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December 17, 2014

What’s missing from our answers?

Recently, I published a slide of two very frequently asked questions during interview in campuses, including most commonly accepted answers.

Given that these answers are commonly accepted, there were hardly any comments offering alternatives or modifications. Think through and we will realize that putting a simple validation to check if A & B (include C for Q2) are of same value we don’t need to run the logic and simply exit or display a message saying all variables contain same value. This is making logic and system withstand boundary conditions or simply put making your logic and system idiot proof.

Why is it important enough for me to write but more importantly why should you read?

Let’s begin by examining what happens when question is asked? Respondents answer assuming that variables have different values, while ignoring to test their logic for boundary conditions.

Real importance of this lies in understanding underlying operating mechanism we use while interacting with people and our environment. Every time, we interact with others we act based on our assumptions. It’s like answers to questions in the picture.

We often use “Perception is reality“. Our world is our perception based on our prejudices, shaped by our fears, fueled by our ignorance. We have either been told or have told someone to manage their perception. Manager’s with all good intention end up saying, “you need to manage your perception”. Is it really possible for anyone to manage other’s perception? It is far better to share specific expected behaviors and actions.

People repeatedly say – Life isn’t fair. This phrase is answer to every situation – whether someone is imposing unfair solution, reward, work, pay etc or trying to console someone in bad place. We even use it while trying to motivate people. But who needs to be reminded that Life isn’t fair.

We all are in pursuit of happiness; chasing one dream after another, one milestone after another and one acquisition after another; while ignoring to test our actions for boundary conditions. I am reminded of a quote from Victor Frankl: “Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.”

A wise man once said – “People need connections, if you have connections you will live happily.” Nothing demonstrates this more than our emphasis on connectivity for all gadgets (Internet, Bluetooth, wireless etc).

You have responsibility for your world (perception, point of view and so on). Don’t let others shape your point of view. This is ignorance. A colleague once shared a gem; he told responsibility is responding with ability.

We spend so much time and resources in improving processes to remove non value added activities but we spend so little on improving human processes and take out non value adding emotions from people’ life. (HOW : Retaining Leadership)






The picture, “Perception process capability Six Sigma way”, demonstrates work and discipline we need just  to accept different realities around us. Accepting them is mere first step in dealing with different realities.

Adding the validation for all variables having same values is great example of ability. Similarly, to have connections, you need to look past your own assumption and a different reality. Appreciate all subjective realities, without judgement.  Your reality is limited. So are others’. Break your limitation and make room for theirs, even if they can’t or don’t.

You have ability to see the world from others points of view. This is Care.  When you do your tasks by appreciating there are many forces at work, not all under your control, this is wisdom.

Another year comes to an end, we will be trying to connect dots and figure out what worked and what didn’t work. What we accomplished and what we didn’t. Organisations will be working on performance management using various approaches. Individually and collectively we will be setting out goals and actions for year ahead.

While connecting your dots and finding answers remember not to miss :

  • People need connections, If you have connections you will live happily.
  • Life is not fair. But you can be, even if others can’t or won’t.
  • Move towards wisdom from Ignorance by responding with ability and Care.
Wishing you and your loved ones, Happy Holidays and Great New Year 2015!!!

Warm Regards,
Pankaj

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November 11, 2014

Employee Engagement, Development & Retention begins with “WE CARE”

Another year comes to end, we start planning for next year. Leadership and HR in organizations will be burning mid night oil getting their talent strategy right to attract and retain talent. Great many presentations and surveys will be conducted. Countless hours will be spent discussing budgets and proposal for wage hikes, bonuses, retention pays and innovative HR policies to improve employee engagement and retention. Paradoxically CEOs, Business Leaders and CHROs will continue saying or implying– “I don’t care; we need to be best in class employers”. Same as when they say – We don’t care, we need this much revenue, this customer or account etc.

Couple of years back my Facebook status update read – “When I don't care, I don't care  ... But when I care, I don't care ....”. How many times we all feel or share this feeling? How many times we end up sharing similar feelings and thoughts in moments of joy, despair, frustration and anger? Even when we care about someone or something deeply more often we end up saying “I don’t care”.

No wonder these words come back to hurt us when a loved one says – no one cares, a customer  complains  - no one cares or an employee says (mostly in exit interview) – no one cares. At that point explaining all the benefits, help extended and marketing is worthless because bond of trust is broken. A Story of 3 best friends --- 1) Knowledge, 2) Wealth and 3) Trust They made great friends but, one day had to separate. They asked each other where they could be found if searched. Knowledge said: You`ll always find me in temple, church, mosque or a school. Wealth said: I`ll be found in palaces or with rich people. Trust was quiet. When asked again, he said: You`ll never find me once am gone!!

