Showing posts from 2011

Inspired by Chetan Bhagat

Chetan wrote in TOI today about 'Nerds' and coined a term 'Lerds' for fellow men who study arts, liberal or literal. He beautifully wrote about the real Nerds or absolute nerds, who are devoted to learning and pursue it for it's scientific justifications. Many a times so logically correct that it leads to another set of formula, that gives birth to next set of mathematical equations for arriving at another seminal theory and then lots of nerds follow it at IIScs, IITs, MITs of the world. When as a common man I visit science exhibitions or science centres, I am amused to see lots of abstract products, projects, modules on the table in the form of 'Prototypes' that will reinvent the way, we stored grains at FCI godowns, with 50% less airconditioning cost to generating electricity with Garbage (read rich garbage, that may require some import custom duty exemption and excise subsidy). I am really thankful to the nerds, who gave us $50 tablet PC (Aakash by Dataw…

Why this bond?

I am really pained to see independent India still stinking of slavery. The bond, the bonded, the indentured labourers, the cyber-coolies and all that we have heard and accepted for the sake of a JOB. The end result at the end of the month is salary.

I am unable to understand, why we are allowing companies to use this shackles of slavery. Is there no PIL in the court of law questioning this? Most of the fresher students are forced to sign the bond for 2 years or more for as disproportionate amount as 2 lacs, 3 lacs, while they are paid 2 or 3 lacs a year.

Has anyone thought, for any such reasons, if one has to break the bond within 1 year, will with inflated economy a new employee will have 2 or 3 lacs to payback? Will any bank give you loan to repay this burden?
Does your employer pay you 2 or 3 lacs when you served the bond period?
How come in Independent and free India, we have allowed companies to serve us with this INJUSTICE?

Why colleges do not question this when they allow for…

Great, Good and Gone

A few days back, Times of India, Bangalore edition reported, Britannia firing 40 employees in one-go while following thier new "Mantra"

Jim Colins mentioned in his book Good to Great, that, "Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.”

What such decisions, as one taken by Britannia, entail that Level 5 leadership instinct came to play.

What is level 5 ledership is not style but a phenomena. Welcome move Britannia, well done!

Creates superb results, a clear catalyst in the transition from good to great.
Demonstrates an unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to produce the best long-term results, no matter how difficult.
Sets the standard of building an enduring great company; will settle for nothing less.
Looks in the mirror, not out the window, to apportion responsibility for poor results, never blaming other people, extern…

Manager’s self assessment Toolkit




Name: ______________________________________

Date: ______________________________________

Purpose: This Self-Assessment Inventory outlines the major areas of competence an effective supervisor must have. The competency areas are sub-divided into categories which correspond to the major functions supervisors perform.

This Inventory can also be used as a guide to curriculum development for Supervisory Training, using the components as the basis for a needs assessment exercise.

Note: The scale below does not represent a test. There is no formal scoring involved.

To assess yourself using this form, put the number corresponding to your level of competence (as indicated on the scale below) in the appropriate column next to each competency listed.

Scale: 4 = Very competent (capable of performing and practice this function regularly)

3 = Competent (capable of performing but don’t practice this func…

WHY THIS 'ZILLA veri di? SiliconIndia Strategic HR Summit, Bangalore: the heinous bias!

WHY THIS 'ZILLA veri di? SiliconIndia Strategic HR Summit, Bangalore, Dec 1, 2011

I attended SiliconIndia's Strategic HR session at Bangalore in 2011 on Dec 1.
Sessions were very average and dull and boring. No excitement. No flavor of leadership or passion of an HR evangelist, so to say.
There were many panel discussions and some solo presentations by tired (read re-tired) HR folks, who are at the top of HR hierarchy in their organisations.

Read my observations--



With due respects to all communities, including mine, if I have one. Yet to figure out as I am so shocked. Unfortunate reality of modern day corporate India! They were presenting at the summit.

A Malayali dominated company has a Malayali HR head
A Tamil dominatedcompany has a Tamil HR head
A Bengali dominatedcompany has a Bengali HR head
A UP/North Indian dominated company has UP/North Indian HR head
A Telugu dominatedcompany has a Telugu HR head
A Kannadiga dominatedcompany has a Kannadiga HR head
A M…

In lighter vein: Public sector vs private sector-who is more fair and transparent

Liberalisation opened gates for large number of private sector businesses and along came loads of jobs. Jobs came fast and furious. With so many hired, has there been a system that can be called fair and transparent in private sectors? Not sure as they do not hire like PSUs do. PSUs advertise, call for test, at  each stage publish results and best out of the whole lot are hired. Clear and transparent. In private sector hiring happens through local systems that a company may choose to adopt. Advertise on different job boards, media, website, internal hiring campaign, or sometimes even without advertising. That's called liberalisation. But does that ensure, we have followed fair and transparent process? Probably not. As there is no audit or accountability to any government body or cell to publish, how fair and transparent their system has been in hiring till promotions, reviews and rewards. Liberaliation, while has opened gates for privatisation but it appears it has made people and…

The threat of HR shrinking as a function

Largely HR is considered to be a support function to business or enterprise and has been growing as a function much guided by the business than it's own pattern of evolving as a multi-tier or multi-layer function. I see traditional HR has a definite form of statutory or compliance keeper in forms of maintaining employee records, history of employee life-cycle while following statutory compliance as the rule of the land or state stipulates.
Modern day HR as all of you know is a catalyst to the organization's change management efforts, organisational development planner and agent, people effectiveness coach, coordinator for capability building framework design team, total rewards expert, champions of people issues, aspirations and career progression frame-work builder ; advisor, Leadership pipeline builder, keeper of people's faith in organization's fair and transparent review, reward and recognition system, keeper of people's faith in being heard, taken care of and…

Thinking Course by Edward DeBono

The quickest and the most reliable way to be rewarded for intelligence is to prove someone else wrong. Such a strategy gives you an immediate result and also establishes your superiority. Being constructive is much less rewarding. It may take years to show that a new idea works. Further more you have to depend on the listener liking your idea. So it is obvious that being critical and destructive is much more appealing use of intelligence. This is made even worse by the absurd western notion that ‘critical thinking’ is enough.
Analysis, judgement and argument are not enough.

Critical destruction has never produced a better one. It is creativity that produces the better hypothesis.

Perception is how we look at the world.

Professor David Perkins at Harvard has shown that almost all the errors of thinking are errors of perception. In real life logical errors quite rare. Yet we persist in believing that thinking is all a matter of avoiding logical errors.

If your perception is limited then flaw…

Retention is an issue that haunts HR folks!

Thinking of retention risks: Focus on people finding their “sense of worth” before “sense of growth”
Retention is an issue that haunts HR folks much more than any other evil. Reasons are galore, that makes people think of moving is "urge to get out of here" and the other could be "to get in there". Though it is just a trigger.

Someone's loss is someone's gain. The devil emerges, many a times, when a team becomes dysfunctional for any reason out of few given here; from losing a juicy project to a dictatorial manager to the poor review, etc. Much of the reasons for people choosing to move out are sectoral technology change, seasonal recessionary trends, making business sick and people have no clue on when company returns to pink. Let others participate and not leve it just to people in HR functions to do the loud and clear thinking and build a robust plan to retain the stars and others, respectfully called the 'B' players, as they hold the or…

The Brahmanism of hiring: Corporate's helpless dilemma

Recruiting managers or HR Managers who do the hiring or sourcing as it is called in the mean world of procurement of human resources
No, not really, candidates or applicants or aspirants get the dime-a-dozen treatment when they are hired through an agency, who is a detached or not-connected sourcing agent/a contractor or a vendor , be it a company sourcing guy or an outsider.
I seriously believe, it is high time when we all started implementing the learning's that we got from the top leaders like Jack Welch and Larry Bossidy and others with similar stature, who told, "nothing that you do is more important than hiring and developing a top talent" and "you must never delegate hiring".
If there is any element of truth into what these statements here, then we must look back and ask all hiring Managers, for whose team and business the hiring goals are set to review the whole hiring process , which includes sourcing, posting, marketing, branding, screening, evaluating, …

The 'Alpha Male'

{ First who.....then what. Those who build great organisations make sure, they have the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the key seats before they figure out where to drive the bus. They always think first about "who" then about 'what."}-Jim Collins In their paper coaching the Alpha Male, HBR, May 2004, Kate Luderman and Eddie Erlandson define the regularly encountered subject of their treatise as "highly intelligent, confident and successful people who are not happy unless they are the top dogs...Natural leaders, they willingly take independent and action-oriented, Alphas take extraordinary levels of performance for granted...they think very fast and, as a consequence, don't listen to others who don't communicate in Alpha-speak".These are managers who have opinion about everything, believe that their insights are unique and right, and so tend to focus on the flaws in other's arguments and decisions…

Empower the trainer-Give her wings and a few claws too!

"It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up."-Vince Lombardi have often seen that training is trainer's baby and it her onus to prove the legitimacy of her baby! Others are there to suggest DNA tests! Trainers who are real trainers spend 5 to 20 times more time and effort pondering and preparing, against the training duration of that program. While the trainer shall be quite sensible and sensitive about the title and the profile of the audience, she must get rights to decide the ground rules and provide objective feedback to participants in general and in particular to individuals who did not or could not sync up with the objectives of the training by acting and behaving in a way absolutely against the motion, ethics and integral values of the program. Training is a test of a trainer and equally it is a test of the participants to wrest the best out of the training, trainer and cumulative experience of the audien…

The Feedfront Way...

Regressive or progressive, diagnostic or developmental, critiquing or coaching, dumping or delegating, discoursing or driving, record-keeping or rewarding, what's your style?
If 7 or more out of 10 times, you chose (as you do or believe in), the second word (italicized), you are a 'LEADER'. Congratulations!
Feedback or Feedfront is almost like the pair-words with same pair like corollary or connotation.
What do you choose, is the big call?

Feedback is a passive word.
Feedback is asked for; it remains prerogative or privilege of the person who asks for it.
You will agree, it takes 'heroic courage' and 'emotional fortitude' to ask for a feedback or provide one.
(Very few are really interested and most of us try to avoid it unless it becomes life-saving scenario or you are reaching mid-life.)

Feedfront is an active word.
It comes to you when you asked for it and even when you did not expect it or did not really want to hear it, for it may have caused y…

A proud day with the Indian Army, March 5, 2011

Subedar Rakesh with 13 years in army has got his duty done for the nation. I cannot imagine sharing a better space and breathing the same air around him, together..Salute to you Sir.. Subedar Rakesh, it was a great occasion meeting you and even more heartening was, when you asked, "Thandha (cool drink) ho jayye sir?" , Iwas honored. Thank you Rakesh for being so hospitable.

Subedar Ram Singh, me, wearing your cap that you readily offered, was a medal for me. Thank you for honoring. The touch of pride that my head got through your cap is no less than the
greatest fragrance for my life. Thnak you Sir for the honor and courtesy..Ram zindabad!

Macro Environment in India to Remain Challenging...

On India, Emil Wolter, head of regional strategy at RBS said the macro-economic environment will continue to remain challenging for sometime. Even if broadbased value were to emerge, he does not see it likely to result in immediate upsides. "We are advising clients across the region to remain undeweight on the Indian market for the time being", said the RBS strategist while presenting his report at a media briefing in Mumbai on Mar 4, 2011. Mr.Wolter is of the view that the cyclical indicators for the global economy are bottoming. He believes growth in the first half may surprise on the upside, particularly in the US.
"On the other, bond yields are likely to have hit a low in 2010 and are under threat from a move higher due either to credit concerns or higher inflation/better growth. Yet the debt spiral in Europe is unresolved and we question if the global economy can grow robustly with significantly higher interest rates."
"All the easy money is leading regiona…

Venturing out at the cool Bor dam!

Bor dam called 'dharan'in local language is 36 kms form Nagpur city on Wardha road. Great sprawaling lake reigns over 12 km stretch covering 5 villages. Has crystal clean water with lovely aquatic life, rocking small fishing boats lying lazy for a stealy night hunt for the golden, silver and platin fishes. Green looking stones through splashing waters on the bunds have their own music, emerging out of soft careses, that only S D Burman could have scripted in tunes of 'manjhi khte jaao re.'., once again. Mohan, the fisherman shared with us the details of the lake, it's depth, it's reserves and the fishing tax rates, that applied per boat and also per sack of catch. The telapia, rohus, katla and smaller little known fishes all you find here. The smoked telapia costs you 200 per kg, a good rohu 120 to 200 per kg. The smoked small fishes turn golden and they invite you for a divine bite.
Have a look at some of those real moments..The Bor dam, Mohan, the fisherman, m…

Trip to "Haji Ali", Mumbai

Defining moment in my life. It's a personal realisation time. I thank God, he blessed me with this gift of realisation early in my life.
I got my answer and that is good enough for this life.

Haji Ali, Mumbai, Feb 19, 2011.