Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Self Confidence ,Determination And Guts To Take Challenge.

On the other day I was posting a comment on Prof Tammy Erickson’s post on Harvard Business Online , the topic was “The Changing Value of College Degrees”

This is really very interesting topic and a debatable topic,
do you really require a College degree to be successful in your life?

There are two aspects of college degrees, one if you are a professional, where degrees is a mandatory like for example doctors, lawyers, auditors and certified accounts professionals.

The other side there are smart guys, who picks up things on his way and applies in business and becomes successful, these are smart people who can do
Out Of The Box Thinking apply the knowledge from the experience that he has gathered, he is learning everyday.

These people are self-learners; self-learning can only be possible if you are self-motivated.Mr Bill Gates, Mr Steve Jobs, Mr Mittal are institutions by themselves.

Cognitive learning matters the most.Self Confidence, determination and guts to take the challenges matters the most.
Many a times Executional Excellence scores more and required more than Academic Excellence. Especially it is seen in the case of entrepreneurs.

Rather you require a mix of both is required very much to be successful in professional life.
This gentleman dropped out from post grad management from IISWBM, Calcutta,to join his business and today he is a big name in the global steel business and really speaking he has made India proud.

Mr. L.N.Mittal is considered to be one of the most successful management
student from the Indian Institute Of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta.

Yes, in the initial days of your career you require a degree to get an entry to a big corporate but in the long run you have to prove yourself and your executional excellence matters the most because it the value addition that you have to do for your employer.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Apple is World's Most Innovative Company-BusinessWeek

In 2008 Businesweek-BCG has named the Apple Computers to be the most innovative company in the world .
Apple proved in the past that innovating and R&D really keeps you in the race while others cut R&D money positions a company very well against its competitors when things get back to normal.

Apple main success mantras are as follows;

1. Make the product king.

2. Make the customer king.

3. Break the marketing mold.

4. Fix your leaders and your plan.

Waiting eagerly to see new products from Apple’s Magic Box.

Chapman Alliance To Enhance Talent Management For Indian Corporate Executives.

It is a great news that the Indian corporates are now planning to hire and give job training to their executives to increase their productivity.

The U.S. based Chapman Alliance LLC famous for their innovative and research centric talent management solutions has come to India in Bangalore along with an Indian partner 7X24.

Bryan Chapman founder and chief learning strategist of Chapman Alliance LLC is very bullish about the Indian Market and it can grow 100% Y-O-Y.

Chapman Alliance LLC has got the expertise and experience in training executives in American Express, Coca-Cola, Kodak, Daimler Chrysler, Microsoft, Unicef, and others.

According to Mr. Karthik of 7 X 24 the Indian market is growing at 80% Y-O-Y.
The present executive training market in India is about Rs 2000 Crores( US$ 500 Mn ) per year.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Innovate or Perish. World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies includes India’s TATA GROUP & Reliance Industries .

A very interesting study recently came out in BusinessWeek about the most innovative companies in the world 2008, a joint study made by BusinessWeek-Boston Consulting Group .

Among the top Fifty companies two are Indian , Tata Group and Reliance Industries ranking 6th and 19th respectively.

Congratulation to Mr. Ratan Tata and Mr. Mukesh Ambani.

World is finding Indian companies are making footprints in global market place through innovations.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Definition Of Knowledge Professional And How To Manage Them Effectively For Higher Productivity.

This is in reference to my previous post regarding Elton Mayo’s “Sense of Belonging” knowledge workers /free agents and managing them effectively.

I made some further studies on this, as this can become a very common problem for all managers who are leading knowledge professionals or heading a team of high caliber cerebral workers.

I found an interesting article in
HBR,Issue March 2007
“ How do you manage people who don’t want to be led and may be smarter than you?’ ,
Leading Clever People by Prof Rob Goffee at London Business School in U.K. and Prof Gareth Jones at Insead.

I requested Prof Goffee regarding the definition of a knowledge workers/professionals, he preferred the definition by Peter Drucker...knowledge workers are those who know more about their jobs than anyone.

