Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Types of Mentoring | Forms of Mentoring | Mentoring Categories

Mentoring is defined as the provision of counsel regarding major career and life issues by a typically older, wise and more experienced adviser (mentor) to a mentee who is typically outside the mentor's direct line of responsibility.
A mentoring relationship normally focuses on the skills, career and personal development of the mentee.
There are several main types of mentoring (not mutually exclusive, overlapping):
1. Informal Mentoring: also known as natural mentoring or one-to-one mentoring, informal mentoring happens when an experienced person decides to look after someone less experienced than him or herself. This kind of mentoring relations form spontaneously. They are normally based on similar expertise, interests or joint history between mentor and the mentee.
2. Positional Mentoring: this is a type of mentoring in which the mentor is the mentee's superior or line manager. Although most managers mentor their employees to some extent, there are several disadvantages associated with this type of mentoring, including the risk of favoritism, insufficient impartiality and similar potential conflicts between the two roles of the mentor.
3. Formal Mentoring: this is an institutionalized form of mentoring, typically in the form of a corporate mentoring program attempting to achieve the advantages of natural mentoring while recognizing the limitations of positional mentoring.
4. Situational Mentoring: this is a more short-term form of mentoring than the other three, techniques aimed at achieving a specific objective or solving a particular problem. Over time, this time of mentoring can develop into a more long-term relationship.
5. Group Mentoring: this involves one mentor to form a relationship and work with several (up to four or so) mentees at the same time.
6. Team Mentoring: this involves several mentors working together mentoring groups of mentees.
7. Peer Mentoring:
8. Online Mentoring: also known as E-mentoring or telementoring, involves communication between the mentor and mentee over the Internet.
9. Training-based Mentoring: a form of situational mentoring tied directly to a training program. A mentor is assigned to a mentee to help that person develop specific skills being taught in the program.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Human Capital Definitions

What is human capital? Wikipedia defines HC as:

"The stock of competencies, knowledge, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value."

That means HC should be regarded as an aggregate economic view of the human being acting within economies, in an attempt to capture the social, biological, cultural and psychological complexity as they interact in explicit and/or economic transactions.

According to MBA Brief's definition of human capital, it is

"A sub category of intellectual capital focusing on the intangible value present in the people working for an organization (or in an economy). HC is the total value of all skills, expertise and competencies of a company to react on market demands and customer needs including leadership and management issues and capabilities. HC in an organization can be classified broadly into two main sub categories: Management and Employees."

Makes me wonder if we all agree on these definitions of human capital?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Leadership Institute's Accountability Training Increases Team Performance

Accountability: Do You Cringe When You Hear the Word?

Do you hear the word accountability and just cringe? Does it make you think of keeping score? Well, for many that is exactly what happens. They cringe, they avoid, they walk away. But really, we all want people that are accountable in our lives and in our businesses. 

What does it mean? Accountability is taking responsibility for what you say you are going to do. It means following through. But first there are some things that have to happen in order for accountability to be all that it is cracked up to be. First, there have to be clear goals and expectations. When you have a clearly stated, measurable goal that you as the person responsible understands, then you take that goal on and take responsibility for it. When goals are unclear or wishy, washy it is impossible to be responsible for the goal but it is not trackable or measurable. For instance, if you have a business goal of improving the workplace for staff it is a totally subjective and wide open goal. It is open for interpretation and can look like many different things. What it means to you can be totally different from what it means for your peers or your boss or the owner of the company. Before you take one more step into action, you need clarity. A more clearly stated goal that you could actually implement might be: to improve the workplace by providing consistent, daily duty free lunch breaks. Now you can create a strategy for implementing this. You know that you have to create a schedule, figure out how to free people up and then you can implement. But the goal could also mean, improve the workplace by creating an action plan for each staff member with measurable goals, clearly outlined actions and weekly review meetings. This too, is measurable and actionable. But there might still be questions that you have as you start to implement.

That is part of your accountability responsibility: gaining clarity at the beginning of implementation and throughout. When a new question comes up, ask. Ask for clarity. A workplace that encourages accountability and expects it is one that also knows that there must be room for ongoing communication about goals and responsibilities. Staff must know from leaders that they are allowed and expected to ask for further clarification and that it in no way means that they are not being responsible or accountable. Actually, it means just the opposite. That they are!

Leaders must lead the way to accountability and responsibly by themselves showing that they are open to questions, open to providing answers and they too, at times, will need to ask for clarification or more information in order to be accountable themselves.

Accountability becomes a cultural norm within the workplace when individuals are given the space to take on responsibility and to expect clear communications about each task.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What should managers know of HR?

