Monday, December 29, 2008

The C-LEAD Model of Leadership for Business

Dear Students,

Have you heard of the C-LEAD Model of leadership ?

Here it is:

C stands for Collaboration: Ability to work across boundaries, businesses, locations, engaging others, earning trust

L stands for Learn: Internally-driven & ability to see the context in which things change, develop self & others

E stands for Execute: Getting things done, demystify passion, empowering teams

A stands for Accelerate: Keeping pace, staging strategy

D stands for Disrupt: Evolving new business models by discarding old ones if these have become outdated

The above will help create a high-performing culture in an organisation.

Best wishes,

Prof.D.P.Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Talent Engagement & Development (TED)

Dear Students,

The acronym: TED, which stands for Talent Engagement & Development in an organisation, rests on the following 4 pillars:
  • Building Commitment.
  • Building Culture.
  • Building Competence.
  • Building Systems.
  • What does each of these entail ?

Given below are the ingredients:

Building Commitment:

  • Sense of purpose.
  • Competitive pay & benefits.
  • Rewards & recognition.
  • Challenging assignments.

Building Culture:

  • Shared values.
  • Performance Focus.
  • Communication.
  • Participative style.
  • Fun & Celebrations.

Building Competence:

  • Human Resource Planning.
  • Talent Induction.
  • Talent Building.
  • Leadership Development.

Building Systems:

  • Performance Management System.
  • IT Enabled System.
  • Organisation Introspection & Renewal.
  • Quality Systems

Foregoing will help HR in truly shaping the future of an organisation.

Best wishes,

Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Non-Financial Rewards

Dear Students,

Non-Financial Rewards are excellent supplements to Financial Rewards. Such practices of institutionalising non-financial rewards provide 'psychological income' to employees and the improve their quality of work place life.

Given below are a few non-financial rewards:
  • Appreciation Letter.
  • Star of the month.
  • Employee of the Year.
  • Excel Awards.
  • Celebrating achievement of milestones.
  • National Level Awards.
  • Long Service Awards.
  • Cultural evening.
  • News Letter/House Journal.
  • Informal get-together, picnics.
  • Continuous training & development opportunities throughout career.
  • Sports Competition.
  • Clubs.
  • Medha Pratiyogita (Quiz).
  • Involving families ("Connect" family).
  • Respect & Fair Treatment.
  • Good working environment.
  • High Impact Touch Points (Birthdays).
  • Straight Talk.
  • "Buddy Program".
  • 1-on-1 Supervision.
  • "Theatre" (for bringing out latent talents of employees through "fun-and-learning" on a particular theme).
  • Shadow Boards (young people mix-up with senior managers in formal meetings).

Remember, an organisation should be driven more on "Value of purpose" than on "Value of performance". More so, HR is the "conscience-keeper' of business. So, the onus of creating a 'value of purpose-based organisation' rests on HR.

Best wishes,

Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Degree & Type of "Fit" while Linking HRM to Strategy

Dear Students,

There are 5 fits which are to be ensured while linking HRM to Strategy. This is also known as Guest's Ordering, as under:

  1. Fit as Strategic Integration:

    • Make a choice of how to respond to & interact with the environment.

    • The HRM Strategy & Practice must match the response (Performance Specific & Externally Oriented).

  2. Fit as Contingency:

    • HRM Policy & Practices to be more responsive to external factors.

    • Should mesh with other aspects of the organization (Criterion-Free & Externally Oriented).

  3. Fit as an ideal set of practices:

    • Criterion-Specific & Internally Oriented.

  4. Fit as Gestalt:

    • Find an appropriate combination of HRM practices.

    • The whole is greater than the parts.

    • If one key aspect is missing, the gestalt (an overall picture) may not exist.

    • Specific architecture or culture (Criterion Specific & Internally Oriented).

  5. Fit as "Bundles"

    • These are distinctive patterns or configurations of practices.

    • Determine which are the most effective (Criterion Free & Internally Oriented).

Best wishes,
Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thinking Out of the Box

Below are the Interview Questions, which were asked in HR Rounds of real interviews:

Question 1:

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it's raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:
  • An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
  • An old friend who once saved your life.
  • The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing very well that there could only be one passenger in your car?

This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application.

  • You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first;
  • Or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back.
  • However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.

The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer. Guess what was his answer?

He simply answered:

"I would give the car keys to my Old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams."

Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up our stubborn thought limitations. Never forget to "Think Outside of the Box."

Question 2:

What will you do if I run away with your sister?"

The candidate who was selected answered "I will not get a better match for my sister than you sir"

Question 3:

Interviewer (to a student girl candidate) - What is one morning you woke up & found that you were pregnant.

Girl - I will be very excited and take an off, to celebrate with my husband.

Normally an unmarried girl will be shocked to hear this, but she managed it well. Why I should think it in the wrong way, she said later when asked

Question 4:

The interviewer asked to the candidate "This is your last question of the interview. Please tell me the exact position of the center of this table where u have kept your files."

Candidate confidently put one of his fingers at some point at the table and told that this was the central point at the table. Interviewer asked how did u get to know that this being the central point of this table, then he answers quickly that sir u r not likely to ask any more question, as it was the last question that u promised to ask.....

And hence, he was selected as because of his quick-wittedness. ........

This is what Interviewer expects from the Interviewee. ....

"THINK OUT OF THE BOX"

Contributed By:
Indrani Kar
(Knowledge Cell - Globsyn Business School)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Embodied Leadership

By Charlie Badenhop
(An excerpt from e-magazine,"Trans4mind" by Peter Shepherd)

If you're striving to be the kind of leader people willingly follow, you'll soon discover a purely intellectual approach to leadership won't get you the results you desire. In my experience successful leaders know how to influence the emotional experience of their counterparts in a generative manner, and there's no better way to do this than by communicating with your whole self. Having your body and your intellect communicating the same message, so that what you say matches what you do.

Becoming an embodied leader can be developed and trained for, in the same way a pianist runs through scales in preparation for a concert and a ballplayer spends time in the batting cage before a game. Through practice you'll discover wisdom is manifested through your body, breath, movement, and belief system, as well as through your verbal communication. You exude 'embodied leadership' when -

  1. You are in touch with your body and your emotions, and gently but freely express what you feel and believe to be so.
  2. You do your best to stay in touch with the emotional experience of your counterparts.
  3. You realize your model of the world is not "the truth" and you thus realize your opinions and suggestions regarding a course of action, are sometimes flawed.
  4. You recognize the accumulated knowledge and intelligence of the system you're operating in, exceeds the knowledge and intelligence of any one member or part of the system.
  5. You believe that the system you're operating in has all the resources necessary to meet the many challenges and opportunities that are presented.
  6. You understand each person as having positive intentions at all times. Especially when what they seem to be suggesting might lead you to think otherwise. Indeed you ask yourself from time to time, "What is the positive intention my counterpart has, that leads them to such a statement or action?"
  7. You regularly solicit the opinions of others and ask them to correct you whenever they think it would be helpful.
  8. You are comfortable being at the center, more so than being at the top.
  9. You are comfortable accessing your intuition, as an alternative source of wisdom, and invite others to do the same.
  10. You desire to collaborate rather than being in command.
  11. That you think and feel matches your actions.
  12. You bring your "whole self" with you to work every day, and recognize that emotional expression is crucial for everyone's health and well-being.
  13. You recognize the onset of seeming conflict, as a positive signal, alerting you to the need for a shift in relationship.
  14. You're able to transcend logic and verbal language, to get to the heart of the matter.
  15. You understand that in a healthy system, emotion and logic tend to balance each other.

Here is a lovely series of quotes from Dee Hock, the founder and CEO emeritus of Visa International, and a highly regarded thinker in the field of organizational development. Hopefully what he has to say will lead you to reconsider what it means to be a leader.

"Here is the very heart and soul of the matter of leadership: If you seek to lead, invest 50% of your time (attention) leading yourself -- your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers. Use the remainder to induce those you "work for" to understand and practice the theory. If you don't understand that you should be working for your mislabeled "subordinates," then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny. Lead yourself, lead your superiors, lead your peers, and free your people to do the same. All else is trivial."

"It is essential to employ, trust, and reward those whose perspective, ability, and judgment are radically different from yours. It is also rare, for it requires uncommon humility, tolerance, and wisdom."

"Money motivates neither the best people, nor the best in people. It can move the body and influence the mind, but it cannot touch the heart or move the spirit; that is reserved for belief, principle, and morality."

"The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out."

"What will become compellingly important is absolute clarity of shared purpose and a set of principles of conduct, sort of an institutional genetic code that every member of the organization understands in a common way, and with deep conviction."

Contributed By
Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Level 5 Leadership

Dear Students,

There is something called Level 5 Leadership as explained by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great.

Level 5 leaders demonstrate a combination of humility and will; they are shy and fearless, modest and willful.

Then, what are the other 4 levels ?

Given below is the level 5 hierarchy:

Level 5: Level 5 Executive

Builds enduring greatness through a parodoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will

Level 4: Effective Leader
Catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision; stimulates the group to high performance standards.


Level 3: Competent Manager

Organises people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives

Level 2: Contributing Team Members

Contributes to the achievement of group objectives; works effectively with others in a group setting

Level 1: Highly Capable Individual

Makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills, and good work habits

So, the level 5 leader sits on top of a hierarchy of capabilities and is a necessary requirement for transforming an organisatiion from good to great. Individuals do not need to proceed sequentially through each level of the hierarchy to reach the top, but to be a full-fledged level 5 requires the capabilities of all the lower levels, plus the special charactersitics of Level 5.

Best wishes,

Prof.D.P.Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don’t confine your Natural-self but set-free…


At whatever position we are, it’s very important for us to identify our natural self and be able to distinguish it from the pseudo self. The various roles that we play in our lives, quite often than not, puts us in a position, where we fail to find our true self. We just put a mask and try to satisfy people around us. But still, we cannot give assurance, that, we have made people happy. In this situation what we assure ourselves is that we stress ourselves to the point of extinction. Then the most important query, “Who am I?”, comes back in our thoughts and we are left with no answer.
If I am neither a daughter nor a son, not a wife or a husband, not a mother or a father, not a friend or a professional then “Who am I?”
For one, it seems that the answer is very easy. But, actually, when you start pondering on this question the answers that come up all describe the various roles that individuals play and does not define the individual per se. Then the first question that may strike an individual’s mind is “Whether there is any loss of identity?” If not, then why it is that we don’t find an answer. Are we afraid to do so? Because then so may things may show-up which we have never thought, did exist. This may bring forth many of our wants and desires which we were never aware of.
The answer definitely lies in the age-old adage, “Know thyself, thou wilt know the whole world”. Knowing oneself is setting yourself free to the beauties and challenges of the world.
Thus, an optimal performer is in the process of knowing oneself and an excellent performer knows oneself, better than many things around him.
Even though, one life is too small a time, to even know yourself; break the shackles, set free your natural-self and experience the fresh breath of freedom.


Best Wishes,

Ms. Ipsita C. Patranabis

Monday, November 24, 2008

India Inc widens doors to support adoption

KARISHMA Sharma, an executive with a Bangalore-based IT major, is on an adoption maternity leave for a month. Recently she adopted a girl child after doctors advised her against having a second child. And, believe it or not, her company was quick to offer maternity leave even for adoption.

This is not a one-off case. The changing dynamics of society has increasingly compelled India Inc to come up with “motherly” new initiatives to retain talent. With more new-age couples espousing adoption of children in India, employees of IBM are being offered, apart from maternity (12 weeks) and paternity leaves (five days applicable even to cases of adoption), extra maternity leaves to employees up to a month in cases of adoption. An adoption deed or order by a court, followed by an approval from a senior, would allow an employee enjoy four weeks with the adopted child to create bonding.

Contributed By:
Indrani Kar
(Knowledge Cell - Globsyn Business School)

Source: The Times of India

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Managing the human resource

by Arvind Singhal

One of the most clich├ęd phrases of the last few weeks is that “current times are unprecedented in terms of uncertainty and economic turbulence.” If one were to add to the economic challenge the other challenges facing India at this time, the picture becomes hazier. These include a government that has never really governed the nation in its almost five years of existence and is now entering into the next general electionphase, one that will further stymie any determined action by the various policymaking arms of the state and central governments to provide some positive thrust to the economy. Besides, there is an environment of increasing internal insecurity and deepening social schisms.

Under such circumstances, notwithstanding the public furore on layoffs and the subsequent exchange of promises from corporate India to refrain from enforcing any mass attrition of workforce, it is inevitable that most businesses, big and small, will be looking at enforcing cuts in their overall wage bill.


Contributed By:
Param Shah
(Asst. Registrar - Globsyn Business School, Ahmedabad)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Corporate Governance versus Business Ethics with particular reference to ethics of Human Resource Management

Dear Students,

Often we came across the terms Corporate Governance and Business Ehics and are intrigued by the question whether these two are one and the same or different and more so, what are the ethics relating to Human Resource Management.

The following lines will aptly bear this out:

Corporate governance is most often viewed as both the structure and the relationships which determine corporate direction and performance. The board of directors is typically central to corporate governance. Its relationship to the other primary participants, typically shareholders and management, is critical. Additional participants include employees, customers, suppliers, and creditors. The corporate governance framework also depends on the legal, regulatory, institutional and ethical environment of the community.

Business ethics is a form of applied ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment.Business ethics can be both a normative and a descriptive discipline. As a corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. In academia descriptive approaches are also taken. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the degree to which business is perceived to be at odds with non-economic social values. Historically, interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example, today most major corporate websites lay emphasis on commitment to promoting non-economic social values under a variety of headings (e.g. ethics codes, social responsibility charters).

Ethics of human resource management

The ethics of human resource management (HRM) covers those ethical issues arising around the employer-employee relationship, such as the rights and duties owed between employer and employee.
  • Discrimination issues include discrimination on the bases of age (ageism), gender, race, religion, disabilities, weight and attractiveness.
  • Issues surrounding the representation of employees and the democratization of the workplace: union busting, strike breaking.
  • Issues affecting the privacy of the employee: workplace surveillance, drug testing.
  • Issues affecting the privacy of the employer: whistle-blowing.
  • Issues relating to the fairness of the employment contract and the balance of power between employer and employee: slavery, indentured servitude, employment law.
  • Occupational safety and health.

