Saturday, September 26, 2020

Motivational speakers don’t change your life.

"Motivational speeches are like drugs. We listen and get intoxicated in the atmosphere and illusion created for a few hours." 

Long back, one of the friends took me to the event citing that there is a great motivational speaker who is going to change our life. When I asked him how exactly he will do that? He told me that it is good to listen to the speaker. Of course, there was a ticket.

Those days were very hard, struggle was immense. What I wanted was good advice to do something different in life. So, I decided to join. The event was organised in a big hotel. When we entered the hall, the atmosphere was energetic and everybody was excited to listen to the speaker. Few people were roaming around and cheering the audience. They were asking to clap, to cheer. Yes, it was exciting. After half an hour, the anchor announced that the speaker was entering on the stage. He requested to stand up and clap for the speaker. It was a mesmerizing atmosphere there.

Speaker arrived on the stage. He shouted, “Hey guys, do you want to make the change in your life?

Audience responded, “Yesssssssssss”

Speaker started the speech. It was like one act play, moving and running from one corner of the stage to another corner. He was jumping and hollering while telling a few known stories. In between asking the response from the audience. Speech was full of inspirational stories, citations, Hindi Shayari, jokes and a lot of words like, extra mile, discipline, focus, conviction and so on.  No doubt, it was a great speech.

Eventually, when we came out of the session, we were happy and everybody was speaking about the speaker, his style, his stories. After 2-3 days, my friend and I totally forgot his speech. For us, it was another entertaining event. I had attended a few more sessions of few more motivational speakers and it was not different from what I attended the earlier one.

There are 4 types of motivational speakers,

  • Speakers who have achieved something in their life and they become motivational speakers, like Arunima Sinha or similar.
  • Some CEOs, CXOs or great business leaders who are invited regularly on different forums after their retirement.  
  • Professionals who practiced hard to become speaker and became motivational speakers
  • Professionals who were in sales of some insurance, FMCG or some multi-level marketing (MLM) company.  

I like listening to the first 2 categories. They are authentic, genuine and they have their own experience to share.

However, we should understand that motivational speakers don’t change our life. It is upto us what message we take from them. If you follow everything they speak, you may get in trouble. Most of the time, they don’t motivate people to change the behaviour. Otherwise the world would have been different. We have a lot of speakers, spiritual leaders, mentors who deliver messages and still people have their own issues. It is pertinent to note that you have to fight your battles and face your own struggles. What others say may not be relevant to you. Inspirational speeches did not equal motivation to create real change for the audience hearing.  It did not mean that three days after the event, when people were back in the office, that it had any impact on their behaviour one little bit. 

Motivational speeches are like drugs. We listen and get intoxicated in the atmosphere and illusion created for a few hours. After that we are back to the normal and forget everything. 

I am not against listening to motivational speakers; however, it is important to believe in your own competencies and ability to undertake tasks and achieve your goals. This is also called “Self-Efficacy”. Hearing one of these speakers does not build self-efficacy and belief that you can achieve something more – it may in fact do the opposite. Same is applicable to LinkedIn stories.   

Please read the print replica of my latest book written for leaders on amazon kindle, Vitality in Human Resource: Adding human dimensions in HR processes

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organization)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

What is there in the future?

Staying ahead of the game to be able to stay in it: Top trends to follow.

“The future is already here; it's just unevenly distributed.” ~ William Gibson

I am always saying that Covid19 has just accelerated the transformation in areas like digital transformation, new ways of working and different areas of business. In view of different global, technological, workplace and workforce trends, the total narrative will change. If you want to distinguish between high performing organizations and average organizations following are the focus areas, high performing organizations have. It is just not for their corporate presentations, but they have strategic intent which is very much weaved in their corporate strategy.

I have spoken with different leaders/CHROs during pandemic, participated in different webinars and studied different research done by top consultants like McKinsey, PwC etc. and I have interesting findings. Following are those imperatives & trends if followed, chances of being successful is more.  