Should all line managers have a basic knowledge of HR? Obviously supervisors having subordinates, this implies the management of people. It is therefore imperative that line managers have a basic understanding of how to deal with his/her subordinates in terms of target setting, performance management, motivation, putting the right pegs in the right roles, and an element of emotional intelligence in managing these subordinates. In the Human Resources Management Forum of 12manage you'll find a variety of ideas about this topic.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Recognition and award program- Modern Organization

Performance and Productivity: The People Connection

In today’s economy, people performance is everything. It is what distinguishes and differentiates top performing companies. It’s not just marketing spin when corporations embrace people-oriented campaigns, such as “The Power of People,” “Your Most Strategic Asset” and “It’s the people.” Businesses are spending millions of dollars to establish, market and support improved human capital management strategies for one compelling reason: Satisfied, motivated and dedicated individuals, teams and partners are increasingly critical to business performance and corporate success.

The message is spreading. According to The Wall Street Journal, “A growing number

of employers suspect improving employee satisfaction will have an indirect but important effect on profit. Management must know its people and work continuously to monitor and modify processes to achieve their satisfaction.”

It’s no wonder corporations worldwide are scrambling to find effective ways to not only attract and keep the best talent, but also to elevate their performance productivity and service levels to new heights. Embodied in this quest is the ability to align individual behaviours with strategic corporate objectives. And, importantly, to motivate and reward those who meet or exceed these objectives.

In today’s market, organizations are trying to do more with less and achieve maximum return on investment (ROI) in their people — all part of a concerted, strategic effort to boost corporate performance. Most companies focus on improving productivity and service levels with their own employees’ first, but wise companies know that their attention must also include the other stakeholders in their corporate success – dealers, distributors, vendors and customers.

Great Customer Service Equals Happy Customers

The average business loses between 10% and 30% of its customers each year. As such, it is imperative that organizations focus on improving customer service because it can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line. For example, organizations that retain just 5% more of their customers will increase profits by 100%. Additionally, on average, satisfied customers tell five people about their experience compared with the nine people who hear about a negative experience. This is known as referrals.

Accordingly, satisfied customers help build brand integrity and corporate trust, and the most effective way to satisfy customers is to make certain that they are served by satisfied and engaged employees.

Note: 1[1] Reichheld, F., and Sasser, W. (1990). Zero Defections: Quality Comes to Service. Harvard Business Review found that organizations, where employees have above average attitudes toward their work (that is, high employee satisfaction), have: 38% higher customer satisfaction scores, 22% higher productivity and 27% higher profits.

Regardless of profession or title, work history or aspirations, the most satisfied employees are those who feel their unique skills and talents are recognized, valued and utilized. Those companies that encourage, enable and reward high performance tend to get more of it. It’s a virtuous circle, and increasingly, it’s a compelling corporate differentiator.

The video below shows a snap shot of the people who’re satisfied by managing their payroll opting different deductions. This is management of payroll to save tax liabilities. Incentive plan is more than that though, it’s quick cash and motivating. People also feel the caring from the Organization side.

A New Generation of recognition based Incentive System

Where traditional human resource-based approaches to human capital management fail to align corporate goals with individual behaviours, a new generation of incentive and recognition solutions is leading the charge toward improved employee and corporate performance. The complete, enterprise solutions offer a myriad of advantages and capabilities compared with traditional incentive and recognition programs. They are designed to consistently reward behaviours that are aligned to corporate goals. And, they are rooted in technology and can, accordingly, change at “Internet Speed” to keep up with the fast paced changes of today’s organizations and economy.

The next-generation reward programs are becoming an industry standard among companies consistently ranked as the most financially successful and most admired. It’s no wonder, since companies placing employees at the core of their plans produce

higher long-term returns to shareholders than do their industry peers. Arguably the most critical aspect of these next-generation recognition and incentive programs involves their ability to align strategic business objectives with the people who will execute on that strategy. A successful recognition and incentive program is designed specifically to support organizational alignment — driving both performance and productivity. They do this by creating a link between the overall goal and individual contribution. People want to be successful and want to be players on a successful team. Accordingly, they need to clearly understand their role in achieving the success. Thus, organizations can build and sustain an organizational culture that rewards top performance by consistently measuring desired behaviours and reinforcing performance that achieves desired results. The new generation of online recognition and incentive programs not only support organizational alignment, but also provide critical enterprise advantages: This reduces Organizational conflicts.

Spur Ongoing, Enterprise-wide Communication

Effective, engaging and informative communication is at the centre of all successful recognition and incentive programs. By leveraging the universal accessibility of online communications technologies — email, Web sites and more — today’s best incentive and recognition solutions communicate with all program constituents in a voice they will not only hear, but also listens. Program communication costs drop substantially in an online program, allowing companies to build better relationships with more frequent, more robust and more effectively targeted messages. Communicating becomes more flexible, enabling program administrators to quickly convey evolving program information or change programs to adapt to a changing business climate.