Best wishes,

Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our Lost Resilience

I was talking about the article “Fallen Tomato Cart” by Mr. Subroto Bagchi of Mindtree Consulting, in couple of forums recently as it happened to be the best in recent times for me and I thought about some of the reasons for our lost resilience which the author mentioned, to my understanding is as follows:
  1. Lack of early failures – With more employment opportunities and employee benefits being offered in several industries the Gen Y are less prone to failures in life to get their first break and thus are less exposed to the challenges of getting into an air conditioned office, work and take a ride back in an office drop.
  2. Lack of Support System – With nucleus family setup we are loosing on the Support system these days. I was at the cremation for one of my relative yesterday and what I found was alarming we were just 5-6 of us to take care of his last rites (inspite of the fact yesterday was Sunday!!!) whereas we saw two other cases from comparatively lower middle class family each of them had minimum of 40-50 people to help the bereaved family members. More up in the social ladder less is your support system :).
  3. Keeping things simple – We completely lost this in our lives!!! We like a shirt but we cannot buy it if it is not branded. We want to see a movie but we cannot if it is not running in a multiplex.
  4. Plan to enjoy but not enjoy to plan – We need to avoid too much of planning when we are out to enjoy especially on a vacation. Recently I visited Rajasthan for a vacation and my schedule was so tight that at times I felt stressed instead of being relaxed (the main objective of my vacation :) ) Even in business if you have your clients spending 2-3 days with you, the thumb rule for good planning is to plan for 1.5-2 days and keep rest of the time available so that you can accommodate things which may come up in the course of your discussion in the first 2 days (learning from BDG).
  5. Have the larger pic but enjoy the moments – Long term planning is good but as long it does not stresses you (Learning from Munnabhai MBBS – Jindagi me kitna pal haye is not important, what is relevant is har pal me kitna jindagi haye).
  6. Social Networking – More people you know around helps you to create your own space which in turns facilitates self motivation (biggest of ALL motivation) The reason you will never find a politician ever feeling depressed or lost even after loosing elections or getting into a scandal :) .

Contributed By:
Mr. Ranjan Sarkar
(Vice President-HR & Corporate Communications)
Acclaris Limited

Click here for the article “Fallen Tomato Cart” by Mr. Subroto Bagchi of Mindtree Consulting (Made available by courtsey & consent of Mr. Ranjan Sarkar)

Monday, November 10, 2008

CLO to CEO????

Organizations these days require people, who can have a very good understanding of the way the business is headed, can comprehend the situation and understand its impact on workforce and adequately train them to deal with the same. All the organizations understand the need for a Chief Learning officer. In most of the big corporate enterprises a CLO is appointed to enhance the overall capability of the workers. The demand for such people has increased rapidly and studies show that duration of CLO’s stay with one organization on an average would be 12 to 18 months.

This exit is not only because of higher demand and more money, there is a positive and negative connation to this phenomena. CLO’s leave sometimes because they are unable to impact the culture of the organization. The C (Chief) in the work CLO is sometimes only for namesake, their role is restricted to that of a training officer. It has been observed that most often there do not have the authority to take decision or to implement it and sometimes unrealistic expectations are placed on them. A learning officer’s job is to see that he trains the people and improves each in their respective job. But they have a limit and cannot influence beyond a certain extent.


The positive side though is that there is headhunting going on to get good CLO’s and anybody who is good at his job can always move to an organization that pays more or offers challenging assignments. Another change that is witnessed is that CLOs are being promoted in the corporate level. This is because of the skills that they have, they can create strong and efficient workforce that can contribute in increasing the productivity of the organization. They can move ahead and become chief operating officers of the organization. In time they can move up and take up the role of a CEO. Even though such opportunities can arise not every CLO is equipped with the skills needed by a CEO. So there is a need for such individuals to engage in activities that would enable them to develop the required skill and also get the necessary qualification and experience that would make it possible for them to take charge of a business enterprise and run it successfully.


Contributed By:
Dr. Shalini S.
(Globsyn Business School - Ahmedabad)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Human Process Laboratory

I would like to share my recent experience of attending a human process laboratory. On the lines of sensitivity training, this lab aimed to make oneself more aware of one's own behavior as well as to become more sensitive to the behavior of the people around you.

I realized how difficult it is for people to touch their real innerself. We have been so tuned to reflecting what the people around us expect that we have really lost touch with our core self. As kids, we are trained to become obedient children; as adults, we are tuned in to do what our family expects at home, friends in the society and boss at the workplace. Somewhere, we become so bogged down by the expectations of the different roles that we forget who we are. We become afraid of looking inside.. to reveal our weaknesses...after all, if others around us come to know of our weaknesses, wont we make ourselves vulnerable? We learn to avoid and avoid till the time we forget that there is another aspect of our personality waiting to be explored.

In the mechanical race for materialistic things, we somewhere forget that unless if have the courage to accept our weaknesses, we can never address them and become better.

This lab helped the participants to understand themselves better, why do people behave in certain ways, why do people respond to selective things.....

It was a self-revealing experience...
I wish we can have more and more people doing such labs so that we can have a better society around us with better organizations to work for.

Dr Meenakshi Khemka
Globsyn Business School

Monday, November 3, 2008

What corporates look for from B-school students?

The fast paced growth witnessed by the Indian economy in the last decade has also seen a proliferation of B-Schools across the country. While this has made management education more accessible to a large majority of students, it has its downside as well. Except for well established B-Schools, with a reputation for both academics and knowledge delivery infrastructure, a large number of B-Schools have mushroomed to cash into the boom that the education sector is witnessing. The boom is also fast ensuring that a graduate degree is no longer the de-facto entry criteria into the corporate world and a management degree is increasingly becoming essential to achieve a toehold on the career ladder.

With an increasingly large number of management graduates being released into the market each successive year, corporations are now having to graduate to more prudent and researched hiring techniques to identify and segregate talent that they propose to hire. With the replacement of ‘managerial capitalism’ with ‘shareholder capitalism’, the traits that are being looked for in management graduates is also being looked more critically and for alignment to the growing acceptance of a 1970 declaration by Milton Friedman that "the sole concern of (American) business should be the maximization of profit". The traits that are being looked into in fresh management hires can be divided into:

a. Domain Skills and Competencies
b. Social Skills
c. Human Attributes

Domain related skills/competencies form an important part of what corporations today look for. With a shift in focus from ‘labour cost’ to ‘labour quality’, the need to identify the right ‘quality’ talent is crucial, since in this age of extreme competitiveness, the cost of error rework is extremely high with the added pressures of handling consumer complaints, loss of potential revenues and cross selling opportunities, regulatory risks etc. While this is true, corporations today are also valuing people with multi-skills and with the ability to multi-task. To work across domains with the same rigour. Thus someone with super-specialisation in only one key area may be given a miss for a person who has demonstrable ability to work across domain areas.

Apart from domain related skills one of the most looked into aspect from the social/human skills perspective is ‘attitude’. By ‘attitude’, corporations typically mean the ability to identify with and ‘live’ core values of the organization such as respect for others, being customer-driven, etc. Many corporations have concluded that it is too difficult and costly to try to change the attitudes of adults. As a result, they release those unable to work and manage according to the organization's values and replace them with those who can.

Other social skills of importance, other than attitude, that is looked into includes commitment to work, the ability to work as part of a team as well as independently, ability to motivate and lead teams, and an abiding commitment to the company’s core value system. Research has also shown corporations favourably regard traits such as trustworthiness, caring, humility, and capability in their potential hires.

