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