Friday, May 31, 2013

Dushyant Kumar's poem!---Highly inspirational


हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी


हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी पिघलनी चाहिए,
इस हिमालय से कोई गंगा निकलनी चाहिए।

आज यह दीवार, परदों की तरह हिलने लगी,
शर्त लेकिन थी कि ये बुनियाद हिलनी चाहिए।

हर सड़क पर, हर गली में, हर नगर, हर गाँव में,
हाथ लहराते हुए हर लाश चलनी चाहिए।

सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं,
सारी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए।

मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही,
हो कहीं भी आग, लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए

Why industry looks so depressive today?

Govt cuts GDP growth estimate for 2012-13 to 5%; lowest in 10 years. This has fallen from 6.5% the previous year. On an average, 1% fall in GDP growth rate kills 20 lacs jobs. Here 1.5% would kill 30 lacs jobs, including no new jobs created and existing jobs cut.

Time to bring some zing to companies to get out of slumber. It looks like a depressive time. Looks like summer vacation in companies. Hiring stalled, events stalled, sales and marketing expenses under review and control, no new products and R&D departments slipping through enigmatic inertia.

Time to review, re-visit and introspect on all things gone wrong in past 5 years and what shall be the solution. The best way to use your lean time is to ask VPs and Business Heads to review their business and people strategy. Lean sigma or lay-offs, define all wrong hires, miss-hires and expensive mistakes, over paid executives and Managers. All Peter principle guys, who long stopped learning and have become liability for company. Their progeny has grown older and weak and just come to office like babus, dipped in politics and bureaucracy to hide their incompetency. Check out, how many positions in your company have become obsolete. Time to take action and promote people with passion and insights, who are full with pregnant ideas and carry no baggage, they come inexpensive an have high levels of drive, replace all these oldies with new breed of sharp shooters. Time to say good bye to old bosses who have become ineffective and they do not inspire anyone in the organisation, they have no skills, competencies and passion to mentor new talent. They are stuck to old school of thoughts and have become outdated. Companies have HR heads for 50 lacs to 1 cr compensation and these companies have not been able to groom and identify talents within HR for C&B and OD roles and keep hiring from market. Why have they failed to groom and build capability? Because they have involved people in daily shores and never new skills, new learning path. People are there in C&B, Generalist, L&D roles for more than 5 years. Why were their roles not changed and rotated to other sub-functions If companies do that, they will not have to hunt from outside, mostly. Keeping one skill in one guy for longer than 2 to 3 years is Vanrashrama dharma and brahmanism. Every leader enjoys inertia till shaken. We are mostly reactive at the top or in all leadership positions. Culture is driven down from the top and unfortunately the culture that we have been building is of insecurity, inefficiency, saving job, avoiding tough questions, not asking right questions and get to a state called, LEARNED HELPLESSNESS!

Wake up as anyways, shake up is knocking at the door.
Companies will have to do a fresh structuring much more clinical and broader than 10% lay-offs. 

Learning C&B: Interesting read..

A senior C&B profile ---
Specialties:Job Evaluation and Role Clarification, Mercer IPE Methodology, Compensation Structuring, Compensation and Benefits Policy Design and Administration, Executive Compensation, Expatriate Compensation, Data Analytics, Six Sigma Methodology, Policy Integration post M&A, HR Process Benchmarking and Streamlining.

A junior C&B profile---
Fresher MBA from Non-ranked MBA college in IT services company in C&B..based in India
Look at her profile and claims...
Key responsibilites :

• Handling Compensation & Benefits in Americas
• Designing Compensation & Benefits structure and HR policies for Overseas countries considering Cost of living, legal provisions, Tax rules, Social Security norms and Business parameters
• Handling of Incentive plans
Identifying & Appointing Insurance agencies in respective countries based on Company’s requirements and provisions 
Evaluating various countries based on security / other issues & preparing practical Country guides for setting up business in new countries

Her next job with an HR consulting firm--Here she looks grounded and moderate...
Designing Expat Compensation and Policy manual
• Conducting Compensation & Benefits surveys for IT/ ITeS, Engineering Sector, Manufacturing
• PMS Audit
• Designing Retention Plan
• Conducting Development Centres--THIS IS INTERESTING!

Her specialities as in her Linkedin profile--Well grounded and fair...
HR professional with experience in Compensation & Benefits which includes designing Expat Compensation Structures, Surveys, Polices, Salary Revisions, C&B Cost Analysis, Retention Bonus Plan

Specialties:Compensation & Benefits..

One C&B Senior professional/Non-MBA worked with MNC pharma..
Responsible for end to end C&B Function, C&B polices & implementation. Lead / Supported C&B integrations during mergers and acquisitions designing and implementing C&B strategies Compensation benchmarking and pay ranges. Facilitated job mapping to determine appropriate market pricing, review and salary increases consulting and advising Global / Regional & local Stakeholders on compensation actions Developed Incentive schemes which supported pay for performance Develop Salary Budgets, Policies and processes design. Strategised & Implemeted Health and Wellness programme across India for about 3k employees.
Benchmarked Design and implemented benefits Programs considering trends, practices and costs. Compensation and benefits administration outsourcing ensure compliance & audits. Managed and administer expats compensation, ESOP and RSU. Built and lead the Compensation support to the Srilanka business start up

Specialties: C&B Integrations, Mergers and Acqusitions.
Employee Policies, Benefit design & administration.
Compliance and audits

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Interesting exercise to self-exploration! "Dendrographology"

Tree Drawing : The Interpretation
Tree reading is a new trend in self-exploration that's gaining popularity, allowing a person to learn about them by simply doodling a tree.
This is a good activity to use as an ice breaker or as a warm up activity to stimulate interaction between students and/or fellow teachers or new employees at New Hire Orientation.
Objective:
· Students/employees will demonstrate knowledge in reading and comprehension.
· Students/employees will interpret the drawing of a fellow student based on the guidelines provided in the handout.
· Students/employees will introduce fellow students to the class and will tell some interesting
information about each other based on their drawing of a tree.
Procedure:
· Tell the students/employees you have only three words of instruction for them.
· Post the instructions on the board or screen.
· The only instructions are “DRAW A TREE.” Say no more.
· Students/employees are given 8-10 minutes to draw a tree on a blank sheet of paper.
· At the end of the time limit, take up all of the class drawings in random order.
· Next, distribute the tree drawings to the students making sure that no student receives
their own tree drawing.
· Next, distribute the Tree Drawing Interpretation handout to each.
· Students/employees are to interpret the drawing based on the criteria presented on the handout.
Place a check mark in all the categories that apply to the drawing.
· Follow the instructions that directs each student to summarize their findings by writing a
paragraph about that person based on their tree drawing.
Conclusion:
· Students/employees will take turns orally introducing the person of whom they interpreted the tree
drawing. Students are encouraged to take the findings “with a grain of salt”, however
most will agree that the tree interpretation gives a fairly close description of that person’s
personality.
Materials Needed:
· Blank paper, colored pencils or crayons, timer.
· Approximate time of activity with 28 students is 1 hour.
Tree Drawing : The Interpretation
Tree Drawn By:__________________________________
Interpretation by: ________________________________
SIZE
____ 1. Small in relation to the paper: You are frugal, careful with money and time.
____ 2. Large in relation to the paper.: You are generous to a fault. You tend to take on more than you can.
LINE QUALITY
____ 1. Firm, strong lines: Indicates an aggressive, positive, self-assured person.
____ 2. Light lines: Indicates you are soft spoken and gentle. May tend to be inconspicuous.
TREE PLACEMENT
____1. Tree in top half of paper: You tend to be and up-in-the-air person, an independent spirit who needs
a lot of freedom.
____ 2. Tree at bottom of page: Indicates a down-to-earth person, practical, sensible and reliable.
____ 3. Tree in the center of the page: Indicates a well organized person, good at planning ahead.
____ 4. Tree drawn crosswise on the page: Indicates broad mindedness type of person. Open to new ideas.
DETAIL
____ 1. Few lines or outlined only: You like to work with overall concepts, the big picture, but let others
handle the details.
____ 2. Lots of detail : You like to immerse yourself in the details of anything you do.
VALUE
____ 1. Tree is shaded or darkened: Indicates a serious quality in the person.
____ 2. Tree is light and airy, without shading: You tend to be an easy going person, carefree.
____ 3. One part of the tree is shaded: Indicates a serious concern about one aspect of your life:
Trunk: concerned about home situations.
Roots: indicates a troubled or difficult past
Treetop: indicates concern about the future.
SHAPE
____ 1. Tall: You are a tall-thinking person. You aim high and often inspire others.
____ 2. Pointed top: You are ambitious and like to feel that you are always moving forward.
____ 3. Tree bent as if blowing in the wind: You tend to be restless, full of energy and often get caught up
in the activity around you.
____ 4. Short and wide: You are contented, stable, satisfied with your life. If the tree is wide relative to its
height, you also tend to be protective of those close to you.
BASE
____ 1. Ground included: Indicates a need for security and planning
____ 2. Tree floating in the air: You are perfectly comfortable when things are spontaneous and you function equally well in any surroundings.
____ 3. Earth drawn as soft, graceful line under the tree: You are happy and contented.
____ 4. Tree drawn in a pot: You like to be on-the-go, you can take off on a trip at a moment’s notice.
____ 5. Tree drawn on a hill: You like attention and want to be noticed.
ROOTS
____ 1. Roots included: The past is important to you. It has a strong influence on the way you live and think. Graceful roots suggest a warm feeling about childhood.
____ 2. Tree base is open, without roots: You draw strength from the person you are today. A base drawn in a straight line indicates you have cut yourself off from the past.
TRUNK
____ 1. Wide and sturdy: Indicates strength. You can stand up in adverse circumstances.
____ 2. Slim and narrow: You are flexible and adaptable.
____ 3. Trunk is very straight: You tend to be well organized.
____ 4. Trunk is clear and uncluttered: You are content with your home life. Gnarled, twisted or darkened
trunk indicates an unhappy home situation.
____ 5. Knothole drawn: You are forgiving. And if the knothole is dark, you tend to be forgiving of others weaknesses, but have a hard time forgiving your own.
TOP OF TREE
____ 1. Drawn as fluffy cotton ball – Indicates a warm, gracious person, contented with life and comfortable to be around.
____ 2. Simple, round top: You tend to be private and like to keep to yourself.
____ 3. Winter tree, branches without leaves: You are honest. How things are done is more important to you than the final result.
____ 4. Summer tree with swirls and curves suggesting leaves: Indicates that you care more about the end
` result than the methods used to accomplish the task.
____ 5. Tree without branches and leaves: Indicates a well rounded person who cares both about the end
result and the methods used to achieve it.
____ 6. All branches up: You are forward-looking and more interested in the future than the past.
____ 7. Branches spread out in all directions: Indicates an outgoing person who reaches out to others.
____ 8. Treetop with a lot of lines: Indicates energy and movement. You like to keep busy. If lines are verytangled, you may be confused about where your life is going. Sometimes you
feel like you are just spinning your wheels.
____ 9. Each individual leaf is drawn: You tend to be methodical and like things well organized.
____10. Tree looks cut off at the top: You are holding yourself back and can’t progress in the direction
you want to go.
THINGS DRAWN IN OR AROUND THE TREE
____ 1. Any extra features: You are aware of things going on around you.
____ 2. Fruits and nuts: You want your home to be a comfortable place
____ 3. Grass: You want your home to be a comfortable place.
____ 4. Flowers: Beauty is important to you and you like to fill your home with beautiful things.
____ 5. Birds, animals, people: You are kind, warm hearted and like to be with people.
____ 6. Sun: Indicates an optimistic outlook.
____ 7. Clouds: Indicates expectations of sorrow and disappointment.
____ 8. A swing: Indicates you enjoy life and find fun in all you do.
CONCLUSION:
With the information you have gathered from above, write a paragraph about the person on the back of the tree
drawing. The paragraph should summarize the personality of the person based on your findings from this
checklist. See if you can find the person in the room and return your evaluation to them.
For more details refer to website link below--

www.popehorticulture.com J. Green

Also, for quick reference check the blog link below for quick interpretation of your tree type by selecting your tree out of pictures given on this blog..
http://e-bulgaria.blogspot.in/2007/08/draw-tree-personality-test.html

Hire for values, use for business! Is there a dichotomy?

Dabate going on says, hire for values and not just competencies. Difficult to test what is values? Is your value better than mine? Do your values flexible and compromise with business needs for survival and growth? Are business decisions always in line with laid values, say core values of the organisation? Are hiring and firing, promoting and rewarding all driven by laid down values? Was Phaneesh Murthy fired for breach of values? No. He was fired for not informing the board that he had a relationship with Ms.Roiz Araceli, his colleague and head of IT at iGate. Is not declaring relationship breach of values? Is declaring relationship an act of values? Suppose he declared, which he says, he did a few weeks before the Roiz inferno, what would board do? Question is not of values, it is a matter of legal complexity and threat for iGate. iGate fired Murthy without investigation and opportunity to defend his case. This is interesting but would iGate management take him back if he comes out clean of harassment charges? If not, iGate is not driven by values.

Unlike Murthy,there are many first time offenders and even when we check for values or antecedents, you need a mechanism in the organisation which infuses confidence in people against harassment of any kind. Not just harassment but any unethical wrong doing. We all wait till a disaster happens. Did no one know Murthy's relationships with Roiz were inappropriate? Did anyone inform? Why? Coz' everyone is so careless or afraid of the powerful people in the organisation. It is responsibility of the organisation to have mechanism for proper governance, intelligence and visible signs of tough actions against anything unethical or illegitimate. How many companies have you seen takes preemptive measures to curb illegal or unethical actions? Unfortunately, we see all news when disaster has already taken place and the wrong doing was going on for long time and people knew it.

Companies are either failing on intelligence or ignore the act of wrong doing till the time they are getting no serious complains. Reebok India Senior Executives or now Amway Executives under scanner and police and legal actions, come only when the disaster has taken place and company’s intelligence systems have failed. Unfortunately, companies rely on legal department for such watch and compliance. They are not intelligence people. Answer is, first get ethics set at the top and then talk through actions and infuse confidence in people through clear, visible signs of conviction against any wrong doing. Time to act "Intelligently".

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We all love Mediocrity!

In the world that demands serious innovation, competitive advantage, leading edge, market leadership, brand image and brand value, mediocrity is a killer. I find many corporate people have lost sense of reasoning, analytic thinking  and sense of purpose. It takes them lot of time to define any situation, understand complexity, relate factors that affect the situation, check for possible solutions, etc. They are too slow and incapable to thing through. Organisations are full of incompetent people over years who have settled like silt and moss into the system. They create a termite effect. They promote sycophancy, boot licking, compromise with conscience and kill spirits of free thinking, rationale and radical through process, plans and actions. Status Quo is the orgasmic state of being inefficient and incompetent. Ask for leaders and managers to publish their KRAs and KPIs and present scorecard periodically. You will find 80% of them have either not been able to define KRAs and KPIs well and 90% of them would have KRAs and KPIs as talk lists, the everyday chore of admin stuff they do.In this situation, how can one expect serious innovation, competitive advantage, leading edge, market leadership, brand image and brand value. This is the killer app, called Mediocrity. If you have a better term than this this shall be Son-in-Law syndrome. Liability and no accountability. How much of mediocrity has this phenomena created over years. This is a syndicate of the mediocre  who keep the talent away. They conspire to keep only C players and a few B players. This gives them ease of life and importance of their position. I am surprised when a large Indian Pharma company that has close to 300 people in Human Resources function is looking for an OD professional to hire. I am shocked that in 30 years of their existence and 300 odd HR folks at all levels of compensation, have not been able to produce 10 good OD professionals. This is shocking and revealing truth that mediocrity loves  Status Quo.. Long live mediocrity.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Peter out: Too expensive for the role

I have always been concerned about the rising cost of employees and more so when I see the roles not changing, talent just good enough for the basic role and salary gone up by 70% to 100% over last 3 appraisals. This is peter mark, I call. This is a threshold beyond which company starts losing out big way.

Has the role changed for higher levels of responsibilities over a period of time? If not why pay more. Simple economics says, pay for what you get. I guess, organisations must start calculating the losses, the holy loss as I prefer to call it, on each employee after 2 years and must ensure that, cost is within the peter level or else follow the McKinsey's "Go up or out".
If you do not follow this, you frustrate the employee if he is ambitious to grow or you keep paying higher salary for someone who does not grow. Either which way, action is required. We all talk about employee life cycle, but have we ever thought beyond the admin part of employee management? There is an optimal value of the employee that has to be leveraged to get the best out of employee's talent and cost within the defined timeline of  1 to 3 years and see, how many have been optimized and where to position the best one's and what to do with the laggards.
I have see the admin, payroll, finance, HR and many other places employees being there for past 6 to 10 years without change in role or skills, or qualifications and become untenable for the cost they charge now due to their levels.
Worst I have seen is when companies have promoted the laggards to position of prominence due to absence of better ones and they deliberately have not hired a smart guy as that will be a challenge to the manager, who chooses to hire and keep only the below average folks in his team for ease of management and keep his position important and unchallenged. He deliberately does not mentor or empower his subordinates and allows them to commit mistakes so that he can rule over them.
Companies need to have a watch on such managers who build termites into the system and kill company's image, reputation an prestige and deliver poor services to employees and customers. 

How many Phaneesh Murthys: NEED TO ENFORCE AWARENESS IN COMPANIES

Sexual harassment at workplace Bill becomes law
India finally enacted its law on prevention of sexual harassment against female employees at the workplace. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 ("Sexual Harassment Act") has been made effective on April 23, 2013 by way of publication in the Gazette of India.

The definition of sexual harassment in the Sexual Harassment Act is in line with the Supreme Court's definition includes any unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) such as physical contact and advances, demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, showing pornography, or any other unwelcome physical verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

When we know 90% of rape cases in India goes unreported due to stigma attached to it, it is very difficult for women and others to report cases of sexual harassment in companies, when besides social stigma, job is at stake. Recent case of Ms.Roiz from iGate who reported case of sexual harassment against Phaneesh Murthy, the CEO, sensitivity has been felt in companies all across.

Legal departments of companies must come into play immediately and should create awareness about sexual harassment and awareness of workplace behavior to employees as serious compliance measures.

I believe, companies must have neutral body or portal like ehticspoint.com, where any employee or ex-employee can report such cases anonymously as well.

Challenges are a few as below-
1. How can one report harassment when they are getting promotions and favours for their sexual harassment.
2. How can one complain of sexual harassment when they find the bosses doing the same. The way left out is only taking a legal route and that will be exposing one to public scrutiny, embarrassment  and expenses and this will happen at the cost of losing the job.
3.How can one report such harassment cases when they find their reports at portals like ethicspoint.com go unnoticed. How can they have confidence in management and it's intent.

Companies will have to make legal and intelligence department work pervasively and monitor the behavior at work, when we know 90% cases are not registered.
Do random checks and interview people, interview ex-employees, vendors, ex-vendors, etc to have a preventive mechanism.

Corporate intelligence shall be a part of legal department and they should not wait for cases to come to them. Their role is of creating awareness, giving confidence to people about "zero tolerance" for any cases of sexual and ethical violations. Train people, put posters, lay-down simple rules and procedures for reporting, investigation and action plan, publish rules in public view in company, so that even vendors can see this.
Legal department need to have smart intelligence systems to ensure the violations are tracked. Talk to security, transport departments, cafeteria workers and even house keeping employees and collect information of office behaviors and act smartly and fast.
For God sake, do not leave such intelligence to HR department only. It has to be Legal and compliance department. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

What's this EQ all about


I was reading a blog of a Chief Learning Officer in India and I was very amused to see the pertinent question that was asked by the author on whether university hires should get tested on Emotional Intelligence also called EQ.

I have been wondering on the efficacy of the personality or trait based tests, the psychometric tests as they are called being advocated for decades now.
What are these psychometric tests? Are they not the questions that an interviewer can ask face to face and read emotions, body language, anxiety or enthusiasm, discomfort or excitement in the voice level, quality variations, facial expressions and body language?
Can you read all this on a paper pen test or an online test?
Another wonder is the use of objective tests that most of these tests are; they give pre-set options to select and many a times, a candidate is forced to take a choice. Is that not a joke? DiSC has options of words that asks you to select one of the four words that is most like you and one , least like you. Is that not a joke? Will you select these most like you and least like you in all situations? Will your choices not vary when you deal with different situations or circumstances? Would the evaluator or test analysis ever know what situation you were thinking when you selected the most like you and least like you options? Can they read candidate's mind for each option? Let's not joke with people. I suggest, you need a psychologist or trained psychoanalysts in the interview panel who can analyse the real time reactions, behavior under given situations and then do a fair analysis and reporting. Similarly, EQ is considered as new science of being socially-able and liked. It is an art of knowing self-emotions, other's emotions, and make a better level of mental and social cohesion. This is not a skill or competency like IQ. IQ is knowledge and application of basic sciences to get a correct answer to a question. In EQ, you do not have a correct or incorrect answer. It is situation based.
I am against comparing IQ and EQ. They are two very different things and have no comparison. Though there has been serious comparison being made and statements have been made like, "IQ gets you a job but EQ makes you successful." Ask all those people who have hundreds of patents in their name and tell them that that it is not their IQ, it is their EQ that has made them successful and celebrated. EQ is a social skill and behavior science that helps understand others emotions and leverage that to make a good relational value on results. EQ is not manipulation of behavior, where, if any actor asks me, who is my favorite actor and I tell his name and I do the same for all 10 actors who asked me the same question. I may earn a smile and a hug and a little favor from them but is this an accepted EQ in a professional work set-up?

Think of a situation: Your boss is furious and asks you for why the report is late this week by 3 days? Would you answer him with the right reason or look at how angry he is, you would change your answer?
If you give a non-conflicting and placating answer, which maybe partly true, is your behavior professional or integral?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Leave your employee induction to your CEO---No one knows better than him


And then there’s the new album.

