Visit to discover Indian blogs DISCREET ENVISAGEMENT

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How to survive the first week at a new job?

In the series of sharing some tips (out of my personal experiences) I am attempting to pen down some pointers for enduring the first week at a new job. It all starts with the first day – the day of joining. No matter if you are a fresh graduate or a senior management person – everyone is anxious about the first week at work. The preceding day to the joining, you keep everything aside and prepare for the next day. You plan to devise the first day as a productive and make the best impression in the manager’s as well other people’s mind.

However, it is very unlikely to get hold of everything related to your job description in a week’s time. The planning for the time has to be done in a way to ensure the seamless transition into new job. The preparation of first day has to be completely reverse of panicking and speculating. It has to be calm and comforting so that you can be up fresh next morning and head towards a new start. Let’s look at some pointers, which can make the first few days at new job manageable and in most cases enjoyable as well!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How to manage a YOUNG team?

In the recent stint of my career, I had an opportunity to work with a very young team. It compelled me to share my views on the management of young subordinates in today’s business environment.

The average age of my team including me would be close to 25 yrs and that number is significant when you have a team of 10 people! I have realized over time that managing the young generation is an art in itself. They want to make quick impact and achieve more in short span of time.

This generation has very different expectations as an employee and they want to be managed in a certain way in order to get the best our out of them. This generation is most tech-savvy of all and possesses multi-tasking skills. Managing such a young team can be frustrating for older managers since they do not find young employees in sync with the older professional customs. In the earlier times, growth in terms of position and responsibilities use to come by the virtue of spending substantial amount of time in a particular role/position/function; however the younger generation wants all that to happen out of turn.

It took me some time to realize the way to manage the young minds and bridge the gaps. Below are a few pointers, which have helped me to be able to play the role for quite some time effectively.

Let’s call it ’8 ways to manage a YOUNG TEAM:

Read the complete post at:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

DOCTORS upset over Satyamev Jayate – Behaving like Cats on hot tin roof!!

What can be crasser than a handful of self-proclaimed IDEALIST doctors picking up on Aamir Khan for his show Satyamev Jayate, which probed into wrongs of doctors in the profession? The disturbed set of doctors claims that the remarks of Aamir Khan have not gone down well with the fraternity.
Since then the circus has begun on the grounds of a few most atrocious news channels of our country. Self righteous people including the news host and the guest doctors are debating the issue at top of their voices. I am annoyed and upset (as usual) on the stance of all of these argumentative people for the silly areas that they are focusing on instead of looking at the bigger picture, which actually is the need of the hour.
I could not stop myself from dissecting the issues raised by Medical fraternity about the show. Let’s look at what is paining these doctors at all the wrong places:
Read the complete post at:

Monday, May 28, 2012

SATYAMEV JAYATE 4 – Apathetic plight of our HEALTH SERVICES

Aamir Khan delivered yet another thought provoking and ultra-revealing facts filled show of Satyamev Jayate on this Sunday. This time it was all the more shocking and disturbing since it was about the most elementary and essential need of human beings – healthcare.
I have been trying to share my thoughts on this topic but all that I feel now is anger and agony! India as a country is full of people who live their lives based on trust and faith. Be it GOD, religion, politicians, teacher or doctors for that matter. We have immense faith in all these along with many such things. We trust that what they do will be for our good.
Honestly, I am not able to relate to any of that! Not so because I do not feel that it was true, but because I do not understand how someone could do that! We have discussed issues like foeticide, dowry, and child abuse in the past where to me, the culprits were people. You correct the mindset and the evil practice can be curbed.
But in current topic in discussion, the entire system is a party to it. It’s a complete process under which the lives of millions of people ate kept on stake every moment!
Let’s look at what all was covered in the show:
Read the complete post at:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

'DOWRY' & its modern version as a SYSTEM

As I had stated in my last post on Dowry, I am sharing my views on the prevalent form of Dowry System in the country, a first-hand account of the practice.
I always believed that Dowry System must have evolved thousands of years ago in our culture and must have been based on the idea of gift giving. I personally do not just believe in something just because it is being written or said about, rather I try to find some logic in the same to believe in it. Same way, I have an understanding that the Dowry system must have originated long back with an idea of giving gifts to the daughter and the groom’s family to ensure the well-being of the bride.
I feel that every tradition starts as a practice and then gradually evolves into a custom or tradition. Same way a practice of giving gifts for the well-being of the daughter in a new place gradually developed into modern day Dowry system.
In the earlier days, when the communication and transportation systems did not exist (or were not well developed) the dowry system must have been limited to small payments and exchange of some tangible household items. I could remember (not very long back though) how young girls used to stich their own dresses and collected articles that they would be carrying along at the time of their marriage. A big steel box (peti) use to be arranged for storing these articles much before the marriage.
I remember an incident where a girl had stored an electronic product (received as gift from someone) for almost 6 years; but when she actually wanted to use the product after her marriage, it didn’t work!!
Read the complete post on:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

'HE was standing right there' - Short Poem

HE was standing right there..

