HR Workshop for ONGC : Managing People In Tomorrow's World

The idea to organize a HR Workshop for ONGC came up during a discussion between Sri Dinesh K. Sarraf CMD, ONGC and Sri Anurag Goel IAS ( Retd), Former Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs on the transformational developments sweeping the world, necessitating corporate re-think on organizational structures and strategies. It was felt that it would be useful to design an internal interactive opportunity for senior ONGC officials to re-think and reimagine ' Human Resource Management ', and conduct a Workshop for this purpose.

Realizing the importance of competition law, Shaping Tomorrow organized an International Conference on Competition Regulation & Competitiveness on 5th February, 2015 in partnership with IIM, Kashipur and the leading Indian law firm AZB & Partners. The conference discussed the way forward for supporting a robust competition regulation framework in India. Shaping Tomorrow also organized an International Roundtable on its own on 6th February, 2016, on various dimensions of competition law.


The HR function is at an inflection point. The next 5 years will see significant transformation of the function. There are some key trends that will influence this transformation.

For the first time in history, talent scarcity is a global phenomenon. Across the developed and emerging markets there will be a shortage of skilled and appropriate talent. The VUCA world makes for a demanding environment for leadership and decision-making. Organizational survival has never depended so much on dynamism and rapid reaction times, all demanding human intervention and decision-making. Social media and the talent scarcity is enabling global mobility of talent. At the same time, the reconceptualization of HR function has created a need for new skills.

Managing people and talent in tomorrow's world would be totally different. The present fundamental axiom that employees have to adjust to managers, who have to go by organizational leadership directions will change, with organizations adjusting to managers, who in turn would need to tune in strongly to the employees views and wishes. In tomorrow's organizations, employees would stay because they 'want' to not because they 'need' to. The millennials are different from employees of the past, and those in the future would be even more different.

The very system of decision-making will change, with far more data-driven decision making. The managers' role and skill requirements will, therefore, be very very different. Even doctors will be half doctors and half data-interpretation experts. Data is always complex as it may hide more than revealing and the opposite will also be true , hence capability to come to the right interpretation will be paramount for business managers tomorrow, coupled with the ability to stratagise and innovate, taking into account critical intangibles and people issues.

The fact that talent is spread globally or across locations, and that acquiring talent will become more difficult with cultural fit becoming a greater challenge, will mean that organizations will need to get better at identifying talent within. The outward looking Talent Acquisition function will metamorphose into a Talent Resourcing function. Look within before you search outside, will be the new mantra.

All functions in an organization, except HR, have evolved to a level where their contribution and RoI is directly measurable. HR is now the last remaining function that is not measured with the same rigour. With the advances in big data and analytics, we will see this change. This will help organizations realize the value that HR adds. It will enable HR to get what they always clamour for "the seat at the table". At the same time, it will expose the gaps in the function and will demand greater accountability for impact. This will demand HR leadership of a new order.

Given all of the above, what is demanded of the HR head is a tectonic shift. The HR head needs to move from being a service provider to change driver. The skills and competencies that are required of an HR head will change, as a result. The largest challenge organizations will face, will be to find and appoint HR heads who have the ability to be supportive yet confrontational. This will require an ecosystem change in that B-schools will need to reset curriculum and pedagogy. Organizations will need to pay special attention to hiring and developing HR professionals. And this change will be driven by the triumvirate of CEOs + HR heads + B-schools. But more than anyone else, it is the visionary HR head of today, who needs to ensure the development and appointment of the HR Head of tomorrow. The King is dead, long live the King.

Workshop Objectives

The Workshop has been conceived not as a training or capacity building exercise, but as an opportunity for senior ONGC officials to be exposed to latest global thinking on future of work and HR followed by interaction, to facilitate rethinking and re-imagining of Human Resource Management, with HR transitioning from a support function to a strategic change driver through 'Managing People'.

  • To expose the participants to latest concepts of erstwhile 'Human Resource Management ', in the backdrop of anticipated future of work, changing business environment in the VUCA & SMAC world, technology-driven changes in organizational structures and processes ( including use of Analytics & Big Data), impact of increasing number of Millennials joining the workforce, and disruptive innovation.
  • To facilitate intensive , focussed interaction amongst the participants to crystallize their thoughts on the business environment in which ONGC will be operating over the next 5-10 years, and the likely HR challenges.
  • To facilitate coherent, collaborative brain-storming amongst the participants to draw out the broad-brush contours of a possible HR Strategy for ONGC for the next 5-10 years, as a Corporate Strategy element ( not support function only), to enable exponentially growing global eminence and contribution to national economy.

Workshop Agenda

The workshop was conducted for two days from 17 June, 2016 to 18 June, 2016. The complete structure of the workshop program was as follows:

17 June, 2016 [VENUE: New Delhi]

Ice Breaking Get Together over Tea

09:00 AM - 09:30 AM

Message & Introduction to Workshop by CMD, Mr. Dinesh K. Sarraf

09:30 AM - 09:45 AM

Emerging Thoughts on Future of Work, Impact of Technology

09:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Participants' perceptions & interaction on future of work & organizations, and ONGC's business environment over the next 5-10 years

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Tea/Coffee Break

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Emerging Thoughts & Concepts in HR Management

12:00 PM - 01:30 PM

Lunch Break

01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

Transition from HR to Managing People--Challenges & Opportunities

02:30 PM - 04:00 PM

Tea/Coffee Break

04:00 PM - 04:15 PM

Future of HR, Brain-storming on ONGC's HR challenges and Strategic HR Choices/Options, Formation of Groups

04:15 PM - 05:30 PM

Group Work by Participants


The participants were divided into 3 Groups to meet on their own in the evening, and put together their thoughts and reports on the provided topics, to be presented next day

18 June, 2016 [VENUE: New Delhi]

Get together over Tea

09:00 AM - 09:30 AM

Presentation of Group Reports in plenary & discussion thereon

09:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Groups finalize their reports for presentation before CMD (working tea served)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

CMD's Briefing for Group Presentation

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM

Group I Presentation on Business environment in which ONGC will be operating over the next 5-10 years, and the likely challenges, with focus on HR challenges

12:15 PM - 12:35 PM

Group II Presentation on HR Strategy for ONGC for the next 5-10 years, as a Corporate Strategy element ( not support function only) for exponential growth : Option I

12:35 PM - 12:55 PM

Group III Presentation on HR Strategy for ONGC for the next 510 years, as a Corporate Strategy element ( not support function only) for exponential growth: Option II

12:55 PM - 01:15 PM

CMD's Concluding Remarks

01:15 PM - 01:30 PM


The Workshop was being facilitated by two life long HR and strategic practitioners:

Anurag Goel

Retd. IAS, Founder "Shaping Tomorrow" & Former Member CCI

Mr. Partha Dasgupta


The Workshop was attended by ONGC's senior managers responsible for strategic level planning and operations, across different domains. While a majority of the participants were from the HR domain, others from key areas like Corporate Strategy, Finance, Operations, Technology, Exploration, IT etc. were also nominated, to facilitate rich, multidimensional & holistic interactions and Group reports.

There were a total of 20 participants who joined this 2 days workshop.