Saturday, June 26, 2010

Confrontation Meeting

What is confrontation meeting?
(This concept was introduced by Richard Beckhard. Ref )

Confrontation meeting is an activity which allows entire management group, composed of individual from all levels of the organization to take a quick reading on its own health and within matter of hours to set action plan for improving it.

This activity is based on

a) Experience with an action oriented method of planned change.
b) It involves the entire in a joint action-planning programme.
c) The meeting can be conducted several times with one morning and one evening session involving only two or more hours out of usual working days.

Where it is effective?

a) Where there is a genuine commitment to solving the problems on the part of top management.
b) Top management intends to improve the conditions rapidly.
c) There is adequate cohesiveness in the top management team to ensure follow-up.

Benefits of confrontation meeting.

a) Direct communication is improved
b) Morale of employees increased.
c) Better work culture.
d) Improve inter department human relationship
e) Get solutions on day-to-day problems.

Elements of confrontation meeting

a) Climate setting
b) Information collection
c) Information sharing
d) Priority setting & grouping planning.
e) Organization action plan
f) Immediate follow-up by top team
g) Progress review.

A) Climate setting

It requires one hour.

In the very beginning, the top executive communicates to the entire management group his objectives for the meeting and his concern for and interest in open discussion and problem facing.

B) Information collection

It requires one hour.

The entire group of employees is divided into small heterogeneous units consisting of seven to eight participants.
If there is top management group it meets as a separate unit.
No boss and subordinates are placed together.
Each unit consists of participants from each functional area.

The assignments to these units like:

1) Yourselves as an individual with needs and goals.
2) As a person concerned about total organization.
3) What are the obstacles?
a) Demotivators
b) Poor policies & procedures
c) Unclear goals
d) Poor attitude, which exists today.

4) What different conditions if any would make the organization more effective and make life in the organization better?

Each unit is advised to choose to reporter to present its finding at a general information sharing to be conducted an hour later.

C) Information Sharing

Each unit's representative writes his unit's entire results on a sheet paper, which is displayed at a meeting hall.

Meeting leader provides some major categories in which all the data from all the sheets can be classified.

E.g. If there are 100 items, the possibility is that these can be classified into 8-9 groups involving heading such as communication difficulties, problem with top management etc.

The data sheet is duplicated for the purpose of circulation.

D) Priority setting and group action planning

It involves one hour or more.

The entire group engages itself in a 15 min general session.

With the meeting leader the participants go through the raw data on the duplicated sheets and assign a category number to each element of data.

People assemble in their functional natural work units in for one or more hours.
Thus HR members drawn from all level assemble in one unit, in technical another and so on.

DH presides over the unit.

Each unit is assigned three specific tasks.

•It is required to discuss the problems and issues, which influence its areas of work, and to ascertain the priorities and early actions to which the group is willing to commit itself.

•It is required to identify the issues and problems to which the management team should give maximum priority.

•It is required to ascertain as how to communicate the findings of the session to their subordinates.

E) Organizational Action Plan

It requires two hours.

Total group is assembled in a general session.

Each functional unit reports its commitments and plans to the total group.
Reports and enlists the items which its members believe the management team should deal with first.

Top management is required to react to this list and make commitments for action where needed.

Each unit is required to share briefly its plan for communicating the results of confrontation meeting to all subordinates.

F) Immediate follow-up

Requires 1-3 hours.

Top management team is required to meet immediately after the completion of the confrontation meeting to plan first a set of follow up action which is to be reported ultimately back to the total management group within a few days.

G) Progress Review

After specific intervals progress review of confrontation meeting is to be taken by top management team.

Confrontation Meeting Provides

1) The top management with accurate information regarding an organisation health and the opportunity to make suitable action decision based upon proper information from the organisation.

2) The units with the opportunity to establish priorities for improvement, an increased involvement in the organisation objectives as well as a real commitment to action.

3) A basis for ascertaining other mechanisms for communication between levels and group, proper direction of decision, problem solving within sub-units as well as the tool for upward influence.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Self Branding

“You need to show, when you do something.” One colleague was telling another guy on how he manages to get the attention in the organization.

It is very difficult in big organization to stand among the crowd and still to be in limelight always. Most of professionals lack the skill of self branding. Self branding does not mean actually you have to be cheerleader or just have to tell everything you do in the organization. There are lots of decent tools available for your self branding.

One thing is sure that you should be very clear about the branding. There is always a threat that your self branding campaign may go wrong and people may perceive you as soi-disant.

On professional front just ask yourselves how you are branded even in the job market. If you would like to grow in your career, you need to either grow in your current organization or you need to look after new opportunities elsewhere. The question is how you are going to get the right opportunity. You have to go to recruitment consultants or registered on job portals. Another effective option is professional networking. There are certain limitation on the side of consultants and job portals. Not necessary you will get a good deal. However professional networking is the platform where you can brand yourself correctly.

In organizations you must be doing lot many things, but does your boss or seniors know that?
It should be visible through your professional contribution in the organization off course. But does your contribution is recognized at higher level? Most of the times bosses are selfish, they may recognize you, they may even give you good increment, but at the end of the day credit goes to them only for their good team handling skills. As a leader he should get the credit, but if your organization does not have the right and concrete evaluation system in place, then you may not get the due credit of your contribution.

