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5 ways a Development Leadership & Management course can teach you more than business

Monday, February 11, 2019,

Development Leadership & Management is the beginning of making conscious, responsible and professional leaders who aim to bring change in the society.


This may sound like science fiction, but worldwide scientists have declared that we are at the edge of the Sixth Mass Extinction (a massive die-off of all life forms across the planet). There have been five others since the beginning of our planet, but this one is different as the credit goes to us. Be it dumping of plastic in oceans or massive concrete infrastructure or the nuclear bomb tests; the human impact in the name of development need to be blamed.

Since the Industrial Revolution, this so-called 'Development' has been misguided by different practices of numerous 'Management' principles.

Till date, the majority of us haven't cared too much about this sort of thing. Yet bringing about a change in how the modern world looks at 'Development' and the new approach to 'Manage' it can help the planet in conserving and reshaping the limited resources that Earth is left with.

Kate Raworth, eminent economist and author of famous Doughnut Economics has strengthened this thought in her book by raising the need for a far bigger goal (meeting the human rights of every person within the means of our life-giving planet) beyond GDP or national output as the primary measure of progress in the 21st century.

While the social sector is tirelessly working to address the issues across the world and some remarkable work has happened in Indian social sector in the last 40-50 years, there are very few organizations that have done some of these things-

  • Start looking at systems thinking lens rather than in silos.
  • Become household names by telling stories of the impact created to inspire the youth.
  • Scale the impact of work from smaller to larger population sets.
  • Move from being founder-led to professionally-led organizations.

With this approach, social purpose organizations can ensure the sustainability of their work, the impact, and the organization.

The modern world demands for professionals and leaders who are passionate, ethical, understand development and the values behind it, are able to build world-class social organizations and bring change in the society.

If you are excited about filling in the gaps and wish to participate in building world-class social organisations, then you should opt for the path of Development Leadership & Management.

A good Development Leadership Programme can help you in many ways:

1. Widen your horizon for the society


A unique Development Management Programme certainly widens one's horizon and imagination of the kind of society we would like to live in based on certain non-negotiable universal human values like equity, compassion, and dignity.

It gives a holistic understanding of how to look at the concept of development through multiple lenses.

2. Develop right skills and understanding

A good Development Leadership Programme is your key to equip with the right skills and the much-required ability to understand social issues and design solutions through social systems and design thinking perspective.

3. Build entrepreneurial aptitude and networking acumen

Development Management focuses on the significance of building social purpose organisations and/or collaborative partnerships and networks with the appropriate strategy, structure, systems, process, and culture - given the complexity (social, human dynamics, transdisciplinary nature) and magnitude of issues facing society today (poverty, health, education, empowerment, livelihoods, environment).

4. Help in becoming modern storytellers

Development Management allows you to become the modern storytellers of today's professional social sector and helps you in building world-class social purpose brands for a larger impact.

5. Help in understanding self

The concept of development leadership has to be grounded in a strong understanding of the self - who we are, what values do we actually stand for, what drives us, what are our fears, what do we bring to the table, etc.

India needs to aggressively mainstream Development Management education (with many more educational institutions starting to offer meaningful programmes in this space) and help establish it as a profession.

Just as the West was probably an appropriate place for the emergence of business management, India is probably one of the best places for Development Management and Leadership to be shaped and thought through.

One great move in this direction is that the social sector world is now uniting for a dedicated Development Management Day to celebrate the much larger transformation that it can possibly bring to the lives of underserved and to the social economies of the world.

The article is written by Gaurav Shah, Founder & Dean, Indian School of Development Management (ISDM)