Sunday, December 16, 2012

In praise of B/C HR players

I admire Adobe a lot. This is my dream company.
I just viewed Adobe India career page, as you see the link below. Wondered who is managing/maintaining this page. Is this a team or someone from the Recruitment team, maybe a VP level person?. No idea.
I have some suggestions though and you can check those below.
I just copy-pasted the webpage and inserted my comments/suggestions in gentleman fashion. Hope this helps!

Benefits and compensation / India : Benefits

At Adobe, we provide flexible, comprehensive benefits and competitive compensation so employees can afford to take good care of themselves and their families. Read below for an overview of our benefit and compensation programs for employees working in India.

Rewards philosophy
We want to ensure that we can attract and retain talented and motivated employees throughout the world partnering in our success.

Mrinal Krant: Please see my comments in blue/italics.

Sentence structure can be better if you write, “We want to ensure that across our global offices we are attracting and retaining talented and motivated employees, who partner in our success/who are critical to our success.

Adobe is committed to providing comprehensive and competitive benefits package to all its employees.
Our benefits include:

‘Committed to provide’ ‘a’ comprehensive and competitive benefits package to all its employees.

Better chose ‘dedicated to’ in place of ‘committed to’ as dedicated to shows commitment for future as well.

Health Benefits: All employees are covered under the Group Tem Medical insurance which includes their spouse, children and Parents.

It is better to write the title ‘Health Benefits’ as Health Cover Benefits’

Check typo ‘Tem’. Sentence can be better structured if you write, “Adobe provides comprehensive family health benefits to all its employees. (Details of family can be provided in Policy Guidelines/Manuals.)

Risk Benefits: Adobe provides Group Term Life Insurance, Group Term Personal Accident Insurance and Business Travel Accident Insurance which covers all its employees.
It is better to write the title ‘Risk Benefits’ as Risk Cover Benefits’
All Adobe employees are covered under Group Term Life Insurance, Group Term Personal Accident Insurance and Business Travel Health and Accident Insurance plans.
Retiral Benefits: This includes the Provident Fund Scheme which is managed by India Provident Fund Trust and Gratuity Scheme which is as per the Payment of Gratuity Act.
Rather than Retiral call it statutory benefits. 
Adobe covers all its employees for statutory benefits like Provident Fund Scheme and Payment of Gratuity.
Other Benefits:
Rather write”Other Significant employee Benefits’.

·         Public Holidays
·         Leaves which consist of:
·         Personal Time Off (PTO)
·         Paternity Leave
·         Maternity Leave
·         Miscarriage Leave
·         Leave of illness (arising out of pregnancy)—Interesting assumption that illness is only/mostly caused out of pregnancy. Very interesting and surprising to see 3 leaves in the list relating to women who are on family-way! Any reason for this special consideration for women?

·         Bereavement Leave
·         Sabbatical Leave
·         Educational Assistance to Employees
·         Employee Assistance program which provides free counseling assistance
·         Concierge Services*
·         Free Cafeteria Services
·         Company Vehicle schemes
·         Medical Room Facility

Note- It was a great comfort when I saw the Adobe Career page for the US. They are so perfect with information and structure.
Hope someone looks into India matter soon.
 Hope you liked it!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

More laws do not mean more justice!

Our biggest challenge is building a sense of fairness and moderation. Given the immediacy of all issues, expediency takes the centre stage in all our actions and thoughts.
Providing the balance between humanitarianism and resource optimisation has to be the corner stone of all leadership endeavours.

Even though organisations have codified values and behaviours, we see a total lack of collective will to make members feel engaged, fulfilled and productive. Economic progress is possible without inclusiveness or vice a versa, but the ultimate dual purpose of organisation is profitability and people realising their individual and collective dreams. If an individual's ultimate goal is to become a better human being, organisations too need to become better to enable that. But this can happen only if boundaries are strong, understanding is collective and interdependence is enjoyed.

Are we not talking about governance, when we say boundaries?
In Responsibilities at Work and The Five Minds of Future, Howard Gardner talks of the 'Ethical mind' where he envisions work to be good in the sense of being excellent, responsible and engaging.

Winston Churchill said, 'price of greatness is responsibility'.

Taming the instincts and a sense of restraint for the larger good is what will transcend us from being strong individuals to strong community.

Gandhiji listed seven deadly sins: Commerce without ethics, Pleasure without conscience, Politics without principle, Knowledge without character, Science without humanity, Wealth without work, and Worship without sacrifice.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wishing a Peaceful demise to MBA shops

19 FEB 2012 , Times of India

Business dull, 65 B-schools across India to shut down

Writes: (today/Feb 2012 there are 3,900 management schools with close to 3.5 lakh seats) that supply overshot demand by a long straw. And now comes the fallout.

Comes Oct 2012- TOI, Mumbai reports--225 B-schools, 52 engineering colleges close in 2 years.

IBN live reports:

in Andhra, 40 MCA, MBA colleges get AICTE nod for closure reports: 14 Andhra Pradesh MBA colleges will be closing their MBA programs this year
...Liked the word Desi MBA.

