My comments on various topics on HBR Blogs2

Posted by on May 29, 2011 in EPM World, Expressions, Leadership, Marketing, Branding | 0 comments

(1)  ON – Make Your Competition Irrelevant:

Brand preference battles are bad approach in the market.

(I) the reason:

(a) Products are released without much gap between versions just incorporating small and ridiculous additions. Organizations are going impatient to release products with a tag ‘New’ or so just to remain in the competition.

(b) Innovation in real sense should add result oriented and unique feature or function which addresses the concerns of customer. This is not actually happening.

(c) Service after sales is more of a paper based statement than the real delivery. This is making the customers ogle at other brands.

(II) The result of the above:

(a) Rejection of a given brand by the customers after a certain experience

(b) Recall of products by the manufacturer owing to technical snags in the products

(c) Confusion being created in the minds of customers as to whom to trust

(d) So called brand preference battle.

(III) What should be done?

(a) Organizations should devote reasonable gap between versions

(b) Extend original and genuine service after sales

(c) Ensure fault free product delivery

(d) Deliver true innovation than a product

(e) Nurture customer relations.

(2)  ON  – avoiding Catastrophic Failures in Process Improvement

Process re-engineering in its comprehensiveness is similar to dismantling the building from its foundation level and erecting a new structure. Such a big exercise is more relevant to sick companies which are under revival. Established enterprises that are on growth path should (a) identify the areas where performance and transparency are a major concern, (b) understand the priority areas (c) thoroughly educate and enlighten the team about the prospective changes, objectives, responsibilities of team, and post deployment scenarios (d) deploy, monitor and affect minor changes (e) have matured SLAs with the vendor who could support in the achievement of envisaged results.

Most importantly, process change shouldn’t get badly impacted owing to the exit of an executive how much ever he was vital in the re-engineering effort. In such case, it can’t stand to the actual meaning of process or system.

Again the major concern is organizations go for process changes taking the ERP application as a bible. ERP application whether it is from SAP, Microsoft or Oracle needs to be customized according to the process blue print exclusive to the organization. At times the costs of customization, time constraints, expertise, integration issues, inability to take right decision, ignorance and several other factors constrain the organizations to go for off the shelf modules related to their industry sector.

Enterprises need sufficient plan than huge budgets. Right team / small team who understand the business domain, organizational strategy, analyze the related requirements and enlighten the management about the risks vs. benefits, matters a lot for healthy process deployment.

Finally we need right inputs to find right results even after successful implementation of the processes. This is possible if the team attends periodical workshops about the system.

(3)  ON Five Ways to Hold the Right Kind of Attention

The points 2 & 4 are very important indeed. When we pose questions and seek answers from the people, it amounts to entrusting a responsibility while raising their curiosity to get back to us. This obviously maintains the thread of relationship. Frankly, I am yet to learn this. I have a habit of volunteering answers during discussions, which would not leave any reason for people to come back. Thanks for pressing the right button.

It is a very natural inclination in today’s world that people value you and oblige you when your reach is scarce and when it needs long waiting to meet you.

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Some of my tweets – Part-III

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in EPM World, Expressions, Humane, Leadership, Philosophical | 0 comments

Every day hundreds of thoughts cross through our mind.  We know the majority are involuntary ones.  At times, I try to divert my thoughts to a more purposeful subject.  I love to register those important thoughts on my Twitter account.

This post comprises some of my tweets.  This is one way of sharing my tweets and at the same time having a backup on my blog.

  • Every action of ours tantamount to meditation when it is done with devotion.
  • In every walk of our life, we should involuntarily compile a risk register to consistently succeed in life.
  • People who always tend to look things through negative lens also throw negative vibes.
  • When your work is inspired by dreams, it can make the impossible possible.
  • Product innovation reduces the burden of marketing innovation.
  • When the failure frowns upon you, use the magic wand called ‘confidence’.
  • Nothing is impossible to achieve through right and disciplined communication. Trade and commerce to divinity.
  • Can ‘growth’ be a regular point of business agenda? Does it reflect positive or negative?
  • We can eradicate pain and penury only when the world stops surviving on money.
  • We care about Voice of Customer & talk about Voice of People. The consistent need, however, is advocacy to Voice of Sufferers on the street.
  • We should not need an every time wake-up call to attend to the mute appeal of people under Below Poverty Line (BPL).
  • Positive revolutions take place when intellectuals break their silence.
  • Playing or interacting with children is a lesson to us. They help us learn many things & make us understand our weaknesses / shortcomings.
  • The biggest challenge in making a project plan is drawing pragmatic sales projections.
  • The temple which is built with bricks of purity and devotion is stronger than the God.
  • Life is like a long drive. Inherently, both have joy, speed breaks, congestion, accident, breakdown, companion, entertainment, and more.
  • The true success is not in the continuing journey of success, but one being humble through the success.
  • We will feel lazy to take His name or we will ignore His prayer till we continue receiving His blessings.

