Saturday, September 29, 2012

I have a dream…

I have a dream... but I need a action...
Mahatma Gandhi saw the dream of Independent country with peaceful and powerful society. And off course he was the firm believer of dreams and power of dreaming. He had written “A man, whilst he is dreaming, believes in his dream; he is undeceived only when he is awakened from his slumber.”

You all know the dream seen by Martin Luther King in 1963. Martin Luther King had a dream of country which is free from race and region. He says in his famous speech “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

India is independent country and one of the economic power and Martin Luther Kings’ dream was manifested a year later, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which (also) guaranteed blacks the right to vote.

And you know Tata group and dream of Jamsethji Tata. His dream about building the nation with Industrial revolution with human development and also building the largest power utility company and so on…

There are people who dreamt and also fulfilled their dream with passion, innovation and out of the box thinking.  

We all have a dream. Or more accurately, we all had a dream. Dream of becoming committed doctor, successful industrialist innovative scientist and great engineer. We all dreamt of making a difference.  

But the difference is we left our dreams in between and curse the luck… and say… “Oh bad luck...”

Think for a moment, how the world would be if all people had chosen not to strive for their dreams and make a difference. People like Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and even Sachin Tendulkar (

However these all are great people. You may feel somewhat daunted and would ask “Can I really make a difference? But what sacrifice I can do to achieve the dream?”

It is easier to live a compromised, mediocre life, hoping that someone else makes a difference, but the fact is we all want to be successful and want our dreams. The imperative things are to believe on our dream and take certain actions.

First action is challenge the status quo. We like status quo because we are comfortable with that. I mean psychological status quo. Same like elephant story. Elephant even could not think to break the chain tied to his legs.   

Yes. It is time to confront our upbringing, conditioning and circumstances.

You can fulfill your dream by with following simple tips.
  1. Challenge the status quo,
  2. Dream big,
  3. Believe on your dream and believe on yourself that you are capable to fulfill your dream,
  4. Visualize that you are close to the dream,
  5. Convert your dream into SMART objectives,
  6. Take actions…
  7. Keep a log of your actions,
  8. Work Hard and also work smart…
  9. Learn from mistakes done in actions and move on…
That day is not long when you will actually see what you dreamt… Best luck…J

Monday, September 24, 2012

Seven Wonders of the World…

We (DSM and employees) are associated with the girls’ blind school ( near Pune. We not only sponsor the education, food but also ensure to spend quality time with these girls. Recently on Saturday we visited the school on the occasion of Ganapati Festival. After lunch we had some fun activities with the girls. Somebody asked students to list what they thought were the present Seven Wonders of the World. Girls started to mumble among themselves. Though there was some disagreement, the following got the most votes with the help of our volunteer.  

1. Chichen Itza in Mexico
2. Taj Mahal
3. Petra in Jordan
4. Colosseum at Italy
5. Christ Reedemer in Brasil
6. Machu Pichhu in Peru
7. China's Great Wall

After finishing the consolidation of the list one girl raised her hand hesitantly.  

“Yes? You have something different?” asked one of the teachers available there...

The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I have confusion and I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."

The girl hesitated, then started, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:"

1. To see
2. To touch
3. To taste
4. To hear

She hesitated a little, and then added

5. To feel
6. To laugh
7. And to love

The place was so full of silence you could have heard a pin drop. It is far too easy for us to look at the exploits of man and refer to them as wonders while we overlook what God has done for us. Those things we overlook as simple and "ordinary" are truly wondrous.

And most amazing was, it come through the girl who knows the value of these senses and wonders...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Three years of successful blogging! Thanks all!

Dear All,

I wanted to do that…

I published my first blog ( on 17th Sept 2009. Today is 15th Sept 2012; I didn’t notice that this blog has completed 3 years. One of the friends called me yesterday and asked me, “Vinod, it’s a time for your book now!”     

My intention was to write something by every week. I learnt the real life philosophy from my son and that is “just want to do that.” And then I started and continued by every week. “I want to continue” was the feeling when writing every blog post.