What I understand about business of the business schools in India is like this...(If we leave the premier B schools)...
With due regards...
Generic skill body shoppers for industry, factory, shops, online business, any industry. Job types offered?
data entry, cashier, attendance management, recruitment company's cold calling, insurance, credit card, SIM card, flat-plot sales, donation collection for NGOs, etc.
Salary offered?  (Assuming they get job) Anywhere between Rs.3500/- Per month to 20 K.
Unfortunate is the fact that all these colleges prey on jobless and uneducated graduates. Yes, uneducated graduates, as many feel, MBA is education, graduation is subsidy.
We have voting rights to select our government at 18 years, at 21 years, we graduate, if you did not fudge your date of birth.21 years is legal age to marry and start a family. At 21, we are goofs. We are non-employable. We go for MBA to become eligible for a job.
On a rough estimate, undergraduate call centre executives earn more than MBAs from the B and C rung MBA colleges, at least for initial 5 yaers and may be even beyond.
How many colleges have incubation centres, other than IIMs?
When you cannot build business, how would you know how to run it?
How many companies get churned out of MBA colleges in India?
Though MBA has got several I liked most is Mediocre and Below Average.
What most colleges even at top levels, do not teach is "enterprise". How do you build one?
None of the Deans, Professors have got the role to mentor entrepreneurs on campus and churn "x" number of business from campus.
Easy business that these colleges seek are-
Executive MBA, weekend MBA, at home MBA, on-line MBA, on line diploma, correspondence/distance learning programmes. Cash cows for many.Easy money! Education or certifications (shallow and dummy ones)
When their purpose is not enterprise, how will they build it?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Some funny interviews and some cool tips

Interviewing is a great experince and that too when you are luckily getting interviewed by very Senior Executives... I have latest fun from the 2 such encounters that I had.. ACT#1. Global Head was interviewing me over phone and please note, there was no JD shared for the position. Call started with no idea given to me about the structure and duration of the call and no mention of if I will get opportunity to ask any questions. Normally senior Interviewers set the motion with structure, expectations and plan. Interestingly, nothing seemed planned or structured. Call starts with the typical personal question, "Tell me about your family".  No stopping there and next comes the tagged question. Yes, 2 questions merged in one, "Tell me about your pre-MBA experinece and why did you choose HR as MBA specialisation?". Not sure, if asking two mutually exclusive questions merged in one sentence saves time or anything else. But for sure, interviewer had no plan or structure in mind. Such fun is great to have but shameful for the MNC who depend on such interviewers. This company was highest paying company on my MBA campus. Trades in coffee, sugar etc. On abrupt end of call, he mentioned that he is coming down to my city and he would meet me face to face on a date, he mentioned. Consultant/Head hunter was coordinating it all. The day for F2F meeting was one day ahead , when I called Consultant to check if she has got the time and place for my F2F interview and she had no information. Funny was the fact that she cited, here goes the fun..."actually my boss only talks to the client and since boss is on leave I cannot give you details." I insisted and got a little tougher and asked her to confirm details as it was already evening and I was supposed to meet F2F next day. No response came till the interview day and you can imagine my anxiety, if not the Global recruitment Head's professionalism and work ethics. I went a step ahead and searched for interviewer's offcial mail ID on the net and I found a clue. Wrote him asking for "no-updates". He comes back and calls me after 2 days and metions that he was not well, etc and I asked him about his health. He did mention that he could read my anxiety in the mail and from there I was very sure, our F2F meeting was going to be a ritual with no outcome and that pretty much it was. On my interview visit, I maintained a 'cool guy image' and interview went pretty well. I was told that I will get the feedback on Monday and I got a call from the recruitment firm's Manager that " the line manager at that business unit was looking for someone senior and they may come back to me if required but as of now no." That is cool fun as this is the startegic advantage of not sharing a Job description at all, which was the case here and here you win as an interviewer. Cool tactics. Liked it.
ACT#2. Very senior lady HR person form a global jeans apparel brand, posts job on Linked in for Sr.HR Manager and I applied and she responds over email asking for phone interview date and time for 4 days later/over Friday. I responded with time. No call comes till Friday. On interview day/Friday, I called after 45 mins of time of interview missed, and she says, (watch the fun) " She is looking into the interview schedule and she does not find my name. I still have my response to her mail in my sent folder." But out of her sheer professionalism she says, "Since you called me let me give you a time for Monday at 1400 hrs and she just does not stop there, she even sends me an invite from her calendar and not even a few liner courtesy mail, though she had missed my mail. Pls. clap for this modern day professionalism exhibited by such senior HR folks. I respond back confirming her invite. Monday, here comes the time and date of phone interview (remember 1400 hrs), it is already 98 mins past the scheduled time of 1400 hrs and no call no SMS. Can you expect a bigger fun than this? Oh, my bad and update was there in my mail box at 1.35 pm (I did check it later), which was just a rude changed invite with change in date, now it was for the next day. No mail, no sorry, no professional courtesy. I decided to write to her my questions before I get the interview call and she did reply to some of them very professionally. She called me as on the scheduled time and did give me whole lot of information about her company and I appreciated her for her passion and knowledge of her business. Her talk lasted for 30 mins and then she told, she will carry on the round-2 discussion and will send me time. That did not happen for a week and I reminded her on mail. She responded, "She did not get time to talk to me and will keep me posted." I am waiting for her mail for closure or pre-closure. Long live Peter principle. I am loving it all with my french fries! Wanna have some?


