By Ashish Wesley
With change as a constant for our foreseeable futures, an increased willingness to adapt to shifting circumstances could determine one’s professional success. Furthermore, there is also a need for fresh thoughts, approaches and perspectives, and a resolute need to transform for a better future.
Leading a transformation was something that Reneta Kripalani, who heads Branded Content Strategy and Sales for News18.com’s Indian Language Platforms had hoped for too, when in 2019, she elected to take up the INSEAD Leadership Programme for Senior Executives (ILPSE), a one year, part-time, multi-modular, General Management and Leadership programme with immersions across the global campuses of INSEAD.
Identifying as a storyteller, with over 11 years of experience in the field of marketing, and with storied names that included Unilever and Ogilvy on her resume, Reneta recognised the deep significance of a shake-up, and says, “I was looking to make an exponential investment in my intellectual capital. In this dynamic global business environment, a disruption in my thinking was critical to be an instigator of innovation. I was shifting through the gears of management, seeking frameworks and concepts which would give me an outside in view of my business. I was keen to develop an agile mindset to lead businesses of the VUCAD future; one that we are currently navigating.”
Reneta goes on to explain that she also chose ILPSE as it afforded her the opportunity for more applied learning through simulation, and also gave her the chance to exchange views and mine valuable knowledge from a cohort of top executives. Going into further detail, she elaborates, “ILPSE was tailor-made to equip me for this transformation. An executive programme delivered by distinguished multicultural faculty, enabling me to experiment with techniques between modules, reflect and rethink with a diverse cohort, was best suited. This of course, at one of the best business schools in the world; one that had trained the sharpest minds in business.”
Remoulding and remodelling
Reneta soon joyously discovered that ILPSE delivered the transformation she so desired, and in spades! The ‘Beneath the Surface’ module comes in for particular praise, as she declares, “Carl Jung says, ‘Until we make the unconscious conscious, it will direct our lives and we will call it fate.’ The three day workshop was one of most cathartic experiences of my life. It helped me understand my own unconscious patterns, and consciously allowed me to tap into them — giving not just my professional, but also my personal growth tremendous fillip. Self-awareness is critical to understand who you are. It has not just equipped me to be a better leader, but a better person.”
As our discussion naturally progresses to the subject of ‘the world disrupted by COVID-19’, Reneta is quick to recall the importance of the Blue Ocean Strategy module, and reveals why she found it especially pivotal to her development, “In 2017, with the advent of JIO, affordable smartphones and cheap data, India was at the cusp of tremendous growth; previously unseen in the history of the internet. While digitization and data driven insights led to exponential changes, I sought to understand how digital would develop and transform business models of the future. The module on Blue Ocean Strategy to create and capture uncontested markets was truly insightful. As the last few months have accelerated digital transformation which would have otherwise taken maybe years, businesses would need to innovate to unlock blue oceans to build competitive advantage.”
ILPSE signals the start of a new journey
While highlighting the advantages of the executive programme, Reneta is eager to pass on advice to others considering ILPSE, she says, “Personally, it has been my best investment, one that I weighed against buying a home. For those aspiring to enroll, it is important to clearly understand the objective and outcome of choosing a global business leadership programme, and if it has the prerequisites to meet your career goals. ILPSE is not a destination, but the beginning of a journey, which will enable you to leapfrog into the future.”
Further, citing her own experience as a positive example, Reneta hastens to add, “Within a few months of starting the programme, I progressed to a new role at work. I believe your wings always exist, all you have to do is learn to fly. ILPSE provided me with the right platform and empowered me to pursue teaching, something that I had always wanted to do. Additionally, I have volunteered to support the global INSEAD Community Impact Challenge, an effort to make a difference to society. This is the first alumni-led challenge to bring together members of the INSEAD community, to make an impact by tackling three of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The programme has helped to advance my career, and also redefine my own wheel of life.”
Reneta attributes her overall change in outlook to ILPSE, stating, “Today, I lead a different life, as compared to before the programme. It’s much more rounded, balanced and happier. I see myself as a very different individual as I’m about to complete ILPSE.”
While change is constant, an openness to transformation is crucial, and could even enable one to thrive in trying circumstances — Reneta agrees, as she prepares for the next phase of her career journey.
Applications for the upcoming cohort of INSEAD Leadership Programme for Senior Executives (ILPSE) are open now. Click below to learn more: