Saturday, 31 December 2016

Reflections 2016.....

Back after a very very long time....

Lot has happened in the intervening period. There was another spin of roulette and I found myself working in a new role at new location.

Such changes are always difficult as these challenge you to very limits of endurance. You have to work in a new environment with new team.

Once again God helped me by granting a team of excellent human beings and very competent professionals. Things have gone well so far. But it is only the beginning of a transformation I need to undertake. This also marks beginning of end of a long love story..

Change of year also provides you with an opportunity to reflect on what went well and what did not. 

Two things which went very well in this year are:
  1. Stabilised PTA5/6 
  2. Could survive another change of job profile
Two things which did not go very well:
  1. My continued trust on thankless and back stabbing people
  2. Not able to devote time to family
Over the years, I have sacrificed a lot for my profession, I love the work I do and am fully committed to it. Have I been justly rewarded for it? Not for sure. But, the commitment to continual excellence is never easy.

Frequent job profile changes have reinvigorated on one hand whereas taken toll  on the other. 

Selective application of rule books demotivates and demoralises, But then it is part and parcel of life, hazard of profession, so to say.

My family has supported me in everything I have done so far. Thanks to them for having endured my single minded focus.

What I need to change:
  1. Evaluate and reject some people from my life
  2. Break free and take up bigger and larger challenge (has to happen soon)
  3. Don't fall for empty promises
  4. Spend more time with family
  5. Take out time for self
Has been a tough year. Bruises are all raw, pain is all round, but resolve is not broken. It is the part of night just before the dawn and hence a beautiful morning will follow soon.

Signing off with these thought, Will come back tomorrow on resolves for 2017.

Wishing a very happy new year to you and your family.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Bad Habits - which come in the way to being effective

We all have had our ups and downs in professional lives. Some of the downs, however, could have been lesser bumpy if and only if we could be more effective.

My own take on the factors which stop you from being effective are:

  • Mediocrity : Never settle for less than what is required. I have tolerated many people who clearly not for purpose, and have paid heavy price for it. We will not have excellence if we settle for mediocrity. Never fear of resistance which you undoubtedly experience on path to excellence.
  • Negativity. A huge part of the appeal of negativity is how easy it is. It's no more complicated than looking around and pointing out all the flaws you see. And criticism has its place, but when you focus on the negative, you're shutting out the positive forces that will keep you moving forward. Negativism focused inwardly is especially destructive, so banish it for good.
  • Lack of focus. Fuzzy thinking and indecisiveness will always leave you right where you are. Until you can see what you want as well as what's surrounding you, it's hard to gain momentum. Visualize where you're headed with as much clarity as you can bring to bear on it. Drill down to the details, set goals, and stay on task.  
  • Unhealthy relationships. It may feel like a hard truth, but not everyone and everything is meant to stay in your life. Relationships that have become unhealthy--those that don't serve you anymore--have to be repaired, and if repair isn't possible, then you have to move on. Unhealthy relationships can cause stress, health issues, and a broken spirit. If you're scared to leave, that's probably the strongest sign that you need to. 
  • Passivity. Maybe in the past doing nothing has served you well. Up to a point, it's not a bad thing to leave your options open. But if you continually choose to do nothing, nothing will happen. Success and happiness come from the choices you make. Choose to turn on your desire and drop the doubt. Choose to do work that makes you proud. Choose relationships that bring out your best self and a way of life that gives you the time to enjoy the people and activities you love. 
  • Shame. We can experience shame in any area of life, but we don't have to let it keep us company or define us in the future. Shame should be something we learn to walk through and come out on the other side of, remembering that mistakes and failure are often among our greatest teachers.
  • Making excuses. Is making excuses actually getting you what you want? If the answer is no, you need to stop. Think about the kinds of excuses you make. Are they focused on a present that you need to change, or a past you need to let go of? Starting today, give it everything you've got, and if it turns out badly, you can try something different. But no more excuses. 
  • Not setting priorities. Every day, something will get done first, when your energy is strongest. Something will get done with the time you have left over, and something may not get done at all. You can let these things happen randomly or strategically. But it's a fact that when you don't give attention to the important things, the important things don't get done. Great things will happen when you start setting your priorities straight
  • Running from problems. If you've tried this approach even once or twice, you know it doesn't work but just makes things worse. Face the issue, confront the problem, fix it. Do what you have to do to make it right. It's easy to run, but facing problems and working through them is what makes you strong.

So beware of these pitfalls to remain effective and to have lesser bumpy rides through the journey called life....