I especially liked what I italicised. I liked the most about "Integrity"

KELLY PERDEW—winner of The Apprentice 2—has it. His secret weapon: the principles he learned at West Point, as a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer, and as an Airborne Ranger—principles that he’s applied to business with the same firepower determination that makes our military the best on the battlefield. In Take Command: 10 Leadership Principles I Learned in the Military and Put to Work for Donald Trump, Kelly shows how you can be an effective leader—like Donald Trump, who himself attended a military school. He gives you an insider look at The Apprentice, at the Trump Organization, and at how other current business leaders with military training, like Ross Perot (Founder, EDS), Marty Evans (CEO, Red Cross), Bill Coleman (Founder, BEA Systems), and Roger Staubach (CEO, Staubach Company) have relied on the ten principles to achieve success.  • Duty. Do what you’re supposed to do, when you’re supposed to do it. • Impeccability. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right. • Passion. Be passionate about what you do, and do what you’re passionate about. • Perseverance. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. • Planning. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. • Teamwork. There is no "I" in TEAM. • Loyalty. Remain loyal, up, down, and across your organization. • Flexibility. In all aspects of life, the person with the most varied responses wins. • Selfless Service. Give back. • Integrity. Take the harder right over the easier wrong. In the military, there’s no margin for error. Wrong decisions are deadly decisions. Likewise, in business, wrong decisions can cost you your job. But Kelly Perdew teaches you how you can take the can-do military spirit and be all you aspire to be—and win.

Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit: Amazon Leadership Principles

Amazon Leadership Principles
These are leadership principles
and every Amazonian is guided by these principles.
Customer Obsession
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job”.

Invent and Simplify
Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here”. As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.

Are Right, A Lot
Leaders are right a lot. They have strong business judgment and good instincts.

Hire and Develop the Best
Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others.

Insist on the Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards - many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.

Think Big
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.

Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.

We try not to spend money on things that don’t matter to customers. Frugality breeds resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for headcount, budget size or fixed expense.

Vocally Self Critical
Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. Leaders come forward with problems or information, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.

Earn Trust of Others
Leaders are sincerely open-minded, genuinely listen, and are willing to examine their strongest convictions with humility.

Dive Deep Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details and audit frequently. No task is beneath them.
Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.

Deliver Results
Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.

Actors and Cricketers: Revived AB-Setting Sachin

"Sun never sets on British empire" but emperors set out to exit, depart, dropped or expire.
Amitabh has revived as cinema has broader scope for roles even when you stick to active and not try being producer, director, distributor or critic. Cricket does not have that. If you are not batting or bowling as sharp as you did earlier, bring you down the order will not help.

I was very confused to see Monty Paneshar so elated after dismissing Sachin at Wankhede yesterday. He was bowled over again, yes, again as it is easier to bowl him over than get him caught.

Looks like being on the grounds and still playing is compared to still on celluloid and cast for lead roles.
If one is on the ground, one is on the battle-field. Will need to fight and close combat. You cannot strategise on the field. That is an exercise done before landing on turf.

Sachin must learn from Amitabh and check where he can diversify, keeping intact and leverage his brand image and capitalise. Plenty of roles available outside being bowled everyday. Coach, commentator, critic, team manager, owning IPL team, heading BCCI, leading role in ICC and many more.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book by Carl Honore-"In Praise of Slow"

What is In Praise of Slow about?

It’s about how the world got stuck in fast-forward and how more and more people everywhere are slowing down. In other words, it’s about the rise of the Slow Movement. In Praise of Slow is published in 30 languages and has been a bestseller in many countries. In October 2009, it was the inaugural selection for the new Huffington Post book club.

What is the Slow Movement?

It is a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting.

When was this Slow idea born?

People have been defending the value of slowness for at least 200 years - think of the Romantics, or the Transcendentalists or even the hippies. But the idea of a Slow Movement which seeks to blend fast and slow to help people work, live and play better in the modern world is more recent. Born in Italy in the early 1990s the ****Slow Food movement helped recapture the word slow’ as something positive. But they concentrate on food. More recently Slow has become a universal label to explain the benefits of doing everything at the right speed: sex, work, education, exercise, etc.

Why do we need a Slow Movement now?

It seems to me that we are moving towards an historical turning point. For at least 150 years everything has been getting faster and for the most part speed was doing us more good than harm in that time. But in recent years we’ve entered the phase of diminishing returns. Today we are addicted to speed, to cramming more and more into every minute. Every moment of the day feels like a race against the clock, a dash to a finish line that we never seem to reach. This roadrunner culture is taking a toll on everything from our health, diet and work to our communities, relationships and the environment. That is why the Slow Movement is taking off.

Have we reached the point of trying to accelerate the unacceleratable?

Definitely. You can even do courses in Speed Yoga or Speed Meditation these days. All this technology connects us in ways that can be wonderful but it also tempts us into trying to hurry up relationships too. So on Facebook or MySpace you find people claiming to have 4,356 friends! The very idea of friendship is devalued. And maybe we’re also losing the ability to make friends: in Britain, a major survey found that between 1986 and 2006 the number of teenagers who say they have no best friend in whom to confide rose from under one in eight to nearly one in five. Or consider the phenomenon of Speed Dating, where singles gather at events where they get three minutes (sometimes less) each with 30 members of the opposite sex and have to choose who might be a suitable romantic partner. Actually, I read recently that in the latest version of Speed Dating the participants no longer even meet face to face (that’s too slow, you see). Instead, they get three minutes to appraise each other via email or instant messaging. A magazine in Britain even published an article recently on how to bring about an orgasm in 30 seconds! So even in the bedroom it’s On your marks, get set, go! Our speedaholism is out of control, and we all know it.

What are the tell-tale symptoms of living too fast?

When you feel tired all the time and like you’re just going through the motions, getting through the many things on your To-Do list but not engaging with them deeply or enjoying them very much. You don’t remember things as vividly when you rush through them. You feel like you’re racing through your life instead of actually living it. Illnesses are often the body’s way of saying Enough already, slow down!