“One thing that surprised me” about managing Groupon employees, Mr. Mason said, “was that many would arrive at orientation with minimal understanding of basic business wisdom.”

“I came to realize that there was a real need to present business wisdom in a format that is more accessible to the younger generation.”
He continues:
It was with this in mind that I spent a week in LA earlier this month recording Hardly Workin’, a seven song album of motivational business music targeted at people newly entering the workforce. These songs will help young people understand some of the ideas that I’ve found to be a key part of becoming a productive and effective employee. I’m really happy with the results and look forward to sharing them as soon as I figure out how to load music onto iTunes, hopefully in the next few weeks.
This is not a joke, according to TechCrunch, which says it has confirmed with Mr. Mason that the album “is for real.”
In an online post on Thursday, Mr. Mason, the quirky co-founder of Groupon, announced his plans and gave an update on what he had been doing since being fired as Groupon’s chief executive at the end of February.
A onetime darling of the technology world, Groupon quickly fell from grace after going public in late 2011. The online commerce company reported quarter after quarter of disappointing results, and its stock price sank.

Well-being and employment scenarios need employees of different mind-set

Gallup Healthways Wellbeing Index for May 6-12, 2013 for US shows 55% population thriving, 44% struggling and 4% suffering. there is positive change in status of thriving and struggling people by 2% from the previous week (May 1 till 5th).
In a messy world of being a daily wager companies, where they got to market every to catch new customers with all possible tactics to remain in business, with long term strategic plan to suffer sustained losses to be the able to survive the longitudinal stamina race against other deep pocket competitors is all driving businesses haywire, from e-commerce companies to any other who believe in hunting everyday for food. It's B2C that has made business so easier to operate yet so unpredictable to run. As said, Amazon is running in losses for past 10 years and some say they are making minuscule margin of 2% now. India based e commerce companies have started merging, getting sold off and sacking people in phased manner. We have seen the failure of the biggest online deals company Groupon recently.
Dot coms are enigma in any format. One success does not define a career path for another copy cat or a format cat..
Anyone, a CEO or an employee, who joins this e commerce boat needs to have a safety jacket as the warranty of the boat expires in around a year.
How can we think for an improving graph of wellbeing in an environment of dot coms bursting earlier than assumed. Core sectors in India is doing ~3.4% and GDP at 6%. Banking and financials shrinking, reality on rocks, auto sector seeing the worst of sales dips.

Employee wellbeing is possible when we know how to keep companies healthy. That is the most difficult question today. As are following the trends and industries of the west we need to be ready to be facing lay-offs, unstable CEOs and firing all across the levels when business dips.
As heard, Flipkart has been planning an IPO but looking at the fate that Groupon had after it's listing in 2011 is a warning signal. It is too early a conclusion to draw that the days on e commerce is over! Malls will not be ruled out in India, where shopping is an entertainment and unwinding, going out thing. It is a social affair, family affair and on top of it, people want touchey-feeley experience.

For the new generation of industry coming up a employers, we need to build employees also ready for a risky and bumpy ride besides being sailing with the wind.


In the book, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements bestselling authors Rath and Harter team up to share the results of a landmark study of wellbeing and its implications for organizations and individuals.

Their groundbreaking research reveals how organizations can help employees boost their overall wellbeing -- from their satisfaction with their careers to their financial security and level of community involvement. As it turns out, changing an organization's culture to help employees better manage and improve their wellbeing over time can result in substantial financial returns for the organization.

Based on a Gallup study of more than 150 countries representing 98% of the world's population, Rath and Harter identified five essential elements of life that transcend countries, faiths, and cultures:

Career Wellbeing: How you occupy your time/liking what you do each day
Social Wellbeing: Relationships and love in your life
Financial Wellbeing: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
Physical Wellbeing: Good health and enough energy to get things done on a daily basis
Community Wellbeing: Engagement and involvement in the area where you live

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lay-offs, No raise! Is this all technical correction or signs of fall-out

STORY # 1: Slowdown takes toll as online retailers like Flipkart, Jabong hand out pink slips

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-05-15/news/39281927_1_flipkart-pink-slips-retailers

Nearly 250 employees, or about one-tenth of Flipkart's workforce, are being shown the door, according to at least three people with direct knowledge of the development. At Jabong, too, a similar number of employees have been sacked, but the company employs fewer than 1,000 staff.

The retrenchment in India's online retail sector is a consequence of the drive by companies for acquisition of customers at a breakneck pace. Gross margins at many online retailers are in the negative territory.

While bottom lines have been negative, the Indian online retail segment is growing fast, with revenues this year estimated to rise to Rs 10,000 crore from Rs 6,500 crore, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India.

Inkfruit has asked about 80 employees to put in their papers, according to industry sources. The merger between apparel portals FashionAndYou andUrbanTouch last year led to the exit of 200 employees of UrbanTouch, according to multiple individuals with direct knowledge of the development.

STORY # 2: NetApp lays off employees in India

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOIBG/2013/05/18&PageLabel=25&EntityId=Ar02404&ViewMode=HTML

Bangalore: Computer storage and data management company NetApp is said to be laying off 300 people in India as part of a global workforce reduction programme. 

    Sunnyvale-headquartered, $6-billion NetApp, which competes with companies like EMC, Seagate, Western Digital and Brocade, has its largest R&D centre outside the US in Bangalore, employing over 2,000 people.

STORY # 3: Infosys unlikely to give salary hike to IT staff

TIDINGS THAT DON’T BODE WELL FOR BANGALORE’S INFOTECH SECTOR

Shilpa Phadnis TNN 

Bangalore: Infosys’s IT business is unlikely once again to give a salary increase to employees in the traditional April-May timeframe. However,the BPO division is expected to announce a single-digit hike in June for lower level employees. 

BPO revenues grew a healthy 17.8% in 2012-13, compared to IT services that grew sub-6%, which perhaps is the reason why the former is being treated differently. The BPO division has about 25,000 of Infosys’s 1.5 lakh employees. Infosys said it doesn’t comment on rumours and speculation. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bring change to managers and they bring the change to people

It isn't the change that kills you; it's the transitions....William Bridges

Ever thought why transitions are so critical phases of Change Management.
It's because, the transition is a grey zone between status A and B and there are several inhibitions, insecurity, disillusionment, disenchantment, mistrust, anxiety and void that looks like a chasm than a state of being.

This can be filled by:-

  1. Communicating and personifying benefits of change, 
  2. Isolating and clarifying areas of impact, 
  3. Painting a consistent picture of the current change, 
  4. Measuring and celebrating progress, 
  5. Getting team members involved and 
  6. Empathizing without always agreeing.
So, before any plan to change is perused  it is important to have a communication plan and the leadership development plan for the managers involved. It is important to have the Managers trained on Change Management principles first. As they become the obvious face of change and have responsibilities to make it happen, they must know how to face road blocks, disengagement, resistance to change, issues of morale and motivation, etc  

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.
--Alvin Toffler.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work.
--Thomas Edison

Become a student of change, It is the only thing that will remain constant.
--Anthony J. D'Angelo

If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
--Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Monday, May 13, 2013

Make your lay-off decisions carefully.

Indian domestic Airlines have started charging overweight cabin baggage. Travel light! This is an old mantra.
I was wondering if there is a formula to calculate depreciation of human resources like we have formula or convention to calculate depreciation of asset. We all have heard of Peter Principle which says.."In a hierarchically structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their level of incompetence," or, as Dr. Peter went on to explain in simpler terms, "The cream rises until it sours."

