From Consciously Incompetent To Unconsciously Competent – E.L.I.T.E. General Management Program – Capgemini

When I joined Capgemini’s inaugural batch of 19 E.L.I.T.E. General Management Program hires 5 weeks before, the emotions that overarched in me were nervousness and excitement.  At the start of the journey, I could not have imagined the huge transformation all of these emotions will have. In this small snippet of my experience for the first five weeks, I try humbly to put into words how various facilitators, places and processes helped in bettering the inexperienced consultant in me.

Throughout this time, in Hyderabad and in Paris, we interacted with numerous senior management executives (through both classroom sessions and various dinners) including Thierry Dalaporte (CEO,FSSBU), Aruna Padmanabhan (Head, People Care), Ritesh Talapatra (COO, FSSBU), Shobha Meera (Head, S&M, FSSBU), and many more.  Apart from the clear understanding of various functions and verticals inside the organisation, what really struck me was the modesty and friendliness all of these leaders exhibited in abundance. Talking about values is no mean task, but living those values with freedom and consistency is a quality that has been ingrained into one’s life at Capgemini.

Another life-changing experience that cannot go without mention is the Pinnacle Workshop, an intention-based communication training which helped in improving our communication and presenting skills. Pinnacle’s elemental ideas of understanding your audience, solidifying your objective and driving home your intent, if applied through different presentations, meetings and conferences can make one an expert communicator. The facilitators Kevin Douglas and Minita Gandhi helped every one of us individually to handle different potential situations that can easily pop up during our career at Capgemini.

The five-week onboarding process culminated with the Consulting Skills Workshop at Les Fontaines, a picturesque and serene campus of the Capgemini University in France. The CSW training helped us understand various consulting tools like meeting management techniques, team dynamics, storyboarding and managing resistance. Unlike other training sessions, the CSW training not only provided theoretical knowledge but innumerable platforms to practically implement our newly-gained knowledge. A big round of applause has to go out for the two wonderful facilitators at Les Fontaines, Kees Langbroek and Stefan Cornelius, who combined learning and fun with such beautiful balance that we never felt bored and always felt richer with knowledge.

Throughout the training, we were blessed with a lot of insightful thoughts from various leaders at Capgemini. The one that stood out for me was: “Every human and every company, must strive to move from a position of being unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent to consciously competent and ultimately, unconsciously competent”. To put it another way, one must first recognise one’s faults, then work on them relentlessly so much so that the competency gained becomes a part of one’s unconscious, one’s routine. This, like numerous other thoughts, has helped immeasurably in transforming me from being nervous and intimidated to confident, assured and well-prepared for any eventuality.

To not mention the immense effort that has been put into the conception, creation and execution of the onboarding program by the E.L.I.T.E. General Management Program core team would be a big mistake from my part. The meticulous work put in by the team for months has helped us in aligning seamlessly into the consulting world, without any hiccups and with ample levels of fun. It is my firm belief that these five weeks, with the core team’s support, have given us a lot to improve ourselves personally and professionally to eventually become E.L.I.T.E. leaders inside and outside Capgemini.

Arjun Vijay

Arjun Vijay is a management trainee in the Capgemini E.L.I.T.E. General Management Program. He graduated from FMS Delhi in 2017, after completing his B.Tech in NIT Calicut.