What inspired you to write In Praise of Slow?

My life had become an endless race against the clock. I was always in a hurry, scrambling to save a minute here, a few seconds there. My wake-up call came when I found myself toying with the idea of buying a collection of One-Minute Bedtime Stories Snow White in 60 seconds. Suddenly it hit me: my rushaholism has got so out of hand that I’m even willing to speed up those precious moments with my children at the end of the day. There has to be a better way, I thought, because living in fast forward is not really living at all. That’s why I began investigating the possibility of slowing down.

How has the Slow Movement grown since In Praise of Slow was published?

In leaps and bounds. Everywhere people are waking up to the folly of living in fast-forward and discovering that by slowing down judiciously they do everything better and enjoy everything more. When I first began researching my book, the search term slow movement turned up almost nothing. There was Slow Food but that was it. Today you get nearly 500,000 entries on Google under slow movement. And it’s not just yoga teachers and aromatherapists flying the flag of Slow; it’s business too. The corporate world is starting to realize that too much speed and hurry hurts the bottom line. A senior manager at IBM has even launched a slow email movement, urging people to unplug and make the most of email (and life) by using email less. And that’s IBM, not a meditation school. Many companies are waking up to the fact that staff are more productive and creative when they can shift down a gear or two during the workday that’s why you see a boom in chill-out rooms, on-site yoga and massage, and even napping pods in the workplace. The latest neuroscience shows that when people are in a relaxed, mellow state, the brain slips into a deeper, richer, more nuanced mode of thought. Psychologists actually call this Slow Thinking. Artists have always known that you cannot hurry the act of creation and increasingly businesses are realizing the same thing: that workers need moments to relax, unplug, be silent in order to be creative and productive.

Productivity is one thing, but what about pleasure?

Pleasure is certainly a big gain from slowing down. Mae West once said that “Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly” and though she was probably talking about sex (did she ever talk about anything else?) it’s an observation that holds true across the board. We are obsessed with the destination and have lost the art of enjoying the journey. Everything has to be instant so we miss out on the joy of anticipation, of looking forward to things. We lose the pleasure of striving to make something happen. I think that anticipation is a key ingredient in pleasure of any kind. When we look forward to something, imagining how it will be, planning how to enjoy it, getting a little nervous maybe - when the thing actually happens the pleasure is more intense.

Does that mean the Slow Movement is anti-speed?

No, absolutely not. I love speed. I like my Internet connection to be fast and I play two of the fastest sports around, ice-hockey and squash, in my spare time. I live in London, which is a city of volcanic energy, and I enjoy working to deadlines. Speed has its place in the modern world. Often you have to move quickly, particularly at work. The problem is that speed has become a way of life. We do everything in a rush. We are stuck in fast forward and that is unhealthy.

What is the Slow take on multitasking?

That it’s usually a poor use of time. The latest neuro-scientific research suggests what most of us already suspect: that the human brain is not very good at multitasking. Sure there are a few simple or routine tasks we can perform at the same time, but as soon as you have to engage the brain, you really need to focus on one activity at a time. Much of what passes for multitasking is nothing of the sort: it is sequential toggling between activities. And the research suggests that this flitting back and forth is actually very unproductive: tasks can take more than twice as long to complete when performed in this way. That’s why that history essay takes your teenage daughter (with her IMs, cellphone, MySpace page, TV monitor, etc) three hours to write instead of 90 minutes. Hewlett Packard recently warned that the constant barrage of electronic interruptions causes IQ levels in the workplace to fall 10 points double the effect of smoking marijuana. In other words, being always on does not turn you into an uber-productive master of the universe; it turns you into Cheech and Chong or Ozzy Osbourne. Changing attitudes is hard because our culture is marinated in the notion that doing more things at once is somehow deeply modern, efficient and fulfilling. But change is possible. Once people understand the limits of the human brain, it should become easier to kick the multitasking habit. Some companies are starting to encourage staff to focus on one activity at a time and wall themselves off from the barrage of electronic interruptions whenever possible. This will take time because most of us are adrenaline-junkies. We need to wean ourselves off multitasking slowly. That means starting with maybe an hour a day focusing on a challenging intellectual task with the gadgets switched off. Or setting aside an afternoon when you perform every task in sequence rather than in overlapping fashion and then seeing how much more quickly and accurately you get your work done. I multi-task a lot less now and find that I am a lot more creative and efficient and I enjoy my life more because I’m more deeply engaged with everything I do.

How do Oriental disciplines like Chi Kung, yoga and meditation fit into the Slow revolution?

They are completely in harmony with it. They teach us how to be comfortable with slowness. They retrain our bodies and minds and help shift us into a lower gear. This brings obvious physical benefits such as greater flexibility, strength and balance. But it also goes deeper than that. It can cultivate an inner calm that you take with you into the more hectic moments of the day - so that you keep your head while all around you are losing theirs. By slowing us down, these Oriental practices also give more depth and meaning to our lives. One of the key benefits of decelerating is that it gives us the time and tranquility to look inside ourselves, to listen to our hearts, to get in touch with our souls, to ask the big questions in life.

Which parts of the Slow revolution do you find most fascinating?