Ongoing communication of program objectives, successes and milestones are critical to overall program effectiveness. Online recognition and incentive solutions communicate with participants throughout the cycle — from program launch all the way to award selection and delivery — ensuring tight correlation between behaviours and incentives. Incorporating reference content relevant to the program, training tips and quizzes provides a cost effective training vehicle built right into the program. The

speed at which participants receive information also gives the program a sense of immediacy and helps to keep it fresh. Through ongoing communication, companies can affect lasting change, aligning their organization into one culture behind a cohesive vision.

Measure, Track and Analyze

What is the yardstick for program success? Reduced turnover? Improved service? Lower accounts receivables? Increased sales? Reduced costs? What is the minimum acceptable goal level? What is the expected goal level? What is the best-case goal level? Today’s incentive and recognition programs will measure organizational progress along the way. Through real-time transaction processing of all program components and online reports, organizations can begin to measure their programs’ ROI when it matters – in real time. This feature is one of the most important benefits of migrating a program online.

By running programs online, invaluable feedback from measurement, tracking and analysis can be immediately incorporated into the program design for maximum impact, and corrections can be made along the way, rather than waiting until the program ends to see the result. Data can be sorted and reported by any of the program elements – business unit, product line, geographic region, individual person etc. With this level of granularity, it’s easy to see where the program is working well and where more attention or additional training is needed. Management receives information that’s timely and accurate and program administrators can share the successes of a thriving group with those who are struggling to help raise the overall performance of the program.

The insights gained by the real time view of all program components provides a genuine opportunity for more successful incentive and recognition program results, and also for program data to provide strategic business information that can be useful

beyond the boundaries of the incentive program. For example, if sales results of a new product are exceeding expectations, manufacturers can be notified immediately to increase production and avoid disappointing new customers.

Offer Reward and Recognition Parity

Complex psychological theories and business process strategies stand behind successful recognition and incentive programs. Clearly, one of the issues most important to overall campaign success is the belief by participants that programs are fair and treatment is equal. Today’s online solutions can easily provide reward and recognition parity — ensuring recognition programs are consistent across all divisions

and all departments. The enhanced communication capabilities further reinforce how and why awards are earned, eliminating confusion or misperceptions about fairness.

Real time access to their program account history also provides participants with peace of mind and frequently ignites the competitive spirit between team mates. Today’s online programs have sophisticated award tracking and individual account management capabilities. Participants can see a complete listing of all the awards or points deposited into their accounts, as well as a listing of all their redemptions.

Scoreboards can be set up to display results in a myriad of ways – within or between business units, by product line or geographic territory, progress to goal etc. Complex hierarchies can be established for viewing metrics to insure that appropriate corporate guidelines for access to different levels of information can be securely accommodated.

Award Flexibility

With online programs, companies can customize award offerings for specific audiences and in many cases, different geographical locations around the world. It’s critical that program participants not only attach high emotional value to the rewards offered, but also feel the rewards are appropriate for the actions or performance being recognized. Online solutions offer extraordinary flexibility, enabling reward programs to be structured in a variety of ways: Managers can motivate and reward their direct reports and/or employees can recognize one another with peer-to-peer rewards.

Customized global award catalogs are allowing more companies to expand their incentive and recognition programs across borders, and the unique geo-centric assortments offered in the local language are engaging program participants in ways that were simply too cost prohibitive with a paper-based program.


The introduction of technology into the incentive and recognition marketplace has accelerated program launch and implementation cycles – what used to take months to set up, often takes only weeks now. Besides the inevitable expense reductions resulting from a compressed implementation process, companies can now feasibly entertain and execute programs addressing almost immediate business needs, as well as programs of shorter duration. This has important implications for time sensitive programs, such as those geared to launching a new product or clearing old inventory quickly. New programs can be added quickly and inexpensively to address an emerging business situation or target a unique market segment or audience.

Additionally, most incentive and recognition technology available today is built with expansion firmly in mind. Programs are capable of easily adding large, new participant groups to existing databases, or running numerous programs of different types and durations simultaneously. It’s not uncommon to have an annual President’s Club sales incentive program running in conjunction with several different quarterly sales initiatives, and an on-the-spot performance recognition program.

Once a technology platform is in place, additional features and functionality are relatively easy to add without incurring many of the initial start-up costs of a brand new program. Where appropriate, multiple programs can share a single database, eliminating the need for redundant data entry.

Choosing the Right Incentive Plan and Solution

Human capital management promises to generate extraordinary returns for companies that effectively invest in it. As with any new and emerging sector, questions abound about how to evaluate competitive offerings and measure expected returns.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Early Professional Success is only the part of the story……….

Early Professional Success is only the part of the story……….

While swimming laps, Pavel Etingof thinks about math. The crowds and noise on a city bus do little to distract Allen Knutson from the equations he scribbles on a notepad he keeps handy. Francis E. Su gave up his songwriting hobby to spend more time on his proofs.

