Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2013

Dushyant Kumar's poem!---Highly inspirational

हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी

हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी पिघलनी चाहिए,
इस हिमालय से कोई गंगा निकलनी चाहिए।

आज यह दीवार, परदों की तरह हिलने लगी,
शर्त लेकिन थी कि ये बुनियाद हिलनी चाहिए।

हर सड़क पर, हर गली में, हर नगर, हर गाँव में,
हाथ लहराते हुए हर लाश चलनी चाहिए।

सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं,
सारी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए।

मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही,
हो कहीं भी आग, लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए।

Why industry looks so depressive today?

Govt cuts GDP growth estimate for 2012-13 to 5%; lowest in 10 years. This has fallen from 6.5% the previous year. On an average, 1% fall in GDP growth rate kills 20 lacs jobs. Here 1.5% would kill 30 lacs jobs, including no new jobs created and existing jobs cut.

Time to bring some zing to companies to get out of slumber. It looks like a depressive time. Looks like summer vacation in companies. Hiring stalled, events stalled, sales and marketing expenses under review and control, no new products and R&D departments slipping through enigmatic inertia.

Time to review, re-visit and introspect on all things gone wrong in past 5 years and what shall be the solution. The best way to use your lean time is to ask VPs and Business Heads to review their business and people strategy. Lean sigma or lay-offs, define all wrong hires, miss-hires and expensive mistakes, over paid executives and Managers. All Peter principle guys, who long stopped learning and have become liability for company. T…

Learning C&B: Interesting read..

A senior C&B profile ---
Specialties:Job Evaluation and Role Clarification, Mercer IPE Methodology, Compensation Structuring, Compensation and Benefits Policy Design and Administration, Executive Compensation, Expatriate Compensation, Data Analytics, Six Sigma Methodology, Policy Integration post M&A, HR Process Benchmarking and Streamlining.

A junior C&B profile---
Fresher MBA from Non-ranked MBA college in IT services company in C&B..based in India
Look at her profile and claims...
Key responsibilites :

• Handling Compensation & Benefits in Americas
• Designing Compensation & Benefits structure and HR policies for Overseas countries considering Cost of living, legal provisions, Tax rules, Social Security norms and Business parameters
• Handling of Incentive plans
Identifying & Appointing Insurance agencies in respective countries based on Company’s requirements and provisions 
Evaluating various countries based on security / other issues & preparin…

Interesting exercise to self-exploration! "Dendrographology"

Tree Drawing : The Interpretation
Tree reading is a new trend in self-exploration that's gaining popularity, allowing a person to learn about them by simply doodling a tree.
This is a good activity to use as an ice breaker or as a warm up activity to stimulate interaction between students and/or fellow teachers or new employees at New Hire Orientation.
· Students/employees will demonstrate knowledge in reading and comprehension.
· Students/employees will interpret the drawing of a fellow student based on the guidelines provided in the handout.
· Students/employees will introduce fellow students to the class and will tell some interesting
information about each other based on their drawing of a tree.
· Tell the students/employees you have only three words of instruction for them.
· Post the instructions on the board or screen.
· The only instructions are “DRAW A TREE.” Say no more.
· Students/employees are given 8-10 minutes to draw a tree on a blank sheet of paper.

Hire for values, use for business! Is there a dichotomy?

Dabate going on says, hire for values and not just competencies. Difficult to test what is values? Is your value better than mine? Do your values flexible and compromise with business needs for survival and growth? Are business decisions always in line with laid values, say core values of the organisation? Are hiring and firing, promoting and rewarding all driven by laid down values? Was Phaneesh Murthy fired for breach of values? No. He was fired for not informing the board that he had a relationship with Ms.Roiz Araceli, his colleague and head of IT at iGate. Is not declaring relationship breach of values? Is declaring relationship an act of values? Suppose he declared, which he says, he did a few weeks before the Roiz inferno, what would board do? Question is not of values, it is a matter of legal complexity and threat for iGate. iGate fired Murthy without investigation and opportunity to defend his case. This is interesting but would iGate management take him back if he comes out…

We all love Mediocrity!

