Saturday, November 28, 2015

Session on Talent Management Process & Models on OHR Forum at MCCIA, Pune

OHR is the forum of HR professionals at Pune. I was the invitee for the session on “Talent Management : Puzzle created by puzzle itself” on 27th Nov 2015 at MCCIA, Pune. 

I spoke on fundamentals of Talent Management, Talent Management Process and Talent Management & Assessment Models. The session was attended almost 100 HR professional. 

The session was well received by participants. During the presentation, I also shown two clips (courtesy: youtube) to the participants which I am posting exclusively here for readers  of this blog. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Moral Courage

Excerpts from Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw's lecture at Defence Services College, Wellington in 1998
What is moral courage? 
Moral courage is the ability to distinguish right from wrong and having done so, say so when asked, irrespective of what your superiors might think or what your colleagues or your subordinates might want. A ‘yes man’ is a dangerous man. He may rise very high, he might even become the Managing Director of a company. He may do anything but he can never make a leader because he will be used by his superiors, disliked by his colleagues and despised by his subordinates. So shallow– the ‘yes man’.
I am going to illustrate from my own life an example of moral courage. Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a very thin line between becoming a Field Marshal and being dismissed. In 1971, when Pakistan clamped down on its province, East Pakistan, hundreds and thousands of refugees started pouring into India. The Prime Minister, Mrs. Gandhi had a cabinet meeting at ten o’clock in the morning. The following attended: the Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh, the Defence Minister, Mr. Jagjivan Ram, the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, the Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Rao, and I was also ordered to be present.
A very angry Prime Minister read out messages from Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. All of them saying that hundreds of thousands of refugees had poured into their states and they did not know what to do. So the Prime Minister turned round to me and said: “I want you to do something”.
“Yes, it is my job to tell you the truth. It is my job to fight and win, not to lose.”
I said, “What do you want me to do?”
She said, “I want you to enter East Pakistan”.
I said, “Do you know that that means War?”
She said, “I do not mind if it is war”.
I, in my usual stupid way said, “Prime Minister, have you read the Bible?” And the Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh (a Punjabi Sikh), in his Punjabi accent said, “What has Bible got to do with this?”, and I said, “the first book, the first chapter, the first paragraph, the first sentence, God said, ‘let there be light’’ and there was light. You turn this round and say ‘let there be war’ and there will be war. What do you think? Are you ready for a war? Let me tell you –“it’s 28th April, the Himalayan passes are opening now, and if the Chinese gave us an ultimatum, I will have to fight on two fronts”.
Again Sardar Swaran Singh turned round and in his Punjabi English said, “Will China give ultimatum?”
I said, “You are the Foreign Minister. You tell me”.
Then I turned to the Prime Minister and said, “Prime Minister, last year you wanted elections in West Bengal and you did not want the communists to win, so you asked me to deploy my soldiers in penny pockets in every village, in every little township in West Bengal. I have two divisions thus deployed in sections and platoons without their heavy weapons. It will take me at least a month to get them back to their units and to their formations. Further, I have a division in the Assam area, another division in Andhra Pradesh and the Armoured Division in the Jhansi-Babina area. It will take me at least a month to get them back and put them in their correct positions. I will require every road, every railway train, every truck, every wagon to move them. We are harvesting in the Punjab, and we are harvesting in Haryana; we are also harvesting in Uttar Pradesh. And you will not be able to move your harvest.
I turned to the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, “If there is a famine in the country afterwards, it will be you to blame, not me.” Then I said, “My Armoured Division has only got thirteen tanks which are functioning.”
The Finance Minister, Mr. Chawan, a friend of mine, said, “Sam, why only thirteen?”
“Because you are the Finance Minister. I have been asking for money for the last year and a half, and you keep saying there is no money. That is why.”
Then I turned to the Prime Minister and said, “Prime Minister, it is the end of April. By the time I am ready to operate, the monsoon will have broken in that East Pakistan area. When it rains, it does not just rain, it pours. Rivers become like oceans. If you stand on one bank, you cannot see the other and the whole countryside is flooded. My movement will be confined to roads, the Air Force will not be able to support me, and, if you wish me to enter East Pakistan, I guarantee you a hundred percent defeat.”
“You are the Government”, I said turning to the Prime Minister, “Now will you give me your orders?”
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have seldom seen a woman so angry, and I am including my wife in that. She was red in the face and I said, “Let us see what happens”. She turned round and said, “The cabinet will meet four o’clock in the evening”.
Everyone walked out. I being the junior most man was the last to leave. As I was leaving, she said, “Chief, please will you stay behind?” I looked at her. I said, “Prime Minister, before you open your mouth, would you like me to send in my resignation on grounds of health, mental or physical?”
“No, sit down, Sam. Was everything you told me the truth?”
“Yes, it is my job to tell you the truth. It is my job to fight and win, not to lose.”
She smiled at me and said, “All right, Sam. You know what I want. When will you be ready?”
“I cannot tell you now, Prime Minister”, I said, but let me guarantee you this that if you leave me alone, allow me to plan, make my arrangements, and fix a date, I guarantee you a hundred percent victory”.
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, as I told you, there is a very thin line between becoming a Field Marshal and being dismissed. Just an example of moral courage.