The constant devotion of these and other mathematicians to their work has allowed them to produce seminal proofs and impressive results that have won them high praise early in their careers -- all are under 35.

Abel died of tuberculosis at age 26 after solving a 300-year-old problem and discovering what are now known as Abelian functions. Although death cut short the careers of those two men, Albert Einstein lived for 50 years after formulating his most famous equation, E=mc2, when he was 26.

Early professional success is only part of the story, even there are more failures than sccess however. Many researchers in other fields show early promise but typically take more time to make important contributions because of the nature of their work.

But starting at a young age doesn't necessarily mean one's career will end early or that later contributions will pale in importance -- the second half of the legend. In fact, Mr. Simonton found that mathematicians make their best research contributions (which he defined as the ones mentioned most often by historians and biographers in reference books) at what many might consider doddering old age: 38.8. That age is very similar to those he found in other sciences: 40.5 in biology, 38.2 in physics, and 38.0 in chemistry.

"Life takes a lot of time and effort," Mr. Fefferman says. "I think the big jump there came with taking care of babies, taking night shifts. There's nothing like sleep deprivation to make one less than brilliant."

"Doing the great mathematical work requires a hell of a lot of energy," says Mr. Etingof, of M.I.T. and Columbia, suggesting that older mathematicians may not be able to keep up that pace. "Doing mathematics at a very high level is really as exhausting as any sport." We’re talking all about mathematicians here, because at certain level all the science get mixed together and become philosophy of life. Watch this video below.

Many of these forms of public recognition are given only once to a researcher, so "there's an impression that [older mathematicians] have run out of steam," says Mr. Simonton, even if their work continues at the same level.

Doing significant work late in one's career involves seeking out problems that require more knowledge than young mathematicians can have accumulated, according to George W. Mackey, 84, an emeritus professor of mathematics at Harvard. That often means learning about several different areas of math and looking for ways to tie them together, he says. Princeton's Mr. Fefferman agrees, adding that picking up new specialties, while risky, is the best way to avoid going stale.

"In mathematics, it's not a game where the fastest wins," says Edward V. Frenkel, a 32-year-old professor at Berkeley. "But rather, it's more like who can see farther, who can see deeper. That's the one who achieves more."

Mathematics is not a closed intellectual system, in which everything has already been worked out. There is no shortage of open problems. Mathematicians publish many thousands of papers embodying new discoveries in mathematics every month.

Mathematics is not numerology, nor is it accountancy; nor is it restricted to arithmetic. So, isn't it the same like Life, very few could describe it in words.

Pseudomathematics is a form of mathematics-like activity undertaken outside academia, and occasionally by mathematicians themselves.

So if we re-phrase the above lines what Frenkel said it ought comes out like a philosophy “In Life, it’s not a game where the fastest wins, but rather it’s more who can see farther, who can see deeper. That’s the one who achieves more.”

At this point, tell me how many times we've heard this story in our childhood " The Hare & the Tortoise", isn't it sounding the same?

Follow the comments from all the Industry leaders here.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Early Recruitment proves poor Leadership

Managing Leadership Across The Employment Spectrum:-

I recently came across a situation, where retrenchment happened just because of unwise business projection and deferred implementation development of offshore projects by the top management. It will be obvious by now that development - both individual and organizational - is a strategic activity before it is a training activity. An integrated approach calls for a structure, culture and license for those with strategic HR responsibility to have access to relevant decisions affecting recruitment and selection, training and development, career and succession planning, manpower planning, reward and recognition, and so on. The point of discussion here whether the responsibilities of these retrenchments come to the top management’s lack of leadership or to the poor people who joined early and suffered?

These recruitments also require a spirit of co-operation, rather than a 'silo' mentality which provokes competition between these specialties and/or status-quo. Anything less (i.e. conventional separation of development - conceptually and sometimes geographically) will produce a sub-optimal outcome.

Organizations that have an unplanned, tactical or reactive approach to leadership fail to capitalize on their investment in development. For example:

- They may develop leaders at great expense, and then let them languish in unimportant jobs where their talents cannot be used fully

- They structure the HR function in such a way that one department recruits talent while another selects people for redundancy on the criterion of cost rather than ability

- They fail to deal with poor leaders when they become part of the problem rather than part of the solution

- And as we said earlier, they pour leadership talent in at one end of the employment pipeline, and carelessly let it escape at the other end.

These commonplace scenarios display a lack of joined-up thinking and action. To optimize leadership for the organization, the employment process has to be integrated and consistently managed at all points on the spectrum.

Managers with strategic responsibility for development need a remit that enables them to aware of, have access to, have influence over, and work closely with, their HR colleagues, on a range of decisions and systems affecting leadership, rather than taking spurious decisions on recruitment and then retrenchment.