Like we do performance ratings, the 360 degree feedback, can we not have a rating for depreciating human resource value? The simple calculation of depreciating ROI on human resources over period of time.

The exact ROI on human resources should be Value added to the organisation minus value lost over a period of time. Off course, we need a benchmark for each position per year or effectively per semester to calculate, the depreciation value of human resources.

Take an example, if an Associate continues to do the same task at same levels and proportion with same level of results and also keeps getting salary appreciation YoY, would that not mean a Depreciation on Human Resources?
Same is true with Senior Executive Positions, Managers at all levels and functions.

We hear lay-off decisions and many a times they are due to poor performance or due to falling in the danger zone of Stack-ranking or Forced -rating scale, or Bell-curve.

Based on my experience and also tonnes of anecdotal evidences, we have found that Managers get promoted when team does good job and team gets fired when team does not do a great job! Managers escape the noose. Are Managers Caesar's wife? Someone above suspicion?
The sword of Damocles always falls on the voice less! 

If a company does not know how to lay-off or cannot answer exactly, why the lay-off happened, they have no right to hire next, at least morally, ethically....

They can follow the below principle...


Practical principles:

1. When in doubt don’t hire, keep looking.
2. When you know you need to make a people change, act.
3. Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not on your biggest problems.

You fired! Now what?

Creating a climate where truth is heard:

1. Lead with questions, not answers.
2. Engage in dialogue and debate, not coercion.
3. Conduct autopsies, without blame.
4. Build “red flag” mechanisms.
5. If our decisions are not transparent, we lose trust and so suffer attrition and remember  when attrition happens, out of exiting employees, 80% are your best performing employees.

Make your lay-off decisions carefully.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

LMS and top vendors


What to look for when selecting or implementing learning management systems?

Learning management systems can be powerful tools for e-learning but they have had some resistance to adopting them. Why?

Because:

Only 24% of LMS buyers are satisfied with their purchase
25% of LMS buyers are dissatisfied with their learning management system
About 25% of all LMS buyers plan to switch vendors
At first glance these numbers can be disconcerting however...

For those Learning Management System (LMS) customers who are satisfied with their training software investment, they are planning to increase this investment in subsequent years. Some customers plan to roll out their LMS's program to other divisions of the their operations. Remember, since LMS's are mainly web-based, you can easily implement them across time zones and geographical regions.




Learning Management Systems: Finding Your Way Through the Maze


Our research, available to Bersin & Associates  shows that $1.8 to $1.9B will be spent globally on learning management systems in 2013. And with more than 500 providers in the market, only five of them (Cornerstone OnDemand, Oracle, SAP, Saba and SumTotal) have more than 4 percent market share.


According to Bersin & Associates, a Deloitte company (2009), “The six largest LMS product companies constitute approximately
50% of the market.” The report does not specify which six these are but the largest
vendors in the corporate market are
 SumTotal (including GeoLearning)
 Saba
 Meridian
 Outstart (now owned by Kenexa/IBM)
 Plateau (purchased by SuccessFactors which was then purchased by SAP)
 Learn.com (purchased by Taleo which was then purchased by Oracle in Feb.
2012)


Do you need to license the LMS and host it on your own servers, or is it alright for it to be hosted by the LMS company?

There are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches.

Benefits of licensed

You own the software, and likely won’t have to pay re-occurring fees for anything but maintenance (if you choose to get it).
You control the security - if security is a big issue for you, licensing the software might be better than a hosted solution because you can control access to the LMS (through a corporate firewall, etc).
Benefits of hosted

Usually less expensive - If you outright buy the software you will likely be faced with a bigger upfront cost.
Don’t have to manage the servers  -
Updates are usually included for free – If you own your own server you may or may not be entitled to free upgrades.    If you are on a hosted solution you most likely are always on the most up to date version of the software.

How to set up HR department for a start-up company

How to set up HR department for a start-up company? This is a discussion going on at the Linkedin SHRM forum for a week now. At least 62 comments I have seen have come from different parts of the world from people new to HR to the veterans (supposedly or the older lots, whatever you are comfortable with) and even those who are not HR professionals. Having read through majority of comments and suggestions against the topic, I certainly have come to simple assertions as below-

1. HR considers itself a master's order taker
2. HR believes in aligning to the business goals and objectives
3. HR considers it's task on conventional lines of the functions within HR or as any HRM book content list will read!

Very good and sensible suggestions have come in lines as listed above. Thoughtful and committed HR as it seems.

What I found missing was that everyone (almost) making comments forgot about, why this start-up has been set? The real objective. Is it just one more shop on the corner? Is it a start-up as diversified or strategic wing of an already established company or group. Is this start-up a related longitudinal expansion of existing business in similar or same business with different model or B2B or B2C or B2G or on-line or off-line? Is this a business started with just objective of making money, which would mean, enterprise by capital, for capital, with capital or it is an enterprise by passion of business, technology, or combination of capital, technology or passion?
It is very important to know the difference between a business and an enterprise. Similarly, it is important to understand, where people (employees) fit into the whole purpose and objective of the business or enterprise.

I certainly agree that any business can be an enterprise but not all businesses we can call an enterprise.

Many of us have heard " business of business is people", as Herb Kellehar of South-West Airline says.
Same may not be true for all businesses or enterprise.

A capitalist starting a business 'coz it is cool to be in that business and everyone else is there and the time is now and place is here concept, understanding of HR has to be built very carefully.

Reading the mind and model of business and position of people in the whole scheme of things is the real Game of HR. Frameworks, structures, models, policies, handbooks, Review and Reward mechanisms, career and succession planning are all copy-book. At the same time one size may not fit all. Organisations evolve and take shape and form organically mostly. The them selves keep discovering themselves and finding values and testing their models and measures of success over a long period of time. HR needs to be flexible and yet agile to accommodate the change.

The mistake start-ups make is in hiring or not hiring a real HR guy for very long and that really creates a very loosely structured organisation from people processes and culture perspective. Till the time a real HR guy or a set of HR team does not come into place, organisation is just what owner thinks, acts and believes like. Somehow, a kind of culture or absence of culture gets established in absence of real HR guy or a team. Power centers develop and people from on-screen to off-screen call the shots.

Hire the HR Manager first and hire the guy who can manage the anxiety and uncertainty to chaos very well from the beginning and becomes a key element into building the "critical mass". HR Manager should be your first few in the core team.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Courage to Conquer the Chaos!


Words of Ravi Venkatesan, former Chairman of Microsoft India.
He is a great thinker and a teacher as he finds himself..

Excerpts that have interesting insights that I really liked..in snippets..bite-size.

Country of origin also makes a difference. Western European countries, particularly Sweden, Germany, France and the U.K. have a history of being global. They also tend to take a longer-term view.

Scandinavian firms place a very high level of trust in their local managers and therefore are more willing to do things differently. American firms are globally oriented, but many of them are very arrogant. They take a very export-oriented and a one-size-fits-all approach. Korean [firms, such as] Hyundai and Samsung, do extremely well because they are willing to make big preemptive investments to win in India. Japanese firms, with a few exceptions, do badly; they are ultra-cautious and lack trust.

India is important not just because it is a big market. India is important because it is a litmus test for your company’s success in emerging markets.

Most emerging markets look like India – they have uncertainty, corruption, poor infrastructure and chaos. It could be Brazil, Indonesia or Nigeria.  But few have the same potential, so India is in many ways a lead case for emerging markets.

