Monday, December 6, 2010


Source: email forwards..!

One fine day, a bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus, and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops - a few people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well.

At the next stop, however, a big hulk of a Pathan got on. Six feet four, built like a wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the conductor and said, "Pathan doesn't pay!" and sat down at the back.

Conductor didn't argue with Pathan, but he wasn't happy about it. The next day the same thing happened – Pathan got on again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the next..

This grated on the bus driver, who started losing sleep over the way Pathan was taking advantage of the poor conductor. Finally he could stand it no longer. He signed up for body building courses, karate, judo, and all that good stuff.

By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong; what's more, he felt really good about himself. So, on the next Monday, when Pathan once again got on the bus and said, "Pathan doesn't pay!"

The driver stood up, glared back at Pathan, and screamed, "And why not?"

With a surprised look on his face, Pathan replied, "Pathan has a bus pass."

Management Lesson: Be sure there is a problem in the first place before working hard to solve one.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blog by a visitor

A blog written by Ernest Adams, a Game Design consultant based out of U.K., on his visit our Game Development studio.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My experience as a Guest speaker on "Confidence Building" & "Facing the first job interview"

14th November, 2009 - Children's day!
A famous women's college in Hyderabad.
Time: Morning, 10:30 hrs to noon 12:30 hrs.

The campus overview -
At the entrance gate - was a fading middle aged security guard, withered with age and time, but alert on duty, watching every fly entering the college gate (no wonder, it is a women's college). Seeing me step out of my car and walking towards him, he greeted me with a smile, directed me to park the vehicle inside the premises and helped me with the way to the main office. I thanked him and moved on, watching at students, some stylishly dressed, while a few burkha-clad, scattered across the college premises. A bunch of girls were playing hand-ball in the play-ground, some sitting under the trees, chattering amongst themselves, while a few others staring at the new visitor - 'me', walking past me, probably eager to know who I was and why I was there for.

With butterflies fluttering inside my belly, I was excited thinking whether I should deliver a professional lecture, or stroll 15 years back in time, and share every graduate's first encounter with the corporate world. Driven away in the reveries of my college days, I was sub-consciously heading towards the office. Suddenly, my wandering brain returned to my senses in a flash, as if a glass pane had shattered in front of me and pulled me out of the past. I had nearly collided with this smartly dressed college professor, who greeted me with a sunshine smile. "Welcome Sonia, I am Mrs. Vidya Paul" (name changed to conceal identity). "Thanks for visiting us"- She said and escorted me to the conference room.

I was up and ready after a cup of hot coffee, and some stimulating academic discussion with Mrs. Paul. She spent ten minutes talking to me, making me feel at home. I was introduced to few staff members, who were equally warm.

The session -
I was invited to the college to conduct an invigorating and enlightening session on "confidence building and succeeding in the first job interview".
14 years of my career, 10,000+ interviews at various B-schools & E-schools had given me quite a good experience in understanding the psychologies of the interviewers and the interviewees, the common mistakes during interviews, and tips to succeed in the interview.

I was escorted into the auditorium by Mrs. Paul. The auditorium was jam packed with some 300 final year students from various streams.
Two students greeted me with a bouquet of flowers. The Professor of English introduced me to the gathering. I was floored by the warm gesture.

After the introduction, the podium was all mine.
A tightly packed auditorium is a feast for any speaker's eyes.
"A very Good morning to all of you", I said.
Pat reciprocated the girls - "Good morning, ma'm." (I would love to hear that again.)
"Guess the average age of the girls in this auditorium!", I asked.
Screaming responses from across the room: "19"... "20"....
"Ok, now guess my age!" - I said.
Clattering responses: "25"...."35"....
"Wow, good guesses, but well, I am only 16+" - I said.
On hearing this, there was a cacophony of murmurs and giggles in the auditorium. I could see astonishing expression on the girls' faces. Humour filled the air.
Breaking the ice, I told them - "Just kidding, girls! Wish you all a happy children's day!"
I could see that the girls were more relieved, and looked forward to the session.

