Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

Social Entrepreneurship

November 11, 2010

An extract from the text of the lecture delivered by Shyamsunder Panchavati at Hyderabad on 31st October 2010.

“Social Entrepreneurship: A Change in perspective, from “Not for Profit” activity to a “transaction” towards Social Assets Accumulation”

“I am extremely happy to note that so many young entrepreneurs have taken time today to attend my lecture on Social Entrepreneurship. I hope this will probably help in removing misgivings in the minds of the youngsters about Social Entrepreneurship.

Social Entrepreneurship is an entrepreneurial effort like any other business. Only difference is, it is wholly or partially cause driven and more often than not, it complements in terms of increased brand equity to the brand that supports it.

The debate about the capitalism and “All Truism” is eternal and will continue till eternity. We arenow looking at a model that is a combination of the two. “All truisms” is a noble concept, but it is too noble a concept to sustain. What is an ideal combination depends on geographic, demographic and other factors. However there has to be a flexibility and scalability in action & approach as per the need and situation.”

Please read the full text and view the presentation

Best wishes,

Shyam

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STEM (Science,Technology,Engineering,& Math) education in USA, The initiative, The interest, The action.

July 25, 2010

(Please also read my article on Wiki.This article was featured on the wikiHow home page during Septmber-October 2010)

When it comes to technological innovation, the United States remains number one. Yet, among 15-year-olds worldwide, the US ranks 29th in math literacy, falling behind Finland, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Liechtenstein.[1] This means that the US delivers a less-than-excellent education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM education).

STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) education has again come into limelight suddenly with everyone concerned including White House taking initiatives in this direction.

I very vividly remember almost a year back in 2009 when this issue was raised by my favorite author, Harvard professor and former editor of HBR Prof. Rosabeth Moss Kanter raised this issue in one of her articles during her India visit to attend Nasscom seminar. She said

“America will create new jobs by tapping the inventiveness of entrepreneurs who can draw on a large pool of talent with so-called STEM skills – science, technology, engineering, and math. I wish that the federal stimulus package included less money on banks and more on investment in higher education and companies of the future.”

Nice words spoken, but no concrete action in that direction. A typical case of ‘intent and action’ going in opposite directions. Industry at least seemed happy building their empires outside United States ‘CISCO’ CEO John Chambers prided in his Indian talent acquisition. He said at same conference.

“Cisco CEO John Chambers, who spoke before I did with his usual charm, repeated his company’s investment in Bangalore as its second global headquarters because of the 600,000 engineers a year that India produces.”
Is it a preference of convenience over construction? STEM education is a huge construction work involving the Government the industry and the intelligentsia. Till now none of them seemed to have taken it seriously.

It however is a happy augury that people have suddenly realized the importance of it. Let us hope this new found enthusiasm results in some concrete action being taken in this direction.

However the implementation of STEM is not as easy as people think. For the student perspective to change, it is essential that the changes are brought in the teacher perspective, the parent perspective, and teaching institutions perspective.

The role of Institutions

The institutions need to make the science curriculum more down to earth. It is should be relevant and related to day to day applications. The indifference to science & math should in a gradual process transformed in to interest, love and finally to passion. A sufficient dose of practicals, puzzles, & games could help, but more importantly it should be related to the happenings and applications around us.

The natural affinities

Another reality that parents & the teaching community should take note of is that if one scores less in math & science, it is not the student who needs too be blamed. It has to be understood that, Science, Math, humanities learning are related to different but overlapping functions of the brain. Each individual has a circuit naturally designed for a particular steam and a profession. The Bio-individuality of Human beings needs to be respected. This has been proved by many neurophysiologic studies and has strong empirical evidence in its support.

However on the positive side is the Neuro-plasticity, which states that every one can learn, only thing is some of us just need to be Re-Booted More often than not, it requires that we start from the ground up

The quotients IQ, EQ & PQ

STEM education is just not the case of IQ (Intelligence Quotient). It also involves EQ (Emotional Quotient), & PQ (Physical Quotient).

First factor is the PQ. The physical ability to learn, which includes the ability to hear, see, feel, move, and have the energy they need to learn.

Second factor is the EQ. Children need the right attitude to be able to learn. Without a good attitude learning becomes almost impossible. EQ includes attitudes about themselves, others, their work and the future.

Last but not the least is the IQ. The cognitive ability to learn which includes the ability to attend, understand, imbibe, process, recall & reproduce when required.

