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Showing posts from 2014

Hiring Excellence: AIM, FIRE, MISS

If you have to get results, better results, you need to be creative! Be it marketing, where we see the ultimate rendezvous with imagination or the much obvious food and fashion, creativity is the largest play!

Creativity is spontaneous!

Memory kills creativity as it distracts to draw information from memory, that is the 'learned skills'. Creativity may not be incremental. Not necessarily disruptive at the same time.

"Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You simply must ... Do things."—Ray Bradbury

What's creative about hiring today? Social media? Hackathon?, Not sure what is creative that we are doing in hiring. The best I hear is multiple rounds of interviews, 10, 12 , may be more. Is there anything creative there?
Offers made: Anything creative there? Do we think of what can be done to make the offer creatively intriguing and engaging?

You declined offer: Any thing creative you heard back?

You accep…

Why you want a premier B School candidate?

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High IQ, High on analytical thinking and problem solving, conditioned to manage responsibilities with strategic intent, smart worker, better degrees, better education, are competitive, have seen better teachers, colleagues and are comfortable understanding and managing high level stake holders with ease and poise, have higher aspirations and thus take up challenges, prove themselves faster, better, lead, challenge, create, produce better results, create value and enhance customer's satisfaction and over experience. Anything else, I am missing here, please add!
Now, when I see how many important and critical positions in HR are filled by folks from premier B school backgrounds, I see only 20% at max. Check LinkedIn and you will find this. 
Does that mean, many companies do not want all that what a premier B school guy can produce? Probably yes! 
Look at many LinkedIn job postings and you will see, many a places , there is not mention of education and premier college background, they j…

Adjust Emotional Intelligence to adapt to Org Culture

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Whether you are in a place that promotes creativity or passivity, you need to align and work through the culture. Leaders either push ideas or influence us to follow. Either which way , idea is good and leaders fail less and succeed more. Ideas are important but we don't feel great about the greatest gift it is smeared with disrespect/care/passion/prestige.
Research conducted on 2000 scientists proved that those scientists who were respected and recognized produced much more success and failures than others! They just produced. Period!

Intelligence/IQ level helps us grab a grade, a job and emotional intelligence/emotional smartness helps us grow in the position/job/role. More than emotional skills of knowing own and others emotions and leveraging and making adjustments (includes curbing own emotions, gulping a bitter pill, ignoring being ignored, forgiving like a saint, even accepting unjust decisions on self and for people, we are responsible for). Why do we adjustments? Because,…

Leadership Lessons-Donald Keough

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An Interview with Donald Keough, Chairman of the Board, Allen & Company, Inc. Ex-President Coca-Cola company


A few inspiring stories of leadership of conviction and determination. Positions like CEO's have no choice but to act but those who dared act based on what their gut-feel and foresight said, became 'leaders'. Leaderships is not a title associated with tags like CEOs, CTOs, CFOs, COOs and CHROs', they are the reward for being one who others could not date to become! Leadership is a matter of conscious choice, very few have courage to take. 
Leaders like the two discussed below are people, whose attitude and forthrightness impresses us. We have not seen them or heard them. We do not even care, how they looked like and which color or race they belonged to. What matters in leadership is 'what you are known for'. We all have learnt, 'we live in deeds, not in years'! This is not a Harvard created statement. This is simply the value statement of leader…

Are you ready for a star candidate?

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"Let your top performer walk away" "Do not hire the best". "Candidate is too good for us"
We have heard many such gospels. What matters is context. Hiring is not always for the best. Hiring is a "best-fit", scientific hiring! But is JD is a good boundary for defining a best-fit? What is a quantifiable measure of a good-fit?
Have you heard of the term, "scientific hiring"? Wonder what is this? Is this a robotic exercise of hiring by putting candidate under every test battery and finally stamp it out "Tested", "EC" (Europe Compliant), etc. It is actually not. Scientific hiring is the process that is consistent and integral and does not change due to context. I have heard people questioning the validity of”JD based" interviewing” and times sanctity of a “Resume based interviewing” too?
What shall be done? Do we do a “candidate based interviewing”? How do we do that?
·Ask a candidate, what motivates/excites him to apply f…

How to test for Integrity and Honesty in an interview

Emotional Intelligence or EI, everyone knows has been a popular topic for leadership discussion. An emotion oriented tool to lead one to be better understood, empathized, connected, related, engaged and cared and give the same feelings to others and all these are good behaviors that determine a healthy relationship where people thrive, together. Watch the words, biblical as it may sound, “thrive together”!
This place is an anti-cut throat competition place. Brotherhood! Benevolence!
How can we use EI at interview to select a right-fit, for selection, success of the candidate and success of the role?  Questions shall revolve around, understanding self-drive, passion, decision-making, inclusiveness, empathy, 'subjective objectivity' into the decision-making process, wider and deeper outlook to consider all factors, situations, people, environment, culture, and overall seeing and positioning oneself under lens of EI scrutiny all the time and in all such situations of human/emotional…

The Indian approach to business: Devdutt Pattanaik at TEDxGateway 2013

Companies don't have any good way to measure innovation like they do for execution

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To quote Dee Hock: "Never hire or promote in your own image. It is foolish to replicate your strength. It is idiotic to replicate your weakness. It is essential to employ, trust, and reward those whose perspective, ability, and judgment are radically different from yours. It is also rare, for it requires uncommon humility, tolerance, and wisdom"

Companies don't have any good way to measure innovation like they do for execution. Vijay Govindarajan explains this real well in his book "The Other Side of Innovation." 
Unless the CEO creates or supports something analogous to PMO (project management office) called IMO (innovation management office), it is very difficult to get the execution team to collaborate with the innovation team. 