“People First” Focused Strategy

Speaking about “People First” strategy is very good. Most of the organizations are already speaking about it, but very few organizations are working on this. It is very sad that organizations are laying off employees who are working with them for long. However high performing organizations are now consolidating on talent strategy. They have already incorporated 3P (People, Planet and Profit) elements in the strategy.

People: I have read and listened to a lot of CEOs quoting that people are their asset. The statements of those CEOs like, “We can’t be successful in the society which fails”. Or “Business can't succeed in a failing society” are popular in the media. However, very few organizations have pragmatic policies on this and integrated with their purpose and mission statement. Organizations which have integrated are doing great today. Taking care of people who are working with you and people around you in society is novel thought. It is not just about employees but society at large.

Sustainability & Planet

Sustainability is a long term. It is avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. Lot of organizations are working to reduce their carbon footprint and trying to maintain the ecological balance by manufacturing clean products and focusing on 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). It is very important to understand which planet we want to transfer to new generations.

Profit with ethical standards 

We are grown listening that earning profit is bad. So-called leftist ideology and trade unions associated the business as a bad evil and conditioned the mind of people negatively like capitalism is there to exploit employees and society. But they totally failed to understand that you can’t survive on their principle and hence big communist countries themselves are capitalist mind exploiting the society.

High performing organizations have views that ethical profitability is far more than merely operating within the boundaries of the law. The true test of ethical profitability is whether or not the company is a positive example to its employees, to its customers and even to other companies. Such companies practice the truest form of leadership-by-example.     

Digital Transformation to Digital Integration

We have discussed a lot about digital transformation. We all know that Covid19 has accelerated the digital agenda in organizations. High performing organizations are not now speaking about the transformation but digital integration. It is about creating a habit of using and integrating digital platforms in our day to day life. You need to develop people on how to use those, how to present, how to sell and how to collaborate. It is about different behaviours than digital technology itself.   

Gen Z Will Take Over, (born between 1997 to 2016)

Organizations always struggle when there is an addition of the next generation in the workforce. Youth born between 1997 to 2000 are ready to join the workforce. We have seen a lot of challenges of generation X while managing the millennial generation. All generations are different and unique. Their style is different, and their ambition is different. Organizations have to work on inclusion and diversity and making the life easy of all generations. It includes training them on managing people, bringing the diverse view in talent management and talent development initiatives. Your talent management process which you used to work 10 years back will not work today. You need an action -based talent management system instead of just mapping the people in the talent grid and then forgetting them. Organizations also have to change their views on the definition of talent.   

The Gig Economy is the New Economy

We have seen gig workers in e-commerce, food delivery, travel aggregators like Amazon, Swiggy, Uber, Ola etc. Indian industry has been working with contract labour for the last 2 decades. The gig economy is now prominent in blue collar jobs. After covid19, it will still be popular. However, I am expecting this in white collar jobs also. The Younger generation will be more interested to find the joy and more income from different jobs with different companies with different skills. Free lancers, consultants and retainers will be more. Organizations have to frame policies on how to manage and engage those workforces. There will be social security and information security issues which have to be handled carefully in future.  

Innovation in Business Models

Business needs to be more innovative. They need to reinvent themselves and different business models driven by the technology. Companies also have to think about what those new models are. We have some examples improving the business with the help of technology. Disruptive innovations are changing the rule of the game and you really need to think differently if you want to be in this game.

Customer experience is in the focus,

It is not just selling your product or service. It is more about the customer experience. In the market where your product becomes a commodity over a period of time, you don’t have an option to differentiate it with the value and solution selling. Your customers will come back only when they are happy, satisfied and delighted with your services. It is not about the price and product itself but how it is sold, delivered and serviced further without any problems to the customer.  

Instant Reviews

Online reviews are a double-edged sword. Small mistakes can cost huge loss in reputation and revenue. We have a lot of examples in recent years. If customers are treated with respect and service well, they will be your brand ambassadors. Company CEOs and celebrity brand ambassadors need to be very cautious on what they communicate, write and speak on social and public forums. Instant reviews about your product and services will decide the future of your business.    