Pedagogy & Content connection:

There needs to be a symbiotic co-existence between the pedagogy & the content. “The Process & the Produce”. Iteration is an important prerequisite in any teaching process, more so in STEM education. The second most important requirement is for the teaching to come out of its linear mindset. A non linear spiral process could be a better alternative.

The faculty and the Involvement

The whole above process can be accentuate or negated by the most important factor, the faculty and its involvement. What is need is, informed teachers who are passionate about the subject and who show how the content is relevant to the real world. Strategies and gimmicks are secondary.

We need strategies that allow students to write, discuss, create visual representations, and organize concepts meaningfully. The majority of students coming through public education are not naturally doing this. Strong learners are. But we need far more teachers teaching kids how to think than ever before.

I would like to see more about the connections between content and active learning.
Let us hope that the initiatives taken by the Government and intellectuals transform themselves into concrete action plans which are implemented with all sincerity & in not so distant future, United States starts producing sufficient number of STEM graduates.

Best Wishes,

Shyam
Please also read my article How to impart STEM Education to your children on wikihow.(Featured Article)

entrepreneurship

September 25, 2009

Microsoft chief says entrepreneurship is alive and well, recession or not

BY CASEY LINDBERG Lou Dematteis

Stanford Professor Tina Seelig, left, joined Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as he offered insights to students on entrepreneurship and innovation in difficult times.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s energetic chief executive officer, gave a humorous and optimistic pep talk Wednesday to a large crowd of Stanford students, including some about to graduate into the midst of the Great Recession.

Pacing the stage and gesturing with his arms, Ballmer spoke to a packed house of 1,700 people, many of them engineering students, at Memorial Auditorium. His advice to aspiring tech innovators was part of the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar, normally attended by about 50 students.

After finishing his undergraduate career at Harvard, Ballmer enrolled in the Stanford Graduate School of Business for one year before dropping out to join forces with Bill Gates at Microsoft. Now bald, Ballmer poked fun at a picture of himself presented on a slide accompanying his recollection of those early days.
“That’s me when I got to Stanford. I still part my hair, by the way, on the right,” said Ballmer.

While speaking about the economy’s impact on entrepreneurship, Ballmer acknowledged the concern many soon-to-be graduates might have.

“My gosh—I am graduating, I am starting a company, I am moving forward, in the worst economy in, whatever, 70-plus years—is that a good thing or not?” said Ballmer. “It definitely is a tough, tough, tough environment. There’s no question about it.”

Ballmer, though, is convinced that the economic climate still provides enough room for entrepreneurs. He argued that there is enough venture capital available to fund the good ideas that are out there.
“The opportunity and need to invent … remains strong,” said Ballmer. “There’s going to be less venture capital this year than last year. There’s still probably in my opinion more venture capital than there are really good ideas to absorb the venture capital.”

Ballmer conceded that venture capital can contract too much and strain innovation, but maintained that excess venture capital is also not ideal.

“Let’s say there was four times as much venture capital. Would we have four times as much innovation? I don’t think so,” he said. “In a sense you could say there’s really not a better time to start a business. If you’ve got the right idea, you will get some funding. The ideas that weren’t good enough shouldn’t have been funded, and they won’t be funded today.”

Ballmer said the economy is resetting to a lower level and will then build back up from a lower base. That new base will provide a place for great ideas for companies and products to grow alongside the economy. He observed that Microsoft, Apple and General Electric are all companies that started under similar economic circumstances.

Ballmer argued that ideas for new technology are always changing. “Since I’ve been at Microsoft, the basic paradigm for how software gets written has changed a few times,” he said.

He suggested that these paradigm shifts open up new opportunities for people with good ideas. In particular, he noted that there is plenty of room for technological innovation in the fields of health and science.

“You’re able to model today the physical world with computers in a way that was never possible before,” said Ballmer. “Software accelerates the process.”

One of the next big changes will be the way people interact with technology. “That’s the future. That’s where things are going,” he said. “Today you learn to speak the computer’s language. If you want to write programs, you learn to write programs in the computer’s language.” He told the audience that his computer is incapable of understanding a simple request: “Get me ready for my trip to Stanford.”
“My secretary’s able to process that command,” he said. “My computer cannot process that command.”
In closing, Ballmer cautioned that even though there is room for entrepreneurship, success doesn’t come quickly and requires long hours and dedication. Because of this, he warned the audience about choosing a career for the wrong reasons.