Right now, multinational corporations have two choices. They can either not grow, or they can embrace the chaos of emerging markets. Europe is not going to sort itself out anytime soon – they need to learn to deal with these situations. If you think you can escape chaos, you’re sadly mistaken.

The performance of most multinational companies in emerging markets is poor, except for those led by a few great chief executives, like I.B.M., JCB or Schneider Electric, whose C.E.O. moved to Hong Kong because he realized that Asia was where the action was going to be for the next few years.

If you’re working for an American company, and you are a mid-level sales manager, typically headquarters makes all the decisions. The model you need if you want to play the big game is you need someone with a track record in the company, who is trusted, in emerging markets.

For example, Nestlé, which recognizes that all food is local — Indians like to eat Indian food, and you need to do food R.& D. in India. They sent a global R.& D. guy to run India. He comes here, and quickly realizes they need Indian flavors, and you’ve got Maggi Masala and a shiny new R.& D. Center in Delhi.

They need to be an entrepreneur, to build the business, not a bureaucrat. For example, McDonald’s:  How did a beef hamburger company come to India, a vegetarian country where the cow is sacred,  and make a profit selling Happy Meals for 25 rupees [about 50 U.S. cents] ?

About 10 years ago, McDonald’s decided “we’re not a hamburger company, we’re a global brand, a supply chain expert and we know how to run a chain of family restaurants.” They hired two entrepreneurs as joint venture partners; these two guys leveraged the brand and the capabilities of McDonald’s but developed a completely Indian menu and a completely local business model.

You need a person with a passion for India. The country manager job in India is one of the toughest in the world. You get crushed between the bureaucracy of India and the bureaucracy in your headquarters. You need passion, and you need to stay for five to seven years. If you stay for two or three years, you’re part of a revolving door, and you won’t get anywhere.

You need someone with courage, who is willing to ask forgiveness, not permission, and the tenacity to deal with situations never dealt with before. You need people who embrace chaos and uncertainty.

Basically, there are two types of expats in India, those who dive into the chaos and those who put the biggest wall they can create between themselves and the environment. You want the first type.

On the other hand, Sir Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, loves emerging markets having worked in Africa, India, Pakistan. He has said publicly that the Western pharmaceutical model of spending a billion dollars to bring a drug to market and then charging high prices is unacceptable. Well, GSK is doing brilliantly in emerging markets including India.

If the chief executive is not one who is open-minded, culturally curious and willing to embrace these markets, and learn about them, you are basically not going to win in markets like India.

Look what happened with Microsoft. Bill Gates loves crazy places. His family vacations in Nigeria, and when he comes to India he spends time in Bihar. No wonder Microsoft did well entering these markets on his watch. But for most C.E.O.’s, their entire experience is in the developed world. Take a great guy like Tim Cook of Apple, who has no experience in emerging markets, and has allowed Samsung to run away with the market.

HR in the hands of business: What shall the typical HR guy do?

My experiences in HR with IT  services company is very simple: HR is recruiting people and deploying them.
Hire anyway, beg, borrow, steal, spoil, anything....just hire..people are money, mind you $$$$..
So the most important challenge in IT services industry is procurement and deployment of the raw material called people. It is evident that IT Services companies can be categorized as the largest body-shopper, the fastest growing body-shoppers, the cheapest body-shopper, etc. So the most essential element of HR in body shopping is hiring or hunting or shopping or procurement. In the natural world of ups and downs, good times and bad times, glory and gloom, you will always get people to hire, market changes, locations change, cost may vary but every company is able to hire, good, bad or ugly.

Hiring is the key. Hire online, hire off-line, hire social media (Linked In), hire internally (IJP), hire of contract, hire on Third party rolls, etc. Hiring is everything....you get bad name and good name for hiring, rewards and promotions and good positions if you are hiring....Anything other than hiring is transactional admin task and they can be managed by others in HR..That's not important.

All other functions in HR are either admin or incidental. At least, this is the way, the business or operations managers and bosses look at the game of talent acquisition (TA) as the fancy term is called. Let's all give some respect to the people we hire ans use. They are talent.
Now having this expectations out of people, why expect more from the poor HR folks, from executives till the VPs? Will you allow them to take any actions that makes people believe that they are just not tools to success but they are the body and soul of the organisation. They are what defines organisation, it's DNA, it's business value to competitive advantage. Remember, bigger part of M&As are people acquisition and merger. Like Herb Kellehar of South-West Airline said, every airline company has airplanes. What makes the difference is intangible that binds, shapes and directs organisations.

Do not ignore people, they are just not commodities, which can be bought and replaced anytime.

I am absolutely in sync with the line of thinking that says, the best HR Managers are those who know the business best by experience, by being toiling there and being successful. Open the gates for HR to the Business folks. I guess, in the US, the real (yes real) HR jobs are with business people or who have moved to HR from business. They manage the "talent" part of people, like, capability building, cross-training, value building to people by positioning them in right roles, projects, customers, locations, under right set of leaders and managers.They do the real assessment and analysis of "fit" for each positioning, they take all factors into account that will ensure delivery and success of project and the people involved.

Admin part of HR like job posting, sourcing resumes, sending resumes for shortlisting, calling candidates for interview, setting the interview calls, VCs and providing interviewing managers with resumes and other assessment and evaluation papers, is left to HR or the TA, as is called.

My experience of working in the HR department of a Global Management Consulting firm has given this understanding very clearly as stated above. Even HR Managers and HR Partners do not do business people interviews. There is no concept of HR interview. The relevant questions of "fit", the typical HR interview part is done by Partners in the final leg of the interview.

So, all this is really very relevant and important topic to be discussed within HR fraternity. Are they really doing the valuable thing in HR or just coordination, support, housekeeping, pantry, statutory (and even these through vendors). So, time to think, are we in HR really doing anything worth?

The best I hear the real value adds of  HR Heads, you call them VPs or Directors or whatever, they do approve offers by looking at, what percentage hike has been given and if it crosses higher than perceptual range, they will ask, why so high o why so low? Don't you think, these are check list questions and can be even automated?
Have these Heads of HR in many companies ever asked, Is this the best guy we are hiring? Do we really have the best hiring and assessment strategy and tools, processes and people in the "war of talent"?

Where do the current candidates fare against the talent within the company from previous years? Do we have tangible data to support improved quality of hire?, robustness of process?, use of best tools and techniques to hire the best and create a "good show", impress a great "brand value"?

Not for status-quoits.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BIG DEBATE-WHO IS A BETTER HR MANAGER-MBA-HR DEGREE GUY OR A SUCCESSFUL LINE MANAGER

There are lot many business leaders, I have worked with have very less respect for formal HR people. They always believe, HR is just ADMIN and HOUSE-KEEPING and does not understand business and so cannot add any special value other than being attendance, payroll and recruitment coordination.

Question is, Then why not open HR positions of significance to other business leaders from other functions.
KPMG has done it in India now and Shalini Pillay, a BE, CA and successful Partner in the firm has taken over the top HR position in India. Remember, the CEO, Richard Rekhy rather asked her to take over this position as he believes that only the most successful leaders in any firm can understand, how people have to be managed and leveraged. The job of HR is slipping out of sloppy hands of several HR heavyweights (at least in salary terms) to realistic people in business. Infosys had given HR reins to its CFO, Mohandas Pai and we all have seen, how wonderfully successful he had been in his role. Perhaps the Golden Phase of Infosys HR, if you discount the feedback that you hear from 'lazy' HR guys who finally made exit from Infosys to easy-cool job locations.