That is a hard question because I find them all fascinating! The Slow philosophy is making inroads into every walk of life. There are movements for Slow Homes, Slow Management, Slow Leadership, Slow Libraries, Slow Research, Slow Sex, you name it. Lately I have been paying a lot of attention to the rise of Slow Travel. The fast approach to travel and tourism is taking a heavy toll. The environmental damage caused by our penchant for air travel is well documented, but it is just the start. When we travel in roadrunner mode, we miss the small details that make each place thrilling and unique. We lose the joy of the journey. And at the end of it all, when every box on our To Do list has been checked, we return home even more exhausted than when we left. That is why Slow Travel is gaining ground.
Slow Travel is about savouring the journey (traveling by train or barge or bicycle or foot rather than crammed into an airplane); taking time to engage and learn about the local culture; finding moments to switch off and relax; showing an interest in the effect our visit has on the locals and on the environment. Obviously we don’t live in an ideal world so sometimes we have to travel faster than we want or should. But at least we should seek wherever possible to take a Slow approach to travel. It will deliver more pleasure, stronger memories and more sustainability.
I am also very interested in the idea of Slow Design making products in a sustainable way, with high-calibre materials and real craftsmanship. The consumer culture has been producing cheap, disposable crap for so long. I think the next stage for capitalism will be for us to consume fewer things of higher quality.

As a globetrotting writer and commentator, do you manage to stay Slow?

Yes, I do. It’s not easy, and it takes lots of discipline, but it is possible. One can be Slow in any profession (though some are clearly harder than others) because being Slow is essentially a state of mind. My life is still busy but not TOO busy. I have definitely changed - there is for me a very clear Before and After. Before I was always trying to do more and more things in less and less time. It was all about speed and quantity. Now I approach each thing seeking to do it as well as possible instead of as fast as possible. This has made a big change in the way I feel about time: I no longer feel a slave to it. I feel like I have enough time for things and I don’t very often feel rushed (even though I have an exciting, full life). This is not a paradox. It’s about finding the right equilibrium and not being obsessively neurotic about time. My first step was realizing that I had got stuck in fast-forward, and that too much speed was doing me damage. Then I began making concrete changes. I cut back on the things I was trying to cram into my schedule to allow more time to rest and to devote to the things that are more important to me. So I dropped one sport (tennis) and reduced my TV-watching to a few hours a week, instead of a few hours a day. I also stopped wearing a watch, which seemed to make me less neurotic about time. I take breaks during the work day to relax, eat and do a bit of meditation. And I switch off my technology (email, cellphone, etc) whenever possible, instead of being always connected. I have learned to say “No” to things - work, social offers, etc - to avoid getting over-scheduled. This is especially important in my work. I get lots and lots of offers to write, speak, consult and it is tempting to do them all, but if I did I would become the opposite of what I’m preaching. So I choose the jobs that I think are the most important in order to keep a balance in my life.

How do other people react when someone slows down?

No man is an island and when we start slowing down we have to take account of the impact on people around us. That involves warning friends and colleagues, explaining why your are going to do less, unplug your technology more, and ask for more time for work assignments. I was afraid at first that this was going to alienate people, and initially some were skeptical. But very soon people began to understand that they could no longer reach me 24 hours a day; that I wasn’t going to say Yes to every social and work offer; that I might like a bit more time for a job. What I found is that people around me, after a time of watching me slow down, began to implement similar changes in their own lives.

How do the principles of Slow apply to children and how do you raise your own kids?

I think children need slowness even more than adults do. It’s in those moments of quiet, of unstructured time, of boredom even, that kids learn how to look into themselves, how to think and be creative, how to socialize. We are doing a great disservice to our children by pushing them so hard to learn things earlier and earlier and by keeping them so busy. They need time and space to slow down, to play, to be children. Across the world, parents, politicians, adults in general are so anxious about children nowadays that we have become too interventionist and too impatient; we don’t allow them enough freedom. My wife and I give our children lots of time to play on their own. We resist the temptation to enroll them in too many extracurricular activities. We limit the time they spend sitting in front of computer screens and using technology, so that they run around outdoors and invent their own play. We also don’t try to push them to learn academic things before they are ready. And so far the results have been good. I hope it continues!

Can everyone benefit from the Slow revolution?

Yes, slowing down is not just a luxury for the rich. It is, in essence, a mindset. Most of the things that make up a Slow life are available to most people. People on lower incomes can cook simple meals at home and eat them at the table with the TV switched off; they can choose to use their technology in a more balanced way; they can resist the temptation to speed-read bedtime stories to their children; they can avoid over-packing their social schedules by saying No to some things; they don’t have to over-schedule their children with activities; they don’t have too drive fast; and so on.

But doesn’t slowing down have to mean working less and therefore earning less money?

Not necessarily. I probably work the same number of hour as before; I just work them more slowly. And unless you are living in abject poverty, working/earning less is maybe easier than we think. I was at Malpensa airport in Milan the other day and the man sweeping the floors was talking constantly for at least an hour - on his mobile phone. That costs money. It seems that even for people on lower incomes there can be ways to cut back on consumption and spending. That said, however, I accept that there are some people for example single mothers juggling two jobs - who will find it hard to cut back. But that does not mean the Slow movement is elitist. Every social revolution starts in the middle classes, after all, and then spreads throughout the rest of society.

Does the Slow Movement appeal to some social groups more than to others?

I’m always amazed and delighted by the way the Slow philosophy resonates right across the social spectrum. The virus of hurry has infected every corner of our culture and we are all desperate for a cure. I think the way In Praise of Slow has filtered into the most unusual places speaks volumes. It has been translated into 30 languages and been a bestseller all over the place, from North America to Britain, Spain, Italy and Holland to Argentina, Paraguay, Sweden and Taiwan. I know of many clergy (Protestant, Muslim and Catholic) who have quoted from the book in their sermons around the world. It is touted by yoga teachers, Tantric sex instructors and practitioners of alternative medicine. It was chosen as a book of the year by a number of business magazines and is now on reading lists given out by management consultants, life coaches and other business gurus. It was even placed inside the Big Brother (TV) house in Argentina to give the contestants something more to talk about than cellulite and Britney Spears. I hear from many schools around the world where children aged have been doing projects based on the book. I also hear from book clubs that have read In Praise of Slow.