“I think the biggest mistake most people make when they pick their first job is they don’t worry enough about whether they’ll love the work, and they worry more about whether it’s good experience,” Ballmer said. “You might pick a school because it’s good for you, and you might pick a second school because it’s good for you, but by the time you’re picking jobs I really think you’ve got to pick a job because you really think you’re going to love doing the work that you’re doing, and it’s a mistake not to.”

Ballmer’s talk was cosponsored by the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students, the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson and the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.

Casey Lindberg is an intern at the Stanford News Service.

Made In India

September 25, 2009

By Navi Rajdou
Navi Radjou is the Executive Director of the Center for India & Global Business at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. The Center brings together business, academic and policy leaders and young people from around the world eager to shape India’s leading role in the global knowledge economy. Previously, Navi was a vice president at Forrester Research, where he led the firm’s analysis of how globalized innovation is driving new collaborative market structures and organizational models. Navi is an Indian-born French national and is based in Cambridge, UK.

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Made in India
110-navi-radjou

Is demography destiny? I used to believe so. But these days, I think that depends on how a country leverages its human capital. Merely boasting a big population doesn’t confer superpower status to a nation. The quality of its human capital must match its quantity. This hard truth is finally sinking in among Indian politicians and corporate captains.
Recently, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that India is projected to provide 500 million workers — a quarter of the world’s total work force — within a decade. Indeed, by 2020, the average working age is projected to be 60+ in both US and Europe, 45 in China, and merely 29 in India!
But Mr. Singh was quick to point out that without proper education and training, the majority of these potential workers won’t be “employable” by either public or private sector firms. In a country where half of the 1.1 billion population today is below 25, Indian politicians are finally waking up to the employability and talent challenges facing the Indian youth.
India’s explosive economic growth is fueling demand across industries, ranging from IT to manufacturing to retail, for a huge number of skilled professionals. Unfortunately, while India produces over 3 million graduates each year, the percentage of those graduates that are employable by the industry is fairly low. Two studies, one by McKinsey & Company and another by Duke University, showed that fewer than 25% of the 500,000 engineers graduating in India are of comparable quality to the 70,000 engineers produced in the US — and therefore “employable” by the industry.
Aware of this challenge, the Indian government is collaborating with the National Knowledge Commission to unleash the country’s human potential by, for instance, opening more IITs and IIMs and imparting “soft skills” to young workers. Unfortunately most of these initiatives take a quantitative approach that merely aims to improve the supply-side of the Indian labor market. I personally think that the issue (and therefore the solution) lies on the demand-side, and requires a qualitative solution as well.
Why? Because employability is only half the problem. Even if they do find qualified workers, companies can’t take their Indian employees’ loyalty for granted: attrition rates in Western IT providers’ Indian offices run as high as 50%, due to lack of engagement by their employees. In a global workforce study conducted by Towers Perrin, a whopping 56% of Indian employees said that they feel disengaged at work – the highest percentage among all countries surveyed. These disgruntled Indian employees feel a big disconnect between their personal aspirations and their day-to-day professional activities.
This disconnect results from the fact that while young Indians are attending colleges (let alone high schools) neither their parents nor the educational institutions pay attention to their individual talents and career aspirations, and help tie them to the skills needed to be successful in an organization. This paucity of attention later results in high employee attrition which hurts Indian industries’ ability to sustain growth and build globally competitive and adaptable workforce.
However resourceful it might be, the Indian government can’t afford to take a top-down approach to igniting and coaching the minds of the 550 million-strong Indian youth. It needs to enroll the help of creative entrepreneurs worldwide to accomplish that mighty goal.
Fortunately, some entrepreneurs are already responding to this call. Take Dr. Ravishankar (Ravi) Gundlapalli, whom I recently met in San Francisco. After 12 years of working as a supply chain professional (Ravi has a Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics), Ravi decided to become an entrepreneur in the education sector with a global mission. Ravi told me that his passion for teaching and education goes back to his own high school days in Chennai, when he learned Tamil to teach mathematics and physics to his fellow students from Southeast Asia who had difficulty understanding concepts taught in English at school.
Ravi’s extensive field research in India with individual students, colleges, employers, and trade associations shows that most of the 3 million graduates that India produces each year are not receiving adequate career-based education and orientation. So Ravi is launching a new startup, Turning Point Global (TPG), which aims to address the employability and talent management issues faced by the Indian economy.
TPG’s vision is to “ignite the Indian students’ minds” with career planning and career success principles that are aligned with the students’ own genius and career aspirations. By engaging with Indian students while they are still in college, TPG plans to make them career-ready by the time they embark on their first job, armed with relevant functional, behavioral, and career success skills. TPG has many other innovative ideas to ensure that these students continue to maintain clarity of self and clarity of career, and in the process help reduce employee disengagement and attrition in the industry.
Ravi also told me about former president of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and Prof. Sudershan Acharya’s Lead India 2020 youth national movement, and how his vision for TPG is synergistic with that of Dr. Kalam’s, which is to ignite the minds of 550 million youth of India and transform them into employable human resources with strong leadership and human values.
I was moved when Ravi described how he is currently “igniting” the mind of a blind but super-bright Indian student, whom he met through Lead India 2020. This blind student received a youth leadership and outstanding scholars