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Future of internet- beyond connecting people or customers

So much of time and efforts are being put on socially connecting people of the world. These are perhaps being overdone, to the extent that considerable amount of talent is spending time in putting a like button on a video or post. Similar efforts are being done on perennially losing eCom websites. Stress in that ecosystem is already showing and its only a matter of time that we hear demise of few names.

Time to check, is this the only thing internet can deliver? Exciting new possibilities exist for other applications which can truly improve the quality of life.

Yes, I am talking about Internet of things (IoT). Few of applications which come to minds are:

  1. Early health event detection through wearable medical devices- data can be monitored by experts sitting across continents. This has potential to transform the health industry. Both, hardware and software areas need exploration. Cheap connectivity would make it easily affordable to millions of people in world.
  2. Health monitoring for industrial equipment- Conventionally all organisations employ people who monitor health of machine. Alternatively, the sensors could be hooked to internet and could be monitored by original equipment manufacturers (OEM's), the best people to monitor and correct.
  3. Improve travel: Reliability of aviation and railway could be improved multi fold. The sensors could be hooked up the net for monitoring by OEM suppliers.
List could go on.

The Internet of Things offers tremendous potential for the manufacturing industry. Machines, systems, products, ICT systems, and people can be progressively connected over the internet, creating a production network in which information carriers communicate with each other and exchange data and information in near real time. In terms of the value chain, this means value creation partners – from suppliers to customers – are more tightly connected and capable of entering into closer cooperation with each other. The exchange of up-to-date information offers an opportunity to improve the quality and timeliness of decision-making processes, optimize the coordination of activities, and boost efficiency throughout the entire value creation process. This, in turn, provides machine and component manufacturers with the chance to offer their customers new services.

We need mavericks like Steve Jobs to focus on these possibilities, which have potential to transform the way things are done now.

Few like GE and Bosch  have already started working on this, but much more needs to be done.

What more applications come to your mind? Please share.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Nothing is what u think it is

Substantial time gap has happened between the last posting and this one. Not by design, but definitely by choice, choice of something more urgent and priority.

I have been fortunate enough to bring to life four of the state of the art, most complex and most beautiful industrial assets in the the world. Now bringing something to life is one of the most difficult things to do. This one had its own share of challenges and learning.

There was a passion, there were timelines, there were questions to be answered.. whole part of the drama had its own script.

One thing was sure, there was determination in the team. Determination to succeed beyond everything. We had terrible days, difficult nights, but we used to be back next day with adrenaline flowing. 

A team of young boys and girls finally made it happen for us. Tremendously proud of their achievement. Well done guys you have made a dent in the universe...

I will be sharing my own personnel learning in later post. But right now to a unconnected subject.

I have been thinking of something for a long time, what if nothing is what we think it is?

What if I say that your life has no meaning?

I’m not telling you this to make you think about jumping off the nearest bridge; instead I mean it in a much more contemplative way. Let’s first acknowledge that the meaning we find in people, objects, and our own circumstances is subjective. These things have no inherent meaning. Functional and dysfunctional behavior both result from choices people make based on meanings they create. This also means that we have the power to alter our perceptions, revising perceptions that bring us down and enhancing those that help us. Your outlook on life is deeply entwined in your propensity for success. Miserable blowhards can achieve, however they still wind up miserable. That’s not success. Success is doing what you love and being happy about it.

Doing what you love makes you forget all the reverses, all the obstacles, all the adversaries, everything out there to derail you. You strive because the outcome is what you love. Like a mother, who goes through labor pains to bring to life a beautiful thing called life.

So meaning of life is in doing what you love and not doing what pays you the most. Not the ones, which gives you the most fascinating titles. 

Meaning of the life is in achieving by doing what you love..

Sound simple? Then let get it done....

Friday, 3 July 2015

Employee Engagement

Employee disengagement is a serious defect in organisations of the day. We are loosing millions in profitability and few percentage points in ROCE. Even a small discretionary effort by employees result in humongous improvement in productivity and creativity. 
This defect has been and is being debated in HR conferences (somehow always arranged in star hotels). My take on it is:
  1. Anonymity - Large organisations lose sight of employees. This results in anonymity which then causes loss of accountability. Great people see this very clearly and get disengaged. 
  2. Bystander Apathy- How does this connect to me and my Job? Nobody bends over to pick up  fallen things (read processes, lost business, defects...),
  3. Idea killers- All organisations have idea killers, who know it all and have done it all. They have no business of being in business, but here they are killing businesses which have kept them in business. People get cut off and smart people become dumb/ silent. Organisation becomes ideas poor.
So what needs to be done:
  1. Maintain a line of sight with all your people. Be the over communicator and don't stop at hierarchy 
  2. Shoot Bystanders and reward whistle blowers
  3. Mercilessly murder idea killers- go digital, communicate, communicate and over communicate. Build your reward and recognition system around the innovation culture
Believe that you are not the only smarts around, harness creative energies of your people. Create attractive Idea gardens and not dump grounds.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Disease which can kill career