What is the future of the Slow Movement?

The good news is that the Slow movement is! And as the world gets faster, the need for a counter-current of slowness will grow too. I feel more optimistic now than I did when In Praise of Slow first came out.

Is there a danger that the Slow Movement will get hijacked by the speed culture and become just another consumer fad?

There is a danger of that, clearly. But I think that the Slow Movement is strong enough now to resist that threat. And besides we need to slow down so badly that it is hard to imagine that people will suddenly give up on deceleration and move on to the next trend.

Many companies are using the idea of Slow to sell the their products now does that worry you?

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, there is a danger that the Slow message will get diluted by companies using the term Slow for products that are not Slow at all. But I can’t see how we can stop this. The more optimistic view is that any ad that trumpets the values of Slow is a good thing. Buying and selling things is a part of the human experience and we live in a world where advertising is part of the cultural wallpaper. Most ads pump out a single message: There isn’t enough time to slow down, so hurry up and buy our product! The fact that so many ads now use a Slow aesthetic or message (think people sitting on beaches or doing yoga in the forest) shows how much the world is yearning for slowness. It also seems to me that every time a company runs an ad campaign based on the idea that slow equals pleasure and quality, the cultural tectonic plates shift a little further below the surface. It makes slowing down more appealing and permissible. Here are three recent examples Slow-inspired ad campaigns: Haagen Dazs discovered that it took 12 minutes from leaving the freezer for its ice cream to reach the perfect point of softness for eating. The company recently ran a campaign in Britain based on the joy of waiting for that perfect moment of ice cream pleasure. The ad campaign that launched the new Volkswagen Beetle in Japan used “Go Slow” (in English) as its slogan. Audi’s latest model is advertised as The slowest car we’ve ever built.

But what do you say to people who claim that the world will inevitably go on speeding up and that a Slow revolution is pie in the sky?

I say look at the history books. Take the rise of feminism. In the 60s, when feminists said the world was unjust and the moment for change had come, the mainstream reaction was: No, the world has always been this way. You can’t change it. Go back to the kitchen! But look at the world today. Obviously there is a long way to go to create a world of perfect gender equality, but a woman today could hardly imagine how severely life was limited for her grandmother. I look at my sister and my grandmother and marvel at the change in just two generations. And the green movement has followed a similar arc: it was dismissed as a plaything for hippies and tree-huggers thirty years ago but today is near the top of the political agenda. The message is that the world can change, if we want it to. For a cultural revolution to occur, you need three factors: the need for change; an awareness of the need for change; and people willing to put that change into practice. We now have all three factors in place for the Slow revolution to push on. I think the Slow movement is at the same point as feminism or green-ism was 30 or 40 years ago. We won’t change the world, or make it Slow, by next year. It will take time. The Slow revolution will be slowBut I believe it will happen.

What will a Slow world look like?

It will be a world that is healthy, happy and humane. But you have to realistic. I am no utopian. I am a skeptic by nature. I don’t believe we will ever create a world where everyone does everything at the right speed and no one ever feels rushed. That’s just a fantasy. The world is too complex and interconnected for that. It’s impossible in a world where we have to interact with others. Impatience is also part of being human. I suspect even the Dalai Lama rushes unnecessarily sometimes! Hell, even I forget to slow down from time to time I face a barrage of requests to give speeches, do interviews, etc from all over the world every day and it’s hard not to get caught up in the frenzy. But at least our starting point should be to seek the tempo giusto and to expect others to do so too.

What do you hope readers will take away from In Praise of Slow?

I hope that they will pause and reflect on how they lead their lives and how their lives affect the people and the world around them. I guess what I really want is for readers to grasp the very counter-cultural idea that the best way to survive and thrive in the fast-paced modern world is not to speed up but to slow down. And it seems to be working. Every day I open up my inbox and find a few emails from readers around the world who say the book has changed their lives. It’s exciting, and humbling.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

PWC-Talent Management Matrix

What does talent management do?

Whatever the size or shape of your business and whatever your talent issues,
there are four fundamentals to talent management:

1. Align your business plan and talent strategy – make sure every
aspect of your talent strategy directly contributes to your overall business
plan and to creating value. Change anything that doesn’t.
2. Face the future – look at where your business is heading not where you’ve
been. Keep questioning whether your talent management pipeline will give
you what you need when you need it.

3. Pay attention to pivotal roles – get the right talent into the roles which
have a disproportionate ability to create (or destroy) business value.
4. Focus on the financials – make measurement, benchmarking and
analytics part of your plan. Look to your people ROI.

Do you need a talent management rethink?
Is your current talent management plan fit for purpose? Ask yourself
these challenging questions:

• Do I have the talent to quickly and successfully execute my
organisation’s strategy?
• Do I have people with the right skills, the right knowledge and the
right experience in the right places – now and in the next 3 to 5 years?
• What will it cost me if I get my talent pipeline wrong?
• Which roles drive most value in my business, how do I best resource
them and what is my cost of turnover?
• How am I engaging and rewarding talent in these pivotal roles? Am I
over-rewarding ‘non-talent’?
• Are my global mobility programmes truly strategic – or are they
• How do my people metrics stack up to my competitors in this
industry? Is my people ROI good enough?
• How effectively is the HR function delivering what I need?
• Finally, does every aspect of my talent strategy directly contribute to
the business plan and to creating value?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Train your managers to lead and your leaders to manage.