Remember, moral courage. You, the future senior staff officers and commanders will be faced with many problems. People will want all sorts of things. You have got to have the moral courage to stand up and tell them the facts. Again, as I told you before, a ‘yes man’ is a despicable man.
(A full transcript of this lecture is on

Life is a journey

Monday, November 09, 2015

Happy Diwali

I like Diwali because it is a festival of lights and inspiration. Everybody, from rich to poor enjoy the Diwali religiously. When it comes to Diwali celebrations, there is a spark in the eyes of each and every person. Everybody feels excited at the thought of adorning their sweet homes with various kinds of decorative items like candles and small clay lamps.

People take time out for family, come together and do the fun during these days. The spirit of Diwali lies in spreading the light of knowledge. It teaches us to leave the path of enmity and resort to friendship. Amidst the hustle bustle of the city life, this is one time when people come together to spend some quality time with together.

Diwali is a time to turn inward and light the lamps of knowledge and truth in our hearts and minds so that we can dispel the forces of darkness and ignorance within us and allow our innate brilliance and goodness to shine forth. Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is the principle deity associated with this festival. During Diwali we ask her for assistance in cultivating and accumulating spiritual wealth, such as compassion, forgiveness, and loving-kindness.

Wish you all Happy Diwali!

Diwali is a time to reflect on and evaluate our thoughts, words, and actions over the past year. It is a time to acknowledge and better understand our prejudices, negative behaviors, and bad habits so that we may begin the process of transforming ourselves. It is a time to discover how we can be more loving, kind, respectful, and skillful towards ourselves and others. And since all wealth, be it material or spiritual, should be shared with others who are less fortunate, Diwali is also a time to reflect on the various ways we can assist others and shine our light out into the world.

Just as the flame of a lamp always points upward, Diwali is most importantly a time to celebrate and appreciate life and to look forward to the coming year with a renewed sense of purpose and passion. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, Diwali is a reminder and an opportunity to “Be the change you want to see in the world!”

On this auspicious festival of lights, may the glow of joy, prosperity & happiness illuminate your days in the year ahead...

Happy Diwali…

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Personality Types of Intrapreneur leaders...

Intrepreneur (Intrepreneurship) is an employees working passionately in the organization whose mindset is like Entrepreneur.  This is like in like growing own business, taking ownership. This requires many skills to be successful. Take a look at the business personality types and find out what you need to succeed. Are you Steve Jobs, a Visionary, or an Improver like Facebook founder?

Your business personality type are the traits and characteristics of your personality that blend with the needs of the business. If you better understand your business personality, then you can give your company the best part of you. Find others to help your business in areas you may not be prepared to fulfill.
There are 9 key types of personality and understanding each will help you enjoy your organization more and provide your company with what it needs to grow.
Begin identifying your dominant personality theme and understand how you operate in your business.

Personality Types of Intrepreneurs

1. The Improver: If you operate your business predominately in the improver mode, you are focused on using your company as a means to improve the world. Your overarching motto is: morally correct companies will be rewarded working on a noble cause. Improvers have an unwavering ability to run their business with high integrity and ethics. 

Personality Alert: Be aware of your tendency to be a perfectionist and over-critical of employees and customers. 

2. The Advisor: This business personality type will provide an extremely high level of assistance and advice to customers. The advisor's motto is: the customer is right and we must do everything to please them. Companies built by advisors become customer focused. 

Personality Alert: Advisors can become totally focused on the needs of their business and customers that they may ignore their own needs and ultimately burn out. 

3. The Superstar: Here the business is centered around the charisma and high energy of the Superstar CEO. This personality often will cause you to build your business around your own personal brand. 