In successful organizations you need a unique combination of quality manpower and conducive environment for growth, nurturing and managing of talents for continuous growth, productivity and profitability.

It’s like Michael Schumacher and Ferrai for winning the Formula 1.
Its’ not only the machine which matters, but also equally important the man behind the machine and vice versa.

Prof Goffee and Prof Jones clearly mentioned in the above mention article seven characteristics which all clever people share and their leaders should know it before hand in managing the bunch of cerebral workers.

1. They know their worth. The tacit skills of clever people are closer to those of medieval guilds than to the standardized, codifiable, and communicable skills that characterized the Industrial Revolution. This means you can't transfer the knowledge without the people.

2.They are organizationally savvy. Clever people will find the company context in which their interests will be most generously funded. If the funding dries up, they have a couple of options: They can move on to a place where resources are plentiful, or they can dig in and engage in elaborate politics to advance their pet projects.

3.They ignore corporate hierarchy. If you seek to motivate clever people with titles or promotions, you will probably be met with cold disdain. But don't assume this means they don't care about status; they can be very particular about it, and may insist on being called "doctor" or "professor."

4.They expect instant access. If clever people don't get access to the CEO, they may think the organization does not take their work seriously.

5.They are well connected. Clever people are usually plugged into highly developed knowledge networks; who they know is often as important as what they know. These networks both increase their value to the organization and make them more of a flight risk.

6.They have a low boredom threshold. In an era of employee mobility, if you don't engage your clever people intellectually and inspire them with organizational purpose, they will walk out the door.

7. They won't thank you. Even when you're leading them well, clever people will be unwilling to recognize your leadership. Remember, these creative individuals feel that they don't need to be led. Measure your success by your ability to remain on the fringes of their radar.

Now what about Mayo’s “Sense of Belonging”.

Elton Mayo’s The Hawthorne Experiments were done with workers in Western Electric works they had low skills and the knowledge base required were also low.

In Hawthorne Experiments the employees of the Western Electric works were not typical high end knowledge workers of today. They lacked security, and on job learning and lateral movements were also not possible.

That’s why the “Sense of Belonging “was easier to inculcate when the opportunities were less, on job learning avenues were less.

Now with globalization and high mobility, on job learning, online learning and continuous value additions the “Sense of Belonging “has come down and specially with the knowledge professionals.

As knowledge is perishable, all smart knowledge professionals update themselves fast, otherwise they will be redundant in their profession or at workplace. Workplace, organizations should be learning place and will give enough opportunities to learn and value add to themselves and the knowledge workers can do wonders.

Please feel free to put your remarks on this topic.

I sincerely thank Prof Goffee of London Business School and Prof Marshall Goldsmith of Harvard Business School for giving valuable suggestions to me on this topic.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Marks & Spencer Group Plc With Reliance In Joint Venture In India.

After the world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Sunil Mittal''s Bharti Enterprises, the entered in the retail space in India, it is the time Marks & Spencer Group.

The legendary British departmental store chain Marks and Spencer Group Plc. is set to open company-owned stores and expand Indian operations following a joint venture with the Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Retail Ltd.

The British company will hold a 51 per cent stake in the JV, to be named Marks and Spencer Reliance India Pvt Ltd, while the remaining stake will be with Reliance Retail.

Reliance Retail and Marks and Spencer will invest £29 million (Rs228 crore) to set up at least 50 stores over the next five years.

The new stores will be large format stores of around 20,000 sq ft.
A big time ahead for Indian retail industry, Tesco, Carrefour are all waiting in the ques to enter in to the new emerging growing market in India.

The ground will be not that easy as many Indian players particularly Future Group, West Side, Wills Life style, will give a stiff resistance to these retail JVs.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

SIDBI's Role In CGTMSE for Young Indian Businessman.

Regarding Credit Guarantee Fund Trust For Micro & Small Enterprise, the new set up by SIDBI and Govt Of India

You need a brilliant business idea, and should write an excellent business plan.

This is a loan with out any collateral. A feasiblelity of the business plan is required for getting the loan up to Rs 50 Lacks (US $ 125000).