Issues arise at, or approximate to, place on the employment spectrum (i.e. phases in people's careers that call for optimal HR management). Besides having development programmers at an appropriate career point, other considerations include:

1. Are we clear what leadership we are going to need?

2. What leadership talents need to enter the system?

3. How can the most talented leaders be allocated the most important jobs?

4. Should newly developed leaders receive a change of job following an intensive training program?

5. What criteria are used to assess the effective practice of leadership?

6. How is good leadership defined, recognized and rewarded (and bad leadership 'warned with positive feedback')?

7. What criteria are used to assess suitability for promotion to senior leadership positions?

8. What provision is made for successors?

9. How does leadership talent escape unplanned, as well as formally exit, the organization?

Responsibility for Leadership Development

The above perspective calls for a fresh look at who is responsible for leadership development strategy and what that responsibility comprises. In summary, the need for co-ordination across the employment spectrum means that all HR professionals, but especially developers, have an interest in ensuring that leadership talent is appropriately:

i) Defined

ii) Acquired

iii) Recognized

iv) Developed (Trained)

v) Utilized

vi) Appraised

vii) Promoted

viii) Rewarded

ix) Retained

x) Terminated

Underpinning all these steps is a clear definition of what effective leadership looks like. This needs to be accompanied by clarity and determination to address poor and unacceptable leadership.

If the organization is getting any of the above steps badly wrong, or if there is inconsistency in policy, then leadership (at the level of the overall organization) will fail however well individuals are trained educated and known as talents or process owners.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Producing Leaders

Today India is passing through difficult phases. In the absence of good leaders, India is unable to stop its exploitation. The biggest sufferers are common men.

India is unable to harness the benefit of globalization and technologies. On one side when our parliamentarian are unable to give us direction, The Time of India is busy in searching leaders, I feel the need to write about producing leaders in the midst of leaders to lead leaders. In this country, where everyone is a leader, is it so difficult to find a real leader? Or there are some other problems which no body wants to touch.

In this tired time when country appears divided on even N-deal, I always feel proud to remain focused and innovating. I have done this with my focused efforts earlier and I feel that anybody can do this. Most of the necessary steps have been narrated in my latest book “Unlearn Before U-learn”. I am happy that my own book is able to provide me direction.

At this time when everything appears to be in shambles, we need to create wisdom domain to appreciate the happenings.

Today when I hear the people from Harvard who wants to create a 100 million leaders in the next 20 years and coming to India with hope that they will build their fortune here among English literate Indians, I feel sorry for them, not because I doubt on their capability but on ignorance of our educated leaders of society to rely heavily on imported ideas. I feel sorry on western thinkers too because I do not think they will be able to make Indians fool for long time.

The problems of India are different. The solutions for the problems are different. They have to be understood in right perspectives in different environment. Even the leaders in ET (Economics Times) failed to realise the importance of these differences.

It is good that John Kotter, Professor emeritus, Harvard Business School, took a break from traditional academic writing to pen a book called Our Iceberg Is Melting with the aim to take leadership to the masses. I do not know how far he has been able to create leaders in USA which is still struggling to find feet in Iraq reminding the fallouts of Vietnam but he wants to make leaders in India where people are still struggling to come out of the clutches of communism and other isms.

Unfortunately, we have many of Indian institutions which always remain happy to encourage such foreign thinkers. India has made deBono, Stephen Covey, Jeffery Sach etc. and now John Kotter. One Chenai based theatre group has created a play out of the story. What an ignorance and bad luck for Indians? This is the way we have kept Indians innovators away from seeing the light of the day. Indian excellences have remained deprived due to proper audiences.

It is said that Kotter took early retirement at the age of 54. I feel surprised on the decision. What is this early age to retire? I took retirement at the age of 44 to write my book. Is it something great? He says that Harvard is an elitist institution so he could not get satisfied with Harvard way of working. He wants to create millions of leaders and he is doing this in India.

John Kotter says, “Traditional management books of the kind published by the Harvard University Press were not the best way to do it.” And I fully agree with him here. That’s what I have also done. I have written a book not in traditional way or established ethos or topics. I have written the book which India and Indians have to take some time to adjust with. When Indians are busy in learning, copying and following, I talk about unlearning, creating wisdom domain and becoming own creator. I think I have given right thing to society at right time. India needs my book. Indian needs my ideas. Hope many Indians can get the benefit of my efforts.

I know creating or floating ideas for Indians are not new. We are masters but when question of authenticity of information and creating direction based on the complexities of the present comes, it becomes the challenge. Even Ramdev is unable to Intuitionalise his work. He is more or less working on hearsay rather than a solid research and furthering them. That is where we fail. I have tried to create that and I am happy to shoulder the responsibility of my ideas.

While management is about promoting stability, consistency and order and efficiency, the purpose of leadership is to bring about useful changes. But the problem in today’s India is that no body is talking about changes in a big way. If we want significant results it can never be achieved by incremental changes, there is a need of Herculean changes. How many leaders are there to understand and accept these needs?