We create wonderful benefits, compensation plans and events launching them with much fan fare. Once dust settles after meetings, employee events and town halls all people hear is – “I/We don’t care”. Whereas first and foremost everyone wants to hear and feel is “We care”.

Let’s look at  the meaning of word “Care”. As a noun Care has two meanings

1)  “the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.” Synonyms - safekeeping, supervision, custody,  charge, protection, guidanceresponsibility etc.
2) “serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk. Synonyms -  caution,  carefulness,   awarenessheed, attention,  attentiveness,  alertness,  watchfulness,  vigilance, circumspectionprudence, etc.

As verb Care means - feel concern or interest; attach importance to something and look after and provide for the needs of.

Imagine impact of people hearing someone say – “I/we don’t care”. It’s not about semantics; it’s about impact of repeated use of words and processes that communicate “we don’t care”.

Allocating huge resources, fancy ad campaigns etc will have no impact unless underlying attitudes and processes don’t change. (Transformation Challenges ......India way)
I am adapting from something we used during earlier part of my career, to train on listening skills, to help define how to CARE.

Concentrate “I see managers who look like 12-year-olds with attention deficit disorder, running around from one thing to the next, constantly barraged with information, constantly chasing the next shiny thing.”1 Nothing says “I don’t care” more than lack of attention. It’s simply disrespectful. Yet almost all of us are guilty of not paying attention to our colleague, customer and loved ones on daily basis. Care means paying attention, being attentive and alert.

AcceptAccepting people as adults means paying attention to their ideas, thoughts and inputs. It means trusting them to be able handle good with bad, success with failure and so on (HOW: Retaining Leadership). Avoid perception to color your judgement, instead look for facts. Don’t mix up acceptance with agreement, more often people just want a fair and patient hearing. One can only protect and take care of something or someone they accept not something they are judgemental about.

ReflectWe talked about avoiding perception to color one’s judgement. How to do that? Constantly under pressure to juggle multiple priorities, we are mostly reacting to people and events around us. Reflecting on the events, communication and discussions allows us time and perspective to evaluate our actions. This may not be possible during the course of a meeting or work day. “Maintain a Stop doing list” but more importantly look at it every day and review your day against it. (Tips How to Focus and be Productive) Care means responsibility, watchfulness and prudence. Taking a pause to think about your response or to reflect on your actions and take appropriate follow up action demonstrates that you care.

Empathy - The ability to understand and share feelings of another. If you’re a leader, your whole reason for living is to help human beings develop—to really develop people and make work a place that’s energetic and exciting and a growth opportunity, whether you’re running a Housekeeping Department or Google. I mean, this is not rocket science.”1

You can’t care for someone without understanding how they think and feel. You can’t understand people unless you Concentrate, Accept, Reflect and Empathise.

“We CARE”

You take CARE!!!

Warm Regards.

Pankaj 

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1Tom Peters on leading the 21st-century organization, McKinsey Quarterly September 2014

October 13, 2014

Transformation Challenges .....................India way

Like most of the World and business organisations India is undergoing significant transformation and offers some very interesting insights into Leading and managing change.

Lot has been written about Anna Hazare and anti corruption movement. Images plastered all over news papers, television and  websites; of youngsters (most of them aged between 16-25 years) riding bikes with pillion riders standing behind them, sometimes as much as four people on one bike, in violation of traffic and safety rules continue to disturb me both as a person and as professional. Unfortunately this is a common scene in all political, religious and social rallies as well as day to day traffic on roads.

Sounds trivial? Why is this important? Here is context data:

Across India, every ten days over 4000 people die in road accidents, majority of them are on two wheeler and are under 35 years of age. This is more than all people lost in Kargil War. India loses more people in six months in road accidents than has lost to wars and terrorism since Independence.

Ask any communication and branding expert and they will verify the blunder. Not to forget, tendency to break rules and laws is root cause of corruption (bribery). So how can people leading anti corruption movement and demanding accountability in public service themselves be tolerant of such behaviors? It’s like a corporate leader supporting processes and people responsible for malfunction of most promising products.

As a person looking to invest in India, will be genuinely concerned. When I see Urban/ Semi Urban, educated, with means (owners of bikes, vehicles etc) who are most likely to be part of work force being hired behaving so irresponsibly.

