Friday, February 27, 2009

Leadership Through Replenishment

Recent defeats of Australia in Cricket set me thinking what were the management lessons to be learn from the same. Well I got at least two ideas. Being at the top creates complacency in cricket as well as in companies. Complacency leads to sub optimal performance and loss of leadership advantage.

Also the second thought which emerged in my mind was that there are no young performers in Australia. ie since there world cup triumph Australia was not able to groom future leadership in the team. Ditto with companies all fortune 500 companies are doom to failure once the main leadership retires or dies. So that accentuates the importance of Leadership grooming and talent management in a company or team.

Hope you will learn from these two lessons and take your company to great heights.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

High Stress Abusive Work Environments

All occupations have Hazards, Some have more so.

Referring to work environments where you are likely to encounter verbal abuse which is the more malicious of all abuses. Well police force according to newspaper reports have high degree of associated verbal abuse. many a time reports of a subordinate shooting a senior is reported in newspapers. that is the extreme for of reaction to verbal abuse manifested.

Other work environments having high stress are Sales and Defense force. Sales people have their targets and firing on every morning on not reaching the targets. Also defense personnel are also reported to lot of verbal abuse and stress.

With the above information in mind you should make a proactive choice to join such work places and at your own risk and knowledge.

Also the decision relating to career is a long lasting effect on life so all care should be taken to choose the best employer for along lasting and fulfilling career.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Groups,Teams and Gangs

Yes employees could be classified in the above three terms.

Teams are groups that perform and work constructively for the well being of the company. More often such teams are diverse in nature. The members are committed to the organisational goals and indiavidual goals are aligned to the goals of the organisation creating that synergy for performance.

Groups are employees which have some common critera of formation and join togther to form work norms and cliques to the detriment of the company. These groups would not allow individual committed workers to work for the best of the company and may craete hurdles in their path.

Gangs are the most deliterious of criminals operating in a company. These groups are totally criminal bent of mind and may steal company info or property and sell for a decent profit. So beware of these employees. That is why it is important to invest a few thousand of Rs. to run background check on employees to see if you are hiring the right line.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Renting Your Mindspace

A workplace should be clean and free of Dysfunctional politics, but many a time that does not happen and we see lot of dysfunctional politics in the office. This mat result in strained inter personnel relationships and lost man hours of productivity, apart from loss of goodwill from customers in customer facing departments. Thus it is important that employees do not create problems for each other. Such employees should be identified and positive and negative steps should be taken to warn them to abstain from dysfunctional behavior. One of the employee party to the dispute could be transferred to other department, or if things are worse could be fired. As one bad apple spoils the whole lot.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Attributes of High Performing Teams

1. Composition : A high performing team should be diverse with regard to cultures, races and gender so as to include all the perspectives and consumer insights.

2. Motivation : A high performing team has a very high motivation due to individual motivation levels, hygiene factors and leadership.

3. Leadership : A capable team has a capable leader who performs in all trying conditions by setting direction and morale of the team.

4. Cohesion : A high performing team show high degree of cohesion and low degree clique formation.

5. Team-Work : The employees are motivated to team work and their efforts always result in a team synergy of 2+2 = 5 or 1 = 1 =11.

6. Attitude : Most of the members have infectious positive attitude and zeal, which gets rubbed off on other members of the team.

7. Commitment : Most members show high degree of commitment towards their individual and team goals.

8. Communication and Trust : There is high level of trust in the team which is the result of open communication which is present in the team.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Participative Change and Employee Commitment

Participative change is when the employee's are taken into confidence and are involved in Decision Making process. In these times of turmoil taking a black box decision on the course of action to avoid problems may be autocratic and swift and may appeal to intuition but may be totally counter productive. So it may be well advised to take decisions by involving the employees.

Take input from the employees that this is the situation of market and cash flows and that certain tough decisions need to be taken. Ask them that what they would have done if they were at the helm. In this way you could very well reduce some rancor and bitterness from the process of change which could be painful for some of the employees.

Communication and compassionate communication at the times of distress could in itself be a hidden boon and could reduce many of the problems hounding the management at such times.

Be Humane to the employees to be laid off as you would feel for some one of your own family. Talking is always great , but walking the talk is always difficult. So go for it, provide crash retraining to those being laid off so that they are multi skilled and less prone to failure after leaving your organization. This is also likely to improve the overall morale of all the employees post tough decisions and help in productively bouncing back once the flab is cut.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Working At Small Vs. Large Company

many people say that working in small companies is more beneficial as you are likely to get more responsibilities and a steep learning curve. you also have a better identity compared to the anonymity of working at a large company.

But I think it depends on what your ultimate aims are when you decide to work for a large or a small company. A small company may offer you limited scope of growth. Also in a small team the chances of getting involved in Group Dynamics and being a victim of tactics like isolation et al is more strong.

In a large company you are likely to gain acceptance from one group or the other and in the process have a better work life.

Also if you want to become an entrepreneur you could consider working for both a small and a large company to learn the tricks of the trade and best practices of both to gain when you set up your own company. The implementation of the systems and processes are smooth if you have the experience of being a part of the same for a couple of years.

So these are some of the pros and cons of working in small and big comapanies. Go for it, make your own decision.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Marketing Techniques

Many software companies use online distribution of files which results in piracy and cracks and lost business. But it is imperative to use online and offline ATL and BTL marketing to promote your business through troughs and crusts.

I was experiencing the power of net when I came across some techniques of marketing by some companies. Limiting the time utility is one method. Zapak gives a game for download which is valid for 1 hour 1 month. It means if you play 2 minutes daily the trial period gets exhausted in 30 days. If you play 1 hour then it exhausts in one day itself. Cool isnt it. Also the word game of Readers Digest is valid only for 1 hour from the beginning of trial. Now thats another way of giving short bursts of product experience to your customers.

Another way if marketing many software companies use is free limited edition of product to spread viral Word of Mouth and premium paid edition with enhanced features.

So thats all on marketing for now. Chow?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Agression and Jobs

Aggression is a quality, certainly positive aggression is. many jobs like marketing and sales require positive and even negative aggression on the employees part. All jobs would certainly reward the quality of positive aggression.

Jobs like marketing where there is less market and more marketing personnel through DSA's would require cut throat aggression. Only the aggressive survive in marketing.

So if you are thinking of a sales and marketing job you must be aggressive and aggressive to survive, prosper and grow in your job.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Employees Owning The Business

A lot has been written about the professional management vs. family owned business and how many family oriented firms have gained by using professional management. But the latest Satyam fiasco and the various US accounting scams prove otherwise. I have a small story which depicts how employees can be subservient to the cause of business freedom through hired managers.

I used to go to this Cyber Cafe in Dombivli and these had some employees hired in addition to the regular management. These employees would act like owners in absence of owners and would not allow the customers to sit.

They would start chatting on 2-3 PC's and deny service to the legitimate customers. As I was a regular customer I recognised them and alerted the owner to the potential problem who promptly took action by firing some of the errant employees and increasing their supervisory time and surprise checks

So now what you have to say about the professional management vs. owner debate.