Sunday, May 25, 2008

HAL; Interesting thoguhts.

A tribute to the HAL Airport, Bangalore which was closed after so many years(45 Years!!) of service yesterday (Saturday). I made all the business trips and Personal journeys from this Airport and got a chance to see the world from door step. We reside very near this airport and used to watch aircraft land and take off. (Yes the noise during midnight is sleep breaker, that is OK) The new Airport is situated 40 Kms from home and the road conditions are so bad that it would take 3 Hrs to reach and then take a 40 min flight to nearby cities like Mangalore, Madras. That is some planning for our politician. Yes, the newly launched bus service looks cute for the ride to the New airport. I will get a chance to see the new airport after 2 weeks.

This week was also kind of memorable as it brought me to a stage where parents run for children's school admissions. My daughter's ICSE 10th Standard(Grade) results were announced Tuesday. From that day, it is running pillar to post for every college in Bangalore for Pre university( 2 years). The fact that there are affirmative action programs in schools don't help you, if you are in General category. (My home state is worst off one, so any where else in better!!!) Lets keep our fingers crossed and see what comes out this week when the colleges will release the admissions list. Far cry from the old days when merit alone is enough to get admissions in to what you wanted.

On a political note, I am happy that the new government is formed in the state after all the chaos of the past 4 years. I am glad that people have given mandate for a stable government. It is another matter that I didn't vote, nor bothered to see if my name is in the voting list. It has become a joke. The election day was one of the day when our servant maids and house helps are treated as VIP, by political parties wooing with Cash, BOOZE, utensils etc as a pay off for their vote.

I was reading couple of HBR articles written in the 1980s, and nothing has changed over the last 28 years. Very practical aspects covered in Boss relations as well as Managing work life balance. I am giving link below.

Must success cost So much

Nobody trusts the boss completely- Now what?

Ok, Untill next week, take it easy and take care; Live consciously.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jobs, Plastics, UAE.XOBIN

I wonder at the recent Number of jobs that are being moved out of USA/ Europe. While this was thought as a IT Phenomenon, it is fast catching up in the Manufacturing/ supply chain. This is evident from calls I receive from Overseas placement companies requesting for help in locating candidates through my network in India. While the staff costs may be low on comparable terms (Of course less liability issues in this part of the world !!) I wonder the other costs like travel for business requirements, competency aspects would be an issue. More so the Operating budgets do not take in to considerations these aspects when these positions are created and causes lot of heartburn in job content and job satisfaction or value add from incumbents perspective. This also creates an uneasy time for the person who fits in the job. I guess it all evens out for people at every part of the world. Looks like a ZERO SUM GAME.

I am amazed at the resistance to the use of plastic bags etc by school children these days as well as their commitment to protect general environment. My Kids have made sure that the Sunday market we go to, we return with no plastic bags with fruits and vegetables. We now make sure that we carry enough cloth bags to fill in all the vegetables that we purchase at the market. The kids constantly monitor the house for leaky taps and promptly orders maintenance if required without even telling us(It costs a bit its OK). They also decided to look for eco friendly features in whatever they purchase.They have also made sure that 80% of the lighting in the house is the CFL

I listen to Wayne Turmel's Cranky middle manager show for the past 12 months. He brings in to conversations with a lot of diverse issues. Please listen to this episode in which he gets the middle east perspective with Ms. Sarah Shaw. It is very informative and gives a flavor of different perspective. I request all of you reading this blog to give a try at Wayne's podcasts as well as to sign for his free news letter.

Yesterday I downloaded the Tool XOBIN (Inbox spelled reverse), it is a great tool for indexing and statistics of outlook inbox. This also separates out attachments, time at which the mails were received as well as many other features.

Finally I want to bring in J Murali who contributes to the Weekly tech column Netspeak in Hindu( Every Monday). In my early days I used to try the softwares he mentions in the article and it was of great help. I only wish there are RSS feeds to such useful column to directly tap in to the browser.

Ok, till next week, take it easy and Take care; Live consciously.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Empty House, Life is so uncertain, Great Advice.

It has been a different week, the house looks quiet, things are orderly. Time just stands still. No one to shout at or order, everything you got to do yourself. WHY?. Because the children are away for a week on vacation to Bombay on their own. The accrued miles helped to get flight tickets for them on redemption. (Thanks to Jet Airways) So myself and Lalitha are alone for the past 4 days (after exactly 16 years) at home. It kind of gave a different perspective as to how life has moved on. This will also prepare us for the time in future as to kids will go their own way. So you can say a dress rehearsal for the time ahead!!!. Also I remember the time when we used to go for Holidays it will be 2 to 3 days travel by train and ofcourse spend 15 to 20 days!!. Now a days that is a luxury as well as rude to your Host I guess!!!.

Life is so uncertain. I was listening to the Podcast on Anna Farmery's The engaging brand show on Emotional Intelligence by Galba Bright. It was great show (2 sessions) on the practical approach to EI. 2 weeks later as I was listening to other podcast on the show, I was shocked/ saddened to hear Anna paying tribute to the memory of Galba. Makes you wonder about the uncertainties of life. What saddens me is that with so much uncertainty, we take life for granted and show or own egos/ like/ dislike/ hatred etc...!!.

Came across 3 fantastic articles on Leadership recently. After reading that I concluded that Leadership is all about you having the ability to have


I also came across interesting aspects which cement the traits; these are

Expose your weakness
Have Intuition.
Show Empathy
Differentiation in style.

Fabulous summary of leadership.
Also, came across this article by Larry Bossidy (EX Honeywell CEO) on How selection plays a great part in talent management.

Ok, till next week, take it easy and take care; Live Consciously.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

BMTC; Lenovo; Foxmarks; Docking station.

Today, I had the chance to board the BMTC bus for a 2 mile shopping trip for our weekly visit to the vegetable market. This was my first encounter in city bus for travel. (8 years!!!!) I usually take a cab or Autorixa if the need arises. I was kind of pleasantly surprised with this air conditioned Volvo bus. The fare Rs. 10 (25US cents) was worth it. Bus service has come a long way I guess.

My Son was convinced me that he would need a laptop more than a desktop for his day to day use. (Kids have come a long way I guess). I had to bow in and the selection of a good value for money laptop was difficult. I could manage to get the Lenovo Notebook. Looks like value for money with the Office 2007 software (basic) bundled in. The Laptop world at Indira Nagar here is a good shop and offers value for money. Yes, With FIFA 08 being used for games, wonder How long before the plan starts with the functionality?. ( I am told games affect computer performance!!)

Thank god I had downloaded foxmarks, the web browser synchronizer for my web use. My Official laptop crashed last week and the hard disk was replaced. While I had all the back up for the work data, the web pages I browse and store as favorites couldn't have survived but for the tool which helps you store your favorites in the server and helps you synchronize or help you retrieve favorites from any computer.

I also moved away from ITUNES in my laptop. I got a Ipod docking station to listen to the podcast. This is cool gadget, this also helps charging the IPOD as we listen. I got rid of 31GB space from my Laptop.

Came across great article in HBR on level 5 leadership by Jim Collins. How level 5 leaders, put personal aspects aside and build a great company. Interesting.

I came across a word which struck me a lot. Employee Embededness in a HBR Management update on retaining talented employee. New Jargon!!. Would HR learn to think differently!!! I wonder??.

Till next week; Take it easy and Take Care; Live consciously.

John McCain.

#329 Very sad to wake up to the news of passing away of Senator John McCain aged 81 (4 days short of his 82nd Birthday).  He was a true ...