Monday, October 31, 2011

Matured Professional….

I have seen one manager who was very political in the organization. He would create his opinions based on his perceptions. He also would make his opinions based on the feedback given by his cheerleaders. Facts were far away from the reality. Once one of my colleagues expressed her opinion contradictory to the feedback of this person; he changed his opinion about the girl. He told me, “My secretary is better than your subordinate.” The manager was even not ready to recognize the right of others.          

I had always a question about the maturity of this manager. Being 20 years in the organization, he was loyal to his personal agenda of sticking to his position, but he was fully away from the maturity.  People grow but not necessary they would exhibit the “professional maturity”. 

I would like emphasis most of the important dimension of the personality, “Maturity- Professional maturity.”

We always used the term, “Maturity”. Based on our perceptions we labeled “maturity” to the people. We used statements like “Mr. X is much matured professional” or “Mr. Y is effective, but not so much matured, he needs to be developed.” But then how we measure the maturity.

What is the maturity? According to me the maturity can be defined as the acceptance of your role in life which gives you an inner sense of security. Executives need to be constantly aware of this purpose and their state of consciousness. They need to do work to become their mature self.

Mature executives are tolerant of others and respect people’s rights because they realize that one needs talents of a whole team to compete effectively in today’s marketplace.

In the same organization, one senior HR professional, alumni of top b-school was hired so that she would build the strong HR processes. However instead of focusing on the processes, she firstly used the tactic of being popular in the organization by working on increment and paying performance bonus. The rational of paying this was too mechanical and too old which most of the organizations use. When there is not legacy of such things, you are in a better condition to work on concrete processes. She did not. Somehow her tenure didn’t go well and poor HR Head had to resign. The above manager knew the facts but then he started putting the onus of everything to that lady. He was an advocate of formulating processes; he was senior management representative, but still he never supported any initiatives. He was the victim of his ego and his own personal agenda.        

He blamed others for their mistakes. When everything was going good, he used to take credits. If somebody would do best, he was jealous and if somebody would argue with him he was revengeful. Immature executives do the same things.  

Immature executives blame others for their mistakes. They have a need to take credit for new ideas, set up rivalry, are jealous, angry and revengeful. Immature executives have the desire to dominate simply to feed their ego. They don’t have the ability to handle negative feedback or criticism, and have the need to appear intelligent to others.

Beware of these dimensions of immature personality. It will never help you. Professionalism also counts your maturity.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Iceberg of Ignorance

There is a cost of ignorance. If you are in the business, you can not be ignorant about, no matter which. The Managing Director of one company had a great vision of being number one in his sector. He tried to implement best processes in the organization. Top international consultancy companies were hired for building business strategy, operational excellence, Human Resource processes and so on. People were charged to make the difference. However the leadership development was the crucial factor. He appointed a core team to lead the organization under his leadership. Unfortunately he was ignorant the ground level fact of competencies of these people. Just philosophical lectures in the meeting don’t make you successful. You need to act and lead from the front. The members of his core team (they use to call them as “a steering committee” and employees used to call this committee as “steering committee without steering”) never worked on the ground or shop floor or in the market. These people were philosophers in the organization and were more interested to push their own agenda.

The leader was fully reliable on his core team members. He never tried to listen the voice of common employees in the organization. It does not mean what top leader has to spend his time on shop floor, but at least he should have the method, tool to understand the pulse of the organization, market etc.

Top to down communication is always easy but most of the times selective. Same applies to the down to top communication where most of the communication is convenient. People have a tendency to keep the issues under the carpet or to be ignorant to the same. In above case company lost a big revenue, market share and core employees. These all were very much ignorant about the market, issues and people dimensions.   

Iceberg of ignorance
The gap between knowing and doing is definitely responsible for such cases. But the major reason is being ignorant to the situation; the gap between the shop floor view and the balcony view.  Balcony view helps you to act on a vide spectrum of the business, however shop-floor view helps you to detect and correct errors. Problem known the senior management is only 4%. 96% problems are hidden from the senior management. This big iceberg of ignorance sometimes hits to the whole ship, the organization.       