I would be happy to discuss on any point if you want me to elaborate further.

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Core function of a leader

Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Business, EPM World, Expressions, Leadership | 0 comments

The primary objective of a leader is to identify the strong and unique qualities of team members and utilize the same for the project productivity. A leader, who tries to draw productivity in the grey areas of a team member, would only create a situation of disinterest and dysfunction in the team member.

A team member should always try to increase his job competence levels and narrow the grey areas so that he can gain the star identity in the project map than remaining a dot.

The core function of a leader

We have projects. We have organizations to run projects. We need leaders to successfully manage these entities. A leader manages people connected with the projects or organizations. People management is project management. Communication is the core of the people management.

The biggest challenge for a leader would be to identify his team strengths and direct those strengths for the productivity. Success or failure of a project majorly depends on this particular ability of the leader. In order to save project costs, utilize idle resources or using prerogative, leaders at times misplace or misuse the human resources creating a conflicting environment. For example, a team member who is strong in a UI designing would be forced to work on the core development side too. Such a situation would give vent to stress based conflicts even at the cost of losing the very productivity of the team member. The UI designer who otherwise was very productive would end up as a disgruntled, disappointed resource in the environment.

A leader to be successful should always identify the precise strengths, weaknesses, sensitivities, emotional quotient and professional constraints of his/her team members before they are being designated for any given assignment. It is also important to mentor the team members towards widening their skill capacity and narrowing the weaknesses.

Leaders will have successful survival only when they raise the competence and self esteem of their team members and drive them towards shared vision and a common goal.

http://www.blog.epmworld.in

http://www.twitter.com/EPMWORLD_HYD

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Some of my tweets on Twitter – II

Posted by on Apr 16, 2011 in Business, EPM World, Expressions, Leadership, Philosophical | 0 comments

I keep tweeting my thoughts and express opinions on business mundane.  Twitter is my favorite platform which gives us the freedom to be socially active.  I would like to share through this posting some of my tweets.

This is a better way of preserving tweets as at times old tweets disappear from display.

  • It is ideal to increase our focus on changing customer perceptions and requirements than a mere strategy to face competitors.
  • Every day review of his / her business is a big learning for entrepreneur. Personal touch in the context with customers is a big asset.
  • I won’t consider IRR alone for a given project if I find an opportunity to create higher brand value for a venture as I favor long-term returns.
  • Tweets are better than any news whether TV or News Paper. We can have what we want on the platter.
  • We should have more BPLAN fairs by VCs to attract and encourage innovations from small cities.
  • ERP application is like pillars and roof. Once deployed, it will be a big decision to replace or remove.
  • When rain copulates with the earth, livelihood sprouts.
  • Playing with children is a form of Yoga.
  • Every small good thing inspires me and every big blow strengthens me.
  • An entrepreneur who is at the brink of success should be more cautious.
  • We can raise the self-esteem of our team by treating them as ‘human intellect’ than human resources or human capital.
  • Business has evolved to be a bonding element in the society while insensitivity to human relations playing a major role.
  • Performance failure of an employee could turn the pointer back to mentoring, recruitment, welfare, growth or HR insensitivity.
  • There can’t be a better CSR effort than creating employment in the focused areas.
  • One of the important welfare measures, I prefer for my team would be an exclusive incubating center to prove their individual expertise.
  • Human intellect is the bonding agent in the business pyramid.
  • Entrepreneur is also like a King or ruler of a country who should think and work for the common and larger benefit.
  • Collective productivity and collective growth should be the tenets of leadership.
  • Visionary should be like a true film director who envision and steer movie for others.
  • Time doesn’t wait for any one. Our age doesn’t wait for achievements.
  • The base for human development and human destruction is human intellect. The difference is the purpose of its application.
  • If you are reciprocative, you are everything – responsible, mutual, accountable, professional, sensitive, and caring.
  • The one luxury that is abundantly enjoyed by the poor is sleep.
  • An enterprise which doesn’t define its Vision could carry the risk of making journey without knowing the destination.
  • In the worldly life, that we live, anger is an important tool at times to control others encroachment on our personality.
  • When you feel you are getting undeserved treatment from the God, talk to your strength.
  • Recession periods are shutdown times for maintenance of organizations.
  • Miscommunication is the seed for conflicts. Clarified communication is the best solution.