It is very relieving to see that, business has started not only questioning but taking decisions on HR positions out of HR boss's privilege. HR looks like has been facing too many flacks from business in recent past. It appears by leaving HR to HR folks with little or no business understanding and speak the language of business, has been the biggest mistake. It is now full of working housewives, loosers and lazy people. While HR has a favorite word, LEADERSHIP', the want business people to develop this competency, but the HR lacks it the most. For all leadership programmes, they turn to vendors outside, DDIs, Watermark, E&Y, etc. If the VPs and Directors of HR had to look for outside vendors for outlining Leadership programs, why are they paid monthly dowry of 3 lacs to 10 lacs in India. Shameful.

A thorough cleansing of HR is needed today. HR has become fiefdom of a few and these only hire the C player HR folks to keep their position in importance and exploit the HR team.

HR talks about measuring performance, while they are the least measured and the list of things that they will project, will be laundry list having no value adds in most of them and such admin tasks list keeps them in business.
Turning the table shall certainly help. Open HR to business people with great passion, business knowledge, successful track record and great attitude to people. HR has gone much beyond the MSW menace. Free HR from the clutches of quacks of HR. Liberate it!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

THE BUSINESS OF BUSINESS IS "PEOPLE"--REESTABLISHED, REVITALISED


I have kept something I once heard very close to heart. When I met the CEO of a large consulting firm in New York some time ago, he said something that just stayed with me – “Pick your highest performing business partner and make that person the Head of HR”. People are the most critical asset in a consulting firm, so you need to put your best person in charge of your people. It made absolute sense.
------Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG India----

I personally believe that if we care for people the result will be high performance. So, when I became the CEO, I took the opportunity to ask one of our best performing partners – Shalini Pillay - to take on the reins of managing HR and ensure that we give our people the best. I chose her because I wanted someone who was a high performer as well as passionate about people . In fact, I’ve had such a keen interest in people that I had offered myself for this role to my earlier CEO, so that I could make a difference and transform KPMG India to be on of the best places to work. I believe it’s the most critical role, because you would be responsible for the most expensive asset in the business – our people.
------Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG India----

SHALINI PILLAY IS AN ENGINEERING GRADUATE AND A CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT BY QUALIFICATION. HER POSITIONING TO THE HEAD OF HR POSITION IS A CLEAR MESSAGE TO THE HR OLDIES AND NEWBIES THAT HR IS NOT A MATTER OF QUALIFICATION OF A B SCHOOL DEGREE, IT IS A MATTER OF "ATTITUDE" WITH "BUSINESS EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE". WELCOME MOVE. WELL DONE KPMG, INDIA, WELL DONE RICHARD REKHY....
IT APPEARS, THE "BRAHAMANISM" OF HR IS OVER.

Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG India, in conversation with Rajlakshmi Saikia, on his dream to make KPMG the most-envied firm by becoming the clients’ and employees’ first choice
In 2012, KPMG India introduced a unique process of democratic succession planning to ensure that the right CEO from a people and business stand point takes the deserving seat.
Richard Rekhy, the first CEO of KPMG India to be appointed through this process, shares his plans to introduce a culture of ‘Collaborate to Win’ in the firm.

At Andersen, besides my business role, I was also given the role of overseeing HR in the company and Andersen was not the friendliest place to work in. I personally worked to make it into a people friendly organisation, to a point when our attrition rate fell to almost zero. I had some very difficult conversations with people when we had to ask them to move out, because it is in the interest of the individual and the organisation. There is no personal vendetta. It is not about likes or dislikes, it is about you not standing for the values that the organisation stands for. So, yes, Shalini (our present Head of HR) will also go through these same challenges, but this is in the best interest of the business and so must be done.

------Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG India----

Great Place to Work and Most Ethical Company Tags!

Transparency International (www.transparency.org) says,

"CORRUPTION IS THE ABUSE OF ENTRUSTED POWER FOR PRIVATE GAIN. IT HURTS EVERYONE WHO DEPENDS ON THE INTEGRITY OF PEOPLE IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY."


"Research shows that companies with anti-corruption programmes and ethical guidelines are found to suffer up to 50 per cent fewer incidents of corruption, and to be less likely to lose business opportunities than companies without such programmes."



QUESTION IS , WHAT MEASURES ORGANISATIONS TAKE  TO ENSURE THAT ETHICS, CORE VALUES LIKE  HONESTY AND INTEGRITY IS NOT DEPLETING OR ERODING?
WHOSE JOB IS THIS IN ANY ORGANISATION ? IS THIS THE JOB OF  VP-ETHICS AND  COMPLIANCE, AS WE HEAR OF THIS POSITION NOW COMING INTO DISCUSSION. IS THIS POSITION DIRECTLY REPORTING TO THE BOARD?
WHAT MAKES AN EXECUTIVE OR AN EMPLOYEE IN POSITION OF POWER CORRUPT?
IS THIS POWER OR NO FEAR OF POWER AND ABSENCE OF ANY VALUES AND ETHICS.
WHOSE JOB IS IT TO ENSURE FEAR AND RESPECT FOR LAW AND GOVERNANCE?
WHY MOST OF EXECUTIVE CORRUPTION GO UNNOTICED OR WHY ARE THEY IGNORED?
ARE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN CORRUPTION MORE POWERFUL THAN PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENFORCING RULE OF LAW AND GOVERNANCE?
WHAT IS FAILING?
WE ALL KNOW WE HAVE DEARTH OF LEADERSHIP AT ALL LEVELS. LEADERSHIP IS A ROLE OF BEING VALIANT AND VIGILANT, BEING UPHOLDERS OF VALUES AND ETHICS, READY TO FACE FIERCE OPPOSITION FROM THE CORRUPT AND CAPACITY TO FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION.

Top level positions where company spends millions of dollars as salaries, the expectation is that those positions create a steel frame of hard-wired Governance, Code of Ethics, values like, fairness, equitable justice and rewards and transparency in policies, actions and belief, actions that are devoid of any bias or favoritism, affiliations of caste, creed, regional, cultural or gender.

I am not sure the way companies are rated as Great Place To Work or One of Most Ethical Companies in the World, by Great Place to Work Institute and Ethisphere Institute are fair and transparent, done with probity and acuity and not just based on self-declaration in the prescribed forms. The process has to be 360 degree and all internal, external stakeholders must be contacted and interviewed to arrive at objective assessment and evaluations based results and ranking.

Check for feedback from employees, ex-employees, vendors, ex-vendors, customers, consultants, other business partners, society to judge any company as a Great To Company To Work or World's 100 Most Ethical Company.

If companies are interested in such exercise, they will pay for participation. There should not be any participation without a fee.

Companies must take interest in the way the whole methodology is set and applied. They cannot be just filling the forms and wait for report that are sold for a price. Such tags as Great place to work and most ethical company are used mostly for marketing and branding. This should rather be used as opportunity to build culture, values and engagement levels in the company.

Monday, May 6, 2013

TEST OF INTEGRITY, ETHICS AND COMPLIANCE

In the past five years, which of the following (if any) apply to your organization (or any members of senior leadership):
  • Named in a class-action law-suit
  • Defendant in a serious civil action (e.g. tort) related to business activities
  • Defendant in a qui tam action
  • Under a government investigation
  • Achieved a settlement with or without admission of liability
  • Subject to a deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreement
  • Subject to a corporate integrity agreement
  • Required to have a compliance monitor
  • Indicted
  • Paid substantial fines and/or penalties related to a compliance failure
  • Dismissed executive(s) or received resignations from executive(s) due to actual (or alleged misconduct)- SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC HAD THIS SERIOUS CASE IN 2012. REFER TO THE CASE ON THE LINK BELOW.

