Sunday, June 29, 2008

History, Karmyablogy, Welchway.

Today being my son's birthday, we had a good time spending time on recap over the past 14 years of his life. We(Lalitha and I) also explained how things were in the mid 60 to 90s in our childhood. It is more or less on the lines of RK Narayan's stories.My Son couldn't believe that we lived without Television, computers as well as travel of 100 Km was as exciting as travel to Newyork from India. We also made him see the change in life style like joint families, joint decisions, comadadre and consulting with people on everything. Yes, that is where the generational change happens I assume. He still feels that I am lying when I said that I saw Black and white television when I was 22.!!!. When I mentioned that the 192 pages of a school Blank note book costed Re.1(US 2cents) he fell of the chair. It is 50 cents now.

I participated in the live webmeeting conducted by Wayne turmel last week using DIMDIM. This was on how to manage the remote teams. A practical aspects to work around,more so in the age of globalisation. Wayne does very good meetings besides his podcast. Worth giving a try. I geuss DIMDIM looks value for money. This is great for webmeeting and save costs of telephone call.

Jack welch has launed his website the Welchway. Lot of interesting stuff out there. Pl give a try. In repsonse to the Jack's thoughts on Working for a good or bad boss, I posted the question in MT forum.

I also came across an intersting management thoughts from website, Kamyabology (whatever it means). It has useful presentations on management aspects,career management etc. Worth exploring. I get email notifications on some practical PPT files.

I had requested the review of my resume from MT resume review service it is new service launched recently by MT. The price is meagre US50$ which is even low by Indian standards. Wendii Lord who manages this service at the back end. More than anything else, it is my way of appreciation for the great service done by Mike and Mark. The 180$ premium content amount I pay per annum is chicken feed for what I get in return. I wil keep you updated once I receive the feedback.

I long felt the need for a print cum scanner at home and we did buy one (hp model) yesterday. This will help to scan and share print docuements. The price of 85US$ was value for money.

I heard a very practical conversation between Lisa Haneberg in her fireside chat collection with Dr Marty Seldman Again goes to show stamina is critical for focus, excellence, discipline and excecution. I agree with Lisa thinking that you shouldnt be the last person or not knowing what your strengths and weakness are!!!.

Yes, this week had its chance to gauge value of network. There were some situation that required to take important decisions that kept coming up, valuable counselling from friends and well wishers helped to see the issue in broader perspective and helped to come to a final decisions. Their inputs has been significant and helps you to see hidden issues.

Ok, Till next week, take it easy and take care; live conciously.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good news,Infopig, Tom & Jerry, Sadnews

I am glad to let you know that there have been significant progress in our upcoming construction of our FLAT in Park III Apartments, constructed by Renaissance builders. There have been significant delays and deviations that started happening. Thanks to the team work of active engagement, close coordination and followup done by the adhoc team of 5 members, formed on behalf of 95 owners (Potential) helped us resolve amicably some issues that crept up and threatened the whole integrity of the project. Thanks to Mr Suparna for tirelessly coordinating all the activities on behalf of the team. It is a small but significant victory. We are aware that the next 4 months are crucial for timely completion as promised. To be fair to the builder, the entire real estate and construction industry is caught in a price raise, labor shortage spin and project delays of up to 2 years are common. Yes, while my side of the bargain is less than 8 months, today I met people who had booked flats more than 3 years back and were promised possession in May 2007. Some story. Will keep you posted as significant developments happen.

Atlast more than a month after commisoning of the dreaded new airport, I had a chance to visit the place to see off a relative who was on travel to the USA. While I made the journey during the offpeak hours, the approach roads to the airport is excellant for the last 25 kms to the airport. The airport per se is an eyesore, poor parking management (You need to park miles away for long term parking and some dual parkings which are confusing) the vehicle managment is passengers nightmare as once you get down from your vehicle, you need to cross a road where vehciles ply at 100 a minute. As a safety Manager,I am just waiting to hear the first serious passenger accident soon. The airport complex itself is a disappointment, looking like a matchbox in a million acre field. In the 20 countries I have visited, never seen an so much pre commisoning hype for an airport and ending up such ugly one like this. Again like Indian sports, good excecution, poor finish. Thankfully, my travels are less these days to have less of practical pains of this unhappy experience. The worst insult to injury was that Rs.1050 (US$25) as user fee was not collected as part of the ticket and we need to chase for the rupee to payout. So much for coordination.!!.

I came across the the INFOPIG a great website of RSS feeds that kind of neat combines all the info on various aspects. Good to try it out. I also took time off yesterday(Didnt open the laptop) to watch Tom and Jerry show for an hour. The show was so refreshing and so much creativity besides laughter all the way. I am sure folks take time off to see and relax themselves.