Will post some more sometime.

http://blog.epmworld.in

http://www.twitter.com/EPMWORLD_HYD

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Enhance individual value to gain personal branding

Posted by on Apr 9, 2011 in EPM World, Leadership, Marketing, Branding, Training | 1 comment

When we refer to a ‘brand’ in the context of a product or service, it reflects the value, the promise, and the contentment it delivers to the consumer.  The requirement of branding is mostly driven by the stiff competition, presence of multiple choices, and the demand of individuals to enjoy a distinctive identity to what they are attached with.  When a product stands for the belief of the consumer he would develop a kind of affinity and remain loyal to the brand.  He would develop an emotional relationship and take pride to own the brand.  Branding is an affair that we develop and maintain with the product or service offered by a particular company.  That is the very reason we would see many of the advertisements by major brands being promoted through the lenses of relationship.  It could be that the content of advertisement speaks the language of relationship or the actors in the advertisement are a family, a couple, a dad and daughter or so.

The world today is enlightened.  We are all matured and decisive about our choices in every aspect and in every walk of our life.  When a product or service in a situation happens to be a person, it is important that the person enjoys the loyalty of the consumer and stands for the brand value.  The person could be a trainer, a consultant, a doctor, a business man, or any other individual.  Even friends no longer like to connect with unless they find in us a growing value.

Thus personal branding gained momentum in the face of growing social networking and enticing business opportunities.  Every one wants to be recognized.  We like to be identified on Page3.  We like to have several connections on Linkedin, several followers on Twitter and several friends on Facebook.  We vie to hog the best identity.  Every one of us wants to connect with the best people around the globe.  It could be social celebrities like Anna Hazare, successful people like Bill Gates, public intellectuals like  Amartya Sen, noted personalities like Oprah Winfrey or any other promising individuals.

Relationship stands for its meaning when it is established and maintained both ways.  The real challenge lies in gaining mutual connections.  Personal branding helps us achieve this.  We can improve a brand identity to ourselves when we are identified with a specific, demanding, and valuable knowledge, trait and significance.  We should evolve to be a product sought after by several consumers.  Value reciprocation is the driving force for creating and maintaining relationship.  So we need to create and maintain a value to ourselves so that we grow with specific identity to ourselves.  We need to grow attractive.  A beautiful bride is everyone’s dream.  We need to become such a sought after bride, who is beautiful, resourceful, manageable and reciprocal in relationships.

If we are able to identify ourselves with all or some of the following, we will invariably improve our personal value and can attract coveted identity in the social milieu.

  • An achievement
  • An expertise in any given discipline
  • Reciprocal attitude
  • Benefit of relation
  • Core personal traits like honesty, trust, and sincerity
  • Social identity

So when we like to connect next with any important figure in the social networking let us check if we hold something attractive enough to reciprocate and what is our brand value.  We may not immediately gain the stature of  Anna Hazare, Medha Patkar, Abdul Kalam, or Anupam Kher, but we can certainly work to be in such vicinity.

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Protect your individual side to save your enterprise from failure

Posted by on Apr 4, 2011 in Business, EPM World, Leadership, Self-employment, Start-up business | 1 comment

Enterprise failure is leadership failure.   This is my personal belief and experience too.  In an environment where entrepreneurial spirit is growing fast, it becomes imperative for us to analyze the causes of failure.  This is similar to risk analysis.  Failure can come in several disguises. At times success can also follow failure if not maintained right.  And failure after success is more painful.  Thus, an individual as a business leader and as an owner of a startup project should take note of the foregoing to join the coveted list of successful entrepreneurs.

Respect business hours: A business leader should never make his team unduly wait for his audience or allow communication gaps.   The habits of working beyond office hours, going unavailable during crucial moments, and disregard to the personal time of the team members are some of the discouraging practices that affect the working spirit of your team.

Clarity is every thing: Ambiguity and indecisiveness can mean lurking risk.  Ensure that you have absolute clarity for every ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ you deliver.  Don’t yield yourself to a specific situation out of obligation or pending confirmation of dependent facts.    Don’t also allow swinging moods or thoughts which could fuel the operational inconsistency jeopardizing the business progress.  When you are faced with conflicting opinions or numerous opinions weigh your decision taking the help of professionals or professional tools. This will save you from possible trying situations in future.

Be business wise: Never act prerogative to over rule or ignore project metrics.  Believe in analytics and respect facts and figures even if they present an unpleasant picture in a given situation.  It is easy to take things for granted but will be very difficult when it comes to bearing the bad consequences.

Nurture professional identity: Stand for the honest, transparent, value driven, and complementing culture, duly honoring the commitments and promises made to stakeholders. Your personal stature and professional conduct largely influences the sustenance and growth of your venture.