Work at home or At home at work Place

September 21, 2009

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This article should have been published by me in April 09. Just when the draft was ready, a thought occurred to me. The question of work from home or work place arises, only when people have work. A sudden realization came to me that my friends in USA ,UK, India and other countries will be benefited if I can help them access jobs in their countries and if possible in their neighborhood. With that in mind, I embarked on the “Mission Impossible”.

From April till September 09. I was able to publish close to about six thousand jobs based in more than 32 countries with a viewership of around Thirty Thousand on approx. forty forums. Of course a matter for some satisfaction, however still a far cry from my goal of reaching Hundred Thousand people in hundred countries. The necessity to work for a living prevented me from putting more efforts in this direction. A couple of years down the line, I think I will be full time involved in this task.

I got huge support and encouragement from many large multinational organizations & development agencies, which helped me and allowed me to publish their job requirements on my blogs. The letters of thanks I received from people, who accessed the jobs & got the jobs, gave me satisfaction more than any remuneration could give and provided the maximum motivation for me to work further in this direction.
Now having done my bit, I can excuse myself for publishing this long pending article. “Mission Impossible” however continues. To view some of the jobs please Click Here

Work from Home or at home at work place

I do understand that work from home is not possible when you are working in a manufacturing unit or you are doing a work which requires your physical presence at the work place.

However if you are working out of your laptop, and the organisation is in a position to offer you the facility of home login, then I feel the work is more important than the workplace.

Several multinational organizations operating in India have realized this, implemented it and found appreciable increase in productivity levels for the same man-hours and the efforts.

In fact in the recession hit United States and Europe, certain organizations are contemplating the implementation of the norm for everyone to work at home at least one day a week. This single step could raise productivity, save energy, decrease pollution, reduce traffic congestion, cut household expenses, increase quality of family life, and keep educated women in the work force.

In this fast moving and fast growing jet age, everything including technology, thinking, people, processes, and policies have changed to more dynamic pattern. Yet one thing that hasn’t changed and refuses to change is the rigid workplace of the last century. It is amazing in the digital age that most work is still associated with industrial age work rhythms and the symbolic chains that tie workers, knowledge and otherwise, to fixed locations. Flexible workplaces with flexible hours and days are long in coming. This I tell you is a very mild understatement in relation to the present situation. This is because of the business owners who while using latest in technology and machinery,are very primitive when it comes to work pattern. I have seen managed family managed conservative organisations managing to remain as as small as thinkng even after years of existence They are of course encouraged by the overenthusiastic HR managers fresh from B-Schools, and yet to get into the unlearning process.

I can give a classic example of a Indian Corporate with more than hundred years of existence. The chairman of the corporate had his chamber at a location from where he could view the senior managers’ cars entering the building. He used to call the senior managers coming late and discuss with them.
A good one hour used to get involved in this exercise. One hour loss at senior management. Apart from this the other loss was that the senior managers used their time, resources and ingenuity to work ways to avoid detection. Leave alone the loss in productivity & optimization levels, if the attitude at the senior management is such just imagine what would percolate to the down line managers and thousands of workers in the organisation.

One thing is very clear. When the management is fixed mentally on the entry time the employees are fixed on the exit time. productivity and work take a back seat, tasks are left uncompleted, manager can no longer influence the workers to stay back and complete the tasks. Production and productivity suffers.

Discipline at cost?, self extinction?, certainly not I hope. I would always manage with a little less discipline if it ensured a better cash flow for my organisation.