Personality Alert: Can be too competitive and workaholics. 

4. The Artist: This business personality is the reserved but highly creative type. Often found in businesses demanding creativity such as web design and ad agencies. As an artist type you’ll tend to build your business around the unique talents and creativities you have. 

Personality Alert: You may be overly sensitive to your customer’s responses even if the feedback is constructive. Let go the negative self-image. 

5. The Visionary: A business built by a Visionary will often be based on the future vision and thoughts of the founder. You will have a high degree of curiosity to understand the world around you and will set-up plans to avoid the landmines. 

Personality Alert: Visionaries can be too focused on the dream with little focus on reality. Action must proceed vision. 

6. The Analyst: If you run a business as an Analyst, your company is focus on fixing problems in a systematic way. Often the basis for science, engineering or computer firms, Analyst companies excel at problem solving. 

Personality Alert: Be aware of analysis paralysis. Work on trusting others. 

7. The Fireball: A business owned and operated by a Fireball is full of life, energy and optimism. Your company is life-energizing and makes customers feel the company has a get it done attitude in a fun playful manner. 

Personality Alert: You may over commit your teams and act to impulsively. Balance your impulsiveness with business planning. 

8. The Hero: You have an incredible will and ability to lead the world and your business through any challenge. You are the essence of entrepreneurship and can assemble great companies. 

Personality Alert: Over promising and using force full tactics to get your way will not work long term. To be successful, trust your leadership skills to help others find their way. 

9. The Healer: If you are a Healer, you provide nurturing and harmony to your business. You have an uncanny ability to survive and persist with an inner calm. 

Personality Alert: Because of your caring, healing attitude toward your business, you may avoid outside realities and use wishful thinking. Use scenario planning to prepare for turmoil. 

Each business personality type can succeed in the business environment if you stay true to your character. Knowing firmly what your strong traits are can act as a compass for your organization. If you are building a team, this insight is invaluable.

(Ref: Darrell Zahorsky, Your Guide to Small Business Information)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It can’t happen in India…

Two Extreme HR Initiatives…

You may be aware about some innovative HR and management initiatives to keep the morale of employees, boost motivation and improve the productivity. But there are some strange practices which you will not believe… following are some radical experiments companies have done… however I don’t know the result…  but you will be entertained by reading this.

Dog at Oracle Japan as a Chief Employee Engagement Officer  to improve morale in office..
Dogs are good friends of human being. They are loyal and reciprocate the love for life long. Perhaps that may be the reason behind hiring dog by Oracle in Japan. Yes. Japan Oracle hired dog in office in 2010 to boost the morale and motivation of employees.  Candy, the dog would visit company offices once a week to visit the human employees and help raise their morale. The dog was given status of employee and even identity card. After periodic interval dog is retired..

Publishing house celebrated naked month as a part of social experiment.
Have you ever complained about the rigid dress code at your work place? Or when the mercury went soaring in those hot months of the summer, felt like stripping down to the bare minimum? Even if you have, what one publishing house, Bald Italic in San Francisco, California, did for a month will probably shock you. This was a part of social experiment. Company celebrated naked month in the office. They said that such experiments improves productivity and efficiency…oh…

And One Extreme News…

Man Fires Assistant For Being Too Hot and "Irresistible,"
A 32-year-old female dental assistant ended up in the unemployment line after her boss of 10 years fired her for being too darn cute and “irresistible,” which caused her dentist boss—and his wife—to view her as a threat to their marriage. This was despite the fact that the dentist considered his assistant a “stellar worker,” according to an article in Mother Jones. The all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the employer acted legally and that an employer can fire a worker he or she views as an “irresistible attraction,” even if the worker had not “engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong,” according to the December 2012 magazine report.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Make in India… organizations need creative leadership.

Modi government has declared the “Make In India” initiative to attract the FDI in India. This is another way to create the manufacturing base in India. When the manufacturing base is increased,  lot of dependent business start flourishing, employment is generated and it helps economy to develop as spending power of consumer also increases. However this task is not easy.

Is it just making products in India or developing products with global quality? Question still remains unsolved. This question is because, there are no inventions happened in India for last few decades. However we trumpet the old saga of inventions. We call ourselves creative and innovative, but we never think about the future. There are very few innovative ideas which goes in commercialization and end without any results, because these ideas are based on “Jugad” which really is shortcut to get the results.

There are few successes which are copied by others for failures. Just see how many e-commerce companies are there around.   