This loan is with a low rate of interest, disbursements will done by listed nationalized and private banks in India. As far as I know the interest rates are not be very high, of course depending upon the strength of the project, size of the project and the ROI, it may vary.
If you have any more information about this please share it with me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Jack Welch and 4E's of LEADERSHIP

I recently read a book “ JACK WELCH and the 4E’s of LEADERSHIP
By Jeffrey A. Krames a TATA McGraw-Hill Publication .

It’s all about the 4Es of a leader.

The 4E’s of Leadership are as follows.
The 4E Leader Has Energy
The 4E Leader Energizes
The 4E Leader Has Edge
The 4E Leader Executes

This books deals about the leadership lessons from great leaders with whom Jack worked while building up GE.

Jeff Immelt, James McNerney, Larry Bossidy, Robert Nardelli and Vivek Paul

Jeff Immelt: Jack’s legacy in GE, and about his ability to make GE in to a leader producing machine.

James McNerney: How he has helped other people to grow, in turns helps the company to grow.

Larry Bossidy: Execution master “get more satisfactions from seeing things get done” ,
Talked about turning managers into change agents.

Robert Nardelli: “ Our core purpose is to improve every thing we touch” His HR initiatives called SOAR “Strategic Operating and Resource Planning”

Vivek Paul: Transformation Expert. A great believer to invest on people and get them in right pace.
This book can be use in training, management workshops and performance review.

A must read for all practicing Managers and students doing BBA, MBA.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Achievable Dreams

A good news for the young entrepreneurs in India .
Want to do business without collateral.
Suddenly the Govt Of India has announced that it is ready to finance start ups, expansion plans,technology up gradation,working capital requirements or diversification, all through collateral -free credit for Micro and Small enterprise.
All you need is a feasible business plan and you can get up to Rs 50 Lacks or
(US$125000). Haa a big news.
This project has been named as Credit Guarantee Fund Trust For Micro & Small Enterprises.Do you have you have a business plan with you , if not write immediately.
It's a small step towards growing big.
Please go through this.

Is Elton Mayo’s “Sense Of Belonging” To The Cerebral Worker Is Not Working Any More?

Yesterday I was posting a comment in Harvard Management Online
Marshall Goldsmith: Ask the Coach. blog and made some analysys which are as follows.
It is very often found that the complexities increases with intelligent work force in your firm.
They are the assets to the business if used properly , but if they can’t be monitored properly they can be a liability and can pose serious threat and concern for the business.

Take for example running of a state of the art hospital, complex software development , top class management consultancies, top class management schools, you require best people with brilliant and thinking mind.

A best hospital must employ the best doctors, nurses to give the best treatment to cure patients but it has been seen many of the doctors who may be the head of departments with higher qualifications and specialized knowledge have got tremendous inflated egos.
In software development firms I myself have experienced and still experiencing people (engineers/coders/project managers) with very high egos. Even junior programmer with high egos can make life difficult for project managers at time.
What I have personally identified that these cerebral workers at times can not take criticism even constructive criticism also.

Consultants of top management consultancy firms, faculties of top class educational institutions suffers from the same mindsets.

Knowledge is power. A Cerebral worker is very smart and fast understand to value add to his knowledge and develop a niche knowledge which can be encash outside at premium.

The other side of the coin: A true professional is a person who is indebted to his knowledge not to the organization where he works.
An ERP professional can work in Mumbai, in London in New York , geography hardly matters, it is his cerebral power that matters the most.
It is applicable in the case of a doctor , a lawyer, a brilliant professor, a brilliant MBA.
What I found Elton Mayo’s “ Sense Of Belonging” is not very much applicable to the cerebral workers any more.

In this knowledge economy and globalization in place for the Cerebral Worker’s “Sense Of Belonging To Knowledge” should be the appropriate words.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Charlston Heston No More A Great Loss To World Cinema.