You may get lot of stories why you lost the market share, revenue etc, not necessary that are facts.

Learning, knowing from the circumstances, people, and being close to the ground, either market or shop floor will help you to remove your ignorance. Learning facts is important scenario. In knowledge society, where lot of data flows, you have to work out on the factual scenario. This will help you to change your existing response, challenge your assumptions and reframe your knowledge.

“Let’s remove our ignorance and be more knowledgeable from this Diwali. Wish you all  Happy Diwali.”

Friday, October 14, 2011


One person had a frequent dream of demon following him. Person was running scary with that demon. Person used to run and demon used to follow him.  His nights were sleepless due to this scary dream. Once the person decided to confront the demon when he would follow him and he would ask him the question why he was following him. 

Next day, when the demon arrived in the dream of the person, he asked the demon, “Hey, you are troubling me for so many days. Why are you following me? What do you want?”

Demon smiled and replied, “How should I know this? You must know; it is your dream.”  

We are like that same person always scare about unknown things and we don’t know why we are scary. The fear brings lot of “Ifs” in our life. “Would I miss the flight, would the taxi pick me on time? Is booking confirmed? What will happened if he says No? And so on…

The fear of losing something is the major obstacle in the success. I have seen some people that have the fear of winning. My one friend was offered the position outside the country by his company. Friend denied the offer only due to fear. Success and failures are the part of life but taking opportunities are important.  Most of the people loose opportunities by just not taking these opportunities. The reason is just fear. In 1999, I had referred one vacancy to my classmate. He even did not turn up for an interview. When asked, he mentioned that the company sometimes transfers employees frequently at different site and it might happen with him also. He had to struggle a lot to get the job in future.

Imagine how many opportunities we might have losing by not asking something. The fear of “will that person/salesman give it.”

I like the TV commercial of Tata Sky for the reason where one person fears to ask something (change in currency to bank robbers or lift to the soldier) and then catch line of asking “If I get two connections, will I get the discount.”    
First thing first in life should be to remove the fear of thinking and asking something which is really not fearful. One should not suppress his happiness for non existing things. Fear is just like TOMORROW that never comes.  So why should think about it.  Be calculative, assess obstacles, imagine the output, life will be full of possessiveness.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Survival tips in turbulent situation?

Bag and retain your job.  
Companies in India have kept on hold their recruitment for time being. The situation is expected to be worst than year 2008. Is India heading towards recession? Experts say, yes! At some extent! Increasing interest rates, declining GDP and inflation are fueling the slowdown in India. The situation may remain same for at least next one year.  In such situation, job opportunities will be only for experience professionals. Freshers have to struggle to enter in the corporate world and the best will bag the job. Even professionals will also have to struggle hard to keep their jobs.

The problem, in our country is that management graduates develop their unrealistic expectations from themselves. They don’t have much but they expect the best. During turbulent situation, one needs to take the real stock of their strengths and weaknesses.

If you are management, engineering, simple graduate or working professional, read my simple tips for survival.