Not sure If I shared the Carly Fiorina Speech link here. I listened to her speech she delivered at Stanford. I am always fascinated by the turn around she did in HP. She mentions the key aspects as Leadership, People, Change. For leaders, Creativity, Colloboration, Charecter are a must to succeeed. Great speech and intersting Q&A.
I am saddened by the passing away of Jane McGrath this morning. Glenn did so much for the cancer society on her behalf. May her soul rest in peace.

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

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cynisms, Hate IT, Fathers day, Benefits

It has been a while I have expressed some sort of frustrations in this forum. So here I go on the soap Box.

1) I have always had the least of regards for most of the civil servants and the government Bureaucracy. They are known as Babus. I never wanted to go in to that line. Thankfully it never happened.(My father is a retired federal government paid scientist!!) Working in world class MNCs (over the past 18 years)who value the core of integrity with policies implementing FCPA ( I am a certified FCPA trainer) has further distanced me further from this people. Enhancing my core competence too has made me to more of strategic role in my job rather than chasing them for getting done the day to day jobs. Over the years, the feelings are further enhanced by the rarest of interactions one encouter. In short, I stay away from them. I have never seen such a class of people more unfriendly in the developed/ developing world in my travel of more than 20 countries. Ofcourse, here is the other side to the story!!.

Yes, they find a way to harass people by raising issues on aspects that were done many years ago and make them run from pillar to post.That you had no clue that such thing would ever come. Nor when one goes to the railway station to receive relatives. Wonder when things will change!! Not in my life time I guess.

2)Ok, enough of my cribbing. I was also astounded that schools have banned students from bringing cell phone in to the school/ college premises. I am all for not using cellphone during class hours or in the school timings and if found using at that time the school management can confiscate or even take punitive measures. Today an average child commutes 2 Hrs to School and another couple of hours to attend coaching classes etc. Were there an emergency or need to get in touch with the child, How the devil it can be done?, I wonder!!!. Some thinking gap I guess in the educators, who are also out of sync with the way the world is changing. Wonder when they will catch up?.

I cant blame the schools, why to blame them. Even IT (Information technology) folks are out in sync. Here is a great article by Susan Cramm on why every one hates IT. Yes, I have some good friends in IT from my previous Jobs. But mostly I agree with what is said here. One of my friend has an interesting experience, when IT folks advised not use firefox browser as it can have security issues. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. That are the signs of things for you. Yes, Susy has posted a latest blog on why every one should love IT.

Wayne Turmel has a great conversation with Ken Blanchard, the author of 1 minute manager. Wayne talks about the new book, 1 minute enterpreneur. Great listen. The act of 1 minute manager as 1minute goal, 1 Minute Praise and 1 minute correction and reprimand is common sense right.(But never adhered to). Also listen to Anna Farmery of the engaging brand on conversation on how to manage stress in the workplace with Cary Cooper

I have posted in the manager tool forum on the Indian employee compensation and benefits. Wonder if in any other part of the world employees are given so many allowances and perquisites as well as employer paying the Fringe benefit tax to the government.

I was dumbfounded literally by this article as Hillary Clinton as possible Running mate yes for John MCCain. Yes, personally I was disappointed that she didnt make it. In my conversation with many of my American friends that we felt that women is what America needs to bring in sweeping changes. Somewhere things didnt go the way. As Economist wrote last year,that it will be Hillary Clinton's loss should she has to loose the democratic nomiation. Lets see how things take shape in the form of running mates for both the candidates!!. I guess religious feelings will go some way.

Yes, I close my thoughts on being thankful to my Father on Father's day. I have great respect for my father and called him to wish father' day. But we always disagreed on issues and how we viewed things. The only thing that is common is our unrelenting support for WestIndian cricket and discuss when Indian cricket team does badly. Yes, We were one of the few who were very saddened won India won the cricket world cup in 1983. Mercifully, the agony never returned so far. HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all the DADs in the world. Have a good time and enjoy the success of your children.

Till next week, Take it easy and take care; Live conciously.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Narashima,Career change, NEW Y2K, Process audits, Irenea Sendler

This week it was all happening.

This Friday,I was for a taking an autorixa (3 wheeler) to attend a meeting. My car was unavailable for the fact that my son has to be picked up from the school. While proceeding to the meeting with my builder in Malleswaram from Honeywell Office (A distance of 10 Miles), I saw (rather my autorixa driver, His name was Narashima) a wallet falling out of the hip pocket from the 2 wheeler (Scooter) in an intersection. He stopped and picked it up and handed over to me so that it can be handed over to the owner. The Indian social system is such that if an auto driver hands it over to the owner or the police, there will be more questions and things can go tangential if something is missing for various reasons. (Many taxi/ Auto drivers are held in low esteem in India). So I opened the wallet and found 4 credit cards, PAN card, and many business cards of other personnel, but no business cards or cell phone number of the owner of the wallet. I then started calling each of the business card personnel that was in the wallet to see if they know the owner of the wallet. Long story shot, I did find one person who managed to make contact with the wallet owner and he could come and meet me. I duly handed over the wallet to him. It was good that I could do that. One take away is to keep your contact numbers, (May be write in credit cards, keep 2 or 3 business cards in Wallet).