The Great Hero is no more. The Hollywood bonanza and the semi biblical films
like BENHUR will be there, but the cine world has lost Charlston Heston.
I don't think those types of hero will be born again. Old is gold.A tribute to this great actor.
I think Hollywood went Global with films like BENHUR and Gone With The Wind forty years before.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pygmalion Effect Is Very Much Necessary In Change Management of Existing Work Force.

Change Management is about Human Capital, the willingness to change for betterment, higher productivity, higher profitability, and stability of business in turn.
The resistance to change is an age-old theory, and is persisting and will persist in future whenever the top management will initiate any change.
High expectation leads to high results through superior performance.
Change is good and for betterment make it understandable to the subordinates, so they can mould themselves according to the need of the organization’s requirements.
In today’s fast changing world, Globalization, shortening of Technological Life Cycle, short PLC, Digitization, Remote Access Mechanism it has becoming difficult for employees to adapt to this fast changing work environment. It was ten years ago in U.S. and West European nations this particular problem started and still persisting and now this problem is felt in emerging economies like India, China, and many East European countries.
Job security, stability are in question, employees sharpen their skills sets on a regular basis, contentious training and coaching are required to cope up with this acute perennial problem which every industry is facing.
As the knowledge, skill sets get obsolete the human capital depreciate rapidly in a Knowledge Economy.
A big questions how to appreciate the existing Human Capital for Business Performance Excellence. Training, retraining, coaching, counseling and are required as a part of HR Practice but apart from that a human touch element is required.
Employees who are in the age group of 40+ years require a passionate Pygmalion effect to cope up the serious challenges they face with obsolescence.
It is their superiors who will be expecting higher performance from their retrained re skilled existing human capital.
The “Sweeney’s Miracle” can happen with the existing re-skilled and re trained work force. As the high expectations should be based on the belief of the Management’s own re training and re skilling abilities and constantly motivating them to updated on the new skill sets and upgrade their knowledge base to suite the industries standard.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Are We Really Practicing McGregor's Y Theory In Manging Human Capital In Today's Business.

Yesterday’s posting has created a big problem for me one of my friend called me up in the night and said why I have written HR Dept as safety valve of the Corporate Pressure Cooker, which is not true according to him.
He is working as a DGM, HR in a MNC in B’lore, India.
Later I made a deep analysis and found that McGregor’s Y Theory is being preached and talked about, but not being actually put into practice may be due to market conditions, hyper competitions, low margins, global oversupplies, technological changes, market capitalization and numerous other external factors including firm’s survival.
From the very moment trainees/executive/managers are recruited or even existing managers are given higher targets to achieve, which I said Pressure to Perform, tension seems to build up and they start doubting about their own capability of delivering the goods.
For new recruits proper induction training and high-end counseling are required and for existing managers sufficient inputs and a proper roadmap should be provided.
To make the executives/managers productive, at every stages of corporate life McGregor's Y theory is a better solution and big dividend giver.
In the case of the new recruits the gestation period shortens down if the Line Manager and the HR Departments work at tandem and practice McGregor's Y theory.

Proper grooming requires time, training and confidence building measures, mutual trustworthiness, transparency, then only the latent potentials will come out from the executives /managers.
It is all about giving carrots in the different stages bypassing the McGregor's X Theory.
If the managements give the carrots in the initial stages they get back in return basket of carrots as dividends in years to come. In Theory Y the gradient of productivity may be low but steady where as the in Theory X the gradient of productivity may be steep but have sudden breakdowns (attrition rate become high) and very often it happens.

McGregor's Human Side to Human Capital of an enterprise is more relevant in today’s business world also. If properly McGregor's Y Theory can be practiced with high degree of maturity and sensibility, Executives/Managers will eagerly come forward to take the Pressure to Perform.
So let’s practice McGregor's Y theory for great results and dividends from Human Capital.
With warm Regards,

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Corporate Pressure Cooker Environment: Pressure To Perform And Perform Under Pressure.