Never holdback resources with intent of saving: When your business demands certain resources be it time, team members, consulting expertise, money or other infrastructure, spare it as planned and never start projects without ensuring these things either.  We can’t churn out relishing dishes with scarce ingredients.

Don’t interfere with the functional style of team members: Understand the core strength and working style of your team.  Never interfere in their functional style or resort to constant follow-up.   No two leaders will approach an issue in the same style.  Freedom, empowerment, and delegation are the most required elements for successful productivity.

Maintain calm and composed attitude: It is highly conducive to arrive at conclusions with a calm and composed attitude.  Intolerance, emotional outbursts, and hasty inferences on important issues will mean big damage.  This will reflect you weak in the minds of your team.

Listen without bias: Listening to others is the most important trait of any leader. At the same time don’t give prominence or encourage eavesdropping and whispers.  A team member with this habit will become a big nuisance some time later.  Also never dislike any thing or any one.  Dislike is the first hurdle in learning process and leader should be a constant learner.

Trust every one knowing when and whom to mistrust: Build trust in your team.    Inculcate the intelligence to read in between lines when situation demands.  Don’t wear the attitude of mistrusting every one.  Mistrust produces counter measures.

Boss is the primitive word: In any working environment every one should be given specific responsibility and be empowered with relevant authority to achieve designated tasks.  An entrepreneur as a true business leader should never feel himself / herself above board at least overtly.  Be friendly with your team giving them required space to interact with you.  A business leader should be a solution provider and problem solver first to his team and then to other stakeholders.

Ignorance is not bliss in business: Keep yourself abreast of things in your business line.  It could be any or all of the areas like technical, market related, team related, growth related, company documentation or about the evolving innovations in the line.

Know the benefits of technology: Be open to introduce technology tools to increase your business performance or accelerate business growth.  It could be your web identity, an ERP product, or customer support infrastructure.  Exploit the social networking platform to expose your entrepreneur profile and build personal branding.

Invite change: Many entrepreneurs remain themselves static when it comes to expansion or growth.  They are content with the achieved self-sustenance and like to continue even for decades.  However, a true leader should always hold big picture and invite any change required in this direction.  At times the change could be towards improvement of present environment or changing your functional style.  You should move ahead strategically, leveraging the benefits of core competence, expertise and present net worth.

Greed is voracious and if not controlled will even eat you: Business should always be a win-win contract.  You can earn only when you allow others earn out of you.  Don’t try to milk the cow beyond the last drop.

Respect, respect, and respect: When we respect others we excel ourselves.  Respect brings in the best reciprocal value.  This reflects our individual culture.  So don’t be biased as to whom you will respect or who not.  An employee at the lowest rung to an external stakeholder, every one is equally important in the business.  Every business must conduct itself with an attitude akin to hospitality industry.  Love and respect should be proactive feelings and should never be limited by barriers.

One man army: If you are the lonely team member in your business setup, you can have collaborators and partners as an extended and external team.  Collaborative productivity is more powerful and instills better confidence in the stakeholders.  Be socially active so that you can build an excellent team as you progress in your stride.

Resist temptations: Don’t indulge in any such thing that can cause a blemish to your character, professional image or future prospects.  Resist them at the very sprout.  It could be to amass sudden gains through unethical means or get entangled in relations that could bring embarrassment at a later time.

Restrain family involvement:  Unless it is professionally relevant, an entrepreneur should never involve his family members in the business matters.  At the same time, the personal side of yours should never affect the business matters.  Don’t allow your personal problems impact the business affairs.

Nurture big picture: I quote here one of the tweets I came across on Twitter “If you are dreaming, dream big” (apologies, I will not be able to provide immediate reference as to who said it).  Dreams are the first sprouts for your growth.  Plan to achieve your ambitions and make your dreams true.  Document your dreams and ambitions so that you can develop them into an action plan.

Enjoy criticism: Critics are our well wishers.  Criticism is a tool to achieve refinement. Accept it with humility wherever it is genuine.  Allow it silently even if it was unreasonable and respond appropriately.  Criticism may not always come from expected or deserved sources.  Still it is an exercise made by others on your behalf and for your benefit.

Contribute to social causes: Society gives you business.  What are you giving back to society?

Once you raise an enterprise and connect with several stakeholders, you are socially responsible to nourish it healthy.  When it fails it would mean a loss to several stakeholders including the very employees who worked for it.  That way, an entrepreneur should always guard himself first, so as to ensure his enterprise flourish and enjoy social pride.

http://www.blog.epmworld.in

http://www.twitter.com/EPMWORLD_HYD

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