In the end it is all about successful image management. How well do you sell yourself? That’s the question that you must ask. But don’t be fooled. While packaging may be important, customers (read recruiters) will quickly see through the outer package and get to know if you are holding out a false promise. Successful impression management can generate a number of important benefits, including career advancement, client satisfaction, better work relationships (trust, intimacy, avoiding offence), group cohesiveness etc.

In order to create a positive professional image, impression management must effectively accomplish two tasks: build credibility and maintain authenticity. When you present yourself in a manner that is both true to self and valued and believed by others, impression management can yield a host of favourable outcomes for you and the organization/school that you represent.

Contributed By:
Supratim Kar
(Manager - New Business)
Globsyn Group

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Inner Peace

There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peacefully towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on the nest--in perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?

"Because," explained the king, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."

"When Life gives you a thousand reasons to cry, show that you have a million reasons to smile."

Contributed By:
Mary Verghese
(Manager HR - Globsyn)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Some Motivating & Inspiring Quotes

"When two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as he wants to be seen, and each man as he really is." Michael De Saintamo.

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Helen Keller.

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." Henry Ford.

"When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when you team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing." Bo Schembechler.

"Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds." SEAL Team saying.

"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." Babe Ruth.

"If a team is to reach its potential, each player must be willing to subordinate his personal goals to the good of the team." Bud Wilkinson.

"When he took time to help the man up the mountain, lo, he scaled it himself." Tibetan Proverb.

"In order to become a leading home run hitter, a batter must be surrounded by good hitters, otherwise, the pitchers will 'pitch around' him. Likewise, many successful people became that way from being on a good team." Laing Burns Jr.

"A group becomes a team when all members are sure enough of themselves and their contributions to praise the skill of others." Anonymous.

"Teamwork is neither "good" nor "desirable." It is a fact. Wherever people work together or play together they do so as a team. Which team to use for what purpose is a crucial, difficult and risky decision that is even harder to unmake. Managements have yet to learn how to make it." Peter F. Drucker.

"It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed." Napoleon Hill.

"If we were all determined to play the first violin we should never have an ensemble. Therefore, respect every musician in his proper place." Robert Schumann.

"Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story." Casey Stengel.

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." Oprah Winfrey.

Contributed By:
Rupee RoyChodhury
(Senior HR Executive - IBM Daksh)
GBS Alum

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Recruitment Paradox: Why Good People are Difficult to Find

This story has its beginning in early 1999 when a front-line commercial bank in East Africa appointed a London based, globally reputed, executive placement firm to recruit a managing director and CEO for itself. Three applicants were short-listed. They were invited to visit East Africa separately, and individually meet the members of the board of the bank. One of the three, an American, was finally selected to head the bank. He assumed office in September 1999.

Within a fortnight of taking charge, an e-mail went from his desk to everyone in the bank. The subject line read: “Stop the music.” In his message to all employees, the new managing director asked everyone to refrain from making demands on him for decisions on one thing or another. Essentially – no new customers, no new business, no new advances, no new contacts, no new individual strategies and no new initiatives. He asked everyone to focus on first strengthening the foundation and gearing up its infrastructure before going out to build business.

Committees were formed to review, re-think, re-strategize, restructure, re-organize and re-build a uniform, focused corporate structure. Meetings were seen to be held every day, at almost every corner of the organization. One general manager was removed from heading operations to write operating manuals. The HR manager was instructed to come up with a totally new HR policy document for the bank. Others were similarly engaged.

So it went on for months. “No isolated, ad-hoc new initiatives till we – as an organization – are ready in all respects” was the message that went out over and over again. In one instance, the treasury was pulled up for grabbing a simple inward remittance business of around a million dollars that came their way (who could blame them!). Reason? The bank was yet to finalize and approve its marketing and business policies.

Business, income, and profitability plummeted. Months down the line the staff, the customers, and the market – everyone was confused. After drifting aimlessly for some time, senior executives began to leave. Finally, the board of the bank acted. The same board that had appointed him a little more than a year ago, asked him to resign.

What had gone wrong? Primarily, two things. One, the candidate did have banking experience, but that exposure had been acquired only in highly developed countries – far removed from the environs of countries like Africa. Second, his banking experience was dated. For, he had been away from practical banking, working only as a consultant – attached to a number of consulting firms – for the last 20 years. Three, unfortunately for him and for the bank, he was just not able to take off the hat of a ‘consultant’ that he had been wearing for the past 20 years. He failed to see himself as the bank’s chief executive and the ship’s captain.

This begs the next question: Who had gone wrong? To start with, the executive search firm. The consulting agency’s failure – to select the person with the right profile and attitude – was further compounded by the bank’s board. It tried to select a CEO for the bank – without having a single person on its board with a minimal knowledge of banking. It also failed to evaluate the psychological profile of the candidate.

Thus, a top-rung executive search firm made a glaring error in discharging its obligations. On its part, the bank’s board also attempted to achieve something it was not equipped to do, or was capable of doing.

Is it any wonder, therefore, that we hear a never-ending lament about perennial shortage of ‘the right people’? Most employers, unfortunately, expect ‘the right people’ to be available ‘off-the-shelf’ – tailor made, custom built, ready-to-use, able to ‘hit the ground running.’ That is rarely the case – even with senior executives. However, for argument’s sake, even if we agree for a moment that candidates were like ready-to-eat, pre-cooked food (any thought about who was supposed to the ‘pre-cooking’?), my experience tells me that the fault lies more with those who are directly involved with the recruitment game. In reality, good people – yes, the ‘right ones’ – are available, in sufficient numbers too. Most of us do not know how to find them.

Take the case of the placement agencies. Ideally speaking, on getting an assignment to fill up a vacancy, the agency ought to first do its homework well. Among other things, it should strive to understand the organization and its work culture, its style of management, performance parameters, how success is measured within the organization, the job profile, the profile of the person most suited for the job, the career path, etc. For, these issues are of great importance to the prospective candidate, and hence, to the organization, if marriage is to be a success.

Another error that most placement consultants and personnel managers commit is in not spending some time and effort to build up a ‘candidate profile.’ What sort of people are they really looking for? What attitude does the position demand? They fail to realize that the attitudes of people at various positions differ widely – from one organization to another, from one position to another. For example, does the organization need an opening batsman or a middle order player? Even for the opening batsman – would he be playing in a test match or in one-dayers? Their style and requirements will, no doubt, differ.

Unfortunately, majority of the placement consultants turn out to be only ‘head hunters’, literally. Like the one in the story that I began this article with, the ‘head-hunters’ believe that their business is only about pulling people out of one job and placing him in another, and pocketing the search fee. They do not do the home work
that is essential in this kind of business. Accountability is, therefore, virtually non-existent.

Another area that does not get its due attention is the proper analysis of CVs received. Here too, those responsible fail badly. We read tomes on how to write effective CVs. Never once have I heard about developing the skills required to properly ‘read’ (i.e. interpret) a CV. The HR manager, the personnel manager, or the consultant in charge of the client portfolio in a placement agency – they generally delegate the responsibility to sort out and short-list candidates to a junior staff, who, more often than not, is ill-equipped to do the job. He has little idea about the requirements of the job, the required profile of the candidate, or is short on the skills required to separate the wheat from the chaff. For all one knows, a good candidate could get the short-shrift at this stage itself. I have seen it happen far too many times to be convinced otherwise.