A meaningful change can never be achieved by few gods like individual at top but we have to have many hanuman like individuals at bottom who can take lead to achieve and convince changes. We need people who have knowledge, wisdom and caliber to change. We need people who have courage to face changes. We need people who can create wisdom to make change. We need people who have courage to reach to top and not get consumed at lower level. We need people who have courage to remove traditional top people. We need courage to speak up against traditional value systems. We need change.

Leaders can not be produced by searching. Leaders can be produced by raising expectations, removing barriers, encouraging creativity and generating value. Leaders can be created by consciously acknowledging the individuals efforts. Leaders can be created by keeping oneself free from trivialize. India needs to respect their talents. Indians needs to be aware of their responsibilities. Leaders will emerge once excellence prevails. Leaders can appear from society.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Intellectual Slavery

We all are aware about slavery. We are concerned about it. We try our best to remove the slavery from society. I feel that the slavery we fight to eradicate is generally physical in nature. We have achieved success up to some extent in providing freedom. But, today, I am going to talk something new. I think most of the physical slavery had been or exists as a result of a different kind of slavery and I call it as ‘intellectual slavery’. In this blog, I shall talk about it.

The concept of this slavery was emerging in my mind since long. Fortunately I grew up in a society where wisdom is ignored for traditions; knowledge is taken as an easily available item, education means a tool to get a job etc, thinking of intellectual slavery was natural for me.

The concept of intellectual slavery could be traced in many areas. But for any major reaction, one needs some catalysts and I got a catalyst when Manmohan was forced to say that Rahul is Uttar Pradesh (UP) future which became headlines of many Indian dailies. I was trying to find the exact reasons and why people do it even at very high positions. This topic may be a subject of research of a lifetime. It may not be possible to get clear conclusions in small blog.

But as I have done it earlier, I have defined many emerging areas for the thought provoking missions, I shall do again. The society can never emerge successful through conventional ideas. That’s why everybody talks about innovations. I try my best to find some innovations in my day to day life. This has been exciting experience for me so I try again to explain.

One more similar incidence and another statement of Manmohan Singh, which has been taken wrongly by media without flashing their own faults, my perception started changing. I started thinking about intellectual slavery.

How Intellectual Slavery makes you Non-professional?

Intellectual slavery is as distressful as physical slavery. Here again, I shall take the example from recent events happening in India.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must be a disturbed person now-a-days. Out of his total 529 speeches in 1095 days (three years as Prime Minister), the speech of 24 May 07 at CII annual general meeting has been noticed by entrepreneur, educators, economists, thinkers, media personnel and others. Almost all are blaming him for one reason or the other. Some are blaming him for his inefficiency, misdirection, wrong perceptions and contradiction in his approach while some are blaming for his desperation to be effective in Indian politics. What a compulsion to be the Prime Minister of a country like India?

The lines which created furor in the elite circle are stated as “resist excessive remuneration to promoters and senior executives and discourage conspicuous consumption.” Media just took the words ‘conspicuous consumption’ and started exposing PM’s economic intellects without taking cognizance of the next sentence where PM talked about media. I think that media of developing world also passing through intellectual slavery. Has media ever blamed their professionalism on the front page of dailies? Media personnel and media need to look within. That is one issue of the recent episode.

But I think different. The reasons of speech of 24th May have nothing to do with his profession. Professions have its principle, theory and histories. But individual has no such obligation. PM has its own limitation as human being. And it came in the open- wide open. The vulnerability is exposed due to the lack of wisdom domain. I have my own reasons to explain the lack of wisdom domain at such high level of individual life.

Once upon a time, PM said: Creating wealth, creating jobs, business is bridging social divide. Why did he forget his own words? Can somebody forget his basic professional concepts?

Because of intellectual slavery, Prime Minister Integrity is at stake. I am a simple soul but can understand the growth economics because I have personally experienced and observed them since last twenty-five years. The thing which PM is talking is not a professional idea but a loss of his personal integrity. Today, India is rising with more than 9%, the mission and objectives need to be redefined to meet future challenges.

How Intellectual Slavery Contradicts Your Wisdom?

The case of intellectual slavery could be observed with many executives, CEOs, managers or leaders. It spoils your professionalism. It diverts you from your missions. It impacts on your integrity. It can happen with anyone if not very careful like it happened with PM.

In one part of his speech, PM talked his basic understanding. “I clearly stated that the guiding principle of our Government has been to ensure that, while sustaining higher rates of economic growth, the improved performance of the economy must contribute to employment generation, poverty reduction and human development. The aim of each of our flagship programmes is to ensure that growth is more equitable and that it empowers the most deprived of our citizens”, said PM. How an individual loses his integrity to talk something else? The speech is a good example of intellectual slavery. This has contradicted not only Manmohan ideas but government too.

