Sunday, November 28, 2010

Black Friday, BMTC, Books, Test match sofa.

Post 188

So the Thanksgiving week is over indicating that the Holiday season has begun. Also this is the time for conducting Annual Performance review/ setting up goals. I am an ardent Mike and Mark, Manager tool fan. Following their advise over the past 5 years, this has become a routine affair for me. Work the MT goal (Measurable, Timely Goals).Performance review supporting documents prepared by spending 15 minutes a month to collect summary of each month and seamlessly integrating in to the final document. Thank you Manager tools.

As my car was involved in a minor road accident and I had to use public transport for attending a family event. This gave me an opportunity to explore Bangalore public transport buses for inter city commute for the first time.(more than 2 km ride changing buses i.e) I must confess, the experience was much better than what I had anticipated, the volvo buses, professional conductors, Air conditioned environment, All sitting protocol was good enough. The fare was also decent. Yes, the only condition is you need to have time on hand as the bus travels in fixed route and you cant take shortcuts to save time. The 15Km Journey took 2 hrs. ( Including 25 minutes for change of bus at bus station). Infrastructural inadequacy correction has some way to go!!... Let's see.

it is surprising that despite more than a year in to Indian operations, the Wall street journal has not been able to deliver same day delivery of the print journal here in Bangalore. I feel that the news paper/ journals are to be read in print to get a feel of having read. I hope WSJ India works something on this. I am also working for renewing my HBR subscription. This time HBR is offering only 2 year renewal at 47% discount. Looks like cost pressure is building up. But it is worth the renewing.

I heard an interesting podcasts on book review.
1) Spendshift, how the USA recession is seen as an opportunity to change spending pattern and lesson learned. The book SPENDSHIFT.
2) Riding the TIGER, How the adverse situation at Saytam was not allowed to escalate in to an enron, thus collapse of the company. Good learning. 

The Stanford Entrepreneurial Though leaders podcast threw some interesting topics.
Diego Piacentini, Senior VP of International Retail for Amazon, discusses the company's growth-centered business model, its global presence, and the strides it takes to sustain a successful customer experience. Piacentini also describes Amazon's innovative approaches to operations, mergers and acquisitions, and labor practices. 
Jennifer Aaker shares the power behind creating ideas that can build momentum. Through her research on the perception of happiness and meaning, Aaker describes how these concepts relate to a successful and powerful social media campaign.

So the Ashes are of to a cracking start, boy! What a first 4 days of test match. Swing of pendulum could be the best comparison. We are in for a cracking winter. This is the best thing that could have happened to Test Match cricket. I am indeed a bit saddened / disappointed for the absence of Radio commentary coverage to Asia/ Outside UK on test match special. I sincerely hope BBC does something to restart the radio coverage. It can help you to focus on task on hand without watching TV. I have also emailed my request to BBC. Hope something is worked before second test. In the meantime, I came across TESTMATCH SOFA, a website that dishes out audio ball by ball coverage to track.Good job done.

The IPAD version of economist is super, helps you to scan articles quickly. This is free app too for others.

Wayne Turmel's new website, Great web meeting is cool. Links to future webinars, excellent links to practical articles.

Until next week, take it easy and take care; live consciously.

PS: Felt good to talk to my schoolmate after 31 years, he called from USA. Tech connects and helps you to find people.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

HTTLeadership, Books, Thoughts.

Post 187.

So another year gone by, today is my star birthday. Born Karthik month Full moon day, so the name Karthik. Felt good to get call wishing from friends, more so from Parents.In fact I should have called them to seek blessings. The calendar birthday is in 10 days time.

The Hindustan times leadership Summit 2010 was a better worked out event than previous year. The sessions by Jairam Ramesh, Arun Jaitley,Kapil Sibal were frank, honest reflections of the situation in Indian scenarios. Pranab did a decent job of defending the 2G scam.The answers looked convincing in terms of referring to the public accounts committee take the issue forward. The session of Brain was simply amazing. Hats off to Dr.Ravi Gopal Varma on the efforts on the patient who had no control over what she does!!.In 6 months, he turned around the impossible. Bangalore was the IT capital no questions, The way medical challenges are addressed, I wont be surprised if it takes the Medical innovation capital.
The session by Al Gore, Gordon Brown were also practical aspects. I missed the session of PM,(The only one I didn't bother!!) no worth under the present situation, he needs to come clean with an explanation( As like Bhishma in Mahabharat, turned bind eye to Draupadi being stripped off in the court of Kauravas) to be taken seriously. The concluding session on China as a challenge was the icing on the cake. Any discussion of Indian growth/ strategy, without China is meaningless. The Indian press missed this point of view during Obama's visit. No Indian Press/ TV bothered to check the Chinese perspective.
The moderator is an area where the HT leadership summit needs lot of improvement. The Indian TV /News personalities it appears, play a pre arranged script, artificial. (More so, I have overheard participants in Indian news tv show confessing, offline, that they have been scripted, thus the ingenuity/authenticity of discussion is questionable!!???????)They can learn a thing or two from Nik Gowing who did an excellent job on the session with Pranab Mukherjee. And yes thankfully NO damm Indian cricket lousy stuff. Yes, Wasim Akram came in on the diabetes session, that is pardonable.