The question still remains unresolved because we hardly think innovation and creativity. Students are not allowed in schools think beyond their books. Organizations propagate creativity and innovations but doesn’t give the freedom to think differently. They give the “boundary lines” and employees are expected to think within that “boundary lines.” There are innovation, R&D labs, but I doubt how much new inventions happened in those labs. These are put for branding and getting tax benefits. There are consultants who work for you to get such exemptions. With this all, if any company is really series about innovations, they mislay the focus after 3 -4 years when they don’t get expected results in spite of huge costs.

There is another problem which is related to creative leadership. Leaders need to think differently but they also need to be creative. As creativity is the catalyst for innovation, leaders who wish to promote innovation must embody creativity and create an environment that stimulates people to be more creative and innovative.
There are two approaches to creative leadership:
  • To develop a creative approach to problem solving,
  • To create a culture of creativity and innovation,

Creativity, however, cannot be left to chance. Much like learning any new skill, leaders need to develop or enhance their creativity skills by learning and trying on new behaviors, and putting those into practice.

I think, we need to take it next level where we don’t only sit on computer and work on simulations, developing some grades in the products or working only on analysis on the innovations which actually is happening somewhere in US or Europe.  

Creativity is contagious. Organizations need leaders who can fire up the imagination of people and create a vibrant work environment, so that people willingly contribute and come up with out of the box solutions. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Information Please

When he was quite young, his father had one of the first telephones in his neighborhood. He remember well the polished old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. He was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when his mother used to talk to it. 

Then he discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person - her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. "Information Please" could supply anybody's number and the correct time. His first personal experience with this genie-in the-bottle came one day while his mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing  at the tool bench in the basement, he whacked his finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there didn't seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. He walked around the house sucking throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway.

The telephone! Quickly, he ran for the foot stool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, he unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to his ear. "Information Please," he said into the mouthpiece just above his head. 

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into his ear.


"I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that he had an audience.

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me." he blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

"No," he replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."

"Can you open your icebox from your freeze?" she asked. He said he could. 

"Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice.

After that, he called "Information Please" for everything. He asked her for help with his geography and she told him where Nagpur was. She helped him with his math. 

Then, there was the time, his pet duffy died, he called "Information Please" and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But he was unconsoled. he asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"

She must have sensed his deep concern, for she said quietly, "Shonu, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in." Somehow he felt better.

Another day he was on the telephone. "Information Please."

"Information," said the now familiar voice.

"How do you spell fix?" he asked.

All this took place in a small town in Maharashtra. When he was 9 years old, he, along with his parents moved another city. He missed his friend very much.

"Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home, and he somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall.

As he grew into his teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left him. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity he would recall the serene sense of security he had then. He appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, he realized that he should call Information Please" just to say thanks for what she did for him. He dialed his hometown operator and said, "Information, Please." Miraculously, he heard the small, clear voice he knew so well, "Information."

He hadn't planned this but he heard saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."

He laughed. "So it's really still you," he said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time."

"I wonder", she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls." He told her how often he had thought of her over the years and he asked if he could call her again.

"Please do," she said. "Just ask for Sarita."

Three months later he again called. A different voice answered "Information."
He asked for Sarita.

"Are you a friend?" She said.

"Yes, a very old friend," he answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this, she said. Sarita had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

Before he could hang up she said, "Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Shonu?"


"Well, Sarita left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called.
Let me read it to you." The note said, "Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean."

He thanked her and hung up. He knew what Sarita meant.

* Adapted & Anonymous

Sunday, May 17, 2015

InReGo ©: Design your own career plan…

Career development is the buzz word in corporate world. Employees leave an organization because they think that they don’t have the right career in the organization.  HR professionals have the struggle in designing career path and match aspirations of employees. However the issue is still vivacious in HR world. 

At the other side, employees don't have the right perspective on career development. I have seen employees who leave the organization for the sake of career development, end up just receiving the title change without any role change in next organization. S/he gets the upgraded title without any upgraded role. Sometimes for them tile change is also a career development which is not the real case.    

Let’s see what actually these terms means:

Career is the series of work-related positions a person occupies through life.

Career Paths represent employees’ movements through opportunities over time.

However employees should understand what actually career means for them.  Manager and HR professional need to educate employees and facilitate their real aspirations instead of mere focusing title up-gradation. 

Organization-Centered Career Planning focuses on jobs and on identifying career paths that provide for the logical progression of people between jobs in the organization.