How do you identify the 'genes for innovation' in any interview? What is an inventive mind? Does invention happen only when one consistently endeavors to thing through an unthinkable issue? How many instances a company has where…

HR-A and HR-LO: What an start-up needs

HR-A for sure as basics shall not be missing and more than that it must surprise a new employee so much of process and policies, guidelines, documents, SOPs, already in place. All employee related information shall be made available at the ESS page. Holiday List, Policies, Calendar of events, Contacts, addresses, employee profile, Company's presentations, corporate brochure, training calendar, Events update, picture gallery, blogs, Polls, surveys and analysis of interesting finding, some employee personal blogs, creativity, passion, forums, etc.


Time and attendanceLeave managementPayrollPoliciesHiring-R and SJoining, Life cycle, promotions, transfers, exit managementCompensation design and total rewards frameworkOrientation program details of content, program design, Slides and Feedback research, New on the NEO!Training programs list-Calendar-Training outline, expected timelinesTraining archivesBlogsForumsNewsletterPodcasts, Videos, Seminars, Info-graphicsContest, awards, adventure…

PRACTICE makes PERFECT: The 10000 hours rule!

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The 10000 hours ruleand how it works. Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10000 hours rule in his book Outliers. 
Interestingly, there is way to expedite it as you see below in the infographics!
GET A COACH: इन्हे ढूंढना आसान है। They are easy to find as they wait for someone spirited.SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE MINDED INDIVIDUALS: They help you shape and refine your thoughts. You will find toughest support and toughest challenges here.BUILD EXPERT HABITS: Think, act, behave like an expert; poised, thoughtful, mindful, humble and unassumingDON'T WASTE TIME ON SMALL STUFF:This is distraction. Stay away from small stuff. They pull you down and drain your energy. Not worth your time.DELIBERATELY PRACTICE: This is forceful act on yourself, Discipline yourself by yourself.TEACH OTHERS: This is the best way to learn. Choose your audience from a mix of people.FIND SOMEONE TO KICK YOUR BUTT WHEN YOU FALL OFF TRACK: You need to be friend with or be a mentee of someone who equally loves to lash …

Leadership: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences & Personal Attributes!

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There have been tonnes of debates on Leaders Vs. Managers. This went to the extent of vilifying managers as donkeys, idiots, senseless, moron, machines, robots and tools! This is so unfortunate that the attributes which makes one a leader is defined as a superior gene, that are available with only certain people. Like people evolve by experiences, leadership as a concept is also evolving with age and experiences.







Like kinds of intelligence (http://skyview.vansd.org/lschmidt/Projects/The%20Nine%20Types%20of%20Intelligence.htm)

 The theory of multiple intelligences is a theory of intelligence that differentiates it into specific (primarily sensory) "modalities", rather than seeing intelligence as dominated by a single general ability. This model was proposed by Howard Gardner in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner articulated seven criteria for a behavior to be considered an intelligence.
Gardner chose eight abilities that he held to meet t…

Compensation & Benefits is actually costing and budgeting

~70% cost of running an IT or services company or even a knowledge based consulting organisation is towards infrastructure cost and salary and benefits cost.

Revenue-cost=profit. (Revenue minus cost is profit). Profit is key as it is key to expansion, growth and diversification, etc.

Many services companies bag projects and then look for filling positions to deliver them either internally or externally. Internally, they may find resources who fit the bill or else hire from market at the cost that fits the budget. Salary is a cost and cost is decided by looking at operating cost and gross margin on the project. Who said, there is something called C&B. Ask and accountant and he will calculate your cost of resources and tell hiring the hiring budget. Ask project manager to write job specs as he writes project specs, send that to HR to post jobs and let the project manager interview and select. HR shall offer as they have the budget. If HR says guy is not accepting offer as it is les…

Career options and pathways in Human Resources

Career moves are very mysterious yet very much logical. In HR, you may observe, there are professionals who moved always in Indian companies in last 18 years of their career, people joined in recruitment function and remained there, folks joined in training and remained there. While you will find some moving across HR functions without even having a formal HR degree. How does that happen?
It all happens, when opportunity comes to you and you make it!
Factory Managers, Chartered Accountants, Engineers, all of them have made their way into HR and have traveled across functions, locations and roles. Career in HR requires quite a lot of flexibility, ability to produce results, build relationships, develop people and culture, etc. But most of the places, when I talk to people outside HR, they say, HR folks are busy. Doing what is often times a question but it is true they spend lot of time in admin work, operations. After systems implementation to manage HR functions, HR's role has re…