Over the last a year or so with the Indian economy getting vibrant more and more opportunities are coming for a better career for Indian professionals. In my discussions with many of my friends and colleagues and even for myself, we always get the call from recruiters as to if we are willing to look for a change. While many or most of the times, you just let the situation pass. Once in blue moon, we sense that happenings are of good platform for career change. So I just posted the question as to what we should do if everything is going well in Manager-tools forum. Lets see wait to the response.

I came across an interesting photo in Fortune magazine of the mechanical fuel filling pump which cant sell more than 3.99 $ gas and more than 99.99$ sale. Interesting, 17,000 such pumps needs change and will cost 12,000$ each. WOW!!!!. Who would have thought that this will be another Y2K.

Also I was moved by this story out there in the magazine for Citicorp trader Craig Gile who was sentenced to 1 year in prison for falsifying records. Wonder, where from you are caught.!!!. Some times law can take its course fast on some mundane events just to show the world and others to teach lesson.

Few articles I have found very practical, then this one by Michael Hammer on Process audits. It covers the whole gambit of shaping up the 5 process capability with Infrastructure, Performers, Owners, design, Metrics(IPODm) and 4 enterprise capabilities as Leadership, Culture,Expertise, Governance and his model to check maturity. Fabulous article. It won the Mckinsey award. It is must read for everyone to see a large scheme of things and big picture.

Finally, as weekly reader of economist on Sunday mornings, I happen to read Obituary every week. I was touched by passing away of Irena Sendler. It appears that she did as much as Oscar Schindler during Nazi atrocities made legend by the movie Schindler's list by Spielberg. Some times it doesnt get recognized.

Ok, Lalitha has to rush to the new Airport this evening for unscheduled visit. I will share her Nightmare or whatever experience to the Airport next week. (OF course today being Sunday, it could all be different).
Glad to see Steve Pavlina back in the podcast. Also came across a good Tamil podcast on random ramblings.

Till next week, Take it easy and take care; Live Consciously.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Monsoon, College, DiSC, Monkey.

As I write this blog at 4pm Local time here in Bangalore, the rain is smashing out in the window, announcing the arrival of Monsoon on time( May be a day ahead as It rained heavily yesterday). I am glad the summer is over for this part of India. It was hot by any standards, with mercury touching 100F one day. (effect of global warming, I guess). Any way lets look for good wet season. Yes it would affect the time we spend walking for exercise, thus the time spent on Ipod. Any way self interest should be at the back end when large public interest are things that matter.

I am glad after lot of deliberations and chase, we managed to get the Pre university college admissions for my daughter for . The college will open next week and there are lot of regulations to go by. Wonder, how much of it will be practical to implement in this modern world. I am also puzzled at the orientation program arranged for parents this week. Wonder Why?. Never ever remember my parents coming any where near my school(even for complaining about me to the class teacher or for all the mischief I use to do at home). Looks like simple system / process of education is made more complex. Incidentally from this week schools have reopened after summer holidays of 8 weeks,(It just flew) so it is going to be hectic morning run for the next 10 months. See picture is great, I guess we all have done that.

I attended the DiSC training cum marketing session yesterday conducted by Iamontrac agency of Bangalore. The session was interesting. I basically attended to kind of have a chance to meeting people from HR area as thats where these kind of sessions are focussed.This is official DiSC trainer certification course, there is lot of potential for this from trainer perspective as DiSC, I feel is a good way to understand behavioral and Ego issues. The cost ca US$2000 looks reasonable to explore at some stage for taking this. This also gave me a chance to get my DiSC profile done. I was surprised a bit to see the profile as HIGH D. (Result oriented pattern with HIGH D, followed by I and equal S and C). The profile threw up some surprise, may be a bit skewed as it focuses more on work front. I could pick up lot of interesting conversations with the fellow participants so it was time well spent.
I was amazed when I read the HBR article, Who has got the monkey, the article is 35 years old, and nothing has changed in 35 years.It is all about delegation and close supervision. As, Mark Horstman insists, it is all about coaching, One on ones, delegation,Feedback and Performance review. Interestingly, Mark has come out with a fabulous 5 part video on giving feedback. Watch here.

So, the new Bangalore airport looks like passengers nightmare, All my friends are having lot of grouse. Thank god I have no travel planned this time. Some new services are on for transportation to the New airport through shared cab ride for US$7. (Airlift) which is good 2 to 3 Hr drive from east or south end of city.

Ok, 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 ...