Thursday, January 26, 2012

This ain't no good-bye!

This ain’t no good-bye!
Good-bye, I wouldn't bid
Lest, I be outbid.
Ain't certain about Hasta pronto,
although we could.

Fare-well, touchwood;
Howbeit, I leave for good.
On the road to my destiny,
As one always should.

My parting parlance ain't set;
Now now, not yet;
For, we may meet again,
I can almost bet.

If our paths should cross through;
and I sure hope they do,
I deem you want to meet a wiser me.
I wish to meet a  newer you.

I'd bow, my Namaste perfect;
And with that, a lot of respect,
million thanks and a load of wishes;
To my peer and prefect.
                               - Niranjan Rao

Feel free to publish this article as long as the credits are given, and no changes are made to the article. Would appreciate if you could share a copy of your publication or provide the link where it is posted.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Talk more. Talk less.

Talk more with the person(s) that matters most; talk less with everyone else. Easier said than done, as most often, we reverse the order. Let's take a closer look.

When was the last time you had a 'heart to heart' talk with yourself? Appraised yourself, re-evaluated priorities, looked at your life from a distance, set up goals and directions, confessed, appreciated, encouraged or just spent time with the one person that can benefit you most - YOU!

Also, how often do you describe 'what you feel' to the ones that matter most in your life - show your love, talk about what bothers, appreciate and console? If you don't have confident answers here, perhaps it is time to start talking more, and more often.

Now, if you're a working professional, a student, a busy teenager, a parent or just about anybody who's got to talk for a living, chances are that you are expected to speak a lot; your opinions and thoughts, ideas and suggestions, solutions, your strengths and perhaps other's draw backs. Ofcourse, a little bit of gossip doesn't hurt too. Time to stop that urge and talk less. Ofcourse, you're the best judge to figure how much less, to not hurt your social life.

What else does having 2 ears and 1 mouth signify? Talk less with others. Talk more with yourself.

I'll stop right here. Time to talk with 'me'.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

White tiger, Black Swan and the honest politician

Swans were only believed to be "white" in colour, until the first black swan was spotted. Now, we know they exist, though one does not see them even once in a lifetime. White tigers though, not that rare, are still a rarity in most parts of the world and inspire awe at the first sight.

Honest politicians, the world over are being reported to go extinct or are the endangered species (of course, there are a few in each country who keep things going, thankfully).
Well, there are protection laws in place in most parts of the world to help the endangered species survive this madness. Makes one wonder, how we protect our honest politicians and help the society breed more of this kind. How could you separate the eligibility and success criteria from the one that is prevalent today?

While most nations give their citizens a right to exercise their franchise, the motivation for the right kind of people to join local politics and make it a career, needs to be worked upon. The limited talent pool is serenaded by the big multinationals and the bureaucracy, with politics perhaps not even being considered as an option for the young and dynamic. The process of joining a political party in itself should be boiled down to radically simple steps (equivalent to web registrations to set up an email) and a 'sense of pride' needs to be created. Easier said than done.

Given the age of Internet, social media and digital technology that we live in, it would not be too far a shot, to say candidates who contest polls from within a party be chosen basis how "likeable" a person is (sans the big tours and public show of strength).

There could be days of parties without 'offices' (remember the recent Arab spring) and permanent members; politics will win, so will the nation and its people. Over to the black swans now.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What if this wasn't the case?

"What if this wasn't the case?", is a pretty handy question to ask at most situations, if not all. Depending on when you ask this, and who you ask this to (yourself or others), it could work in various ways, for instance, it could either motivate you to do something or could instantly bring in humility. It is a great leveller, and works everytime.

Let's just say, you won a million bucks from sweep stakes; or achieved that dream of yours and ask yourself this question. It could work as a great reality check and ensure you don't get carried away in the moment. Now, let's flip the scenario and say, you're depressed or have failed at something important. Asking yourself this question"what if this wasn't the case?", suddenly changes the focus from failure to "next steps" or solution. Also, you could get inspired by visualizing scenarios of how you can be successful and pretty much be planning to take another shot, having learnt from the failure.