In the world that demands serious innovation, competitive advantage, leading edge, market leadership, brand image and brand value, mediocrity is a killer. I find many corporate people have lost sense of reasoning, analytic thinking  and sense of purpose. It takes them lot of time to define any situation, understand complexity, relate factors that affect the situation, check for possible solutions, etc. They are too slow and incapable to thing through. Organisations are full of incompetent people over years who have settled like silt and moss into the system. They create a termite effect. They promote sycophancy, boot licking, compromise with conscience and kill spirits of free thinking, rationale and radical through process, plans and actions. Status Quo is the orgasmic state of being inefficient and incompetent. Ask for leaders and managers to publish their KRAs and KPIs and present scorecard periodically. You will find 80% of them have either not been able to define KRAs and KPIs w…

Peter out: Too expensive for the role

I have always been concerned about the rising cost of employees and more so when I see the roles not changing, talent just good enough for the basic role and salary gone up by 70% to 100% over last 3 appraisals. This is peter mark, I call. This is a threshold beyond which company starts losing out big way.

Has the role changed for higher levels of responsibilities over a period of time? If not why pay more. Simple economics says, pay for what you get. I guess, organisations must start calculating the losses, the holy loss as I prefer to call it, on each employee after 2 years and must ensure that, cost is within the peter level or else follow the McKinsey's "Go up or out".
If you do not follow this, you frustrate the employee if he is ambitious to grow or you keep paying higher salary for someone who does not grow. Either which way, action is required. We all talk about employee life cycle, but have we ever thought beyond the admin part of employee management? There is …


Sexual harassment at workplace Bill becomes law
India finally enacted its law on prevention of sexual harassment against female employees at the workplace. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 ("Sexual Harassment Act") has been made effective on April 23, 2013 by way of publication in the Gazette of India.

The definition of sexual harassment in the Sexual Harassment Act is in line with the Supreme Court's definition includes any unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) such as physical contact and advances, demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, showing pornography, or any other unwelcome physical verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

When we know 90% of rape cases in India goes unreported due to stigma attached to it, it is very difficult for women and others to report cases of sexual harassment in companies, when besides social stigma, job is …

What's this EQ all about

I was reading a blog of a Chief Learning Officer in India and I was very amused to see the pertinent question that was asked by the author on whether university hires should get tested on Emotional Intelligence also called EQ.

I have been wondering on the efficacy of the personality or trait based tests, the psychometric tests as they are called being advocated for decades now.
What are these psychometric tests? Are they not the questions that an interviewer can ask face to face and read emotions, body language, anxiety or enthusiasm, discomfort or excitement in the voice level, quality variations, facial expressions and body language?
Can you read all this on a paper pen test or an online test?
Another wonder is the use of objective tests that most of these tests are; they give pre-set options to select and many a times, a candidate is forced to take a choice. Is that not a joke? DiSC has options of words that asks you to select one of the four words that is most like you and one , …

Leave your employee induction to your CEO---No one knows better than him

And then there’s the new album.

“One thing that surprised me” about managing Groupon employees, Mr. Mason said, “was that many would arrive at orientation with minimal understanding of basic business wisdom.”

“I came to realize that there was a real need to present business wisdom in a format that is more accessible to the younger generation.”
He continues:
It was with this in mind that I spent a week in LA earlier this month recording Hardly Workin’, a seven song album of motivational business music targeted at people newly entering the workforce. These songs will help young people understand some of the ideas that I’ve found to be a key part of becoming a productive and effective employee. I’m really happy with the results and look forward to sharing them as soon as I figure out how to load music onto iTunes, hopefully in the next few weeks.
This is not a joke, according to TechCrunch, which says it has confirmed with Mr. Mason that the album “is for real.”
In an online post on Thur…

Well-being and employment scenarios need employees of different mind-set

Gallup Healthways Wellbeing Index for May 6-12, 2013 for US shows 55% population thriving, 44% struggling and 4% suffering. there is positive change in status of thriving and struggling people by 2% from the previous week (May 1 till 5th).
In a messy world of being a daily wager companies, where they got to market every to catch new customers with all possible tactics to remain in business, with long term strategic plan to suffer sustained losses to be the able to survive the longitudinal stamina race against other deep pocket competitors is all driving businesses haywire, from e-commerce companies to any other who believe in hunting everyday for food. It's B2C that has made business so easier to operate yet so unpredictable to run. As said, Amazon is running in losses for past 10 years and some say they are making minuscule margin of 2% now. India based e commerce companies have started merging, getting sold off and sacking people in phased manner. We have seen the failure of the…