I am reminded of a story told by Pramod Bhasin (ex CEO & Chairman, Genpact / Leader - GE Capital India). He was at Chinese airport on a rainy day. A group of maintenance workers were walking in a line towards Aircraft; there was puddle of water and first one jumped to cross over. Entire crew followed him without breaking line. If this was in India, we would have someone jumping over it, another few deciding to take a detour from right, some from left and so on. Bottom line, in general Indians don’t demonstrate discipline, more so self discipline.

Businesses need predictability, consistency and respect for law & rules to thrive.

Similarly, at launch of Clean India campaign, after Prime Minister and crowd departed, venue was littered with pamphlets distributed by organizers (Govt of India). If your goal is to clean than you can’t be adding to waste generation. To manage waste we have to start by managing and curbing waste generating behavior and leaders must lead by example, for campaign to succeed, root causes have to be dealt with. It’s not only about littering but total waste of national resources (read organisational resources in context of businesses). Allocating huge resources, fancy ad campaigns etc will have no impact unless underlying attitudes and processes change. For example, using technology and connecting with people, similar to Prime Minister’s address to school children on 5th September, would have been a much more effective approach.

Last year, I was reading results of a study by an international agency. According to this study approximately 175 mm Indian families (of 4 people) earn less than $1350 p.a. translating into 700 mm people or roughly 10% of humanity having less than 1 $ per day to live. In this back drop providing for skill development, education and employment (schemes like MGNREGA) is understandably any government’s priority. With current controversy in media over increased allocation of fund for material the MGNREGA is once again in focus. One is reminded of Cliché – definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (Albert Einstein)

These programs continue to repeat mistakes of past 67 years since independence. Every year instead of reducing people’s dependence on such programs and reservations in jobs/admissions we have agitations and lobbying to include more people.

Make in India, Clean India, Making FDI norms easy, MGNREGA, Reservations etc are means to end, but we continue treating them as goal itself. Effective business organizations start with customer to set their goals and work backwards to change/create processes to meet their goals. Similarly, India has to start focusing on improving life of its 1250 mm people and integrate various initiatives to make them successful.

Here are some examples of creating people (customer) centric solutions, instead trying to force fit, subsidies and fund people in systems which do not serve their purpose.

Select youngsters in age group of 12-15 years from these families. Create a three year program comprising of two blocks of 6 hours each. It’s possible to provide education equivalent to six academic years (roughly 180 to 200 days) in 6 hours X 1080 days. Use second block to provide technical and vocational training for three years providing them employment on completion of three years. During this time pay these youngsters $ 3 per day from MGNREGA and provide meals from Mid Day meal scheme. This will create far more valuable assets and set these families truly free.  With collaboration and involvement of industry this can create pipeline of employable young talent for industries, services, Armed forces, Para-military forces, healthcare services, police etc.

Provide government and community land (village panchayat, temples etc) on lease (instead of transferring ownership) to build cold storage, large retail stores etc. Include solar power generation firms by providing roof tops to set up plants and ask them to fund construction in lieu of rent/cost of land. Unlike conventional power generation, solar power can be generated through clusters of small units catering to local communities resulting in lower costs and T&D losses. Similarly funds can be used from MGNREGA, health and education budgets to construct schools, healthcare facilities in collaboration with solar energy firms. This is all possible by creating enabling regulatory framework.

Organised retail is need of hour. We continue to debate corporate versus local shop owners, domestic companies versus foreign companies etc. Why not promote cooperative model, exiting small shop owners can form cooperatives and nationwide network of such local cooperatives can provide benefits to consumers and opportunities businesses. We have extremely successful example in dairy sector - Amul to learn from. Once again funds from schemes like MGNREGA should be used to promote such enterprises at village level.
It’s simple, to be efficient; dispose what is not required, figure out what is important and hold on tight to what you want most!

I am reminded of a presentation in circulation few years back about difference in developed and developing/under developed nations. Difference between Developed and under developed nations is attitude of people, framed over the years by education and culture.
It’s time to stop rhetoric like India is Great (Mera Bharat Mahan) and change to let’s make India Better.

Warm Regards,
Pankaj

October 4, 2014

Best way to make a line smaller is by drawing bigger one?