Everybody in this country knows that flagship programmes have been implemented to prove that Gandhi is still relevant to Indian society. Poverty can never be eradicated by such policies. As an economist, Manmohan must know this but he is trapped between profession and loyalty where loyalty wins. All these go at the cost of continuing poverty in India. All these go on at the cost of basic ideas of economics. The emergence of such words from such an appointee raises question on the integrity of individual. This raises the existence of intellectual slavery in my mind. In a country like India, professionalism is the slave of social opportunities.

Public Displays of Intellectual Slavery

When I was in IIT Mumbai, I used to analyze the speeches of PM, President and others to find out wisdom and the directions of nation. Today after around fifteen years of research, I personally find the ridiculousness of misguided statements. I found this when Singur occurred, Nandigram burnt or now Rajasthan burning. Who forced people especially youth to become tribes in this fastest rising economy? It is an abundance of contradictions. I find plenty in this country. I could find plenty in the PM speech delivered on 24 May 2007.

PM said, “If those who are better off do not act in a more socially responsible manner, our growth process may be at risk, our polity may become anarchic and our society may get further divided.” What is he talking about? We have palaces open all over the country where poor keep visiting on daily basis. Has any anarchy taken place? Today in the era of information age when TV signals reaches to slums free of cost, what our finest economists talking about? Is he talking about his slavery?

In this country, there is a ruling class in spite of democracy. Few individuals and families have taken all the citizens for granted. That’s how Lalu appeared, Jayalalita wins and a Maya appeared without support of bigger institutions. The ruling family should not take politics for granted. But will PM garner courage to speak against establishments? What could be the reason of anarchy of our polity? Certainly it can not be the issue which Manmohan is trying to convince us.

PM rightly said, “The electronic media carries the lifestyles of the rich and famous into every village and every slum. Media often highlights the vulgar display of their wealth.”

Media is a live example of Intellectual Slavery. Is Media listening?

But the problem in this country is that media never flashes these lines. Media need to behave with responsibility. But who will tell media not even Prime Minister? From where our famous elites of this country get time to attend marriages, dinner parties, Iftaar parties, and other trivial functions of society. Who is to be blamed for this? Media people are also human being with aspirations.

In his ten commandments for the industry, PM said, “promote enterprise and innovate, within your firms and outside.” But what about government, are they doing any innovation? India needs social innovations to achieve the desired growth and they must come from government through various policies but instead of innovations, government is relying heavily on outdated policies like reservations and subsidies. Everybody including PM, Sonia, Mashelkar, etc talked about innovation but where is innovation? Who will bring social innovation in this country?

PM almost contradicts himself when he said, “I firmly believe that the creation of wealth is the only way of addressing the formidable challenges of economic transformation that our country faces. And wealth can be created only through enterprise and creativity.” Starting from creation of infrastructure to SEZs, government has been unable to set course of policies direction. The wealth creation is becoming difficult propositions.

Why talk about Prime Minister, other ministers are also issuing contradictory statements. In the name of inclusive growth to satisfy the managerial instincts of Sonia and Rahul, everybody in ruling class does one thing and talks something else. They think something and act differently. There is hardly any coherence in the thinking and action of our policy makers. This is the biggest intellectual slavery of a democratic nation.

Do not Leave Intellect to Chances

Manmohan must be missing Narshimha Rao today. It was his fortune that Rao was the Prime Minister when he was Finance Minister. Rao gave the direction to this nation and to Manmohan Singh too. The work done by Manmohan in Rao regime can not be forgotten because of the courage and professionalism of Narshimha Rao.

Today when Sonia is at helm, it appears that Manmohan who was a successful economist to steer the economy of the country has become the lost identity with lack of ethics and loss of professional integrity in discharging his professional responsibility. Proficiency of professionalism changes with the change of the boss. Can you leave your intellect at the mercy of others?

Manmohan Singh has become a good example of intellectual slavery along with the journalists who depict the events and issues wrongly.

How to Come out of Intellectual Slavery?

Instead of Ten Commandments, our policy makers need to follow few critical steps of unlearning to avoid contradictions in their lives.

1. Maintain professional integrity
2. Ensure Knowledgeable bosses
3. Avoid intellectual slavery
4. Create wisdom domain

Follow some steps to enforce your intellect and create wisdom for life. Running behind making others happy neither makes you happy nor others. You have wisdom. You force others to follow.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why are We Rich and Unhappy?

Becoming rich is one thing but getting happiness is entirely different ball game. World economy is growing but not happiness. People are becoming better off but feeling worse. This is a very common problem. It has always been a challenge to find the exact reason. The reasons are being searched in this article.

Once upon a time, the results of market capitalism was generally agreed to make people better off. Nowadays that is not clear. A number of economists and politicians think that it ought to be doing something else: making people happy, says The Economist in an article titled Happiness (and how to measure it).