Lay-offs, No raise! Is this all technical correction or signs of fall-out

STORY # 1: Slowdown takes toll as online retailers like Flipkart, Jabong hand out pink slips 250 employees, or about one-tenth of Flipkart's workforce, are being shown the door, according to at least three people with direct knowledge of the development. At Jabong, too, a similar number of employees have been sacked, but the company employs fewer than 1,000 staff.The retrenchment in India's online retail sector is a consequence of the drive by companies for acquisition of customers at a breakneck pace. Gross margins at many online retailers are in the negative territory.While bottom lines have been negative, the Indian online retail segment is growing fast, with revenues this year estimated to rise to Rs 10,000 crore from Rs 6,500 crore, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India.Inkfruit has asked about 80 employees to put in their papers, according to ind…

Bring change to managers and they bring the change to people

It isn't the change that kills you; it's the transitions....William Bridges

Ever thought why transitions are so critical phases of Change Management.
It's because, the transition is a grey zone between status A and B and there are several inhibitions, insecurity, disillusionment, disenchantment, mistrust, anxiety and void that looks like a chasm than a state of being.

This can be filled by:-

Communicating and personifying benefits of change, Isolating and clarifying areas of impact, Painting a consistent picture of the current change, Measuring and celebrating progress, Getting team members involved and Empathizing without always agreeing. So, before any plan to change is perused  it is important to have a communication plan and the leadership development plan for the managers involved. It is important to have the Managers trained on Change Management principles first. As they become the obvious face of change and have responsibilities to make it happen, they must know how…

Make your lay-off decisions carefully.

Indian domestic Airlines have started charging overweight cabin baggage. Travel light! This is an old mantra.
I was wondering if there is a formula to calculate depreciation of human resources like we have formula or convention to calculate depreciation of asset. We all have heard of Peter Principle which says.."In a hierarchically structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their level of incompetence," or, as Dr. Peter went on to explain in simpler terms, "The cream rises until it sours."

Like we do performance ratings, the 360 degree feedback, can we not have a rating for depreciating human resource value? The simple calculation of depreciating ROI on human resources over period of time.
The exact ROI on human resources should be Value added to the organisation minus value lost over a period of time. Off course, we need a benchmark for each position per year or effectively per semester to calculate, the depreciation value of human resources.

LMS and top vendors

What to look for when selecting or implementing learning management systems?

Learning management systems can be powerful tools for e-learning but they have had some resistance to adopting them. Why?


Only 24% of LMS buyers are satisfied with their purchase
25% of LMS buyers are dissatisfied with their learning management system
About 25% of all LMS buyers plan to switch vendors
At first glance these numbers can be disconcerting however...

For those Learning Management System (LMS) customers who are satisfied with their training software investment, they are planning to increase this investment in subsequent years. Some customers plan to roll out their LMS's program to other divisions of the their operations. Remember, since LMS's are mainly web-based, you can easily implement them across time zones and geographical regions.

Learning Management Systems: Finding Your Way Through the Maze

Our research, available to Bersin & Associates  shows that $1.8 to $1.9B will be spe…

How to set up HR department for a start-up company

How to set up HR department for a start-up company? This is a discussion going on at the Linkedin SHRM forum for a week now. At least 62 comments I have seen have come from different parts of the world from people new to HR to the veterans (supposedly or the older lots, whatever you are comfortable with) and even those who are not HR professionals. Having read through majority of comments and suggestions against the topic, I certainly have come to simple assertions as below-

1. HR considers itself a master's order taker
2. HR believes in aligning to the business goals and objectives
3. HR considers it's task on conventional lines of the functions within HR or as any HRM book content list will read!

Very good and sensible suggestions have come in lines as listed above. Thoughtful and committed HR as it seems.

What I found missing was that everyone (almost) making comments forgot about, why this start-up has been set? The real objective. Is it just one more shop on the corner? …

Courage to Conquer the Chaos!

Words of Ravi Venkatesan, former Chairman of Microsoft India.
He is a great thinker and a teacher as he finds himself..

Excerpts that have interesting insights that I really snippets..bite-size.

Country of origin also makes a difference. Western European countries, particularly Sweden, Germany, France and the U.K. have a history of being global. They also tend to take a longer-term view.