When the Sun went down and the darkness spread,

When the world had turned black and all hopes were dead;

When nothing seem to work out the right way,

And when it felt that the tough times were there to stay!

HE was standing right there..

When chaos was all around and despairs everywhere,

When the protectors and the saviors chose not to care;

When none came forward to lend a helping hand,

When a unanimous plea was to seek someone with a magic wand!

Then, things changed; there was light; there was a ray of hope!

HE was standing right there..

When all came together and marched forward,

When all hearts were filled with strength and none was left a coward;

When hands joined to take charge and bring about the Change,

And when all that was happening looked very strange!

HE was standing right there..

When the dust began to disperse and things started to clear,

When the layers of misery were peeled off by morality dear;

When the world turned into a beautiful place and pain perished,

And when everything came back to its likely form that HE had always cherished!

HE was still standing right there!!

'HE' is the common man of INDIA. HE stood strong through all the rough spells – Ruled by outsiders, hit by terrorism and militancy, duped by the statesmen, shook by the ghost of corruption, beaten by inflation – HE never lost hope.
HE stood there, saw it all unfolding and tested his own limits.
History speaks for him – whenever HIS threshold of perseverance has been breached – HE has rebelled.

In my view, another cycle of STANDING THERE is coming to end for HIM and it’s not much time now when HE will take charge again and set things right!!

God Bless!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On the edge of the 'BENCH'

I am writing to share an incident that has made me think about the way we manage organizations today. I am associated with IT Industry since early days of my career. Being the head of the function that takes care of hiring the talent (I prefer TALENT over RESOURCE or CANDIDATE), it was a part of my profile to interview people and determine the fitment in the organization. I must have interviewed hundreds on them in last few years of my career. As a part of process, we interview, give feedback, candidate is offered for the employment and if everything goes well the talent joins the organization. Owing to the busy schedules, we seldom do a follow up after the talent joins the organization as to how he/she is fairing and finding the organization (that is HR’s job, right!). In fact, in bigger organization, that is more of an automated mechanical process.

But, it was a bit different for me in particular since as per my work profile I was supposed to hire as well as keep track of a talent till he/she is in the organization. Assigning projects to them, seeking feedback from the project managers about their performance, manage their aspirations etc. were a part of my function. In the same process, management of BENCH (The bench refers to people who currently do not have any projects on hand – more relevant to IT industry) was completely my responsibility.

The story goes as below:
It is about this one particular talent, let’s call him John. John had been in IT industry for past year and a half (1 yr 5 months) and had changed 2 jobs before applying for my organization. Third job in 2 years!! Didn’t impress me at all as an interviewer! I had (kind of) made my mind already that this person would be no good, though it was against the principles of effective interviewing (I know!). Anyhow, as we got into discussion and the interview progressed, I realized that he had great passion for technology and wanted to make big on technical front in next 5-7 years. 

I liked his enthusiasm and decided to give him an opportunity. Anyhow, we do not expect a 2 year (professional age) old kid to build a rocket for us – do we? So I decided to go ahead and hire him.

While I was giving my positive feedback (more of a final decision since I was the one to take the final call) I had this thought in my mind that John has never worked on a live project in both of his last jobs. He was put on BENCH in both of his earlier jobs! However, I overruled my apprehensions solely for the reason that his last 2 organizations were real big BRANDS.

Anyway, John was hired and he joined us after a month. He was very happy to join a growing organization since he could see huge potential for growth and learning for himself. More than that, he was happy to be working on a live project for the first time.
Like other organizations, we too have people on BENCH for some time before they are allocated live projects and John was informed about the same at the time of selection process. He had accepted that and was ready to wait for some time before he gets a project as per our instructions.

But I guess John’s destiny had other plans! The very next day of John’s joining; we received a project requirement which was matching John’s profile. I asked my colleague to call up John and give him the news of his allocation plan. John was happy, we were happy, everyone was happy!! Indeed it was a happy moment. Someone getting a project in a day’s time is wonderful. Finally, John was allotted the project and the meeting with the manager was fixed. He started working on the project with all the good feelings and dedication, clueless of the fact what time had in its store for him.
After just about a week, I got a call from John’s manager. He had called to express his dissatisfaction with John’s performance since as per him John didn’t have the required experience to work on a live project. He cited reasons like lack of exposure, lack of confidence and more lead time to gear up for the poor performance of John. Although John was working as the most junior member in the project; still it was not possible to continue with him as it was affecting the profitability of the project. Looking at the business criticality, we had to remove John from the project.

