-personal relationships, communication, teamwork and leadership. All proposed psychometric tools are identified keeping in mind the ‘leadership development’ element required for PGDM students.

This stage results in

  • Interaction and bonding of individuals and teams and
  • Initiation of the Individual Development Plan (IDP).

Phase 2: Developmental Stage (Purposing And Mentoring)

During this stage students are encouraged to create a Statement of Purpose (SOP). By answering the “to do” and “to be” question they are guided to choose the right career track.

Developing a career path to achieve one’s purpose helps in (1) Identifying constraints and hurdles in the path (2) Discovering ways to work around such constraints and hurdles (3) Aligning expectations with the ultimate purpose (4) Building an organic/inorganic path to achieve one’s purpose. During the creation of the SOP, students will be assigned group wise mentors to guide them through the process.

World economic dynamics make it imperative for the institutions to keep pace with the changes to produce capable and readily deployable professionals. The Indian management education system faces multiple challenges on this account. There is still a large gap between graduates' skill set and industry requirements as experts feel that many students lack important skills like analytical thinking, creative problem solving, decision making, and team performance.

Therefore, companies are not able to efficiently utilize their resources as significant time and effort are spent in training fresh recruits. The need of the hour is to bridge the gap between corporate expectations and student expectations as well as skill sets.

The effectiveness of mentoring is recognized across the globe as a powerful tool of human resource development. IFIM Business School's corporate mentoring approach is a step towards this direction. The objective of the Mentoring Program at IFIM is to enable mentors to prepare their mentees for professional careers and assist them with their workplace skills development.

The focus of the mentorship is to help students develop a vision and mission for themselves for their personal and career achievements that they wish to target and also to lay down a clear path as to how they are going to achieve the same.

Mentoring is a unique and effective tool for personal and leadership development. Therefore, group wise mentors would be assigned to a team of 10 with mentoring sessions at specific intervals. During this process Leadership learning lab may offer formal training based on identified behavioural gaps in Stage 2.

This includes:

  • Rechecking Values, Attitude, Behaviour and Lifestyle
  • Sharpening People Skills (conflict management, leveraging diversity, developing others, team building etc.)

The focus of the mentorship is to help students develop a vision and mission for themselves for their personal and career achievements that they wish to target and also to lay down a clear path as to how they are going to achieve the same. In brief, the mentorship program should help lay down:

  • Clarity of purpose in students’ personal and career goals.
  • Understanding of their innate strengths and shortcomings.
  • The requisite skill set and the way to develop the same.
  • Develop a clear path to achieve the goal.
  • Set up milestones on the path to the goal.

While the Career Target could be long term, the immediate goals should focus on what type of industry the mentee wants to start with and what achievements one should look for in a 3-5 years’ timeframe.

Building a career path to achieve one’s purpose helps in:

  • Identifying constraints and hurdles in the path
  • Discovering work around such constraints and hurdles
  • Aligning expectations with the ultimate purpose
  • Building an organic/inorganic path to achieve one’s purpose

Students will have the option to participate in detail, special/short-term assignments, projects, and other creative activities to expose themselves to challenges or otherwise expand their capacity to serve.

This stage results in:

  • Creation of SOP
  • Systematic mentoring and domain-specific guidance
  • Formal training based on Individual Development Plan (IDP)

Achievements of Previous Year

For the first time ever, the Outbound Leadership Lab successfully completed the OLL in a distant place (VBU Campus).

For the 2019- 21 Batch it was held at Karjat. Students in 5 batches participated in the outbound leadership program. All batches travelled from Bangalore to Karjat, and underwent a three - day program including Leadership and Team building activities carried out by trainers.

The batch was taken to the Kothaligad Fort for a monsoon trek. In the evening, a talent hunt was organized followed by a Bonfire and musical night. This leadership program also included a psychometric test for the students followed by sports competition.

OLL was integrated with Purposing and Mentoring. Profiling of students were done based on the inputs.

The feedback of the OLL program was excellent ( Ranging from 3.75 to 4.5 out of 5).

Mentoring progressing as per schedule with active involvement of corporate and academic mentors. Most of the group completed, 6 mentoring sessions.

The Committee prepared a template to add to the student profile inputs from the mentoring sessions. Students created their story lines about the I will statements and these are being updated on social platforms.