I finished reading the book "SWITCH" by Chip and Dan Heath. It has left a deep impact on me. 3 simple principles, Motivate the elephant, Direct the rider and Show the path. The authors have used 10s of example in each section as well as working the practical tips to start change. It easily connects to Gandhi preaching, You must be the change that you wish to see in the world. I am glad, I picked up this book.

I have begun reading "The Essential Drucker", I was tempting to take notes, but I found it impossible as each paragraph is more important than the previous or the next one. What amazed me was that Drucker had the vision to see all this in the late 60,70,80s when Knowledge worker, Globalization must have been unheard off.
From my e-reader, I got a copy of Seth Godin's Linchpin. The practical way to move from routine,cog in to indispensable. 

So the Ashes, the only cricket action that I bother following live on TV starts this week. This may bring disruption in to my daily routines over the next 6 weeks. It is worth it. Ashes in Australia is always special more so with Bill Lawry's it is all happening!!!.. , also the Nov-Dec, cold weather lot of coffee to gulp and watch over breakfast, lunch is pleasure. (More so on Saturday, Sunday!!!!). Yes, Will match the radio commentary (that use to wake me up at 5am) of Jim Maxwell, Alan McGilvary, legends, no one can replace them. I expect Aussies to regain the ashes comfortably. That is what my predictor tool "The  Economist" says. I have always gone with that and never felt let down. Yes, England good team, but Aussies are picking steam........

I close with a great feeling of getting connected to my school mate from karaikudi after 30 years. Thanks to Linkedin. More so delighted to see that he is now a CEO, settled in east coast,USA. His upbringing by his parents,(More so by his father who was demanding) never left any doubt in me that this guy will go places. Glad it materialized....Parents know what they do.. It is like bitter medicine, good for health. Wonder if the present generation, realizes that.
Yes, till next week, take it easy and take care; live consciously.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


POST 186

The Diwali the festival of lights was an quiet affair for all of us in the family. The children were very busy with coaching class schedule as well as there had been a bit of personal situations which have made to take the diwali on a low key one. We did participate in the community gathering at the PARK 3 celebrations for an hour. I was wondering on the money spent on bursting crackers by the community (easily in to US$3000 or so) that could have been well spent for a better cause (Children education or etc).

As indicated, I had taken a week off, and spent useful time to catch up on reading books as well as to spend time in the Kitchen.

1) A must read is Marshall Goldsmith's book MOJO. It was an eye opener for me, especially  on issues that people tend to connect everything to the past happening and let that affect your present performance. Also the calculator of Overall Mojo was a good theme. Also connecting from the personal sense was the distinction and transgression people make to get a bit off guard between personal and professional lives. I have also began to let go off the people who had been not good to me, forgive and move on. An excellent book. This was also touched on the recent podcast by Anna Farmery on the Engaging brand podcast with Anna Mason.
2) Got a chance to read John Grisham's THE CONFESSION. A good begging, goes well up to 75% and then loses steam. A bit of let down for a die hard Grisham fan.
3) I got the book Beating Diabetics, which I went thro to know a bit more of the life sytle handicap. The book is a  must read for all TYPE I & II (More so for type II). It covers all practical aspects the temptations, the overdo, the food charts etc. The good thing is the book offers a lot of solution to the day to day issues.
4) I am halfway in to TRUE BLUE, the Baldacci Thriller, going good. I may try to finish it before the year end, hopefully.

Ok, so the clock is put back by an hour in Europe/ USA, so Indian work days will get longer by an hour for all the conference calls. In this connection, the Podcast by Mike and Mark on managing distant team is a good practical guide. Wayne Turmel does monthly training sessions on how to manage remote teams. A good one to participate.
Another must listen is the WEEKLY Leader podcast by Peter Mellow. Lot of thought provoking interviews. Yes, you may require more than 45 mintues for most show, but worth it.

I guess, I haven't mentioned about Grammar Girl podcast. A must listen if you care to improve your English speech/ writing. I do as it is not my mother tongue.

Until 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 ...