When we drive from one city to another city, we don’t directly see the place. We just are able to see the few meters of road ahead and as we pass by, we compete that few meters to complete the kilometer and lot of kilometers drives us to the desired city.  Life is like that only. We need to decide something to do. Writing the blog was my personal goal and continuity was the major challenge. I was not sure how many blog post I would write, but I was sure that I will write one post by every week and it continued. Now this is a third year. My blog has successfully completed 3 years with 0.58 million hits and with 109 followers and thousands of e-mail receivers.     

And off course the journey will continue till I decide to do something else.

Thanks for all for making it so popular and value added. I promise that I will further continue with your value added inputs.

Please feel free to send your suggestions, comments, remarks….

Vinod Bidwaik

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Managing underperformance…

“Sir, I did not even know, what are the expectations from me by my boss. And now, you people are telling me that my performance is not at par. If this is a case then why this was not communicated earlier. I would have made improvement.” One so called underperformer employee was complaining after he was rated below expectations after annual performance review sessions.

Managing underperformer is always challenging task. Sometimes even managers do not take concrete stand on this. However assume that you have everything in place and you identified underperformers in the organization, how you would deal with them?

What is underperformer?
 Underperformers are poor performers are those who fails to perform the duties as per the job profile and KPIs. But it is not only about the results, it is also related to non-compliance of set behaviours, rules and regulations and policies of the company. However underperformance is not the misconduct. Sometimes it is just making people aware about the same. Sometimes, expectations are not clear; they don’t know the dos and don’ts in the organization.

Reasons for underperformance
There are many reasons why an employee may perform poorly. Some of the common reasons are:
  • An employee is not clear about expectations, performance goals and KPIs.
  • Relationship with superiors and interpersonal differences
  • Mismatch of the job profile and employee capabilities.
  • Lack of personal motivation, low morale in the workplace and/or poor work environment
  • Personal issues such as family stress, physical and/or mental health problems or problems with drugs or alcohol
  • Cultural mismatch

How to deal with them? Is sacking them is the only solution?
Most of the time, poor performers are treated without logic. Sometimes manager does not want them in their team due to personal biases.  Direct termination in such cases is not the solution. Dealing with underperformance can be challenging and confronting for employees and employers alike, but it does need to be addressed. Managers need clear procedures, organizational support and the courage and willingness to manage the issue.

Methodological approach:

Identify the problem
It is important to understand the key drivers of performance or underperformance within the workforce. It is also important to correctly and specifically identify the problem.

Assess and analyze the problem
Once you identify the issue behind being poor performance, it is a time to analyze it how serious the problem is, how long the problem has existed, and how wide the gap is between what is expected and what is being delivered.

Once the problem is analyzed, call the meeting with employee to discuss issues.

Meet with the employee to discuss the problem
During the meeting the employee should be able to clearly understand:
          what the problem is
          why it is a problem
          how it impacts on the workplace, and why there is a concern.
The discussion should end with the solid results and agreeable solution.

Jointly devise a solution
Where possible, it is important that a solution is jointly devised with the employee. An employee who has contributed to the solution will be more likely to accept and act on it.
When working out a solution, the employer should:
          Explore ideas by asking open questions
          Emphasize common ground and keep the discussion on track
          Focus on positive possibilities, and offer assistance, such as further training, mentoring, flexible work practices or redefining roles and expectations.
A clear plan of action should be developed with the employee to implement the solution. This can be in the form of a performance agreement or action plan. A performance agreement or action plan can:
          Reflect an understanding of performance expectations and what is to be achieved over the specified time period (performance improvement milestones)
          Clarify roles and responsibilities of the employee
          Include strategies for training and career development
          Include timeframes for improvements (these may vary depending on the issue and needs of the business, however it is important to give an employee adequate time to improve their performance) reinforce the value and worth of the role being performed. 

A date should be set for another meeting with the employee to review progress and discuss the employee’s performance against the agreed action plan.

The HR and line manager should keep a written record of all discussions relating to underperformance in case further action is required. Generally, it may also be used as evidence if legal action is taken about the matter.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Go to the people

Go to the people,
Learn from them,
Love them,
Start with what they know,
Build on what they have,
But the best of leaders,
When their task is accomplished,
When their work is done,
The people will remark:
"We have done it ourselves."
(2,000 Year Old Chinese Poem)

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