Now let us take a look at the situation in USA
Many U.S. cities have become commuter nightmares as urban sprawl sends people across longer distances in their cars every week day. According to the 2008 U.S. Census estimates, 84 percent of the U.S. population lives within 363 metropolitan areas that spill over central city boundaries and, in some cases, over state lines. Jobs within central business districts have been declining, while jobs outside a ten-mile ring have been growing. Vehicle miles traveled have increased twice as fast as population growth.

Now does this remind you of cities in India ? Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad,Mumbai, Chennai and of course “Oh Kolkata”.

Choosing how long to work and on what schedule has long showed productivity benefits. People are less stressed when they can adjust their hours or days to family or personal needs. A greater feeling of control is associated with more energy and better health, studies show, making those workers more productive. Some savvy senior executives stay out of their offices occasionally even when not traveling, because they get more done in a setting with no interruptions, at home.

For many working parents, the chance to work remotely is the primary way to achieve work-life balance. Many women leave high-powered corporate and professional careers when they have children, frequently starting their own businesses they can run from home, because there is no flexibility and no middle ground between the all-out grind at a workplace demanding physical presence or opting out. A norm of remote work for everyone would ease the strain.

Technology exists to make remote work feasible and effective. Cell phones have liberated people from desks. The need for high-speed network connections is another argument for universal broadband and wi-fi access, with tax deductibility or reimbursement to employees for the connections to their home, as IBM and many US multinationals do in India.

The barriers are the usual human ones. Without a culture of strong accountability, collaboration, trust and personal responsibility, remote work doesn’t work. That culture is missing in too many organizations. Managers don’t always know how to coordinate and communicate with people they do not see face to face; they must value the work product and not the face time. Leadership is important. People need clear goals, deadlines, and performance metrics.

I know there is a huge other side to this also, the disadvantages. I leave it to my friends to argue and debate. As of now, I thank all my friends for their patience and allowing me a few lines about my work.

Regards,

Shyamsunder Panchavati

Some of the recent comments on this post from various forums.

Hello Shyamsunder,
Appreciate your insight. A position we both share.
In all of history, never before has communication devices and technology existed like the ones that exist today. This comment for example, physical location is becoming less important for the conveyance of information.
It has been my dream to enlist a ‘virtual’ workforce, void of physical constraints, and opportunity to embrace knowledge held by professionals in various locations, by the retired, physically challenged, and home workers to name a few.
It is my understanding that your question (captioned above) continues to be challenged, and the response will continue to weaken, to the point we all can work more remotely.
It will become the ‘norm’, help me re-engineer this future.
Change is in the air my friend.
-Harley

Shyam,

I see two separate and distinct separate issues being addressed in your article. First, are there drivers begging the facilitation of greater use of virtual work places. And second, is the specific workforce ready and able to adopt and accept responsibility for participationion the virtual workplace.

You aptly address the drivers for remote / virtual workplaces. I think most of us can identify with these issues and can draw from experience the many times we’ve been responsibly and productively engaged in working from remote sites. Although somewhat more elusive and greater challenge is in identifying the personality characteristics or traits of those who adapt to this model versus, what I see as the majority of individuals, those who need the structured workplace in order to remain engaged, productive and focused on their 8-10 hour daily assignments or unstructured tasks as they may be.

I’m not yet convinced that the 80-90 percent of deskbound workers are at the work maturity level at which they can thrive when working sans office. While automated call distributors insure that work is kept queued and measureable for remote call center personnel, the same is not true for knowledge workers or ‘meeting bound’ program team members.

I believe that driving success for this larger mass will come thru improved use of integrated video/telecommunications services and social networking tools which will spur an alternative social fabric to the office coffee station. The immediate next step being adoption and integration of these services into common work protocols.
Ron

We do a lot of “virtual” work and I find it that it is good to have it when you have very “proceduralized” work flow. Long project when all people know what they do etc. When nature of business is very dynamic we find it is very hard to have “virtual” work force.
Here is an example, one of our clients have a server performance problem that results in service unavailability. Server are up and down. When they down you need react right away and mulitple people have to work together to response quickly. If they all remote it is very inconvenient.
Posted by Michael Petrov

Many US companies are way behind in 21st Century management/HR with regards to the “work from home” opportunity that exists for both the company and the employee. Not all employees are equal in their job descriptions, skill sets or abilities – therefore, no outdated mandate should be given that no one can work from hom – when some can and should. I would greatly appreciate any further testimony from US that promotes the work from home opportunity.
I’m in sales – primarily by phone and email – there is absolutely no reason for me to drive 50 miles a day to come to an office when I can do the same job and work longer hours from my home office.
Any persuasive facts or thoughts that I can send along to my management?
Thank you.
Posted by Le Anne Dolan

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Body tattoos are exhibit, Mind tattoos are they inhibits ????