I am often reminded of a puzzle form my early years in school. Teacher drew a line on blackboard and asked the class, do you know how to make it small without touching it? (B in picture here). None of us could figure out answer. She drew bigger line (A) parallel to B and asked which one is smaller. All of us answered B. She went on to concept of hard work and being positive. Best way to win is to put in more effort and produce better results, avoid indulging in negative behaviors like cheating, jealousy and so on.
This example keeps coming back, – “best way to make a line smaller is by drawing bigger one”, in talks, interviews, training etc. Key challenges in this message are –
  1. Control remains with competition; your success is measured and quantified by achievements of someone else.
  2. Supports comparison, root cause of negative and dysfunctional behaviors
  3. Message is counter intuitive to multiplicity of ideas and pluralism. 
Let me take a pause and quote from my earlier posts.
In 1990s when Coke, decided to re-enter Indian market post liberalization Pepsi was well established in Indian market with head start of almost 7-8 years.  Senior Coke executive was visiting India and a journalist asked about how they plan to grow and gain market share from rivals mainly Pepsi. Coke executive responded that their target market was not only consumers of carbonated drinks but everyone who drank water or lemon drink to quench thrust. In one statement, the person redefined entire market and possible opportunities for Coke. This illustrates power of taking control while facing adversity. (Surviving Adversity)

Once we start seeing competitors as inspiration instead of enemies. Our communication, expected behaviors rewards and recognition strategy undergoes a complete change for positive. The rhetorical statements, over zealousness and unnecessary aggression give way to desire for continuous improvement, sense of fulfillment and enjoyment. We spend so much time and resources in improving processes to remove non value added activities but we spend so little on improving human processes and take out non value adding emotions from people’ life. (HOW: Retaining Leadership).

Message of exercise remains well intended and noble. Taking a selfish perspective, it still is worthwhile to continue working on your line instead of trying to sabotage other line. For example, B’s line represents current net worth of $ 1 mm and A’s line $ 1.2 mm. If B tries to sabotage and bring down A to 900K, in absolute terms he still is at $ 1 mm. Instead if B spends his resources (energy, time, effort, money etc) only on extending his line to $1.1 mm, and during same period A extends her line to $ 1.5 mm, in absolute terms B is still much better off.

In the picture, four lines started parallel to B ending up as A, Leaf, flower and a boat. A was driven by making B smaller, she can carry this line far but it will be always X of B and there lies the limitation of this method.  Whereas leaf, flower and boat created there own vision and took their respective paths. They worked on extending their lines. Further, to color and target a totally different audience. Freeing them from having to compete and be compared with A&B.

Never define yourself as a product and, in fact, I would augment it; never define yourself by your competition, either. If you live and define yourself by your product or competition, you will loose sight of who your customer is. - Ginni Rometty Chairman, President and CEO—IBM.

Benchmarking, understanding competition, trying to win in market place, setting ambitious targets and goals are good. Even cliché “Whatever it takes” isn’t unwanted. Challenge is in understanding associated cliché - “end doesn’t justify means”. It’s a combo deal. We keep thinking that our challenge is second cliché, in reality challenges and failures come from first part “whatever it takes” and life time of conditioning with - “best way to make a line smaller is by drawing bigger one”.

"Live in accordance with how one thinks. Be yourself and don't try to impose your criteria on the rest. I don't expect others to live like me. I want to respect people's freedom, but I defend my freedom. And that comes with the courage to say what you think, even if sometimes others don't share those views." - José "Pepe" Mujica, President of Uruguay

Warm Regards,



September 26, 2014

Surviving Adversity!!

After my last post (What is this noise about holacracy ...), while working on what we can and what we need to do, I couldn't help but think about dealing with adversity;  Leading to interesting chain of thoughts.

We all have faced adversity of varying degree in our lives. More so, now when world at large is slowly coming out of very tough economic conditions. “All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”- Walt Disney


Some examples:Losing your job as part of rightsizing, Feeling stuck in a dead end job / career, Missing on promotions, rewards and recognition, Being part of a dysfunctional team, Uncomfortable with organisation culture and environment, Unsupporting or difficult boss, List is endless! 
In beginning we talked about interesting chain of thoughts, what makes this post different and interesting is very diverse source of inspiration for solutions.