All hell broke loose on John! He was shattered, disturbed and disheartened. He was on the BENCH again. The fascination that he had felt around him in life vanished in a moment! Whole world came to a halt for him. But then, he was a strong guy! He gathered his thoughts and prepared himself to fight. To fight along with other 110 people on bench; waiting to be allotted a live project.

Days became weeks, but things didn’t change for John. We were not getting rightly matched project requirements for John. The world was moving ahead swiftly and John was feeling as if he was being left far behind in the race of success. But still he held his nerves. He kept calling, writing and probing frequently about any movement on his allocation.

One bright morning, I again got an opportunity where I could put John on a live project. I got a mail with a requirement from one of the projects, suiting John’s profile. John was informed, meeting was fixed and everyone was waiting for the results of the meeting eagerly. John looked very calm this time. He did not show any strong signs of joy or delight. I guess time had made him strong enough to take things as they come in life J.
Anyway, the meeting got over but the manager left us wandering for the result. He wanted some time to decide.

“Fair enough” we all thought! “Let’s give him some time.”     

Next day, I got a call from the same manager early in the morning (10AM is the early morning as per office hours). He had called to inform that he cannot add John in his project team quoting a reason that he does not have valid experience. I immediately recalled what John had told me last evening about the meeting that there was no discussion on project experience as such in the meeting.

My inquisitive part promptly asked the question – “But how do you know that he does not have relevant experience?”

“I spoke to his last manager whom he worked with for a week!” he responded immediately.

He shared that the last manager had given the feedback about John after which it was decided that he could not be included in the team. I was surprised and equally annoyed too. How can one take a call based on someone else’s feedback, that too when the other person didn’t work with the guy long enough to comment? But, duty calls! Amid all these thoughts I called John to share the news with him. He calmly heard everything, thanked me for the information in the end and hung up the phone.
Process was completed! Another opportunity was closed for John.

Days passed by and I got busy with other things at work. John never called back or wrote for a new project. He used to come to office every day, spend the 8 hours of his quota doing things and go back. I could see him going out with friends for tea, chatting over lunch and I looked like he was having a good time. One day, suddenly I got a mail from John asking for a meeting to discuss something. Since he was writing to me after many days, I promptly accepted the request and fixed up a time to meet him. We met in a meeting room. He greeted me and pulled a chair but this time he looked very uneasy. Red eyes, fumbling hands and shaking voice! He sat on the chair out in front of me, quiet, sobbing. I was surprised to see a grown up guy crying in front of me and that too at the workplace. It was a strange sight! I softly asked him as to what was wrong. He would not answer initially but then he looked at me and plainly asked me a question, hitting the nail on the head: “How will I gain experience if I am not given a live project?”

John had stimulated a never ending debate going on since ever in the corporate world – How would you get experience unless you are put on actual work?  Sounds similar to the Chicken-or-the-egg dilemma!

Somehow, this problem has become an inseparable part of our industry these days. John was the victim of the same mindset. We, as an industry could not nurture him in the early days of his career (made him sit on BENCH) and when he got old enough sitting there, we declared him unfit to be a part of the team! We are tagging talent based on their age in the industry without giving any heed to the passion for the work. We talk a lot about Training & Development, Mentoring, Coaching, Career Path, and Competency Development – but when it comes applying these basic practices like grooming talent things like Margins, Profits, Productivity come in the way.

We do not want to make conscious efforts to groom passionate young people who can make big in the field claiming that this will incur
COST as well as TIME – both being very critical for organizations these days. No project manager wants a slow runner in his team since it would make his project suffer. He will have to put efforts in grooming the person and he finds it as an overhead. He wants all STARS in our team, but he does not want to groom any STAR. Are we doing justice to the young people who enter the industry with high hopes and almost no understanding of its functioning?

People grow not by their passion and talent but just by being in the industry. In the rat-race of making more money by doing more projects delivered in time, organizations have naively given an upper seat to SKILL as compared to PASSION & TALENT. As organization, we preferred SKILLED people over TALENTED ones who might be really passionate about the work. This mindset has developed deep roots in operative of most of the corporate functions. A programmer will routinely become a project Manager after he has spent 10 years in the job; least that he has to do is KEEP WORKING!

There is no harm in this concept of career development but is this the only way of doing things?

I leave it for you to decide and if you get some answers, please share with me as well.