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Management Lessons from Ramayana July 31, 2016

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Scores more to come….


Day Thirty Eight – SBMBW March 11, 2010

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  1. Short-term reliefs have their own place in battles which must be won. However long-term corrections may do away with the need for short-term relief altogether, relief and take it easy process can be embedded in your daily approach obliterating the need  for sudden  and immediate reliefs.
  2. Momentary pleasures gained by instant gratification are highly perishable pleasures, if you can’t do without them, go ahead. It is important to remember that momentary pleasures take some thing permanently and give something which would not be there the next minute.
  3. There would always be some people who would blame you for everything which goes wrong in their lives, even if it is 100% of their own making. If you can escape from them, go ahead let it be first thing first, if you find it tough doing it, accept and stop brooding about it.

“Because some battles must be won”

A Shot at 10 February 4, 2010

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After ages I tried to hit for 10/10 on self productivity, I didn’t reach there but was just about there. This is what I did:

  1. The task list
  2. Only priority additions to the task list after it was documented
  3. Cut the flab in every meeting by having reference documentation before the meeting
  4. Clarity of thought and necessity to convey in as early as possible in the meeting
  5. The teams time is as important as mine, maybe even more important
  6. If it can’t be attained in a 30 minute meeting, maybe it can’t be attained
  7. The day had a mix of work – Analysis, Training, Review and Decision Making

Once again – In ESHQ Always February 3, 2010

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Being “In ESHQ Always”had helped Compare big time, but somewhere down the lane we decided to move on from that thought and we moved on lower productivity.

Compare since November is moving back to getting itself and all team members fall in love, with their work (and has no issues if it is outside work too… LOL)

ESHQ or ISHQ in Hindi/Punjabi/Urdu means Love – The essence of In ESHQ always is that to perform at your best you should always be in love.

We believe that bringing Entrepreneurship on the table alongside Speed, Horizon and Quality can lead to very high productivity levels while keep the fun and the pleasure part of work intact.

Follow Winners and Become One – The Twitter Way December 6, 2009

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Two years and one month of Twitter life has made a difference to me, and what I am working to be.

I have always seen myself as a winner, optimism and go-for-it have been consistently on the overdrive. I have been restless & naive and savvy & cautious at the same time. Post Twitter, I am wiser, following winners across various domains have redefined few critical meanings for me and this post is all about sharing my experiences of following winners. Twitter offered me a platform to understand winners better and this post is a tribute to Twitter for opening hundreds of windows of endless learning for me.

  1. Winners are sensitive, but never beyond a point
  2. Winners are candid, but only where they choose to be
  3. Winners do help, but would wait for it to be asked categorically, rarely would they change their course to offer unasked for services
  4. Winners begin with an agenda and remember that commas, semicolons, colons can come at every stage and take them in their stride. They are always watching out for periods/full-stops, forced with an unplanned full-stop, they would ensure that they walk away from the situation and would bear the cost of it
  5. Winners believe that there are times “when you can have your cake and eat it  too” they enjoy these moments and never miss them when they come their way, but they always eat quietly
  6. Winners always know that there are more from where they themselves came, and are early to recognize one
  7. Winners do have their biases, but their biases are never carried on their sleeves and seldom acknowledged in these  many words
  8. Winners do their fair share of mistakes, but they seldom drag them too far
  9. Winners know that they are obsessed with themselves, they also know that many around them know about it and are comfortable with it
  10. Winners have few dreams and they are always far between. Their dreams come back night after night and push them to convert them into reality, maybe they just dream what they want their future to be and work for it
  11. Winners never lose the sight of winners of yesterday who ultimately lost, prejudge turbulence and ensure that it remains local
  12. Winners think positive and negative, of course they think more positive than negative. Looks like only positive thinkers may crash land more often than the positive & negative thinkers
  13. Winners do take breaks, and they often take breaks when conventional wisdom says they should be sticking out
  14. Winners reward loyalists, leaders and never ignore sycophants, they use them intelligently
  15. Winners don’t mind hiding truth, they are never into tell all mission
  16. Winners are aware about “stiff upper lip” and “never explain, never complain” privileges  which come their way, they do use them, sometimes even often
  17. Winners watch other winners in their domain but avoid getting into direct conflicts
  18. Winners go out-of-the-way to court bigger winners in their non-related domains
  19. Winners trust others, but never more than they trust themselves
  20. Winners are accessible, but they would never tell the route to access them, if you find out they welcome you and treat you as a winner

Each of the above takeaway can be mapped with at-least few of the winners I am following in my Twitter account. To say that all attributes fit all winners would be an incorrect statement.

Smart Vs Sincere February 9, 2009

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There is a saying in India – Who would save the boat if the captain decides to sink it? The Satyam Saga provided answer – The ecosystem. Yes it is the software industry ecosystem which came to the rescue with a supportive government playing a positive no self-interest role.

The IT industry has three parts: One which is run by Smart Souls, second which is run by Sincere Souls and the third which is run by Smart & Sincere Souls. If we do a division about 20% is run by Smart Souls, 79% by Sincere Souls and 1% by Smart and Sincere Souls. It is these 1% who have moved the industry and got it so far. So if 100% is divided between these three what about those who are neither of the three? Oh! You mean where does Mr. Raju fix in all this? He and his alike are visitors, Mr. Raju choose to portray that he belongs here and succeeded to a great degree in doing the same. Finally he has moved to his home, if all goes well he should stay there for rest of his life. They never belong, they can never belong here.