There are a number of search firms who claim to be a sector specific. But rarely do they have on their rolls top level, highly experienced professionals who are simultaneously skilled in the art of ‘reading’ CVs, and in interviewing potential recruits for a specialized position. Do these professionals ever do the short-listing themselves? During interviews, do the head-hunters look for only the minimum fit, or for the best possible candidate – and no compromises? At what stage do the placement consultants begin to look for other attributes in the candidates, viz. their IQ, their EQ (emotional quotient), their ability to work in a team environment, that fire in the belly, originality, latent leadership qualities, and so on? At what stage does the Personnel/ HR manager, or the functional head get involved?

One must realize that almost everyone pays a price for wrong selection. The person so recruited, once already destabilized, would eventually end up being back in the market, job hunting. In consequence, the manpower planning, and hence the growth process of the organization, would simultaneously suffer a serious setback too. The after-effect of a ‘sack’ is never pleasant for the people within the organization, the organization itself, or the person directly affected. The one who escapes relatively unscathed is the placement consultant. I have rarely seen them assume a share of the responsibility and offer to compensate the organization (not to speak of the victim of a misjudged recruitment) in one way or another.

Till the recruitment process is toned up, the people responsible for manpower selection, within and outside the organization, do their homework properly and with sincerity, approach each placement with the seriousness it deserves, the gulf between the vast pool of talent still going untapped and organizations perennially in search of the ‘right people’, will never be bridged.


Contributed By:
Rupnarayan Bose
(Former MD of Fina bank Ltd. & MD of TransAfrica Bank Ltd.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blue Ocean Strategy

Dear Students,

Dr. Sarah Layton has aptly described the titled topic in the book: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant, by Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.

What does Blue Ocean Strategy mean ?

Succinctly,

  • Blue Ocean Strategy creates uncontested market space in contrast to Red Ocean Strategy which strives to compete in the existing market space.
  • Blue Ocean Strategy makes competition irrelevant as against Red Ocean Strategy which attempts to beat the competition.
  • Blue Ocean Strategy creates and captures new demand whereas Red Ocean Strategy exploits existing demand.
  • Blue Ocean Strategy breaks the value-cost trade-off while Red Ocean Strategy makes the value-cost trade-off.
  • Blue Ocean Strategy aligns the whole system of a firm's activities in pursuit of differentiation and low cost compared to Red Ocean Strategy which aligns the whole system of a firm's activities with its strategic choice of differentiation or low cost.
Obviously then, the ideal would be to conceive a Blue Ocean Strategy.

With best wishes,
Prof.D.P.Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Social Loafing

Dear Students,

Have you, so far, come across the term 'Social Loafing’ in Organisation Behaviour?

Social Loafing is a problem that is commonly found in almost all organisational contexts. With most tasks being accomplished by teams, it is quite common for a few members to slack off and not contribute to the team's cause, and yet not have the results suffer. A simple definition of one in social loafing is an agent who does not contribute his fair share to the cost of production of a resource, but receives an equal share of the benefits. Sometimes this is also known as free riding.

The key difference between free riding and social loafing is that a free rider does not contribute to the cause at all, since his contribution is not essential for success, whereas a social loafer merely reduces his effort fully knowing that it would be impossible for an external observer to determine the same.

Dealing with free riding and social loafing:

The Ringelmann experiment suggests that the size of the group may have some answers to offer us. A good manager may need to precisely identify the number of people it would require to successfully accomplish a task. Second, social loafing is seen in situations where it is impossible to identify individual contribution.

Thus, a good way to prevent it may be to clearly define the individual's role in the group task. Third, it is seen that social loafing does not present a major problem in cohesive teams (the reason being that team members value their affiliation with the group more than any benefits associated with social loafing). Thus, the choice of specific team members for a task may also help in minimising social loafing.

Task significance may also have a role to play in increasing motivation levels to perform. Task significance refers to the relevance of the task to the immediate organisation, group, society or the world at large.

One suspects that social loafing may be a less common phenomenon in an NGO, compared to other types of organisations.

Reward systems such as stock options and performance bonuses too increase the cost of not contributing, as non-contribution would directly lead to reduced benefits for the individual team member.

Thus, each team member would at least contribute in his own self interest.

So, as managers, our endeavour should be to reduce social loafing within a team.

With Dassera greetings & happy Shuvo Bijoya!

Prof.D.P.Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, October 13, 2008

WHEN PEOPLE MATTER – SOME LESSONS FROM CRICKET

How critical is the role of the opening batsman to the success of a cricket team? What should be his profile? Let me quote someone who should know:

“Technique, patience… The ability to adapt to different conditions… The approach, after all, has to be different on a flat wicket as opposed to one where the wicket is doing quite a bit.

I personally feel the position should go to specialists…… Indeed, it’s the openers alone who set the tone for the innings… Take the shine off the new ball, protect the middle order. At the highest level, you must have both technique and temperament – in the right quantities…. Different players have different styles but, if you play straight you can’t go wrong. Besides, work hard – never try to cut corners – and enjoy yourself. If you see cricket as a chore, then, well, I don’t think you will go far.”

So said Graham Gooch, former England cricket captain and a formidable opening batsman with 8,900 Test runs, in an interview speaking about the qualities of an opening batsman. (The Telegraph, Calcutta, 10/Sept/2002).

Any person who has a minimal idea about the game of cricket knows the indispensable role played by a good opening batsman. Without a good opening score, the middle order gets exposed too quickly to the new ball. The middle order is thus forced to wear the hat that had not been made for him. If the opening batsman fails and goes out too quickly, the event forces a change in the whole game plan for the team think-tank and for those who are scheduled to follow. In the game of cricket the role and the contribution of the opener to the success of the team as a whole can hardly be over-emphasized.

Now, put a similar question to any placement consultant, HRD or personnel manager, or even a corporate strongman. Enquire from him about his perception of the role of the first CEO, the first COO, or the first unit head of any new initiative for that matter. I’d be quite surprised if you elicit from him anything similar to the passionate response that you are likely to receive from a lover of the game of cricket. Why the difference? Rather, why the comparison? Let me attempt to answer that.

I equate the role and responsibilities of an opening batsman in cricket to the first incumbent of any new initiative. Whatever be its size or structure, I strongly feel that the first Chief Executive, the first Chief Operating Officer, the first branch manager, the first leader – every captain or head of a new unit – is of critical importance to the future well-being and success of that unit and eventually of the organization. The first incumbent must be chosen with extreme care. That choice of the leader would set the tone for the rest of the team, and thus spell the difference between success and failure of the initiative in the long run.

Let us compare the cricketing and the organizational scenarios a little more closely. Before a new match (a Test or a one-day game) begins, and the team is selected, the nature of the pitch is always a matter of serious concern and speculation. So also is the nature of the opposition. Yet, no one can bet for sure as to how the pitch is going to behave – at the early stage or the later. The job of the opening pair, however, is to contend with the uncertainties, blunting the venom of every bit of arsenal that the opposition may throw at him during the initial stages of the game, unveiling and exposing the sting (or the lack of it) in the pitch or of the opposition, and setting the tone for the rest of the game. He actually lays the foundation on which the team’s future is built. He makes it easier for the middle order and those to follow to do their job well. However, the truth remains that no amount of preparation and forward planning can substitute for the role that an opening batsman must play on the real arena.