The session went on for two hours.
It was a mind-blowing interactive session, wherein the students visualized everything from a campus interview scene, to an actual intense job interview.

The students watched couple of soul stirring videos on confidence building.
I remember the expressions of the girls, while this video was being played, which showcased world's famous sports stars coming out as winners with their grit, confidence and persistence. Guess it was not only captivating, but building confidence within the girls. At the end of the video, their stooping shoulders had straightened and their eyes glittered with 'belief in themselves'.

We also discussed:
* Secrets to succeed in an interview
* Importance of communication skill
* Dos and Don'ts during an interview
* Body language and appearance during the job interview
* Secrets to defeat failures

Many students give up hope when they do not get their dream jobs during the campus recruitment. But I say that -
Successful is he who has patience and courage to move forward and grab opportunity at when the time is right. Maintain your calm when things fail, despite your 100% efforts. Failures are essential as they keep our feet firm on the ground, and prepare us to strive hard, reaching to success.
The girls watched another video on Nick Vujicic's inspiration to live life and beat failures. Tears rolled down their cheeks while watching this emotional video, but at the same time, they realized that life is the most precious gift, not to be given up in times of petty failures. Rather, get up and walk further, because you are destined to serve a more beautiful purpose.

The session continued with a talk on career counselling, with plenty of career avenues in the contemporary job market. A video on the Indian School of gaming caters to new and alternate career avenues.

Questions kept pouring in the Q&A session, but interestingly, many of them shared their view points and answered questions raised by other girls.

The session ended with a vote of thanks by one among the students, and finally a quick wrap-up by the head of the placement cell.

The girls flocked around me when I was packing up my belongings. Each one curious to know more about me and wanting to write to me for more information. I answered to as many as I possibly could and promised to share my contact details with the placement cell.

This has been a truly enriching experience.

Looking forward to many more opportunities like this one.

For details on career counselling, confidence building, secrets to success, defeating failures, facing the first job interview, etc. please view my forthcoming blogs or contact me directly. You may leave your email id, and I shall touch base with you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Why do people leave organizations?

Disclaimer: This article is meant for experience sharing, resulting out of my professional experiences, clubbed with experiences shared by like minded HR professionals. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is unintentional and purely coincidental. The point of view is solely an HR Manager's perception. Feel free to comment.

Why do people leave organizations?

Group dynamics has been the single most intriguing factor during my entire career so far. I have changed companies to get a flavour of a different industry sector, just to observe how human beings behave in an organization under different environments. Not much has changed since Maslow scripted the Theory of Motivation. Just that the magnitude of needs have grown multi-fold, or let me put it this way - 'wants' replaces the 'needs' to quite an extent.

People tend to leave a Large Organization due to any the following reasons:
• False commitments - Commitments while hiring, that never get fulfilled post hiring (When recruitment becomes merely a performance target and not quality standard, the end result is disaster);
• Pay or role Parity / equity issues.
• Lack of challenge in work - Absence of a learning curve, no one to technically look up to; No desire to achieve higher goals; No scope of exploring opportunities within the organization; overseas opportunities etc.
• Lack of direction - Sink or swim scenario, absence of documented processes & procedures.
• Hiring mistakes - Gap in aligning people's skills to the right job.
• Performance Appraisal process - When the process becomes a number game and managers have no choice but to skew ratings on a normalized bell curve.
• Work relationships - Personal biases, wavelength issues, absence of a common company culture.
• Un-ethical business practices - e.g. - Compromising on quality; breach of mutual trust, compromising on core org. values, etc.
• Micro-level management - Un-due work pressure from the reporting authority, absence of a clear well documented goal sheet, Intrusion in personal space than focusing on result.
• Bad Boss – Humiliation by boss, un-fair treatment, undue work pressure, stretching the teams to work beyond limits and without purpose
• Work environment, logistics – Monotonous work ambience or infrastructure, e.g. poorly lit work space, insufficient number of rest-rooms, lack of hygiene at work place, Non availability of food and beverage around the work premise, transportation challenges, shift timing issues, non-availability of crèche.