Meaningful career and not only jobs

Meaningful career is where you connect with the purpose of the organization and your job. You feel satisfied and happy by doing that in a stress-free, enriched, and ethical way. To do this you understand your interest values and skills. You identify your preferred style and find the community to help you to grow in the organization or outside the organisation. In short, a meaningful career is one where we feel an authentic connection between the work we do and a broader life purpose beyond the self.  Millennials and Z generation is more motivated by the purpose of the organization, career development, empowerment, and openness. They will continue and will be more demanding in this.

Few organizations have already started prioritising talent management agenda. Lot of organizations have to follow it to be competitive in the market.       

From skills to Human skills, Innovations in creating those skills.

To do all above we need talent. With the technology changes and new way of working, employees will have to work on human skills instead of just technical and functional skills. With AI, ML, Sensors, IoT, Additive Printing etc people will need skills where they will manage the automation speedily but also people around them.

Organizations will become more flatter; Organizations will move to project/product-based work groups without any formal reporting lines. Employees will have to work in a web and matrix environment where networking and influencing, collaborating on a virtual platform will be crucial. To do this every employee will have to learn fast. Hence if you want to stay in the course develop your people on human skills along with functional skills.   

A wise person said that only one thing is constant in this world is change. There are external forces which are forcing us to change. There are some indications we are already getting, and we need to take a clue from that.

Finally, I would like to quote Darwin, (researchers say that Darwin never said it) “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Please read the print replica of my latest book written for leaders on amazon kindle,  Vitality in Human Resource, Adding human dimensions in HR processes

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organization)

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Decision Making Process during VUCA.

Following situation is the new normal now, however if it would have been 3 months back, what would have been your response?

Imagine the situation where you come to know that your 25% employees are infected with the virus. There is a panic situation outside the organization because of increased pandemic. Employees & managers are worried. Your management has to take the decision about the continuity of the operations considering employee safety. Your plants need to run, otherwise it will have a major impact on the business. On the other side, the government has their own rules to handle such things. Media may be behind you hence your reputation is at stake. You have to take care of employees; engage with union and society; think about business and need to take few decisions as a leader or you have to facilitate the decision-making process in the organization in such crucial periods.    

I think most of the leaders have gone through such situations. During heightened VUCA (with high Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambitious) situations, normal decision-making process can break down. Some people become paralysed and afraid to act however few others make quick decisions based on emotions or bias rather than fact.

During such uncertain situations, our decisions may be affected because of a lot of information, which is not authentic, contradictory views of experts, (like virus spread through air also), bias information shared by some people, media, politicians etc. During the decision-making process, we may overreact on certain information or overestimate or underestimate based from where it is coming. If there are infinite, clue less information, you may not be able to think rationally.

So? During such situations, it is always good to focus on the purpose and specific alternatives step by step. You may need to brainstorm with the team of decision makers to get more information, knowledge, you need to know before moving forward. Formulate the right question (for others and yourself) that will help you to get the right answers.

Once you get all answers, classify the information in the following format.

Behaviour & Feeling: This is a human dimension where you will understand the feeling sideof the information and consequent behaviour. During covid19 situations people become worried (feeling) and hence they are demonstrating frustrations (behaviour) & then they share weird information is one of the examples of this.  Sometimes this is just the reaction based on the nature of the person. 

Opinion: People generate their opinions after the situation. The opinion may be biased again based on certain assumptions and nature of the person.    

Knowledge: This part is easier to understand; however, you need to be aware about the situation fully. The covid19 infection in India is around 4.46 million but the recovery rate is around 75%. knowing this data and interpreting it, is the knowledge.           

This practice will help you to bring the diverse perspective and the variety in the decision-making process. This will also help to address your immediate emotional response.       

There are other tools which you can try in your team like Six Thinking Hats to generate more alternatives and  Weighted Criteria Assessment for better decision making.