If you'd ask the question when you're brain storming to come up with cheaper and better ways of doing things, it could just open up possibilities by challenging status-quo with all might. A seemingly simple question "what if this wasn't the case?" could turn the situation on its head, and hence of great use for change or innovation. It could particularly prove useful in testing of hypotheses, until all possible scenarios are identified.

Ofcourse, you could overuse and keep asking yourself the question a lot of times, which would then lead you away from the situation at hand and perhaps induce long spells of day dreaming (:-), which is what one needs to watch out for. Because, like all good tools it could only help if used in the intended manner. What if this wasn't the case?

It could also plant in feelings of gratitude and happiness, if asked once every morning. A great start to each day, indeed. Now, what if this wasn't the case?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What we need now is more than a CEO - a PEO!

With due respects  to the great women and men who adorned this role and brought new meaning to the title with their inspirational leadership, could a CEO do more, adding to the ever expanding paradigm? Because, what we really need now, is more than a CEO.

True, that we expect the CEO of today to set the vision for the company, build the right culture, assign resources, create and manage the structure, direct effort, mobilize and optimally utilize funds, be the (much visible) face of the organization and keep a lot of stake holders happy, all while focusing on the top and bottom lines in the process. This is like juggling a lot of balls while jumping on a trampoline! Thankfully, she also builds a capable leadership team around her to help orchestrate the effort.

Amidst all of these ever rising expectations from others and self, there is a good chance that the CEO loses touch with ground reality, gets over enthusiastic about appeasing the share holding population (including herself), focuses exclusively on business results with the over bearing quarter on quarter pressure; and not realize (or even ignore) the impact on her other stake holders - employees and their families, partners and vendors, society, and the world at large. We've seen these instances more often in the last 5 years, than perhaps in the previous 50! Having seen 'larger than life' CEOs, it's time for more than a CEO.

A few exceptional CEOs do care, in deed, about these things too and those are the ones we really look up to and read books about. They are extra-ordinary not (only) because they had the best brains in the business, but because they did things they were never rewarded to do. We need more of them, who are more than a CEO.

Hence the proposition of a Prime Executive Officer (PEO), who'd be expected to be CEO++, à la the Prime Minister being responsible for more, than a Chief Minister, in a parliamentary form of democracy. The PEO is the new normal, the revised (post recession) expectation which should be measurable and the PEO accountable to a larger section of society than she is today. The PEO has more skin in the game and her pay and emoluments perhaps would also be linked to audit results (business, financial, safety, health, environment and societal impact) and satisfaction scores from stake holders, to begin with.

Why change the name? Well, without arguing a lot with Shakespeare, the theory is that PEO could be "old wine, new bottle"; but without this, everything is still the same old!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thank God, it's a Wednesday!


Week after week, it happens.
Every Monday goes looking back more than ahead;
Day that follows, goes in planning for the week that is.
Next comes Wednesday, when you live (in) the present.
Ending Thursday, I plan for the week next;
Saturday is for friends and family, Friday goes planning for this.
Don’t disturb me on Sunday, coz it’s “me-time”
All week goes by, before one could spell “Wednesday”
You then wait for what’s coming up.

 And then, I realize
how, when I’m at the top of my game,
on a song, do more and get closer to my goal;
yes, it’s always a Wednesday!

1. Research proves that people are most productive during the middle of the week. Wednesday, in particular has that special aura around it, it's the exact middle of the week, when one doesn't look back too much and doesn't plan future a lot. Wednesday is about living in the present, executing the plan, with the re-assurance that there is still a good part of the week left to finish what one has begun. It's the closest one can get to Nirvana/a neutral mindframe in the week long madness, that engulfs a lot of us these days. Thank God, it's a Wednesday. Enjoy your Wednesday!
2. An acrostic is a poem which spells out a word or idea (in this case, WEDNESDAY Ahoy!).