Individual-Centered Career Planning focuses on an individual’s career rather than in organizational needs.

There will be always mismatch between above two.
Before speaking and expecting about career development, employees should focus on their own inclination and their focus in the career which always is missing initially.

There is a test called InReGo© -(©Vinod Bidwaik)

What is InReGo ©?

Everybody can design their own career path!
(In) Insight: Do you have the insight about yourself? Have you done analysis thoroughly what is your potential and at what level you can climb?

(Re) Reality Check: Most of the time, employee does not check the reality. Dreaming is good, but day dreaming is bad. Have you done the reality check about your potential, your qualification, skill sets?

(Go) Goal: Once you have the insight and reality check, it is the time to set right career goals. Set ambitious but realistic goals. During interviews, candidate always mention their career goals like to be the General Manager of the unit etc. Nothing wrong, but when 3 years experienced candidate dreams to be the general manager, I have the doubts if S/he has done the reality check.

Based on the InReGo © decide your career choice assessed on your Insight, Interest, Self-Image and your Background.

You will be more happy with this approach rather than just following the blind competition of career development and your peer pressure.

You can design your own career…don’t rely only on your organization…

Saturday, May 09, 2015

BSC (Balanced Scorecard) Simplified....


First Time in History, BSC (Balanced Scorecard) Simplified....But still hard to implement....

irst thing first,  BSC means aligning every employee towards organizational goals and it starts with vision, mission and strategy of the organization. This is not short term initiative but should be focused long term and beyond the vision. 

Elements of strategy,
  • Ambition of the organization,
  • Arena of operations,
  • Products,
  • How are you going to differentiate your products?
  • How you will operate : alliance , JV  or on your own.

Once the strategy is aligned how are you going to make the strategic map...
You need to make the strategic map of the organization and then deploy the policy...with fixed accountabilities. Be aware that if you do not have the clear vision and strategy and subsequent strategic map BSC has no sense.

Now what is balanced in BSC?

Once the strategic map is ready,  it is converting functional strategic map and then targets....
If you have a five year horizon...what you want to achieve?
Translate it into short term goals...

Based on four perspective
  • Customer
  • Operational
  • Financial
  • And people...

So what is balanced in Balance Scorecard?

  • Short term VS long term,
  • Strategic map vs tactical planning and implementation,
  • Four perspective takes care of whole organizational context.

Based on this once you converted all this in matrix called organizational scorecard and then functional scorecard....which can be assigned to individual employees as KRA and KPI.

Please remember to establish the monitoring system.

BSC fails because when there are some business turmoil. Owners gets panic instead of making changes in strategic plan.

Then it becomes just KRA sheet based on four perspective.

Today most of the organizations says that they have BSC but is just KRA sheet based on 4 perspective without long term strategy, map and key drivers. It is not at all BSC.

Implementation : Let's take step by step

  1. Study of the market, key driver for growth are find out and based on that it is decided where the organization would like to go by 5 years 10 years etc.
  2. What you would like be in the market and how?
  3. Make a strategic intents. This is utmost imp phase.
  4. Few questions should be asked like are we prepared for.
  5. Are we  Serious?
  6. Commitment of top in terms of strategic intents,
  7.  Prepare complex strategic map,
  8. Convert it into long term goals,
  9. Convert it in short term targets,
  10. Make organizational scorecard,
  11. Prepare Functional scorecards,
  12. Convert Scorecards into Individual targets,
  13. Establish monitoring system

What is complete strategy?

·         It is sustainable,
·         It addresses the cross boundaries of functions,
·         It is linked with external environment,

Example: If you have strategy focused to 2020 and targets thereon, how HR can have its own strategy linked to the same. The assessment of the organization is for example you need Intrapreneural skillsets and there is a gap..

Then your HR strategic map should have this element.

This can be linked to other functions as well.

And then with this all you need to work on change management and handle this accordingly.

Review strategy periodically;
Stick to the commitment.

About can have a dedicated business warehouse software...

However moreover from performance point of view...

You can have... proper review mechanism like

  • Business performance review,
  • Operation performance review etc....

The challenge is to extract the right data for discussion in these types of meeting.
It is better to automate high level data through SAP etc.

BSC is change management process.

Somebody senior Management Team member should take the responsibility of policy deployment leader...who also works as a change champion.  Sensitization is also required with right branding and communication associated with strong reward and consequence management policy.

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