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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Communication – The barrier and the bridge

Posted by on Jan 24, 2011 in EPM World, Marketing, Branding, Project Management, Self-employment | 0 comments

There are two perpetual processes that happen within us.  The first one breathing which is a life long process and which happens involuntarily whether we are in sleep or awake.

The second one communication.  We communicate with people around us or communicate within our-self when we are not in sleep.  Besides, we also keep communicating unconsciously in our dreams during our sleep.  Dreams may not be regular, but dreams are a sort of communication with the unknown things and depths.

While breathing gives us life, communication makes our life.  While we have nothing to do with the process of breathing unless during the time of Yoga or Meditation, it is the process and act of communication that we have every thing to do with.  All the words like who, whom, when, what, how much, and where apply to communication like:

  • what to communicate
  • where to communicate
  • how to communicate
  • how much to communicate
  • when to communicate
  • who to communicate with whom

These observations play a vital role during our interactions with the God, parents, spouse, elders, children,  colleagues, senior colleagues, strangers and many others.  Over communication to our-self and within our-self (introversion) is also undesirable.

Communication as we all know is passive, active, verbal, oral, written, bodily, multilingual, multilevel, and multidimensional.  Communication should always be precise, concise and tender.  Atharva Veda says communication should be soft and tender worded.

We achieve our personal and professional objectives through communication.  Right communication wins over a girl friend.  We know what happens if the same goes wrong.  A project is achieved through communication.  Whether it is a meeting, written document, drawing, diagram, visual piece, dispute, argument, trust, secrecy.  Every thing is a communication.  Project management consists of only these things or more related.  Thus, if we are able to maintain right and precise communication we can achieve successful projects.  One can become a successful professional.

A composed, cool and pointed communication can win over your enemies.  The content of your communication how much ever precise and contextual it may be, it will not bring in desired results when conveyed in anger or outbursts.

Every other situation which went wrong or which went right has some thing to do with our communication.  It could be personal relations or professional interactions.  A Doctor’s kind word works better than the vials he inject, an empathetic tone acts as a succor, a magic word makes the project team more productive, and a silent communication with the God can give us an eternal peace.

There is always some thing to correct in our communication as life is a perpetual learning process and we need to live our life in peace and harmony.

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Risk in business

Posted by on Jan 1, 2011 in Business, EPM World, Project Management | 0 comments

Risk is the first word and the thing that prospective entrepreneurs wouldn’t like to hear or face in their venture.  How does risk arise? Where from risk arise? and What exactly is the risk?  Risk in business could crop up majorly from:

(a)  Commercial unviability of the project.

(b)  Inappropriate or insufficient management processes.

(c)  Mismatched marketing or total absence of marketing and business development measures.

(d)  Misplacement of human resources, under utilization of human resources.

(e)  Under utilization of production or service capacity.

(f)  Insufficient working capital which might impact production, morale of human resources, stakeholders’ confidence, and missing delivery schedules.

(g)  Imprudent financial management.

(i)  Unfounded planning and strategies or delivery mechanism.

In one of the cases, I have found an entrepreneur who was adamant on gaining business even without a name and legal identity to his venture, with nil investment on marketing, promotion, with mismatched marketing resources who were ignorant of the business model, with absolutely nil inventories to serve any prospective order, unproven delivery mechanism and dangerously lack of self-confidence in his own business model.  He felt that spending on any of the above processes would be risky and he was waiting for a client before he commit his investment.  This, however, is a rare incident where risk is felt too sensitively.

Any time the onus would be on the business owner who should stride cautiously in every walk of his business cycle or business decisions.

My suggestion would be that the prospective entrepreneurs or existing businesses who are not able to do well should study themselves and go for honest due diligence of their business idea or model so that risk could be mitigated before it is too late.

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