Besides the reasons mentioned above, People tend to leave a start-up Organizations due to any the following reasons:
• Financial crunch - Delayed payment or non-payment of wages / salaries
• Lack of aggressive sales plan; lack of enough business
• Lack of empowerment amongst teams
• Lack of basic amenities, facilities and benefits
• Lack of direction / business plan
• Lack of organizational vision
• Lack of communication between management and employees

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Passion for Excellence

I received an extremely inspiring e-mail on the real definition of Excellence. I am glad to share it with you!


A German once visited a temple under construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol of God. Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby. Surprised, he asked the sculptor, "Do you need two statues of the same idol?" "No," said the sculptor without looking up, "We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage." The gentleman examined the idol and found no apparent damage. "Where is the damage?" he asked. "There is a scratch on the nose of the idol." said the sculptor, still busy with his work. "Where are you going to install the idol?"

The sculptor replied that it would be installed on a pillar twenty feet high. "If the idol is that far, who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?" the gentleman asked. The sculptor stopped his work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, "I will know it."

The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not. "Excellence" is a drive from inside, not outside. Excellence is not for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction and efficiency...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Some one initiated the below topic on Linked:hr
Should HR Professionals be political? Is there a reality between playing politics and pleasing others? Truely this profession is meant to de politicize the organisation,while many still play politics and call themselves HR professionals. This a lie
My response to the question -
I do not understand why this question is directed only towards HR professionals? I construe that the topic might have been an outcome of a bitter experience with an HR professional.
Ideally, it is not required for any professional to be political, if he/she is competent and equally convincing. Business operations turn out to be successful if they are built on strong foundation of ethics, trust, transparency and competency. Politics crops up when there is some amount of insecurity and lack of clarity; hence, professionals should work on the basis of facts & statistics. Data is the strongest weapon in the hands of professionals, and data alone distinguishes between performance and non-performance. I would suggest that all the decision points should be well documented in the form of an email or letter, duly signed by the decision maker, so that there is no lack of clarity in messages. Important messages need to be communicated by the decision making authority, so that there is no rumour mongering amongst stake holders. Any thing that is not validated in the form of data is a rumour, and rumour has no place in any organization. HR professionals have an instrumental role in advising the management on techniques of arresting unnecessary rumors within the organization, and facilitating forums for information dissemination. It is a human choice to distance oneself from the political environment. After all, work should be one's passion, and not merely a job!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My experience in Human relations management

I have enjoyed the Human Resources profession. My experience has not been Human Resource Management but Human relations management, and I have lived every moment truly, to the brim. Every individual that comes across you through out your career is special. Every moment of your career is memorable. When you roll back in time, standing at the peak of your career,you savor the past..!Unless you share a personal rapport with each individual, you do not understand the human dynamics. I have been very fortunate to have worked with a varied sector of businesses and people from different nationalities and cultures. It is not easy for teams to work in new and multi-cultural environment, where opinion clashes are common. It helps when all managers are good people managers, besides being domain specialists. The first important trait of an HR manager, that experience taught me, is to develop people skills amongst leaders. By doing that, you are developing multiple human resource specialists in the organization, each one managing his/her teams efficiently on hard and soft skills.
I observed that, what most people appreciate, is - Clarity in business/individual objectives, fairly decent work environment and an understanding superior. Of course, it is a feel good factor, if there is a clear career path, fairly decent compensation and opportunity to voice opinions.
An interesting observation is that if you wish to implement change, there is resistance only when things are not fairly transparent. Most stake holders appreciate a direct dialogue, free from sugar coated and misleading words. Most change catalysts are people who anticipate benefits, post change. I will write on Change Management and my experience with various business models, in my forthcoming blogs.