As in the game of cricket, a lot of planning usually goes into a project when a new initiative is launched. Yet, no one can bet for sure as to how the various players in the market will respond, and their impact on the success or failure of that initiative. One is not even sure as to whether all the planning and the preparation were the right ones till they are actually put to the test in the market place. Every assumption remains a speculation – or an uninformed guesswork at best – till tested in the field. Seeing the new venture through the initial period of uncertainties, tackling the teething troubles, resolving unforeseen issues and problems, can best be tackled only by someone special. “At the highest level, you must have both technique and temperament in the right quantities”, says Gooch. A wrong choice for the top job, therefore, will more often than not result in most of the things going wrong from inception. If, unfortunately, that happens, the rest will not matter.

To my mind, to give itself a fair chance to succeed, the entity must take great care to choose in its first skipper the person who has the right temperament and technique, and – this is equally important – in the right quantities. The correct mix between the two qualities must be ensured. The captain must then be left to choose the others who fit the right profile, and thus set up the core team.

This choice of key people will set the tone and the culture for the new initiative. The tone that he sets will endure over time, and be the key to the work culture, the value system and the ethical standards that will define the initiative, and by extension, impact the rest of the organization.

That brings me to the issue that, in my opinion, is ‘mission critical’. I cannot help but repeat what Graham Gooch said about the opening batsmen in the game of cricket. “Different players have different styles but, if you play straight you can’t go wrong. Besides, work hard – never try to cut corners…”.

When he uttered those words, I keep wondering whether he was referring to the game of cricket alone. Or whether he was recounting, for the benefit of every one of us, an enduring philosophy that went far beyond the game of cricket? You do not have to go very far to find the truth of what he said. Remember Enron, remember Worldcom, remember Arthur Anderson, or Bearings? How many people there played with a straight bat? How many of them tried to cut corners? How and to what extent, did their actions impacted their own organizations? Where are they today?

The work ethics and the value system once set, is generally not susceptible to any rapid changes. If the organization has picked the right kind of people initially, that would have sent a message down the line, and set the tone for the organization. Unless a major turn-around takes place, I believe that it is quite difficult for the ‘wrong’ kind of people to find a footing and to prosper. Because – the ‘tone’ of the organization has already been defined, etched, carved out and set by the opening batsmen. The right technique, the right temperament, a straight bat, and no cutting corners – in cricket or in life – and one can hardly go wrong!

By:
R.N. Bose
CEO of Institute of Banking Studies

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Festive Season

Dear Students,

Shuvo Saptami & a very happy Durga Puja & a wonderful festive season !

Remember, success results when preparation meets opportunity. Some people may attribute luck to success. For such people, I would remind them what Hrishi Aurobindo said, "Success results when efforts from below meets grace from above."

So let us all pray to Almighty to shower grace for success in all our endeavours, and also pledge to put in our best efforts in all that we do.

Have a wonderful time & with best wishes,

Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Leadership at various levels

Dear Students,

Leadership activities vary at different levels of the organisation. At a relatively junior level, performance leadership is important, at a middle level, people leadership is vital, while at a senior level, visionary and strategic leadership is crucial.

Now, let us examine each of the above types of leadership in terms of its components:

PERFORMANCE LEADERSHIP:
  • Ensures the organisation is strongly goal, performance and achievement focused.
  • Demonstrates the ability and attitude to lead the achievement of challenging goals and change, while managing risk and breaking new ground.
  • Balances risk with achievement, not risk avoidance-is not risk averse.
  • The organisation consistently meets its performance goals. The organisation has a performance track record of growth and of continually improving performance.
  • The organisation's performance is consistently better than its competitors or other comparable organisations.

PEOPLE LEADERSHIP:

  • Attracts, retains, develops, motivates and leads an effective team capable of achieving company objectives.
  • Human resource planning is an integral part of the annual business planning process.
  • Provides enhanced leadership-acts as a role model, committed to developing subordinates and leading people.
  • Strong on empowerment-allows scope for people to grow.
  • Maintains a culture support of GEN-X & Y values, not stifled by stucture and hierarchy.
  • Grows people (Grows their CV).
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and achieve results through a diverse range of people.
  • Creates a stimulating culture

VISIONARY AND STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP:

  • Articulates a clear and inspiring vision, actively fosters and encourages ownership of the vision by staff and ensures the vision is well understood and motivates the employees to work towards achieving goals.
  • The vision and supporting goals underpin and guide decisions and behaviours.
  • Contributes effectively with the board to establishing strategies, objectives and plans with a view to growing the business, while meeting the needs of shareholders, taking account of employee supplier, customer and other stakeholder interests.
  • Demonstrating an international perspective and a good understanding of global markets and global thinking.

The above will help you place leadership in proper perspective in an organisational canvas.

With best wishes,
Prof.D.P.Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Test of a Good Theory

What is a good theory? How would you know one if you found it? These are the questions addressed by two organizational behaviorists in an attempt to point out the directions for future research.

The first notes that any theory must be of practical relevance for managers. That is, it must be useful. To be useful, the researchers suggest 5 conditions that must be met:

  1. Descriptive Relevance: The theory must accurately describe the phenomenon actually encountered by the manager.
  2. Goal Relevance: The theory must relate to something that the managers wishes to influence.
  3. Operational Validity: The theory must relate to variables that the managers can control.
  4. Non-obviousness: The theory must add something beyond the ‘common sense’ level of knowledge.
  5. Timeliness: Must be available at the time when managers need it.

Contributed By:
Indrani Kar
(Knowledge Cell - Globsyn Business School)


Source:
Kenneth W Thomas and Walter G Tymon, Jr.
“NECESSARY PROPERTIES OF RELEVANT RESEARCH: Lessons from recent criticisms of the organizational Sciences Academy of Management Review 7”

Monday, September 29, 2008

Managing Change

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi

The first thing about managing change for an individual is to have a clear idea about yourself.

You must have clarity of vision, mission, goals and values. Most people resist change and recognize resistance to change in others but not themselves. Fear is the principal reason for resistance to change.

Recognition of your resistance and the reasons to change, is a good second step, towards developing the ability to manage change

With clarity of goals and objectives, you can set about the task of focusing on what you need to change in order to stay on course to achieve your aspirations and dreams.

The next and probably the most difficult task is anticipating external factors that will cause change, in order to be better prepared to handle it. The immediate external factors are family, friends, your profession or business, health. Here the need is to establish clarity of roles, relationships and mutually acceptable goals.

Unforeseeable circumstances like the forces of nature, governmental regulations, technology, etc. should be taken into account, but not be dwelt upon too long to result in inaction.

Change forces choices upon us and one should muster the courage to accept the need to make the choice. You should leverage the positive changes that arise and cope with the negative ones.

It is important to recognize that most change is for the better. You need to go through the difficult process of acceptance. This spurs positive action towards change.

In an organizational context, rapid and extensive changes face organizations. They need to adapt to the rapid changes being dictated by the forces of globalization, consumer demands, technology, competition etc.

The most important measures that heads of organizations could take in order to survive on a long term basis is to make the decision making process of change to be an organization-wide one. They need to create a culture of continuous proactive change and to focus on the imperatives. They need to set clear objectives and time frames to implement change. This is easier said than done. Respect and trust of all ideas and views is critical. There should be an empathetic approach to dissention or resistance.

Finally you should look for and leverage synergies internally and externally to optimize the benefits of change.

Everyone cannot adapt to change at the same pace. Researches have found that those exposed to turbulent environments cope with change, faster.

Thus you should focus on your objectives and goals put in the special effort to leverage the benefits of change, to your advantage. You should not fear change but embrace it.