Let’s begin with movie Ransom (1996, starring Mel Gibson as Tom - protagonist). A quick recap - Tom’s son is kidnapped and kidnappers ask of $ 2 mm as ransom. Mastermind of the kidnapping is NYPD detective.  While FBI agents are trying to apprehend people involved, Tom realises that kidnappers have no intention of returning his son even after he pays ransom. Tom decides to turn ransom in bounty of $ 2 mm and raising it to $ 4mm, leaving kidnappers no choice but to return his son if they want to live. At the end, Tom manages to kill mastermind and recover his son.
Adversities in our lives, professional or otherwise have a similar plot. They tend to deny us something which is dear or important to us. We keep paying ransom in form of misery, emotional trauma, unhappiness, financial losses, etc. Worst, we often tend to pay EMIs of ransom without realizing that we aren’t getting anything in return. Tom in ransom inspires me not only because he realizes the truth but also acts and takes control back.
For example if you feel that your career is not progressing as you desire, don’t pay EMIs of ransom, instead take risk – change of team / organisation, discipline. Why not start something at your own, take a sabbatical break and add another qualification. It’s like paying bounty to get rid of kidnappers like unappreciative organization or management, lack of skills etc. This is going to be tough. But if you pull together and hang in there, you’ll achieve something amazing in the end.
I am also reminded of an incidence from 1990s when Coke, decided to re-enter Indian market post liberalisation. Pepsi was well established in Indian market with head start of almost 7-8 years.  Senior Coke executive was visiting India and a journalist asked about how they plan to grow and gain market share from rivals mainly Pepsi. Coke executive responded that their target market was not only consumers of carbonated drinks but everyone who drank water or lemon drink to quench thrust. In one statement, the person redefined entire market and possible opportunities for Coke. This again illustrates power of taking control while facing adversity.
Another interesting analogy comes from art of fighting wars. Often, smart leaders would tactically retreat while facing a formidable enemy.  While retreating they will poison food grains, water bodies etc, denying advancing enemies important source of supplies and increasing their overheads in terms of having to carry large supplies with them.
Use Self confidence, trust in people, knowledge and self belief to poison food of adversity like negativity, lack of confidence, depression and mistrust. If you are feeling let down by people, expand your network, connect and seek out help from more people. (Networking – it’s not rocket science). People will become your partners in change, because they want to be part of the journey. “In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.Lee Iacocca
Recently, I read this story about a senior manager leading a committee to make their work place environment more positive. She was diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer. In her absence, office culture began to revert back. On a visit to see her in the hospital, team member told her about disappointing turn of events. She surprised him with a confession: Since she had never smoked and had no history of cancer in her family, she was convinced that her disease was a direct function of putting up with a toxic work environment for so long. Shortly after, she sent him a letter telling - he would be faced with an important choice throughout his life. He could allow the negative attitudes of others to influence his behaviour, or pursue professional goals because of the sense of personal accomplishment they offered. 
Be like a Phoenix, being reborn from your ashes each time you are burnt in the fire of adversity. Use the opportunity to shed your old wings and feathers - mindset, skills sets, targets etc. Learn from your adverse experiences. Greatness is often achieved in the face of adversity.
Adversity often brings change and changes bring adversities. It’s frightful and absolutely normal. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”  - Ambrose Redmoon. 
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With best regards,
Pankaj
www.skoolcafe.com

August 29, 2014

Succeeding in New world of Management - II

Recap: Emerging trends in management may sound unnerving but remember only way to success is by embracing change. Best strategy to succeed is not to wait for change but to anticipate and adapt change. (What is this noise about holacracy....)Integrity and passion are foundation. Being able to motivate and inspire coupled with problem solving complete the Top three. Predictability is right there with humility sharing honours in our Top 5. (Succeeding in New world of Management - I)
Businesses exist to meet customer needs. When I joined GE Capital’s outsourcing business in India, on very first day I saw this poster displaying GE Cap’s vision – “Satisfying customer needs, profitably.” It remained with me. Articulation of last word “Profitably”    is   nothing but “Business Acumen”. Many times executives, engineers and management professionals get carried away with first part Satisfying customer needs (or employee as managers and HRMs) that they lose sight of “profitably”. Does this feel counter intuitive? In world full of various scams and frauds filled with greedy corporate stopping at nothing to bolster their bottomline and bonus payout. Problem is with perception that desire for profitability is equal to greed. Business Acumen has two components – understanding how business makes money and being a technologist. In Duncan’s words – “Innovation is the ability to convert ideas into invoices”. Today’s businesses operate is environment of convergence, a term no longer restricted to ICE (IT, Communication and electronics). Leaders need to know and understand technologies and their impact on wider spectrum. Knowing about their own industry and products are no longer enough. It’s not about being a nerd and knowing the buzzwords, it’s about being able to understand how various parts move in sync and what winds of change can cause turbulence.

You have to be nimble footed; you can’t succeed by responding to situation but anticipate and be prepared to respond. See and sense complete environment. What you don’t see, hear, feel and sense becomes your weakness. God is in detail. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes says that one of Steve Jobs’s salient traits was his ability and desire to envision overarching strategy while also focusing on the tiniest aspects of design.

