Effective Leadership Development and Talent Management with Ash Mishra

This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, “The Shape of Work.” If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.

In this episode of “The Shape of Work,” our host interacts with Ash Mishra about some interesting facets of Leadership and Development, the hybrid model of work, and diversity in a workplace.


Name of the guest: Ash Mishra

What he does: Head of Talent Management and Learning & Development – Asia Pacific, Ericsson

Find him on LinkedIn.

Get Smart: “Then the final thing I’d say is one of the other things that we have learned in this process of leadership development- instead of working with an individual, work with intact teams because leadership does not happen in isolation. For leadership to happen, there has to be somebody working with you.”


This episode gives valuable tips regarding:

  1. Things about Leadership Development and Talent Management that most organizations get wrong.
  2. Managing different employees based on the different goals they have.
  3. Training methods in L&D that are working.
  4. Thoughts about a hybrid model of work
  5. How do people invested in exchanging ideas with people work in a hybrid model?
  6. Diversity in SMEs and startups.


Things about Leadership Development and Talent Management that most organizations get wrong:

Most organizations focus on training programs when it comes to Leadership Development and Talent Management. However, these training sessions are not always effective. As he mentioned, “Leadership is an ecosystem of your approach.” Leaders get inspired by other leaders. Many organizations don’t realize that and focus on these programs. Leaders might receive valuable inputs from there, but ultimately, they are going back to the same ecosystem, the same company. Managers and Senior Leaders need to be self-aware about the impact they have on others.

To achieve this, they can make use of self-awareness tools. Another significant way to achieve this is by working in teams.

How does a leader manage different employees based on the different goals they have?

Ash feels that over the years, companies have forgotten the importance of performance management and goals. People might have taken hybrid roles, but these factors are still important for the long-term success of a company. Currently, many big organizations have understood this and have made the necessary changes. However, according to Ash, what is more important is keeping these goals stagnant. 

Goals should be constant and not changing within one month of working on them. The next step for the leader is to encourage people to have more conversations about these goals.

If these things are ensured, the company will be able to meet the goals of all its employees efficiently. Having a tool for ensuring easy updates of these goals can also be fruitful.

What has changed in L&D in the past 14 months?

There are a couple of trends prevailing in the Learning and Development area. The significance given to this entire subject has increased. Companies have started investing in this segment. This change occurred when some industries faced an adverse impact after the pandemic began. Companies realized the requirement of reskilling themselves in new fields to get back on track.

Companies have started asking their employees about the sort of training investments they would like. Their focus on employee well-being, mental health, and resources has also increased.  Ash highlights the fact that user-driven learning allows employees to reskill themselves, gives better outcomes, and creates solutions.

Thoughts about the hybrid model of work:

He feels that the hybrid model of work is definitely going to stay. What is not known is how this model will be inducted. Companies need to analyze how hybrid their workplace can be. 

He further says that going hybrid will impact a range of things in an organization, for example, performance management. This problem is slowly being recognized by the companies and attempts to solve it are being made.

All the policies written are earlier need to be formatted and updated based on the new way of work. The benefits required while working from home are totally different from the same while working in an office. Moreover, he talks about the flexibility of a hybrid workplace and how it allows hiring people irrespective of geographical boundaries.

In order to ensure a better exchange of ideas, teams need to start looking at job roles more precisely. They need to come up with ideas to keep the essence of creativity, interaction, and teamwork. 

How should SMEs and startups look at diversity?

The best time to introduce diversity is when an organization is scaling up. Once the organizations reach their target, trying to implement diversity through training does not always work. 

Embedding it within the culture of the company and investing in that mindset right from the start can be fruitful. 

Companies should focus on the element of inclusion first to ensure better buy-ins and outcomes. Additionally, the way diversity is presented is also important- be it through gender, generation, ethnicity, or anything else. More the diversity in a company, the more the value.

Dhristi Shah

Hi, this is Dhristi, Content Writer and Editor at Springworks India. I am a keen learner and am passionate about everything related to writing.

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