Over past few days I’ve been meeting lot of individuals some aspiring, some arrived and some struggling. The Satyam saga makes you think what would be this person like, say twenty years down the lane – Bill Gates, Larry Elison, Larry Page, Vinod Khosla, Steve Ballmer, Bernard Madoff or Ramalinga Raju of Satyam. The perspective has changed.

So who is Simar? Or What would Simar be like in 20 years – I have always considered F.C. Kohli of TCS as a role model, coming anywhere close to his persona would be a dream come true.

Feedbacks – Brickbats – Lifelines December 19, 2007

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Everytime I get a feedback, I thank my stars, I would have done something good that someone has taken out time to tell us where I am going wrong.

Many years back one of our stakeholders told me this “Nindak Nearay Rakhiaya, Aangan Kuti Chavaya, Bin Pani Saboon Bina Nirmal Karey Subhai”

It means “Those who criticise you, should always be very dear to you.  Make a permanent place for them in your life. Because they are the ones, who would not take anything from you but would improve your temperament/ outlook and personality”.

**Nindak (Critic) Nearay (Close) Rakhiaya (Keep), Aangan (Courtyard) Kuti (Cottage) Chavaya (Build), Bin (Without) Pani (Water) Saboon (Soap) Bina (Without that) Nirmal (Soft) Karey (Do) Subhai (Temperament)**

Many a times in my life, I have got absolutely gross feedback, its a tough call. Feedback can be in vested interest, feedback can be negative business intelligence, feedback can be a planted to demotivate, but then what is experience for. Just filter it/ honestly discount it, just take what you think is actionable, prioritize, consult and implement. Things can only get better. Feedback i also the best time to make friends. My immediate circle is full of those who “Love to hate me” and hate they do, and love that is what makes them hate me in the first place, they want me better, better than what I am, always.

Challenge is when you get a feedback which involves a group. It is a big challenge, there are many interests and egos involved, what is the best way? I think nothing works better than working in the interest of core of the group. If the group is your Family forget individual stakes and work for Family, if the group is Company, work for Company, If the group is Nation, work for the Nation.

If you are the group leader, you take the call, if you are not you actively support others to take it. Ensure a prompt call is taken, every-time.

Another thing I have seen as a challenge in Feedback is extracting actionable points, usually feedback is full of self acclaim, rhetoric and deja-vu. I always tell myself where is the Jewel? let me get it. One Jewel is always there in a feedback, always. It can take three or four readings to get it, but you would get it, it can be tough though in oral feedback. A revert to feedback should always be candid and should be with respect to the individual. 

 One always thanks a gift, one should always thank a feedback, ultimately what you do with the gift or the feedback is your call.

Calendar Making – A Challenge November 11, 2007

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A cursory look at any calendar and my mind starts rolling. What’s the game-plan? What’s the idea? What’s the objective? Why this format? Why these colors? Why this font? Why this shade? Why that underline? Why that unfilled? Why that bold? The flow doesn’t stop.

Two years back, I finally took up the challenge to design a calendar. When we got to it, the challenge was an absolute unknown. A three member team got going, Creative, Language Specialist and a Visualizer.  Hundreds of thoughts were pondered upon before we reached the operative challenge. The Challenge was – To ensure that the calendar is not passed down, put up at a prominent place and retained for 12 months.

The challenge definition behind us, we got going with the questions which were always known. New questions started popping up and the master list of thought process took shape:

  1. Why are we doing it? 
  2. Who will be the user?
  3. How many do we want?
  4. What should be the all inclusive cost to us without the design cost?
  5. What should be the format?
  6. What should be the size?
  7. How would we dispatch it?
  8. In what condition would it be received?
  9. What is the theme?
  10. Which would be the best paper?
  11. What should be the thickness of the paper?
  12. Which printing press and what kind of machines?
  13. Whether we want UV treatment?
  14. What type of binding?
  15. Steps to keep it “self clean”?
  16. Are we offending anyone?
  17. Are we excluding anyone?
  18. Are we being very serious?
  19. Is it a sales pitch or a tribute, or both or none?
  20. Is it the only time we are going to do it?
  21. If we do this, what would we do next?
  22. What are challenges brought up by our paper selection?
  23. What are challenges brought up by our format selection?
  24. What are challenges brought up by binding selection?
  25. Do we have all the stock at our studio?
  26. What comes first? What we have or what we should put?
  27. What is the ratio between publicity and subject?
  28. How to ensure universal acceptability of language?
  29. Should the subject be niche or generic?
  30. What are the color association of months?
  31. What’s different and how it is pleasantly different?
  32. How to do indirect branding?
  33. How much of credit to be taken for designing?
  34. Are there hidden messages? Can these messages be offending?
  35. Are we being ignorant on some aspects of the theme?
  36. Is our photograph selection unbiased?
  37. Are our Layouts exciting and acceptable?
  38. Is our designing in-line with the theme? Do they talk the same language?
  39. Have we planned it real well?
  40. How to plan eye relief for a month long close look at?
  41. How many proofreads and how many types of proofreads?

Our first calendar was appreciated, but we knew we went wrong majorly on one point. Theme, our theme was too niche, it was Taariq-e-Dilli. Those who loved Delhi and belonged to it were excited, others found it even difficult to pass on. Our very candid feedback told us that about 15% calendars may not have been ever used. Next year we took a theme which was pan India our full canvas. The calendar was a a mega success.

This year we would be on our third calendar and the original visualizer and the language specialist are both not around. The Calendar is bound to be better than ever done before.