1) Don’t be choosy about Industries and compensation:   
Why the industries pay you more, if their current talent is underpaid or they have more options to get experienced one? Is your college the best in the competition? If yes, what contribution you are going to make immediately. Industry will invest you for 2-3 years on you on their cost, and still they carry the risk of loosing you to the competition. Definitely they don’t want to train you for the competition.  Accept the company which comes first to you. If you are deserved, then you will definitely get something. One of the friends was so much choosy about the job, that he rejected offers from different companies. He used to give the excuses like. “The company is not good, compensation is not good, they will send me on the site, they may transfer me to another location and so on.” After one year, new students entered into the market and my friend was forced to take petty jobs in his career.
2) Learn more and more:
Steve Jobs perfectly said, “Stay hungry, stay stupid.” Be hungry to earn more. Just imagine yourself after 10 years. What do you like to know for? 10 years experience – Every year different experience or same experience repeated 10 years? Learn new skills, hone your existing skills, and develop your competencies. Who is kicked out first from the company during turbulent market? The person who has inferior skills is thrown out first. Once we get a degree, we stop to learn and that is bad. Try to learn every aspect of the business.
3) Keep patience:  
Most of the new guys have the tendency to change the job every year. They mention reasons like career growth, compensation and so on. Who will promote you within one year? Have you think what value you added in the company? Please stop this. Your solidity counts. Spend reasonable good time in one company.
4) Be expert and be general:           
Be expert in your profession, but also try to be general in practice.  You can be only expert marketing person; you need to be good sales guy. Who bags top positions? People who know everything of the business including different functions. They may not be expert, in all functions, but they knows aspects of all functions.
5) Be Intrapreneur:
The person who creates and brings into use profitable new products, processes, services, and ways of doing business is the intrapreneur. He is the person who behaves with entrepreneurial spirit within a large organization. They are driver by vision. They have risk taking abilities.

6) Be a self learner & starter:
I have seen people who wait somebody to start. They expect somebody will come and change their life. In this world, you have to build your own foundation. Nobody will come to teach you. Be a self learner and self starter.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Compensation Philosophy

“When you put the resignation, your company will match your CTC. If they can match it when you put down papers, why they don’t do it properly? Why they wait for the resignation? Do they underestimate the talent value?” One of the friends was asking me this during hot discussion on compensation.  In ideal world of the HR professional, they would love to have the compensation policy in place, but the question is how to do that.

“There are certain cases where employees leave the organization and come back with higher salary. Isn’t it an injustice to existing employees?” another friend asked me. “You should go to your top HR person or CEO to ask this.” I replied back.

My personal opinion is that for handling the compensation, you should have the competencies. Compensation management is one of the critical parts of the HR function. Any company and HR professional can’t avoid the importance of relevant compensation philosophy for the organization. If you do not have the proper compensation philosophy, you may have the trouble in retaining your critical talent. Paying maximum salary is not the solution, but paying right salary is.  {According to one survey (WorldatWork’s Compensation Programs & Practices research report (9/2010)) - 9 out of 10 organizations report having a compensation philosophy. 61% have a written philosophy. 29% have an unwritten philosophy. 42% reported that all or most of employees do not understand the compensation philosophy says that only 24% organizations have the compensation philosophy in place in their organization.}

When you are clear on your compensation philosophy then you are clear what to do with your talent on compensation perspective. But it is always managed as a crisis management. Compensation is not the top most important factor in retaining employee, but this does not mean you should avoid it. Positioning your talent vis-à-vis a market data will help you arrest your attrition. Employees have a common tendency to update their market positioning, and they try to check their positing in the market. Various job portals are easily available and if somebody in the team gets the double salary in the market, why don’t me, is the logic for searching the job outside. Here he assumes that he would get higher salary, good title, he may ignore the other good dimensions of the company. When he joins new company, he realizes that he got two things, but missed four other important factors. And then he goes for new job search. Most of the time, it is a just temptation of an employee.

However the fact is you can not underpay your employees for long time. You can position your employees in different percentile as per the potential and performance. Paying higher salary, off course, will spoil your culture. Your average employee should be positioned rightly. Your top talent can be at par with the market.      

Talent is always vulnerable to the flight risk in India. They are more aware and qualified to understand their potential. Reports show that hiring scenario in 2011-2012 is still promising. In such scenario, your top talent is always at risk. First dimension is compensation philosophy. I believe that organizations will be on the right track. Talent will also not black mail the organization.     

Once you have a compensation philosophy in place, your HR practices should support the employee engagement. Organizational culture, transparency, benefits and best practices will still be important in employee engagement, but at least pay the RIGHT salary. 

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