We have been listening that all job execution has to be done within a specified time period with a specific margins, with stringent cost and quality control.
Managers/Executives are really under continuous stress and strain. At any cost they have to execute and it should be perfectly done, which is a part of the Corporate Performance Measurement System.
Very often I find myself working and also many of my executive friends working for 12-14 hours a day. Putting long hours is the order of the day for all the executives and managers.
I was taught from my school days there is no short cut to success; just hard work can take you to your destination and make you successful. We are living in a pressure cooker atmosphere with two aspects Pressure to Perform and Perform under Pressure.

Pressure to Perform: Pressure to Perform is a great philosophy in management and also in life, as we are all living in the performance-oriented world. Performances are benched marked in different industry and existing firms and the new firm try to meet the standards and that are recorded, rather break the past records that are already being made.
Very much similar to sports, in professional management which emulates lot from the sports persons and sports team. All managers/teams channel their energies and keep their focus to fulfill the assignments/targets to match the performance matrix.
Any individual has to work hard to keep his up his track record and to excel in his career. It is his Absolute Personal Responsibility (APR) to out perform his competitors within the organization and rise up the corporate ladder

Perform Under Pressure: In a meeting room the VPs/Senior Managers while giving targets will create the pressure by giving the specific figure within a specified time period. Managers/executives will have to perform under tremendous pressure and it becomes a real pressure cooker environment to achieve those figures.
The quarterly order bookings and the quarterly profits are compared YOY basis.
Gap Analysis are made and introspection are made, warning are given, heads roll out if the gap is big, when the gap is small new targets are set with new pay hikes, with promotions and additional responsibility. Management deliberately creates a pressure cooker environment and in the process they get the job out from the concerned persons and teams. Of course at times HR Dept works as Safety Valve of the pressure cooker, in many cases in a highly competitive environment HR Department remains inactive, and the poor performer has to bear the burnt.

So to draw a conclusion we find Pressure To Perform is absolutely individual task it is a part of self-motivation to keep you going, and Perform under Pressure is an external positive and negative motivation, which may break you at times.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Radical Change with HUMAN CAPITAL: Late Prof Sumantra Ghoshal.

Recently a topic of Radical Change in Management was being discussed with one of my friend in office he told me to go through the writings of Late Prof Sumantra Ghoshal.
Prof Ghoshal in his writing said core of change management is only possible if the Top Management of the organization has to be proactive with the change element using the Human Capital.

1.Top Managements core team intellectuals should understand the need for radical change.

2.They must have the courage to do what they see and believe what they need to do.

3. They should be able to analyze the gap and should take action to fill up the gap.

4.It is the Top Management’s duty to create confidence in the mind of the internal customers employees, customers, investor’s community, and the change leader need authenticity.

5. Market capitalization is an important part for the company, it is very tight rope walking for the top management and continuously grows, have every chance of falling down.

6. Make your employee understand about the future uncertainties and the pitfalls in the business in uncertain world, create trust with your tread unions, building up a relationship.

7.Change has to be a continuous process, you cannot afford to rest, it is an endless journey, and it should be purpose driven and a progressive journey.

8.The difference between the good, better and best is the Vision of the Leadership.

9.It’s really the HUMAN CAPITAL that matters and scarcity of Business Ideas, which matters.

10.It is the value creations, which can happen through HUMAN CAPITAL, and continuous self-renewal.
Last but not the least the CEO should able to understand his people; it's about changing continuously, which makes the difference.Upward and omward journey.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"West Bengal" Miles To Go Before You Sleep

Tata Motor’s entry to the domestic market will be in The October, the Singur factory will be ready by June end or July 1st week ’08.

It will be great test for Indian Auto Manufacturing sector to redefine the Auto manufacturing once again, it is the engineering genius and technological hallmark of the TATA’s has proved once again. Now it is the high time for West Bengal State to reengineer it’s thought process and streamline their left oriented thinking towards the right direction.
It is really a change management process for the Leftist in West Bengal are going through, we are all eagerly waiting for the D Day when the first Nano will roll out for TATA Motors Ltd, Singur plant. Many more major projects in the pipeline of WBIDC.
Congratulation to the TATA’s and the West Bengal Government for positive thinking and taking little steps in the right direction. West Bengal is changing, “but miles to go before you sleep”.