Scandinavian firms place a very high level of trust in their local managers and therefore are more willing to do things differently. American firms are globally oriented, but many of them are very arrogant. They take a very export-oriented and a one-size-fits-all approach. Korean [firms, such as] Hyundai and Samsung, do extremely well because they are willing to make big preemptive investments to win in India. Japanese firms, with a few exceptions, do badly; they are ultra-cautious and lack trust.

India is important not just because it is a big market. India is important because it is a litm…

HR in the hands of business: What shall the typical HR guy do?

My experiences in HR with IT  services company is very simple: HR is recruiting people and deploying them.
Hire anyway, beg, borrow, steal, spoil, anything....just hire..people are money, mind you $$$$..
So the most important challenge in IT services industry is procurement and deployment of the raw material called people. It is evident that IT Services companies can be categorized as the largest body-shopper, the fastest growing body-shoppers, the cheapest body-shopper, etc. So the most essential element of HR in body shopping is hiring or hunting or shopping or procurement. In the natural world of ups and downs, good times and bad times, glory and gloom, you will always get people to hire, market changes, locations change, cost may vary but every company is able to hire, good, bad or ugly.

Hiring is the key. Hire online, hire off-line, hire social media (Linked In), hire internally (IJP), hire of contract, hire on Third party rolls, etc. Hiring is get bad name and…


There are lot many business leaders, I have worked with have very less respect for formal HR people. They always believe, HR is just ADMIN and HOUSE-KEEPING and does not understand business and so cannot add any special value other than being attendance, payroll and recruitment coordination.

Question is, Then why not open HR positions of significance to other business leaders from other functions.
KPMG has done it in India now and Shalini Pillay, a BE, CA and successful Partner in the firm has taken over the top HR position in India. Remember, the CEO, Richard Rekhy rather asked her to take over this position as he believes that only the most successful leaders in any firm can understand, how people have to be managed and leveraged. The job of HR is slipping out of sloppy hands of several HR heavyweights (at least in salary terms) to realistic people in business. Infosys had given HR reins to its CFO, Mohandas Pai and we all have seen, how wonderfully successful he had been in his ro…


I have kept something I once heard very close to heart. When I met the CEO of a large consulting firm in New York some time ago, he said something that just stayed with me – “Pick your highest performing business partner and make that person the Head of HR”. People are the most critical asset in a consulting firm, so you need to put your best person in charge of your people. It made absolute sense.
------Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG India----

I personally believe that if we care for people the result will be high performance. So, when I became the CEO, I took the opportunity to ask one of our best performing partners – Shalini Pillay - to take on the reins of managing HR and ensure that we give our people the best. I chose her because I wanted someone who was a high performer as well as passionate about people . In fact, I’ve had such a keen interest in people that I had offered myself for this role to my earlier CEO, so that I could make a difference and transform KPMG India to be on of …

Great Place to Work and Most Ethical Company Tags!

Transparency International ( says,


"Research shows that companies with anti-corruption programmes and ethical guidelines are found to suffer up to 50 per cent fewer incidents of corruption, and to be less likely to lose business opportunities than companies without such programmes."



In the past five years, which of the following (if any) apply to your organization (or any members of senior leadership):
Named in a class-action law-suitDefendant in a serious civil action (e.g. tort) related to business activitiesDefendant in a qui tam actionUnder a government investigationAchieved a settlement with or without admission of liabilitySubject to a deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreementSubject to a corporate integrity agreementRequired to have a compliance monitorIndictedPaid substantial fines and/or penalties related to a compliance failureDismissed executive(s) or received resignations from executive(s) due to actual (or alleged misconduct)- SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC HAD THIS SERIOUS CASE IN 2012. REFER TO THE CASE ON THE LINK BELOW.
(The company (SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC) also revealed that the profit line had been reduced by 27 million euros, equivalent to about 1.4 percent…


Worlds 100 most ethical companies in 2013 list of Ethisphere Institute

2 companies from India in the list, Wipro and Tata Steel.


At the heart of the evaluation and selection process for Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies is Ethisphere’s proprietary rating system, the corporate Ethics Quotient (EQ). The framework of EQ is comprised of a series of multiple choice questions that capture a company’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. The information collected is not intended to cover all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance or ethics, but rather it is a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies. The EQ framework and methodology was determined, vetted and refined by the expert advice and insights gleaned from Ethisphere’s network of thought leaders and from the World’s Most Ethical Companies …