Too often organizations stall out or plateau before they reach their full potential. The reason for this is that many leaders allow themselves to contract a deadly disease. And the unfortunate reality is that more often than not, it is their fault. We leaders are at risk of catching this very dangerous and often times, career ending disease, and it is called success. The good news is that it can be prevented.

When this disease hits, its first symptom is delusion. Don’t miss this. The disease of success is always self-diagnosed. We leaders are the ones who make the mistake of believing we have it. We begin to think that we have arrived and are now worthy of being called successful. We believe this success will last forever or that we are solely responsible for it. When this happens, our thinking, beliefs, attitudes, decisions and actions change. It is as if our old operating system gets replaced with a new one that values celebration, fame and entitlement more than hard work and rigor. We actually begin to think that those around us should treat us differently and that we deserve things reserved for those who are fortunate enough to have contracted this illness.

The next symptom is amnesia. We forget the people, the disciplines, the processes and the methods implemented in past years that caused momentum and ultimately led to our self diagnoses. Our old ways of working with intentionality and purpose get replaced with relaxation or apathy. We stop caring about the little things, the details, the decimals, metrics and ultimately those who benefit from our products or services. And even more catastrophic is when the amnesia causes us to forget who really does the work in our organizations and we start to believe that our teammates are lucky to work with us. This is always fatal!

In severe cases the disease will cause extreme self focus or narcissism. Our passion for creating a product of excellence and for creating a culture of excellence gets replaced with a mirror. We no longer spend our days striving to create better tomorrows for those we serve and instead focus on how we can get what we deserve out of the business. We no longer see the need to serve the business but instead spend time and energy thinking about how the business can serve us. When we become self-focused instead of others-focused or mission-focused, death and decay set in.

Fighting this disease is not easy. All excellent leaders are surrounded with people who respect them greatly and who mean well, but can feed the disease. These leaders who are well grounded and want to finish well will always make sure that they surround themselves with truth tellers as well as cheerleaders. They crave truthful input that causes them to grow. They take precautionary measures and are intentional about their strategy to fend off this career and organization killing adversary, success. They know they have room to grow and need team mates to create organizations, products and services that are worth talking about and because they create value beyond the norm.

So my questions for you are these:

  1. Do those around you feel uncomfortable letting you know when you have made a mistake? 
  2. Do they feel threatened if they challenge your thinking? 
  3. Do you operate without one or two around you that care enough to sharpen you? 
  4. Are you more excited about your exit strategy, vacation homes or new toys than you are about the opportunities your organization has in the years ahead? 
  5. Would those around you say that you get nasty or impatient when treated like the normal folk?

Sunday, 14 June 2015


We dread being alone, being without anyone to talk to, share with. All of us go to any extent to be close to loved ones and friends.
Ever thought that solitude to some extent is actually enabling in nature. It empowers our thinking, strengthens our belief in ourselves as we connect to our inner self.
Most of the times we are driven by agenda set by others, impending deadlines set by boss, customer calls, pending bills to be paid, gifts to be purchased etc. We hardly allow our hidden potential to come out. 
Solitude permits us to do that. It gives us an opportunity to connect to our selves and find out the things which we love to do. We evolve when we do things which we love to do and not the other way round.
I purposefully devote atleast fifteen minutes every day for myself by switching off completely from the cacophony of the environment, emails, mobile phone, social networking sites etc. This period is most precious time of the day. I slowly get out of to do lists and allow the peace of solitude taking over. Heart beat slows down and breath unconsciously get corrected. The invisible halo of goodness takes over, all pains and miseries are forgotten. These are the precise demonic things which prevent us from connecting to our inner self. Once the connection is made, goodness takes over and right things come to the mind. That becomes agenda for self, not only for today or tomorrow, which are just milestones, but agenda for life.
Try doing it once, you would discover true you, bereft of titles, designations, pains, miseries, bank accounts, share market, property deals and what not. Remember none of this would accompany you in your final journey to supreme.