Sometimes some decisions need strong intuition and you can read more about here Intuitive Decision Making

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organization)

Please read the print replica of my latest book written for leaders on amazon kindle; Vitality in Human Resource  

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Human being & Self Esteem

Karan joined the MNC in finance to head one of the departments. He was doing good and his boss was happy with him. He was confident but always blamed others. After a few months he started crying on his status & salary. He started comparing himself with others. According to him he was great and indispensable.  His manager increased his salary but again he started crying on his grade. His grade was also upgraded after 2 years. Now he was positioned decently in the organization, however he again started crying for the new role. His manager recommended him for a new role and he also got that. However, after 1 year he was asked to resign. His new manager, who was also a solid leader, had high expectations from him as his earlier manager had given solid feedback about him. Somehow Karan could not cope with the expectations and finally he was put on PIP. The issue was the inflated self-esteem of Karan. His earlier manager nurtured his inflated esteem and never gave the right feedback to Karan.

You must have seen a lot of such Karan who do great with one manager but not with another. One reason is the esteem of the person. Karan applied to a lot of companies, but he could not get the job which he was enjoying in earlier company. His inflated self-esteem ruined his career.    

Sandesh is another employee who was promoted after Karan moved into another role. However, Sandesh was always doubtful about everything. He was not confident about himself. He thought that he was not ready for the role. He was sceptical about taking such large responsibilities. He wanted to go slow. According to his manager Sandesh has that functional skills and he could develop on his other behavioural skills. Sandesh took the role but could not perform. He always used to struggle while communicating with seniors. He was always undervaluing himself. 

Sandesh was exactly opposite Karan who was not confident, didn't want to take decisions. Such people don’t trust their other possibilities. They get carried away by every situation. If something goes wrong their self-esteem drops.

Sandesh was the victim of low self-esteem. Over a period of time with proper coaching, Sandesh improved drastically. He became a performing employee. 

“What is right self-esteem is the question and if you want to enjoy life, your esteem is the key. You should have a high self-esteem.”

Let’s understand about self -esteem.

Self-esteem is a way of thinking and feeling about self. You can’t see it, you can’t hear it, you can’t touch it, but you can feel it and it is there when you speak about yourself. It is a self -worth or your personal value. 

Your potential to achieve something totally depends upon your self-esteem. If it is inflated or low chances of failure are more compared to high self- esteem.  When people experience positive self-esteem, they feel & look good.

When a child is born, s/he doesn’t see himself good or bad. People around her help her to develop self-esteem as she grows. Sometimes continuous failures and situations affect your self-esteem and you think yourself useless.

It is possible that during covid19 situation, people may have lost their job, they must be disappointed because of the uncertain future. Few must be depressed, and it is vital to understand how to overcome the low self-esteem.

Following are a few tips to keep your self-esteem high.

Don’t compare: Don’t compare yourself with others. Life is not the race. You need the right time to achieve something. Somebody may achieve something at an early age however somebody takes time. Wait for that right moment and right time.

Take pride: Feel proud about yourself. Recollect those moments when you do something different and achieve something, small or big doesn’t matter. Feel proud about others who are close to you.

Take interest: Think, how can you make your day interesting? Follow your hobbies, speak with inspiring people, listen to their lectures, read books.

Think positive: What is that one thing positive you saw daily? Feel good about that positive experience.

Control feeling: Acknowledge the situation and don’t react. Situation triggers the thought but before reacting, take a pause, think and then respond. You can control your thoughts and behaviours by doing this.

Giving something: Have you done something for somebody? Try to give something, support, help, anything. What you give, it comes back with abundance.

Fun: Enjoy life. You only go through life once, so make the best of it. Love yourself.  Do the fun.

Keep in mind that it is difficult to escape from inflated or low self-esteem, but if you are among the people who have high self-esteem, even if you occasionally give in to the instability of certain situations, you are much closer to achieving the happiness and satisfaction in life that will make you feel blessed.

Remember that famous quote,” Your biggest enemy is yourself, so be your best friend”.  

Wish you all a happy Teachers Day!

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organization)

Please read the print replica of my latest book written for leaders on amazon kindle; Vitality in Human Resource  

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