Bridging the 'Mindset' Gap


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Bridging the ‘Mindset’ Gap in Our Future Workforce

I spoke at a Management Conclave on ‘Bridging the Skill Gap’ today and came away realizing that issues such as unskilled workforces and engagement facing corporations isn’t simple.
Leading management thinkers, administrators, directors, deans, faculty from B-schools in the country, placement officers and recruiters participated at the event held at the ITC Windsor, Bangalore. Discussions ranged from the quality of students to the intent of business education in elevating standards.
In the panel discussion called – ‘What Is Missing From Business Education: Meeting the Needs’ I reframed the issue by coining it the ‘mindset’ gap rather than the ‘skill’ gap. My fellow panelists included Anjan Lahiri, President – IT Services of Mindtree, Mr Atish Dasgupta, Professor – Symbiosis &
former HR Head - HCL and Prof T Sivanandam, a quality consultant. My argument is that while skills can be learnt what we need to ‘unlearn’ takes longer to unstick from our minds.
I introduced the audience to a Fedex ad that showed how an MBA shirked responsibility to learn a simple task just because ‘he was an MBA’. I then shared context on the growing need for talent in India and how there is space for everyone. Also, how Indian education ranks globally and how students and institutes need to think differently. However, it needs to begin with the ‘mindsets’ that students carry including ‘expecting someone to figure out their lives’ and ‘chasing the next big trend’, ‘competing for competition sake’ and ‘being risk averse’.
Finally I ended with recommendations that will improve their thinking and what corporations expect of today’s workforce.
Overall, listening to the discussions it is evident that the state of education and the gap between industry and academia is fast widening.

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Bridging the 'Mindset' Gap

  1. 1. Bridging the „mindset‟ gap - it begins with YOU Aniisu K VergheseInternal Communications Leader,Author, Trainer and Career Coach Bangalore, Nov 2, 2012
  2. 2. Video
  3. 3. Internal Communications – Insights, Practices and Models (Sage Publications, 2012) India‟s and Asia‟s first book on internal communications Addresses skills and communications that leaders, communicators, academicians and students can benefit from. Available on Flipkart, Crosswords, Infibeam, Indiaplaza and other leading bookstores Visit:
  4. 4. Future perfect? India will add 110m people to global workforce by 2020 (Goldman Sachs, 2010) 73 million workers are needed by 2015 i.e. 50% more than today in the automobile and electronic sector (McKinsey, 2010) About 70 million more people have to be imparted skills as the country aims at increasing the percentage of workforce with formal skills through vocational education and training from 12 per cent to 25 per cent at the end of the Twelfth Plan.
  5. 5. Reality Check Only one in four engineering graduate in India is employable, based on technical skills, English fluency, and teamwork and presentation skills (New York Times) OECD-conducted PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) of 15 year school children had Indian students scoring second from the bottom, only ahead of Kyrgyzstan, among half a million students from 73 countries. 2012 QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University rankings include none of Indian universities or institutes among worlds top 200. China has seven in the top 200 list. Image source: y-habits/
  6. 6. Gaining skills is possible….changing mindset is tougher  Learning by rote  Culture tuned to job security. Risk averse  „Someone‟ else is in charge of my life and career. „Jugaad‟ mindset.  Competition is overrated. You ONLY compete with yourself  Running after the next big „trend‟  Hierarchy prevents open dialogueImage source:
  7. 7. What is expected of you  Challenge the status quo, ask your questions  Be relevant  Lead with a point of view  Know what you want  Think solutions, not problems  Be consensus oriented and collaborative  Don‟t just give ideas. Recommend practical solutions that work  Ask for help and accept feedbackImage source:
  8. 8. Think for yourself “Ability to think critically, creatively, innovatively and analytically, ability to apply knowledge and understanding to new and different problems, critical thinking skills, skills to organize and interpret data and information, ability to think in time-to forecast, to think ahead, and to plan and finally the ability to separate number, quantity, quality and values.”- I Padmini (researcher, 2012)
  9. 9. Stay Connected Linkedin: Twitter: Visit the book FB page : E-mail: Visit my blog:
  10. 10. References Industry – Academia Convergence “Bridging the Skill Gap” India will add 110m people to global workforce by 2020: Study Why India has become a living tragedy of self-delusion Education, skill development top priority of 12th Plan Education Vs Employability- the Need to Bridge the Skills Gap among the Engineering and Management Graduates in Andhra Pradesh