(The company (SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC) also revealed that the profit line had been reduced by 27 million euros, equivalent to about 1.4 percent of total profits, owing to fraud by a senior member of staff who had now left the company.
The fraud involved the creation of “fake” documents which led to an under-estimation of the provisions the company made for year-end discounts to big customers.
Finance director Emmanuel Babeau told a telephone conference that despite internal controls “that are extremely heavy”, when someone in an important position was not trustworthy “we have an issue.”)

ETHISPHERE ASKS FOR IS YOU WON ANY OF THE BELOW AWARDS/RECOGNITION-
Has your organization earned any of the following media recognitions within the past five years?

  • Fortune: 100 Best Companies to Work For
  • Fortune: World‘s Most Admired Companies
  • Fortune: Most Accountable Big Companies
  • Newsweek: Green Rankings (top 50 overall or top 10 in industry)
  • Barron‘s: World‘s Most Respected Companies
  • Bloomberg: The World‘s 25 Unsung Innovative Companies
  • Working Mothers: Best Companies
  • Forbes/Audit Integrity: 100 Most Trustworthy Companies
  • CRO: 100 Best Corporate Citizens
  • Ethisphere: World‘s Most Ethical Companies
  • Diversity MBA: Top 50 Companies for Diverse Managers to Work
  • Directorship Magazine: Boardroom Leaders
  • Fast Company: World‘s Most Innovative Companies

THOUGH I AM NOT SURE HOW ACCOLADES/AWARDS/RECOGNITION IN THE working mothers category, Bloomberg: The World‘s 25 Unsung Innovative Companies, Directorship Magazine: Boardroom Leaders or Fast Company: World‘s Most Innovative Companies, ever relate to Ethics.
QUESTION IS- IS ETHICS A PERCEPTION THING, BESIDES BEING COMPLIANT TO AGENCIES ON HARD TERMS?
IS THERE A PERCEPTION THAT ALL GREEN COMPANIES ARE ETHICAL, ALL WOMEN FRIENDLY AND DIVERSITY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER COMPANY ETHICAL?  IS ETHICS A TOP CRUST THING OR MATTER OF PROBITY AND MATTER OF BEING CONSCIOUSLY RIGHT FOR RIGHT CAUSE, RIGHT PEOPLE AND RIGHT POLICIES, PRACTICES?

CAN YOU DECLARE A COMPANY ONE OF WORLD'S MOST ETHICAL COMPANIES IN 2013 WHEN LAST YEAR/2012, COMPANY POSTED A TOP EXECUTIVE FRAUD OF $27 MILLION? SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC IS IN THE LIST OF TOP 100 COMPANIES IN ETHISPHERE LIST OF ETHICAL COMPANIES WHILE, THE STORY OF TOP EXECUTIVE INVOLVED IN HUGE CORRUPTION WAS EXPOSED, PROBED AND THE EXECUTIVE LEFT COMPANY. DID ETHISPHERE INSTITUTE ASK FOR DETAILS OF CORRUPTION AND HOW IT WAS HANDLED BY SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC? WHAT ACTIONS HAVE BEEN TAKEN AGAINST OTHERS INVOLVED. WHY THIS FRAUD HAPPENED AND WHY COMPANY LOST SHAREHOLDER'S MONEY SO EASILY? DOES THIS NOT SHOW HOW HOLLOW ARE ETHICS AND INTEGRITY IN THE COMPANY, THAT TOO AT THE TOP. THIS SHAKES INVESTOR'S CONFIDENCE AND ERODES LEVELS OF TRUST IN TOP EXECUTIVE AND THE SYSTEM AS SUCH.

IS ETHISPHERE INSTITUTE AWARDING TOP 100 ETHICAL COMPANIES BASED ON SELF-DECLARATION ONLY?

WORLD'S MOST ETHICAL COMPANIES-ETHISPHERE INSTITUTE

Worlds 100 most ethical companies in 2013 list of Ethisphere Institute
http://m1.ethisphere.com/wme2013/index.html

2 companies from India in the list, Wipro and Tata Steel.

METHODOLOGY ADOPTED BY ETHISPHERE INSTITUTE-
http://ethisphere.com/


At the heart of the evaluation and selection process for Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies is Ethisphere’s proprietary rating system, the corporate Ethics Quotient (EQ). The framework of EQ is comprised of a series of multiple choice questions that capture a company’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. The information collected is not intended to cover all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance or ethics, but rather it is a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies. The EQ framework and methodology was determined, vetted and refined by the expert advice and insights gleaned from Ethisphere’s network of thought leaders and from the World’s Most Ethical Companies Methodology Advisory Panel.

The EQ framework consists of five core categories. The categories and associated weighting for each is defined as follows:

1. Ethics and Compliance Program (25%)
The criteria used for this category are fully aligned to corporate best practices, relevant case law and the “hallmarks” of an effective compliance and ethics program as outlined by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, including:

  • Program structure, responsibility and resources
  • Program oversight and the tone at the top
  • Written standards
  • Training and communication
  • Due care
  • Detection, monitoring and auditing
  • Enforcement and discipline

2. Reputation, Leadership and Innovation (20%)
This category measures a company’s legal compliance, litigation and ethical track record, along with the strength of the company’s reputation in the market place. While we take into account awards and accolades garnered, we also look at some concrete examples of corporate leadership in local, national, industry and/or global initiatives that promote business ethics, responsible and sustainable business practices, environmental stewardship, good governance, transparency and social responsibility. Standard-setting and thought leadership is important, but ultimately what matters most is the quality and innovation of company’s engagement with various stakeholders considered within the context of the company size, industry and performance in comparison to industry peers. Questions on leadership and innovation are not only presented in a standalone section of the survey, but are ever-present throughout the entire survey.

3. Governance (10%)
This category looks at the availability and quality of systems designed to ensure strong corporate governance (as defined by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory bodies), including oversight, governance principles and risk management. Actual performance of the governing authorities, as measured by governance rating agencies, is also taken into account. Governance criteria is modified as needed and as is appropriate when reviewing private companies, partnerships, educational institutions and non-profits.

4. Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility (25%)
This category reviews a wide range of a company’s performance indicators associated with sustainability, citizenship and social responsibility, specifically including such areas as environmental stewardship, community involvement, corporate philanthropy, workplace impact and well-being and supply chain engagement and oversight. The quality and effectiveness of the initiatives are considered, in addition to stated and measureable goals, accountability and transparency. Performance across this category is viewed in both absolute and relative terms—there are some standards that are universally applicable, and others that vary based on company demographics.

5. Culture of Ethics (20%)
This category looks at the culture of ethics at the organization concerning widely accepted or unaccepted norms as it pertains to ethical conduct. Starting with adoption of a values-based culture and building on those core guidelines by having the workforce buy into the culture and not only know it, but live it.

THE EQ SCORE
An initial “unverified” EQ score is derived through a proprietary matrix of relationships between answers to given questions and a set of complex formulas based on demographic qualifiers. It is important to understand that while the EQ is the foundation for the WME selection process, the process does not end when the survey is complete. The EQ results simply help us to narrow the number of entrants to the top percentile of performers in each industry. Once a company’s EQ score warrants additional consideration for WME recognition, additional due diligence efforts begin. This process may include multiple means of verification as needed and warranted, including independent research, request for documentation supporting select answers and/or interviews with company leadership.