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Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Business Card!

“Young leader”, “Strategy Consultants”, “Associate Vice President”, “Corporate Planner”, my oh my there go some of the titles I have been seeing on the linkedin update page.

There is something in a name, isn’t it? When you say you deal with strategy and corporate planning it is quite a kick in the other persons nuts by your leg. What you would do there is maybe some corporate ass kissing and some goggling to make fancy presentations and word documents.(I think goggles is in fact responsible to most of consultants /analysts bread and butter, god know what will happen to them if Google shuts down.)

I am not better, in fact I am worse. I actually went a step ahead; I created my own designation and business card (and submitted the bill!); Business planning & Development. What do I do, in business planning, is basically shoot a lot of mails and based on some gut fell call,sweet talk and if  I get lucky get some time to go and beg. The silver lining is that in this industry you wouldn’t get slammed on your face, because unlike a bank trying to palm you a credit card you don’t need, the counter party in my case actually needs someone to make them what we make. And in business development, I beg (with style of course but if you drill it down to the basest sentiment begging would perhaps be apt one!)

Also another silver lining is that in this line, cards or designations don’t really matter. You do, your personality does and your capability to build a relationship. At the risk of sounding boastful, and adding to the obnoxious cloud of narcissism I carry on my shoulders, I do share here my MD remarks” you are right, that account was lying in the coffin, ready to be buried now it with your effort it is back and kicking”.(Sir you just wait, and see who kicks what, I am not a dog to be loyal, I am prostitute who strips at the highest bidders command, and yes I am loyal to the bidder I strip to !!)

Also in business development, I have seen that it is actually luck; you just have to persistent, develop a thick skin, suck in your gut and move on.

In fact all the fancy load of toosh of being passionate about your work is just that; toosh. If you are passionate, you would expect results, you would expect winning all the time, if you don’t win all the time(you just cant win all the time!),you will feel dejected no matter how optimistic you are. So your life would be something akin to a sinusoidal curve that is borderline bipolarity.

However consider the alternate, which is dispassionate work. That is you work but with no heart, only head and all head. When the outcome comes and if it is good you won’t be extremely happy and if it is bad you wouldn’t be sad either. That is your life would be a constant function with a defined amplitude; that is Y=K and the constant K depends on you.

If you in fact read very carefully the above is what exactly Bhagwad Gita says. In fact now I see that all the fancy theories of management being pedaled today are actually a part of our good and prolific religion.

PS- Next on line is the Vedic equivalent of Maslows Heirachy of Needs.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Funny Thing it is...........Asking!!

Today, I got a very good insight from a conversation, good enough for it to be shared.

It is something on appraisals, so I guess you may want to plough ahead.

The appraisal or the largesse bestowed upon the peasantry (you who else!) by the nobility (your boss and super boss!) is essential a function of three values.

1. Utility – See when a beggar accosts you in say a red light there is always a prop as an accessory/USP.A disfigured limp, a bawling kind, runny noses, disheveled countenance to incite the act of giving. Pity is the causality that is triggered.

Now extend the same to an organizational level. The causality you seek to incite is a combination of pity and grudging realization on the nobility of you USP a.k.a utility. 

You should have done something well, very well enough to be appreciated by the nobility. Dig into your archival system for that event(s), the more the merrier. Package those events to relate to the final outcome. In my case it is always revenues, deduce yours accordingly, (adherence to SLAs perhaps!).In essence the pitch or the positioning statements should highlight your utility to the organizations

2. Replacement – Now forget utility.

Focus on utility vis-à-vis what is not available in the market and what is required by the nobility. Nobody likes losing a prized art(one mans art is another scribble if it is of the “Modern” genre!!) possession, irrespective of whether they deserve it or not. What you ask should subtly hint at the relative value he would gain if you decided to call it quits. Say you are X you want Y which is very greater than X. But Y on a measured time frame (a couple of months to a year) will give a far greater ROI than Z cost of new resource addition. Beware; never actually talk about quting because if nobility even gets a whiff of your fluid intentions you wouldn’t get a penny. Play this replacement value card with caution

3. Relational/organizational – You are good, and you are rare (if not lets just say it is the perceived effect!).  

According to core competency matrix there is still the threat of suppliers, here by analogy the other people. No matter how confidential you keep your pay, news eventually leaks out. There are many advantages of fag with HR/admin, the biggest one is gossip. So even though you are having a high utility and a replacement value but if the relational value is low vis-à-vis colleagues and nobility, it might be a tough sale.

At the level(YUPPIE Misguided Banal Asses!), it is the first one itself that is a tough card.(methinks!).However on the flip side, utility alone is not the clincher in the rather funny art of asking. High utility low replacement is equivalent to largesse of pennies or a very efficient machine gun but only firing 1 bullet an hour when you need 2.

PS - Thanks to Chadda, who inadvertently contributed a lot(rather all of it is his only!) to this post.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happily Angry !!

Emotions, their causality and the consequent ramifications have always fascinated me.

And simple causalities have tremendous ramifications. Consider the sentiments of anger and happiness.

When you are angry, you react, irrationally. When you are irrational, you in economic terms are not performing the act that is likely to give you the most payoffs.

So in principle you would react in a primeval manner that is the reptilian manner (humans are reptiles!!).So there is no difference in the way you react to being angry today as you did say about millions of years back.

However happiness has changed.
What makes you happy is no longer what is giving you the most rational payoff. It is the relative payoff or rather the perceived payoff vis-à-vis your counterparts.

Say you were at X prior to appraisal , you wanted Y but got Z which is greater than Y. Rationally you should happy, but hell you realize that some other smart ass has got W which is in turn greater than Z.

Automatically the comparison is not between Y and Z but rather Z and W.

So in essence your happiness is a function of the relative level of misery of you rival/counterpart. Lower the relative level of misery, higher is your perceived satisfaction, irrespective of the rational payoff to you.

Think about it!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Esoteric Art of Prioritizing and Decision Making

Isn’t decision making the art one would love to perfect? 

Let’s say for every tough decision to make; you had a list of alternatives and by some uncanny logic you always picked the right one. That is in rational terms the one that gave you the most payoffs.

The two broad based variables, which underlie the base of any decision made, are time and money. (Time is not always money as often observed in cinematic depictions!!)

Let’s say in addition to the art of decision making you also knew the art of prioritizing. That is to say: which of the above variables to be used first and which to be used second.

Good right? But it sounds so confusing……..

Indeed, the above thoughts smack of philosophical lineage so “Let There be Light”, and let’s let’s put some meat on the above skeleton of the thought

How good are you at making the right decisions? Play this game and find out! - Click Here

PS - And yeah the implications of this game are multiple and can be duplicated in other real life scenarios as well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What is it really like after an MBA?

A. Moral of a Generic Thought after Graduation 
    • Screw IT. Let me do an MBA and I will be an investment banker and earn filthy money.
    • “This isn’t what I sweated four years for”, would be the thought after engineering in most setups (IT by law of many and most!).”I am sure a MBA would do far more interesting work” is mostly the end thought.
B. Content of a Generic response in an MBA interview session 
I can get an end to end visibility which would give me a holistic approach to problem solving, that in turn could aid me leverage my knowledge and experience to provide out of the box solutions for pressing challenges.

If you had any one of the above ever during your life, there may be some faint existence of light at the end of your rather gloomy life. .........................See here