Contribute by:
Afsheen Ahmed
(Globsyn Business School)

Source: Success Yogi, your guru for success & happiness, Dr. Hiru Bijlani

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Office Essentials

Have you tried hard to create an impression at work? Here is a list of few office essentials to ease your effort and mark you a true professional.

Soft skills may be the success mantra these days but there are a few essentials that go into the making of a true professional. Apart fromoffice infrastructure, cordial relations with your colleagues, convenient commute, there are a few other things that help you manage your everyday tasks and can take your career to the next level.

If you are one of those who plan to invest time, effort and resources to heighten the impact of a'true professional at work' but are either too occupied or wondering how to go about it, here are a few tips.
Take 5! -Five office essentials

A planner
A planner helps you to make a note of important assignments, appointments, telephone numbers, etc and helps you schedule your day without missing on significant matters.

Smell good
So you have tried hard to create an impression at work? You go berserk shopping for formal clothes and accessories? Perhaps it is the fragrance that you wear to work that can get you a mention in the good books of your boss. Caution, do not overpower your appearance and the other person's senses by overloading on the cologne.

A good pen
You are glued to your computer 24x7, agreed! There's hardly a chance when you need to use a pen at work? Perhaps that's what makes it all the more important to invest in a good pen that matches with your personality at work. Endow an appreciable investment to this office accessory and be a proud owner of a good branded pen. You can use an ink pen to sign documents."It is also an ideal gift for bosses and colleagues,"

A classy watch
A fine watch distinguishes a person who values time and also adds a touch of class to your appearance. Endow an appreciable amount toacquire this accessory, for it's not everyday you buy a watch. Go for a formal, basic watch that is not too loud for professional environment and at the same time gels with your attire.

Attitude
They say,'Your attitude determines your altitude'. Amplify the impact of your appearance with the'right' attitude. Your approach to meet challenges in life decides how smooth your sail can be through the rough sea of the corporate world. Be ready to take initiative, grow as a professional and work hard towards your long term goals. To conclude, believe in yourself.

Contributed By:
Anjali Mishra
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pygmalion Effect

Dear Students,

Have you heard of the ancient Greek sculptor Pygmalion?

Pygmalion principle finds its origin from an old Greek myth. A sculptor named Pygmalion sculpted a statue of a woman. He fell in love with the statue. His love was so strong, that it transformed the statue into a real woman. It is this transformative effect resulting from expectations which is the basis of the Pygmalion Principle. It states that expectations affect performance.

The Pygmalion effect enables employees to excel in response to the supervisor's message that they are capable of success and expected to succeed. The Pygmalion effect can also undermine employees'performance when the subtle communication from the manager tells them the opposite. As an example, the supervisor fails to praise a staff person's performance as frequently as she/he praises others.

So, in coming days, when you step into the shoes of a manager of a team, tell your team -members, "I expect you to achieve this because I believe in you and I know you can".

The outcome of such Pygmalion effect will be marvellous.

With best wishes,
Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Self-Appraisal

A little boy went into a drug store, reached for a soda carton and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton so that he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in seven digits (phone numbers).

The store-owner observed and listened to theconversation:

Boy: 'Lady, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?

Woman: (at the other end of the phone line): 'I already have someone to cut my lawn.'

Boy: 'Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now.'

Woman: I'm very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting my lawn.

Boy: (with more perseverance): 'Lady, I'll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in all of Palm beach , Florida .'

Woman: No, thank you.

With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver. The store-owner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy.

Store Owner: 'Son... I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job.'

Boy: 'No thanks,

Store Owner: But you were really pleading for one.

Boy: No Sir, I was just checking my performance at the job I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady, I was talking to!'

This is what we call 'Self Appraisal'


Cotributed By:
Debasree Chattopadhyay
(HR Executive, Kotak Securities Limited)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Holland's Typology

Dear Students,

People differ in personalities.

Given below are personality-attributes of people engaged in various professions:

TYPE: Realistic
Prefers physical activities that require skill, strength and co-ordination.
Personality Characteristics: Shy, genuine, persistent, stable, conforming, practical.
Congruent Occupations: Mechanic, drill press operator, assembly-line worker, farmer.

TYPE: Investigation
Prefers activities that involve thinking, organizing and understanding.
Personality Characteristics: Analytical, original, curious, independent.
Congruent Occupations: Biologist, economist, mathematician, news reporter.

TYPE: Social
Prefers activities that involve helping and developing others.
Personality Characteristics: Sociable, friendly, co-operative, understanding.
Congruent Occupations: Social worker, teacher, counselor, clinical psychologist.

TYPE: Conventional
Prefers rule-regulated, orderly, and unambiguous activities.
Personality Characteristics: Conforming, efficient, practical, unimaginative, flexible.
Congruent Occupations: Accountant, corporate manager bank teller, file clerk.

TYPE: Enterprising
Prefers rule-regulated, orderly, and unambiguous activities.
Personality Characteristics: Self-confident, ambitious, energetic, domineering.
Congruent Occupations: Lawyer, real-estate agent, public-relations specialist, small-business manager.

TYPE: Artistic
Prefers ambiguous and unsystematic activities that allow creative expression.
Personality Characteristics: Imaginative, disorderly, idealistic, emotional, impractical.
Congruent Occupations: Painter, musician, writer, interior-decorator.

Check where you fit in.

Best wishes,

Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Current Talent Management Outlook

The current talent management for Organizations has undergone a major change and some of the key features which are looked into are as follows:
  • Increased emphasis on assessment
  • Internet networking emerges
  • The emergence of workforce planning
  • A focus on the internal deployment
  • Employment branding
  • Continued emphasis on sourcing
  • Renewed focus on the contingent workforce
  • Emerging new technology arrives
  • Focus on leadership positions
  • Strategic metrics becomes king

Elaborating on the last but surely not the least point it is the critical differentiator for any Organization which is on its way from good to great.

However while measuring metrics is important, it is effective only if the following do’s and don’t are taken into consideration while doing so.

Some of the important factors which make metrics good are as follows:

  • Aligned with business
  • Actionable & Predictable
  • Consistent
  • Time traceable
  • Peer comparable

Some of the common mistakes made in capturing the metrics are:

  • For the sake of metrics
  • Too many
  • Not doing the intended action
  • Lack of follow up
  • No record of methodology
  • No benchmark
  • Not peer comparable

Contributed By:
Mr. Ranjan Sarkar
(Vice President-HR & Corporate Communications)
Acclaris Limited

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

‘HR personnel happiest despite workload’

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
London, 18 August


Human Resource (HR) professionals have emerged as the happiest lot in the country, even as they face mounting workload, a latest study says.

According to the latest ‘Happiness at Work Index survey’ by international recruitment consultancy Badenoch & Clark, about 94 per cent of HR professionals insist they are still happy in their role, despite facing mounting workload and bleak career outlooks.

The current level of optimism at 94 per cent is much higher compared with 76 per cent seen three months ago, the study states, but does not mention the reason for it.

Interestingly, it says that the optimism persists despite the fact that the sector has witnessed the highest increase in work pressure since the start of 2008 among all other industries surveyed.

Work has increased manifold primarily due to the current global credit crunch. Within the HR sector itself, the high workload forced many to put in their papers. According to the report, about 88 per cent of HR respondents believe their workload has gone up, with one in four (25 per cent) saying it has increased bythe equivalent of an extra day per week.