My conceptual paradise is a 2 x 2 box where two dichotomies are juxtaposed. Are you in this box or that one? Then the game of trying to figure out which box you belong, “Are you in box A or box B?”, “What type of leader are you?” “Are you transformational or transactional?” “Are you inwardly directed or outwardly directed?” “Are you left or right wing?”

Consultants have made a fortune helping people and organizations figure out which box they belong in.

The problem with these dichotomies is that they simplify the world. They give too much credence to clean, conceptual thinking.

It depends on the situation. You may be a transactional leader one day and a transformative leader the next. You may be internally directed one day and externally directed a week from Tuesday.

And then there is what I consider to be the ultimate knee-jerk dichotomy?

This dichotomy between leading and managing is an indulgence in simplicity that we can no longer afford. Especially when asking ourselves what core competencies do we need to move in the future?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Global Well-being report by Gallup-India fares well and not so well

Jim Clifton | Only 8% Indians are positive about their jobs
America is good compared with India or China or Russia. These are really lousy workplaces: Clifton

US research and consultancy services firm Gallup has rated India poorly on it's global well-being index, which includes parameters such as career, social, financial, physical and community well-being. Income, education and employment have emerged as the key concerns among Indians evaluating their lives. 31% Indians classify their lives as 'suffering', 56% 'struggling' and 13% 'thriving'. Global index of suffering, struggling and thriving are 13, 63 and 24 percentages. Denmark tops the list with 74% thriving and only 2% suffering. Cambodia with only 2% thriving and 26% suffering.

In an interview with Mint on Monday, Apr 30, 2012, Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup Inc. said, "Only 8% of Indian employed are engaged, which means that only 8% of Indian work-force are engaged, positive and thrilled about their jobs. 30% are miserable. They come to work and sit with someone who is spirited till his spirit goes away.

Clifton acquired privately owned Gallup in 1988 and merged it with his own poll company that he started at 18. Today, Gallup is known for its presidential poll surveys and the Global Well-Being Index.

Jim Clifton: There are about a 100 million good jobs in America but only 30 million who come to work are highly engaged and feel good about their jobs. It doesn’t seem like a very good number to me. About 20 million are really miserable employees. But America is good compared with India or China or Russia. These are really lousy workplaces.

Jim Clifton: My big conclusion was entrepreneurial spirit, not innovation, is the key to creating jobs. I also think there is a migration pattern right now of the most talented people and where those talented people will land is going to make a lot of difference to jobs in the future.

View the well-being report at this link--

Friday, February 17, 2012

Facebook to faceforward...the real world is lot more fun!

We have a facebook profile, a linked in profile, a blog, perhaps a web page and much more to hold on to in the virtual world..All this and loosing touch with the real world, so far explored by being at a mall or a movie..

How about having your yearly calendar and filling it with things like, 2 trip to the heritage site, 80 miles away, walking through the lovely mountain range across the state, having picnic there; build a small documentary on your small v-cam over the best street food in your city, participating in 2 walkathon, 2 cyclothon supporting healthy heart and sponsor a school campaign; attending 2 seminars on non-conventional career opportunities; going for a paint-ball game, an org walk through the village across borders, going for a blood donation campaign, attending crafts exhibition by NGOs; listening to 4 lecture sessions by experts from "education , media, law and science and tech"; learning salad making,  mock tails martini from city's best chefs; attending rewards ceremonies for the unsung heroes; 2 carrom and TT competions, 1 shooting and 1 horse riding session.

Can we have our own calendars for the year, very customized and so varied and colorful?

I strongly believe, we need such calendars for all of us, kids, moms, elderly. We all cannot afford to go through a Disneyland experince but we can have many such adventures and bits of exciting and fun packages, filled with learning and a worthy possession of knowledge and skills for life. More so, it takes out of your chair, where you FB or email. Getting out and exploring life is fun. Meet real people, real facts of life and enjoy the offer of nature and much more that society can offer. All such participations that you make for such events, makes you look at life more saucier than a 2 hour weekend BBQ or Sizzlers.

I wish I could build a strong clubs of enthusiasts from different fields and passions in life, who could organise events across, adventure, food, drama, music, movie, festivals, carnivals, hertitage, sports, culture, media, health and life support,  social causes and much more.


Events driven by clubs specislised in all these areas can create plethora of events through the year to keep people from corporate, academics, families, Graduates who need to undergo lots of GRADUATES MATURITY PROGRAMMES LIKE ONE AT HIGH PLACES AND SAAHAS CAMPS, to stay ahead,  healthy, hearty and engaged with life and self, connected to society that we built as we could not live alone. Then why live alone and lean on FB for connecting to society alone? Come out , form club, organise events, live life with people. Learn and lead a purposeful life.

Kids-Matrx driven studies, OUTBOUND LIKE HIGH PLACES AND SAAHAS, TREASURE HUNTS, LECTURES, understand strengths, traits, preferences. Apply them to strengthen your gifts.
Follow the Leading practices from MBA schools to Industry practices.

Get Oscar like events at schools. Learn and apply modern day technologies from BI to open source hadoop to dashboards, surprise with presentations. follow the study methods of leading B-schools at schools.

Clubs at schools mentored by young turks who can be role models.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Leaders of different hues-Fall of character or Flawed culture?

