Category Archives: Learnings

Two August Heroes

Many a time you meet people who leave a significant impression with you. Some by their ‘change the world’ attitude, some by their courage and gutsy approach, some by their humility – irrespective of how successful they are – and some by their ability to simply ask the right questions. Interacting with them, listening to them and more importantly, learning from them is a sheer joy. Among several people whom I met this month at the business, social and personal levels, two of them stood out because of their ability to be different and create significant impact.

One who prepares well for a meeting, clearly shows a grasp of the subject in understanding and in articulation. In addition, anyone who wants to go the extra mile, prepares even more with a broader context and more research on all of the associated subjects and areas. Normally in team meetings, the experienced ones speak the most – some because of rituals and some because of their own belief that they need to! From experience, their command on the issues at hand is mature though not always the best solution. If these meetings are large in size, the newer team members must come well prepared to quickly join the momentum of the discussions and contribute with astuteness and new thinking. That is the sure way to stand out with relevancy and new ideas. A youngster in a recent meeting picked up all of the nuances among the intense discussions and asked some of the most relevant and thought-provoking questions. She had obviously researched well for the meeting. However, rather than trying to contribute with solutions and answers, she stood out because she firmly took the position of asking the right questions, which the rest of the team had missed in the entire discussion! Many a time we go with the flow, intending to find solutions; whereas simply asking the right question can steer the conventional approach towards a new direction. Give it a try!

Looking at the social sector with a view of responsibility, one notices the humongous task at hand to drive fundamental change at the grassroots level. This is even more amplified in Asia, Africa, LATAM and other emerging economies. In India, I recently met a real transformer. I was amazed at his sheer intensity to own and drive fundamental change in the lives of children from the lowest strata of society. He works with the ragpicker children, assuming responsibility to educate them through proper primary schools, and furthermore, working with their family support system to ensure the changes are everlasting. While this young man could have taken any corporate job in India, his intense commitment towards changing lives at the grassroots level is truly awe-inspiring. I asked what drives him, and his response was, “It’s not only about changing one child or one life, it’s about impacting generations.” I salute him! They need our total support.

No one remembers the footnotes

Recently, I attended a strategic governance meeting with a client, in which the joint teams presented the status of a critical program being reviewed by execs from both sides. The best practice which I have seen to work well happens when both teams co-own and work together to deliver the expected outcome. There is no us and them. What matters are the results and expected benefits to the ultimate end customers, and everything else must align to meet those objectives. Critical programs will have many twists, turns and dependencies, and require a high intensity to bring all of them together.

In that meeting, one of the important aspects for the critical program presented had a deliverable date marked with an (*). Read more

Six Key Tenets of Awesome Teams

One of the questions I am often asked is what makes an awesome team? Over the years of working with global teams across industries and service lines, I think there are certainly a few key tenets which Awesome teams possess. They have a method to them, and the best in class teams diligently work towards achieving excellence through a set of formal and informal processes day in and day out. The following aspects clearly stand out on what I think make these teams awesome… Read more

Digital vs. Physical – what’s the right balance?

The ever increasing digitization around us has created interesting conundrums for various industries. Many business segments have become digital dominant, such as media, telecom, etc. Many others, such as retail, financial services, manufacturing, etc. are in the process of transformation to find the right balance between digital and physical to complement each other. The potential business impact through digital is extremely high and irrespective of the industry, it is important for all businesses to have a strong and committed digital strategy to leverage growth, drive increased efficiencies and deliver enriched customer experiences. Read more

It’s not just the data but what you can do with it that will define the winners.

Data is important. However, even more important is the critical Analytics which the data drives. Information needs to enable decision making, either through rules-based/automated decisions, or by people taking decisions based on the analytics presented to them. It is not only the zettabyte of data captured which matters, but what is done with it that defines success or failure.

IoT is gaining significant momentum. As per Cisco, 250 things will connect every second by 2020: that means 7.9 billion things will connect in 2020 alone! Read more