Meanwhile, nearly one in three (29 per cent) have handed in their notice as a direct result of rising workloads. But almost as many are taking a more pragmatic approach by delegating lot more tasks inan attempt to deal with the situation, the survey revealed.

According to the report, the rising workloads may be one of the key drivers behind plummeting levels of career confidence among HR professionals, as over half (56 per cent) the respondents say theyare less confident about their career than at the beginning of the year.

“The results of the Index are particularly revealing for HR workers. It seems the job is becoming very labour-intensive. When it comes to career prospects, confidence is dropping fast,” Badenoch & Clark’s Allison Gray said. The key message for employers is to not misread the unprecedented high levels of happiness forlong-term genuine engagement. HR as a profession is facing serious challenges at the moment, and employers need to be seen to be tackling them head on,” Gray added.

Happiness at Work Index was launched in early 2007 as a quarterly survey of UK office workers. It is used to track happiness at work over time based upon a series of standard questions.


Contributed By:
Arjun Pal
(Knowledge Cell - Globsyn Business School)

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Preacher and the Farmer Story

An old hill farming crofter trudges several miles through freezing snow to his local and very remote chapel for Sunday service. No-one else is there, aside from the clergyman.

"I'm not sure it's worth proceeding with the service - might we do better to go back to our warm homes and a hot drink?.." asks the clergyman, inviting a mutually helpful reaction from his audience of one.

"Well, I'm just a simple farmer," says the old crofter, "But when I go to feed my herd, and if only one beast turns up, I sure don't leave it hungry."

So the clergyman, feeling somewhat ashamed, delivers his service - all the bells and whistles, hymns and readings, lasting a good couple of hours - finishing proudly with the fresh observation that no matter how small the need, our duty remains. And he thanks the old farmer for the lesson he has learned.

"Was that okay?" asks the clergyman, as the two set off home.

"Well I'm just a simple farmer," says the old crofter, "But when I go to feed my herd, and if only one beast turns up, I sure don't force it to eat what I brought for the whole herd..."

From which we see the extra lesson, that while our duty remains regardless of the level of need, we have the additional responsibility to ensure that we adapt our delivery (of whatever is our stock intrade) according to the requirements of our audience.


Contributed By:
Dr. Shalini S.
(Globsyn Business School - Ahmedabad)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Human Assets in Balance Sheet

Though your Balance Sheet is a model of
What balances should be,
Typed and ruled with great precision
In a type that can see ,
Though the grouping of the assets
Is commendable & clear,
And the details which are given more
Than usually appear,
Though Investments have been valued
At the sale price of the day,
And the Auditors Certificate shows "Everything O.K",
One asset is omitted and its worth
I want to know
The asset is the value of the Men
Who run the show.

By: Sir Mathew Webster Jenkinson.

Contributed By:
Prof. Jayanta Mitra
(Globsyn Business School)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Desire to Excel

A gentleman 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 know it and God knows it!"

Moral of the story

The desire to excel should be exclusive of the fact whether someone appreciates it or not. Excellence is a drive from inside, not outside. Excel at a task today - not necessarily for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction.

Contributed By:
Vivek Kejriwal
(Senior Executive- Marketing, Media Worldwide Private Limited)
GBS Alum

Monday, August 25, 2008

A new look at HR

The acronym HR refers to Human Resources. This is distinct from Material Resources as it involves Intellectual Capital. Prof. Dave Ulrich has interpreted Intellectual Capital as a Product of Competence multiplied by Commitment. Competence represents the can-dopotential of an individual while commitment indicates the will-do-potential. It therefore, behoves on an HR Manager to optimize between these two.In essence, the purpose of Human Resource Management is to achieve organizational effectiveness through individual effectiveness. HRM strives to create an enabling work environment in an organization which facilitates employees to achieve organizational effectiveness through individual effectiveness. Thus, HRM helps to reconcile between organizational goals and individual goals. This is precisely what HRM should strive to achieve.

While all the resources at the command of an organization can be shrewdly and blindly imitated by the competitor to have an edge over the rivals, it is the Human Resource which eludes duplication due to its uniqueness.HR is not a number game, it is the sum total of the inherited intelligence,acquired knowledge, learned skill and accumulated experience over the years.According to J. Pfeffer, the significance of HR as the greatest asset of an organization assumes highest importance since it constitutes the organization’s intangible, irreplaceable and unimitable resource.


The above observations notwithstanding, HR is often criticized by it’s detractors. The premise on which the HRM concept is denigrated is that HR practitioners are perceived to operate sitting in ivory towers and off-load ornamental and flashy jargons which either are not relevant or simply do not apply in the work place. To this extent, the HR person becomes a fallen hero who is considered to be a drone at the mercy of other functional specialists (such as Sales, Finance, etc.) who are regarded to bring in tangible results more related to the bottomline concerning sales, profits. For obvious reasons, people in HR would be immensely let down at this slanderous allegation. However,the situation need to be analysed dispassionately before a suitable rebuttal can be contemplated. This calls for discerning the specific roles of HR as mentioned here under.
Basically, four HR roles exist. These include: Strategic Partner, Administrative Expert, Employee Champion,and Change Agent. These four roles need to be integrated into a coherent whole and that too, in a sequential manner which would sound logical. Let us suppose, an individual takes up an assignment as an HR Manager. It is futile for the incumbent to talk about change unless the rank and file believe about the veracity andsanctity of such a prophecy. Therefore, a sensible approach would be to start working shoulder-to-shoulder with people. This is where the concept of Strategic Partner comes in. The HR practitioner has to transcend from a thinker to a doer. Once done, people would look up to the incumbent for problem-redressal/technical advice. Here lies the importance of an Administrative Expert. The HR person then has to win confidence of one and all. He/she can do this once he/she emerges as the darling of the team. This can be realized if the role of Employee Champion is displayed. Here the HR guy acts as an emissary of the people to top management. Once accomplished,it is only then that the HR person can profess change. The role of Change Agent therefore comes eventually. In this capacity,the HR person acts as a facilitator who catalyses metamorphosis and ushers in the change process. Needless to mention,such a dovetailed approach will help elevate HR’s esteem to others. Regrettably, the crux of the problem lies elsewhere as enumerated below.


People tend to make an excess of each role. Instead of being a true Strategic Partner, HR individuals overdo such a role to an extent that they become intelligent tool-kit. In lieu of serving as an administrative expert, the HR person becomes a boffin. The employeechampion activities overstretch to those of a butler. Finally, the person in his/her endeavour to serve as a change-agent in abundance lands as a dreamer. None of these excess-oriented roles are well taken by others in the organization and in the final analysis, HR makes as mockery of the position.


Foregoing considerations therefore bring us to the panacea of all ills. The HR practitioner, as mentioned in the earlier paragraphs has to integrate the distinct four roles: Strategic Partner, Administrative Expert, Employee Champion, and Change Agent instead of being exceedingly pre-occupied with any particular role. Once this preponderance of one role over the others is eliminated, undue obsession with a given role disappears and the person becomes effective, efficient in his/her day-to-day operations. Others come to realize that the role is tangibly contributive to the organization in terms of say, reducing attrition,minimize absenteeism and lateness, decreasing accidents and scrap. The denouement is an unequivocal increased QWL (Quality of WorkLife) - definitely a goal to which not only HR looks ahead but the entire organization fervently aspires for.


Contributed By:
Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyay
(Globsyn Business School)