May 8, 2009

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Few more University degrees than others does this make you a better educated person than others?
Humility born out of knowledge is divine,
Confidence born out of knowledge is good welcome and acceptable.
Arrogance born out of knowledge is Ignorance magnified.
Ignorance is trait born out of captive mind set.
Kupastha Mandukam are we one?? (Frog in well)
As Intellectuals, well we are not expected to be one.

Mind tattoos, the responsible factors for captive mind set
People are led by the captive mindsets which lead to inhibition and inaction
Mind tattoos, the responsible factors for captive mind set
“Dr Norman Vincent Peale the famous author was walking by a tattoo shop when a confused looking young man came out of the shop with a tattoo in his right arm that read “Born to Lose”. Dr Peale asked the tattoo artist about it and the tattoo artist replied…. “ I did ask the young man if he was sure that he wanted to state “Born to lose” in his arm and the young man was pretty stubborn in that. A surprised Dr Peale asked the tattoo artist – “Is’nt that surprising?” For which the artiste replied “Not really! Much before he tattooed it on his arm, he has firmly tattooed it in his brain, and his body tattoo act is just a reflection of his mind tattoo”.””

But what we tattoo on any part of the body for others to see is not as important as what we tattoo in our minds…. And positive, successful, energetic mind tattoos are a must to attain success…
So, it should be our conscious and subconscious endeavor to keep tattooing our mind with thoughts that are ONLY about winning, what we want be, want to reach, want to achieve, that perfect day as desired, ALL THAT IS SOUGHT BY US FOR A GREAT LIFE.
A few degrees less or more doesn’t decide whether you are intelligent, Creative leader

Creative people are full of curiosity.

Creative people are wonderstruck. They are tickled by the newness of every moment. They have lots of questions. They keep asking what, why, when, where and how.
A questioning mind is an open mind. It is not a knowing mind. Only an open mind can be creative. A knowing mind can never be creative.
A questioning stance sensitizes the mind in a very special way and it is able to sense what would have been missed otherwise.

Problems & the blame game
When there is a problem, some people can be seen wringing up their hands. Their first reaction is to look for someone to blame. Being faced with a problem becomes a problem. Such people can be called problem-averse.
Intelligent people, on the other hand, are problem-friendly. They just roll up their sleeves when faced with a problem. They see problems as opportunities to improve the quality of life. Being faced with a problem is never a problem.

Value ideas and suggestions from the colleagues

Creative people realize the value of an idea. They do not take any chance with something so important. They spot an opportunity in the ideas suggested by their colleagues.

Delegate and define responsibility to make them accountable & responsible.

Delegate and clearly define responsibilities to each member of the team. Allow them controlled discretion & inculcate a sense of responsibility & accountability in them. A responsible and winning team can only make you a winning leader.

Visible enthusiasm for achieving set goals

Effective leaders are enthusiastic about their goals. This enthusiasm works as fuel for their journey, propelling them to their goals. This is also extremely contagious and spreads fast in the team.

Perennially dissatisfied.

Leaders are acutely aware of their dissatisfactions and unfulfilled desires. However, this awareness does not frustrate them. Their frustration never reflects in their behavior with colleagues. As a matter of fact, they use this awareness as a stimulus to realize their dreams.

Be an optimist, regardless of adversities & constraints.

Creative people generally have a deeply held belief that most, if not all, problems can be solved. No challenge is too big to be overcome.
This doesn’t mean they are always happy and never depressed. They do have their bad moments but they don’t generally get stumped by a challenge.

Creative people make positive Judgment.

A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn. It can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a right man’s brow – a businessman Charles Brower

The ability to hold off on judging or critiquing an idea is important in the process of creativity. Often great ideas start as crazy ones – if critique is applied too early the idea will be killed and never developed into something useful and useable.

This doesn’t mean there is no room for critique or judgment in the creative process but there is a time and place for it and creative people recognize that.