Organizations with new structures are becoming like Silicon Valley with scores of Dot Com start-ups. Each team/committee is like a start-up. Only difference is that instead of diverse source of capital, all start-ups are being backed by one organisation. Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.” While we talk about what it takes to succeed, let’s remember there will always be few not crossing the finishing line, failure rate is going to be higher; ability to survive and bounce back from failure is going to be key differentiator. Resilience as part of organisation culture will become more and more important. “I am not concerned that you have fallen -- I am concerned that you arise.” - Abraham Lincoln 

You can’t, not communicate. However, importance of listening keeps growing. There is flood of articles on net about how organisations are recognizing need for listening more to their customers, introverts making better sales people in era of social media etc. Lead link or team leads have their work cut out with cross functional, cultural and generational teams minus advantages Managers have in traditional organisations. Same people playing different roles at different levels across various teams will put tremendous pressure on their communication skills. Leaders will need far superior listening skills to meet this challenge.

It’s much more than sensitivity. It is about tolerance. It relates to pluralism, where more than one idea is accepted. (Diversity: HR Focus and Trends 2014). For past couple of decades in order to become more diverse and global, organisations kept pushing sensitivity as remedy and skill. It’s important for us to be sensitive to others, different cultures, styles etc and act accordingly. But importance doesn’t make it easy or feasible to execute. However, it is much easier for us to be tolerant of other’s behaviour at times not in line with our methods, beliefs, culture and styles.

Steve Job’s famous words – Stay hungry, stay foolish. No matter what organisation structure, generation and technology era, world will always belong to people who continue to learn, unlearn and relearn. Path to success and excellence is iterative and continuous. It’s important to ask yourself which competencies are going to be most critical in the future for next job or assignment. Demonstrating those skills in your current job and organisation provides evidence that you will be successful in next assignment.

Signing off with - "I never stopped trying to become qualified for the Job." --- Darwin E. Smith, ex CEO of Kimberly-Clark

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With best regards,
Pankaj

August 21, 2014

Succeeding in New world of Management - I

Continuing from earlier post (what is holacracy....); let’s explore what it takes to succeed in new world order of management.

In a recently  article,“The Skills Leaders Need at Every Level” -Jack Zenger, and Joseph Folkman (HBR blog); top three competencies required by leaders are - Inspires and motivate others, displays high integrity and honesty, followed by solves problems and analyses issues. Add Predictability, a key competency looked by Google during hiring of managers, to complete the set.

These findings are based on current organisation structures. Imagine the world where existing tools and support systems (management structures) are no longer available and complexity of relationship among colleagues becoming far more complex. Leaders (Lead links, team leads etc) will need far superior skills to inspire and motivate teams. 

Leadership is about casting a vision and allowing it to seep into others so they follow the lead. Management is about dealing with situations such that results become tangible. You can manage people but only because you have the authority to do so bestowed upon you. But you can lead from anywhere, by example, influencing others regardless of your position or authority, they follow what you say. Leadership is best by example. Do what you say in such a way that others can do it too. Management is best an expertise. Do what others cannot so you gain authority over them. Mahatma Gandhi said, “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”

Let’s not even spend time reemphasizing value of Integrity and importance of passion. World is never perfect and constantly changing. This in turn creates problems as well as opportunities. Businesses thrive by solving these problems for their customers. To quote Indira Nooyi, Chairperson PEPSICO, We look for people who are able to understand and work around geo political environment quickly and surround themselves with great talent. Who are agile, can work with scarcity of commodities (read resources) and make something out of nothing.”

Google looks for predictability as key attribute in future hires because predictable leaders provide best environment for innovation and risk taking. People feel most empowered when they know what to expect from their leaders in a given situation. “Variation is enemy of Quality”. Six Sigma and other methodologies focus on providing tools to eliminate variation in order to improve quality and productivity. Same applies to people, irrespective of product, services or leadership behaviour; final evaluators of quality are always people in some way or other.

“Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.” - William Temple. We would have seen or heard about mid air refuelling. When a fighter jet or any other plane has to be refuelled in air, irrespective of its capability and flying altitude it has to descend at lower altitude to receive fuel from tanker. Similarly, smart leaders connect with people gathering information and knowledge. Being able to appropriately use every small bit of information gives them advantage over situation. To quote Mahatma Gandhi - “It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” 

I signoff part I quoting Einstein  “A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.”


TO BE CONTINUED ....


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With best regards,
Pankaj