What is this HOLACRACY

The Holacracy® system was incubated at Ternary Software, an Exton, PA, company that was noted for experimenting with more democratic forms of organizational governance. Ternary founder Brian Robertson distilled the best practices into an organizational system that became known as holacracy in 2007

Holacracy is a fundamentally different “operating system” for organizations — it revolutionizes how a company is structured, how decisions are made, and how power is distributed.
During the 4-hour meeting, Tony Hsieh, founder, talked about how Zappos’ traditional organizational structure is being replaced with Holacracy, a radical “self-governing” operating system where there are no job titles and no managers
The term Holacracy is derived from the Greek word holon, which means a whole that’s part of a greater whole. Instead of a top-down hierarchy, there’s a flatter “holarchy” that distributes power more evenly. 
CEOs who sign on to Holacracy agree to cede some level of power. The advantage is t…

What's an HR interview

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Our first encounter with the word HR happens at campus interview time. Sometimes earlier if you went for an interview at internship time. It really was difficult for me to figure out 'how does an HR person look like, what an HR person would like to look at? What will he/she ask me and how should I answer that?

They are normal human beings, they look, feel, believe and think as any other human being. They also interview for jobs, they also meet HR people at interview.
Now normal? Good.
One more thing, HR people, who are those in HR function/role. They may be HR people by qualification. What does that mean? That means, they have a degree or a diploma or a certificate course in HR. They may have read some HRM books, lots of articles, some HR concepts and therefore, they become qualified by learning HR books, theory, concepts, case-studies, research papers, would have participated in many projects in HR and would have learnt ropes of the HR business and how an HR evangelist, specialist, …

You actually do not need a real HR: Facade works, use them

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HR does orientation and training and they help new folks learn how to get to speed and performance in any organisation.  They help people know what makes them successful and how they can expedite their learning and contribute at their peak performance. HR folks help people feel great about the workplace by creating a lively and welcoming environment that promotes learning, excellence and culture of reward.
All that looks like the management book dream expectations from HR and we find  them not playing such roles in words, spirit and passion. Why? Because they most of the times struggle to make sense to people as people know what is there in the policy books and all such information which HR used to master as they were written and interpreted out of secret HR books and vaguely written HR policy books. Now all this information is available and people manage all their needs on HR side easily. Now HR feels like, what to do, as people hardly need anything from these super specialty people. …

10 signs HR is dead in your organisation

1.   When your top leaders shy away from talking about HR. 
2.   When no one cares what the hell HR is doing these days.
3.   When your top performers tell you they do not remember, when was their last talk with HR.
4.   When your vendors tell you that it is very difficult to reach and get response from your HR.
5.   When your new employee is too hesitant to ask HR about something as small as, when would I get my NEO plan?
6.   When your HR guy talks at employee gatherings, as a speaker and people dig into phones or food.
7.   When HR is just a 'dropbox' which sucks questions of significance and cannot give solutions on the fly.
8.   When your HR managers and senior positions talk 80% time about admin stuff.
9.   When your HR gets to know of people issues from employee's managers as escalation.
10.  When it does not matter when HR people come and go to office and what they do through the day.

Interesting read below when you know what Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG India, told in…

Workplace rules!

In one of the exit interviews, someone told me that, initially in his career, he used to feel like he is working with friends, but later he realized that he actually worked with 'colleagues'. This statement has shaken me up, as a truth that most of us do not realize. While friends can be your colleagues, all colleagues , not your friends!
As Gallup employee engagement survey also asks out of 12 important questions, one which asks, "do you have a friend at work?'. Would this not mean that you may have colleagues but they may not be your friend.
Also heard of collegiate work culture. We keep reading and listening about  'friendly' work place, etc. They all mean that, though humans have an emotional need to have a friend, colleagues are social relations only.

Things like these do not erupt all of a sudden when one hits the workplace. They actually exist even in schools and colleges. I have found many of my schools horrible in terms of emotional value. I saw lots…

Relationship between a desired attrition and incidental attrition.

When I look at how attrition has been categorized, I see two ways, if not more; voluntary vs. involuntary and functional vs. dysfunctional. Up or out philosophy vs. life-time employment firms, rare skills and hard to build competencies to average operations skills, what suits your business and structure can be very different. Company A's top performer joins company B and here he becomes a poor performer and then he moves out or is shown the door. Puzzling to categorize this attrition. Attrition driven by culture and business and people values? Lot many companies wish, their identified laggards and petered out (On whom Peter Principle has applied) leave but they remain there, creating glass ceiling for a performer and then he quits looking for a place that provides growth opportunities. Here I see a relationship between a desired attrition and incidental attrition. All companies would agree that their desired attrition shall be 'x' percentage, identified by stack ranking pe…