Academics excellence should not bring about arrogance of Endemic proportions

Your having more knowledge than your colleagues is the most natural thing and that should not make the other person less of a human being. If that knowledge gives you a sense of arrogance and self righteousness, You are endemic diseased get yourself cured immediately. Your superior knowledge should be used to help build ladders out of ignorance for lesser qualified colleagues & students.

Great people are good at reframing any situation.

Reframes are a different way of looking at things. Being able to reframe experiences and situations is a very powerful skill.
Reframing allows you to look at a situation from a different angle. It is like another camera angle in a cricket match. And a different view has the power to change your entire perception of the situation.
Reframing can breathe new life into dead situations. It can motivate demoralized teams. It helps you to spot opportunities that you would have otherwise missed.

It does not mean that excellent academics make you less educated. It only means that excellent academics & education are not interrelated directly or inversely. We had great academicians who were also excellent human beings. Dr. Rejendra Prasad, Dr. Radhakrishanan, Dr. Zakir Hussain, and Dr. Kalam. Remember our word action directly impacts the destiny of the future generations. Our actions should help to mould the youth to become future leaders and fulfill Dr. Kalam’s dream to lead India to lead the world by 2020.

Best wishes,

Shyam,

Where Knowledge fails, It is the Ignorance that creates path for Success

May 3, 2009

Derek Bok, the 25th President of Harvard, famously said: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” What we need is more business education, not less!

“Try ignorance” though said in a different context has become more relevant in the present scenario. A leading Japanese multinational, which is into electronics and infrastructure, systematically, breeds high levels ignorance in their staff right from the stage of initiation, simultaneously imparting highest level of knowledge in the area of their work. I was surprised to find a senior Japanese technician totally ignorant about his company info like turnover, manpower count, he didn’t even know the name of his chairman. He innocently admitted that he only remembered the person he reported to, and people who reported to him. Yet he had contributed constructively to the infrastructural aspects of the power plants, his company built in many countries.

Now compare this to a senior executive from west. He will not only remember everything about his chairman (down to the scandals). He will give you all info (including personal) about other heads like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet et al.

Now how does it affect the performance? It does I feel

Now brain like any other data storage system has a fixed capacity for storage. You can only recall what is stored. If you store irrelevant stuff, you are left with a very limited space to store the stuff relevant to your work .It may be enough to carry you through normal times, but not during crisis situations. Japanese realized this early, and the results are there for all to see. A badly battered World War II country rose like phoenix to become the world’s leading economy within two decades.

Who is to blame?

Every one in the establishment, especially those in B-Schools. In order to make themselves relevant, they teach a lot of irrelevant things. A better part of my life has been spent making the students unlearn things not relevant their jobs.

“Mintzberg, a professor of management at McGill University, and a known B-School baiter says that the idea of a foundational education at or near the beginning of a managerial career is fatally flawed. It’s not called the “practice of management” for nothing, he says, and you can only learn the nuanced lessons of management by managing.”
He adds, “.You wouldn’t send a doctor out to practice without years of study; why a manager? Because most of the things a manager needs to know–whether that’s how to motivate people or assess a balance sheet–are context-specific, he says, and not universally applicable. Yes, a manager needs to understand the basics of finance, but that is best learned in a real-world setting. Furthermore, an MBA degree gives graduates a false sense of their capabilities, which can cause tremendous harm to an organization.”

It’s a strongly a contra view–but in this environment, one that suddenly seems a bit less radical.

Where is the solution?

Turn to east & orient; adopt their proactive ways of recruitment and training. Select specialists (Masters) in the related field, rather than management generalists. Impart job specific intensive customized training and keep updating their knowledge to get results. US multinationals in India have already started that practice they are picking students from high schools & undergraduate colleges and grooming them into successful executives. One of the US multinationals had tied up with a university to impart education customized to its job needs. It sponsored the education and absorbed the students after completion.

Either reform the B-School curriculum to make it industry or scrap them altogether.

You don’t need a MBA to create economic crisis. It should be focused towards effectively manage one.

Before concluding, I am tempted to narrate another incident about another senior Japanese techie. My friend wrote to this man to get a car stereo, whenever he came to India next. The man wrote back. “Ok I will get the car stereo, but what about the car.” It took a while for my friend to understand the message. Now the perception of the Japanese was, to get a car stereo, you had to buy a car, pluck the stereo out, and…. What to do with the car? Now he could be excused for the ignorance of the fact that car stereos were available separately in the market. Because this ignorance led to the expertise in his own field.

Best wishes,

Shyam