Personal Blog

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    How change is perceived - The paradox of Change

    Managers and champions of Change, particularly in integration teams tasked with overseeing team merger with diverse cultures, needs, processes, systems, people and standards, need and are expected to:

    1. Be Disciplined, Adaptable & Flexible
    2. Incisive in diagnosis from symptoms,
    3. Take actions with clinical precision,
    4. Address every stakeholder needs truthfully,
    5. Behave pragmatic with people
    6. Insightful to tailor solutions than force fit past practices
    7. Pragmatic with people
    8. Practice being in the context and time and patient
    9. Manage crazy timelines
    10. Keep moving ahead in multiple paths to reach the goal
    Paradoxically, every change always is mentioned in attributes of:

    1. Chaos,
    2. Turbulence,
    3. Insecurity,
    4. Lack of Focus,
    5. No clue of what is coming next
    6. Communication breakdowns,
    7. Missing ownerships and accountability,
    8. Unstable working conditions,
    9. Missed family times & Skewed work-life balance,
    10. delays, confusion and lack of clarity
    How does change affect you ? Ask your manager what attributes they would associate and you would get the answer. :)

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    Alternate or better - the paradox of change

    When we say, the current way of working needs to change, the immediate reaction is to show and ask us to choose an alternate practice that is worse than the current. It is often the need for a status quo and pushing back an idea that isn't mine, is easier, than asking to get involved or champion the unknown.

    Digging deep, it is the pedigree that matters when I will align and would support the need to change. The idea, needs to be from a person I am comfortable changing for, or should be based on a future prospect that is skewed in my favor. Plus above all it needs to become an overwhelming current need- something as an imperative that cannot be passed on and that condition needs to be vouched by a person of trust. Otherwise, my reactions are often the first instant push-back type.

    New managers always find the need to change and start early buy-ins, to identify who is in and who's out. Needlessly at such times, stars opt out as early adoption from an erstwhile comfortable, proven high performance and high market valuations doesn't play emotionally, physically and professionally to start afresh a new path.

    Losing stars early and having a team minus them, may allow for new stars and better market professionals, but the losses to steam ahead and more bottlenecks in terms of calibration slow the pace down.

    It takes a deep breath and few seconds of awful pause to ask "what better looks like?"  when a rather pale alternative is presented. Moving discussion away from speaking of the alternates in terms of reference of the current, peg the changes as the reference and wouldn't it be a win-win  to ask repeatedly - "what more can this better become?" and followed up with "how can you make it happen?".

    Saturday, August 30, 2014

    First post on Coaching

    I wrote this as a feedback in Amazon and realized that it is good as a post with minor edits...
    Let me know your feedback
    --------------

    Coaching is a tough subject and act. It spans cognitive, psychology, philosophy, bringing two experiences together and requires calibration in actions according to context and life dynamics of the coachee. Yet mastering these subjects is no good for a coaching career.

    Coaching is a person-person interaction that requires
    • Attentive listening, 
    • Building relationships, 
    • Nurturing positive thoughts, 
    • Span new perspectives, 
    • Nudge towards self-realized actions in the coachee 
    • all without authority or responsibility or a formal hierarchy. 

    Thus, a coach needs to do all of the above, every single time through
    • Continuous probes, 
    • Constant motivation, 
    • Following a long path for solutions to unravel than just giving them, 
    • Using no coercion tactics, 
    • Influence yet not over-power the coachee.

    Being truthful, Holding confidence, Constant intent to help, Deliver messages directly not at the person but at the problem requires constant reminder of the basics.  

    This book by Max Landsberg: Tao of Coaching does just that. Coaching is never measured in number of sittings or weighed in hours of meetings. It can be a hallway conversation(like how the book starts), a 20 minute discovery exercise or a structured feedback session and shows how it is needed for both successful people and struggling folks alike. Highly recommended!

    Sunday, June 8, 2014

    10 (+1) steps that worked for me in any escalation management situations

    1. Accept the issue/challenge on an as-informed basis and not probe/cross-question.
    2. Apologise without conditions.
    3. Appear without seeming abdicating
    4. Announce plans, not reasons, problems and past
    5. Analyze process not persons
    6. Own the chain, never leave anyone out. (affected parties, stakeholders - Up, Down and Sideways, Cross domain teams)
    7. Keep relevant the communications for different audiences.
    8. Offer personal services not automated responses
    9. Brief daily with progress report until resolved and back to normal
    10. Position yourself as a vent than to blow back
    11. Bring back your creativity and innovation to de-stress and lighten the environment

    Saturday, May 3, 2014

    Lean concepts in 10 bullet points

    1. As you "see", "hear" and "find" opportunities, recruit a team, prioritize and "DO" what is necessary to complete them.
    2. Be concious of the steps you take and use to reach a result. That, is your learning and personal gain that translates to experience.
    3. Teach relentlessly. No matter your hierarchy, share your knowledge. This wisdom and passion, alone counts as your expertise.
    4. Waste and Losses are part of the process, not the people or outcomes. Reduce or eliminate them at the place of encounter to optimize the flow.
    5. Vison, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, Goals, Plans and Tactics is the compass to keep you guided and grounded. These tools enables discovery and realize the gap between realities and vision. People groups and actions, then, embark on the journey to bridge the gap and reach the desired state.
    6. Life is analoguous and so is Continous Improvement. Never rest, as "Better can be Better" and that is the best place to operate.
    7. Change is not the only constant. It is inevitable. The only constants are to increase: revenues, customer satisfaction and, profits that is given to the society, stakeholders and shareholders.
    8. Customers and employees will never ask for risks or path less taken. They will on-board when the value and success are greater than the asking price. Hence, innovate and communicate vigourously.
    9. Do all of the above as a clock work and in a rhythmic beat day, week, month and year, over and over again. Never stop it as a end state, but as a daily chore for path-breaking success.
    Tip #10: Lean is difficult as it involves not great amounts of work but because it is least exciting and less visible as a measure. Isn't it the same with greatness and trust, which is always recognized and never measured in indices?

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    Career is a self drive

    Career has lot of similarities with driving. 
    • Safety lies in pursuing change,
    • Strength is always found in resisting temptations,
    • Err is a detour to get back on track,
    • Milestones are only an indicator to achieve the next,
    • Navigators and Guides are partners to success and enjoyment.
    • Finding the power range is the key to enjoy the cruise and career,
    • Journeys are a pleasure when a sense of purpose is accomplished,
    • Tools to pursue the free spirit requires responsibility and following of basic rules
    So how do we drive our careers forward? Looking forward to your insights. 

    Hare and Tortoise Story - Tweaked for my kids to understand speed and practice

    As kids, we probably took the "slow and steady wins the race" moral uncontested. For my kids, knowing they will turn the tables on me with lightning speed and thunderous effect, I required tweaks to the moral, that reinforces speed, practice, consistency, and focus, as success mantras for their activities. So here it goes:

    1. Slow and Steady finishes the race.
    2. Fast and Lazy loses the race.
    3. Slow and Lazy doesn't wake up at all (this was completed by my daughter)
    4. Fast and Steady Wins the race.

    Couldn't this be why the tortoise finished the race and won because it was against a known loser (that particular hare).?

    What if the Hare would have been steady and focused ? It would have won and tortoise would have finished the race. A win-win deal and demonstrates a sporting spirit of the race event. - Right ?

    Top Agile Blogs