'A leader is someone who just not asks, WHY?  instead, more often, he asks, WHY NOT?". Very impressive line I got to hear from Air Asia X CEO Azran Rani, an ex- McKinsey Consultant.
As Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X, the world's first truly low-cost long-haul airline. He led the start-up team that developed the business plan, raised capital, secured relevant licenses and approvals, acquired aircraft and launched AirAsia X's first inaugural flight to the Gold Coast, Australia in November 2007. Navigated company to success, through Tsunami, Aviation fuel price rocketed to $150, H1N1, Credit Crunch, Licensing issues and several other unforeseen challenges.
When I listen to such impressive people from the Global corporate arena, it consoles, we have people, who  create charisma and success by holding on to very high level of accountability and character. Does success come easy to them? Not really, they face multi-dimensional and multi-layer pressure that is tormenting.

On the other hand, we have super C-suite politicians, often found getting exposed by media. Witnessed on TV , one such  character of Congress leader Salman Khurshid, on his statement of Batala House encounter and Sonia crying over the pictures of encounter, Salman Khurshid showed to her. Next footage running parallel exhibits Digvijay Singh clarifying that , what Salman Khurshid says, actually did not happen, though he may have told it. Third parallel footage shows Salman Khurshid clarifying that she did not cry, actually she was emotional.

Salman got exposed so rudely on integral values , that too, when it is election time. Besides individual accountability to congress leadership, it is serious inflation of the muslim sensitive issue. He addresses a rally in Azamgarh, UP, where he speaks Urdu and it appeared as if he was addressing some rally in Multan.  Addressed PM as "Wazir-e-Azam". "Angre Chale gaye, Angreziat bachi rahi. Mughal to unse bhi pehle chale gaye, fir kuch khansaame kaise bach gaye, bhai?" The language, the words, the tone, all sound like meant for a community that, though may not prefer to remain so much in medieval time, would love to connect to current time and realities, look for Muslims to get educated, get employed and be a part of inclusive national growth. BUT not!, these leaders want to keep them there, and talk to them in medieval language, talk about Batala House encounter and expect them to vote for congress. This is politics of religion, fanaticism, creates emotional turmoil and drives the whole community against the realities and priorities of current times. Should election commission not ban them from election campaigns?

Political accountability has hit the bottom. Character exposed and that demotivates citizen, who have no option like, vote to reject. We must have the right to reject, as we have the right to elect.

I heard, youth in UP will vote for SP as SP promised the Rs.1000/- unemployment allowance per month.
While it sounds like insurance against unemployment, that money could be used to create employment opportunities and help youth set up their own businesses by providing technical and financial support.

Such allowances, I have seen being paid to youth in Bihar @Rs.400- per month , some 30 years back!
I am sure, that will not help, as the well known Chinese proverb says, you can give a fish to a hungry man and he will be OK for sometime, you tell him, how to catch a fish and he will never go hungry!

Chinese believed in proverbs with vision and they reached there right! We believe in policies of dependence and see where we are in 64 years of Independence.

Wake up! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Korn/Ferry's ProSpective Assessment

Amazing test that is so far the best I have got to see and tested.
It brings your insight to you, the way, you never knew it...truly endoscopic, I say.

It is not a trait test, it is not personality test, it is not leadership style test. It is a tool to discover, someone, called , YOU.
Take this..and get to know who you are?

Great things come for free! One best example is this tool. Link below-

Want to discover your Top 5 Leadership Characteristics and more?

Korn/Ferry's ProSpective Assessment identifies your strengths and weaknesses and can help you get what you want from your career.

This 3 step assessment takes just 10 minutes. You’ll receive a personalized report which contains your Top 5 Leadership Characteristics and highlights your hidden strengths and blind spots.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Some Great Quotes that inspire me

A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen.

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities... because it is the quality which guarantees all others.

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.

Winston Churchill
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.

Abraham Lincoln
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate.
Vince Lombardi

Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.
Vince Lombardi

Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price.
Vince Lombardi

If you can accept losing, you can't win.
Vince Lombardi

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works.
Steve Jobs

Sunday, January 22, 2012

BlessingWhite-Employee Engagement Report 2011

Employee Engagement Report 2011

Beyond the numbers: A practical approach for inviduals, managers, and executives
From BlessingWhite
A must read. This 77 page report is a must read in employee engagement. It is informative, practical, actionable and visually appealing. I read the report on my iPad and loved how it looked combined with the ease of how I could navigate through the report, and with the flick of two fingers enlarge tables or images.
Nuggets of engagement. Here are 11 nuggets to get you started:
Stable engagement. Despite the the economic recession, engagement levels around the world remained roughly stable 31% are engaged, and 17% are disengaged.
Give or get? Engaged employees plan to stay for what they give while disengaged employees stay for what they get.
Trust me. Trust in executives has more than twice the impact on engagement levels than trust in immediate managers does.
Survey damage. Engagement surveys without visible follow-up action may decrease engagement levels.
Engage Individuals. Work on ownership, clarity, and action.
Engage Managers. Work on coaching, relationships, and dialogue.

Engage Executives. Work on trust, communication and culture.
Full engagement. Occurs at the alignment of maximum job satisfaction and maximum job contribution.
Highly engaged. Citing McKinsey research the report states, “only highly engaged employees enable performance.
Career conundrums. Most employees don’t have clarity around their career aspirations and job satisfaction.
Geography lessons. Read the well-written meaty global analysis and recommendations for: Australia and New Zealand, China, Europe, India, North America, and Southeast Asia.

You can view the complete report on the below link..