There are certain ways to create your brand. Just check few tips.

1)Identify the real power-station in the organization. This is always necessary when you are working in traditional organization. It may be possible that actual decision making authority is different than you boss. Do not bypass your boss professionally, but see that your top boss /power station know your contribution. Speak in meetings; contribute in the house magazine/intranet, debate on professional issues and so on...
2)Prepare and send the right and correct monthly reports of activities, achievements of your department. Most of the professionals lack sending the reports on time. Most of the times such reports are obfuscate. User friendly MIS can help you to communicate what you and your department has done in a month. Send the copies of the same to all the concerned people. But be careful. It should not be just information sharing with big data and list of ongoing activities. Receiver should show the interested and he/she should get the glance of achievements and activities.
3)Try to be a SME (Subject Matter Expert). Organization conducts training programmes for employees. Try to get the expertise in your interested area and approach your HR department as an internal trainer on that subject. Organizations prefer in house technical trainer for imparting trainings to employees. Training is the platform where you get the more exposure and even you develop your presentation and communication skills. It also builds your confidence.
4)Participate in events organized by the organization. Networking with your colleagues will help you to understand them better. Do not skip events organized by your organization.
5)Take the membership of professional bodies, subscribe for professional networking sites. Contribute in profession discussions. It will help you to understand the profession better. Write in professional journals; it will help you to create your professional image.
6)Check if you are searchable on google. Just search your name on google and check how many hits your name has. Nowadays most of the companies check the references of candidates on google. Google search also helps companies and recruitment consultants to search the professionals in specific and niche domains. But be careful while disclosing private information.
7)Write your blog. But see that you are not violating the company information security policies.
8)Associate with business colleges. Deliver guest lectures in colleges. One of best parts of this is, you have to read and study first. It helps you to go back to your studies and brush up theoretical knowledge.
9)Connect with people.
Be empathic with people and try to connect with them. Instead of using mails, walk around and discuss. Don’t be technologically blind.
10)Most important, strive for results.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The blind boy and beautiful flower

(As told by one employee during training session)

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read beneath the long, straggly branches of an old tree. Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown, for the world was intent on dragging me down. If that weren't enough to ruin my day, a young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.

He stood right before me with his head tilted down and said with great excitement, "Look what I found!" In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight, with its petals all worn - not enough rain, or too little light. Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play, I faked a small smile and then shifted away. But instead of retreating he sat next to my side and placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise, "It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too. That's why I picked it; here, it's for you." The weed before me was dying or dead. Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red. But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.

So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need." But instead of him placing the flower in my hand, he held it mid-air without reason. It was then that I noticed for the very first time that weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun as I thanked him for picking the very best one. "You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play; unaware of the impact he'd had on my day. I sat there and wondered how did he know of my self-indulged plight? Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight. Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see the problem was not with the world; the problem was me. And for all of those times I myself had been blind, I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that's mine. And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose and breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose and smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand, about to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

Friday, June 04, 2010

What ??? HR Professionals are drivers?

“Why do you keep a driver for your car?”

“To reach at destination safely.”

“Why, you can not drive?”

“I want to be more conformable at office; you know I also do the office work while traveling in car.”

“What is cost for driver?”

“6000 per month.”

“If it would be 20, 000 per month, still would you have a driver? In European countries and America, you can not afford drivers, they have to drive themselves.”

“Oh, it is a crazy question; I would drive myself rather than keeping the costly driver.”

“You keep a driver because it is cheap. Right?”


“A same thing is with HR profession. HR professionals are available in the market with very low cost.”

“What do you mean? Are you comparing HR professionals with driver?”

“Yes, HR has the capacity to drive the organization; but organizations keep them because they are cheap. What has happened during recession? First axe was on HR professionals working in training, recruitment, so called strategy, development area.”

“But you can not compare them with driver.”

“You see, today HR consultants charge huge amount for HR interventions. If they start to charge less amount, most of the organizations will prefer to hire HR consultants. If HR professionals become costly, then Management will drive the HR themselves.”

“How can you say this?”

“What HR does? Recruitment- It can be outsourced, you know if RPOs are cost effective, recruitment manager will loose the job, Training- training consultants are cost effective, training manager will loose the job and your HR administration (Personnel) can be outsourced anytime. They need the HR professional for fire fighting”

“No sir, who will work on vision, mission, strategy, goal and related employee relations?”

“Have you worked on this in your career?”

“No sir, it was done by consultants.”

“You all are just like postmen”

“You should stick on one sir. You were saying HR professionals are like drivers now you are saying like postmen.”

“You are also postmen. You just pass everything which your MD wants or just copy & paste something from elsewhere.

“But sir, in spite of this organization needs HR professionals. Recruitment has taken a pace, once you started to recruit there should be HR professionals to manage their employee life cycle. Who cares after three years about the organization?”

On this he just smiles and walks away.

“I decided to start my own consultancy which will provide more economic services to companies.” He yells.

(No intention to hurt anybody. Just fun.)

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