I as a technocrat feel that the reasons of happiness can not be easily traced by economist, politicians or other professionals. Earlier technologies and inventions were not impacting the society in a big way at one time. But, the inventions of last few decades have changed these old beliefs. The changes which have taken place around the world in last few decades are mainly due to electronics and Information Technology. So, the reasons of happiness can only be found by some technocrats who have seen the growth of electronics and IT. The world will have to accept this new dimension.

Growth Charts

With an annual growth rate of 3.2% per head since 2000, the world economy is heading towards notching its best decade ever. So, in this situation, 6 billion people of the world will have to face a different world order. The changes are new. The resources available are different. The accessibility is different. The connectivity is different. The borders, languages and regions are becoming irrelevant. The quests and means to find job, earning money and making social circles are changing.

Now David Cameron, the latest leader of Britain’s once rather materialistic Conservative Party, has espoused the notion of general well-being (GWB) as an alternative to GDP. In the US, meanwhile, inequality, over-work and other hidden costs of prosperity were discussed in mid-term elections. In India on the name of common man, government tries to find the reasons why prosperity not spreading widely. The developing world is struggling to provide basic amenities. The reasons of finding happiness amidst prosperity remain a burning issue.

There has always been a good discussion among the people of developing world to talk about the unhappiness of the people of developed world. People again got a point when a survey data reveals that affluent countries have not got much happier as they have grown richer. The same thing may happen or is already happening even in developing countries. Luxuries have become the necessity. Management of richness remains a challenge. In addition, it remains a challenge to bring the masses what elites have always enjoyed. Once, you get the most starved things take for granted. The process is unending. In all these different situations, the questions remain that how to achieve happiness?

In Search of Happiness

In my point of view, happiness becomes very complex in the midst of growth. As growth becomes exponential, the situation becomes explosive. In these circumstances, there is a need to look at things differently. That is what I am going to do here in this article.

There are various books on human psychology and managerial philosophy. There are plenty of write-ups on how to learn the important characteristics which all successful people possess or are supposed to possess. There are books on thinking, dreaming, meditation, yoga and so on ….there are volumes written on these aspects of human activities and personalities. But are there any books written on what you need not do. What you should not learn? What you should not work on? There is hardly any research on these aspects of human complexities to understand what you are supposed to UNLEARN if you want to belong to the category of successful and happy people?

Everybody talks about one or other trait to be developed. How to acquire characteristics of successful people? How to learn lessons from the success? People join various institutes to learn these traits. There are many teachers or so-called preachers who are willing to enhance your capabilities to learn more and learn fast. They are ready to teach you some more human traits besides what you already have. They are also ready to tell you what are the most necessary qualities that you lack. They teach you how to develop positive attitudes. They do not feel shy in telling that the only thing you ever lacked in life is a positive attitude. She becomes a big failure in spite of her great learning. How the happiness will emerge amidst lacking?

Even with the sharp rise in social and economic growth in the poorest parts of civilization, the growth has never been homogeneous; rather, a huge benefit has gone to few individuals or families and meager benefits to the remaining individuals and societies. Is it any surprise if the world’s 500 richest people have as much wealth as the poorest three billion put together? Even in the developed nations, if the changes are not monitored on a regular and constructive basis, the society or even the country could suffer and would suffer more in future. Such suffering has occurred at the individual level. This has been witnessed in the life of an organization. This is being observed in the nation build-up. Fast changes taking place in various aspects around the world have to be integrated into our policymaking process to harness the benefit for the human being, organization and nation. That is what Microsoft did. In the 1997, in the first CEO summit, they declared the objective for the next ten years as ‘friction free-capitalism’, in the 2006; they changed to ‘friction free-innovation’. Individual, society, organization or even nations have to keep ‘unlearning on a regular basis’ to reap the benefit of civilization.

Unlearning Past to Achieve Happiness in Present

Learning is not at all a solution but many a time, these are the big problems, because you will have to unlearn, whatever you have learnt, if it is not good for your future. Unlearning will be more difficult than learning. But you do not have any choice. You will be forced to Unlearn. So Stop Learning, Rather UNLEARN or LEARN TO UNLEARN before it is too late to unlearn. It is time to concentrate and know more about your Unlearn Quotient (UQ). (UQ is based on the critical factors. These factors work as a theory of human growth.)

Your UQ will take you ahead more than others. Your UQ will pave the way for your better future. Your UQ will reduce the contradictions and ambiguities of your life. Your UQ will show you the path to achieve next generation of time management. Your UQ will be the measurement of your happiness.

The beginning of the 20th century was the year when the major emphasis was on learning, while by the end of the century, the year could be defined as ‘How fast and how much can you learn’. But the 21st century has started with the critical need of unlearning. The years could well be defined as ‘How fast can you unlearn’. Unlearn was not found in earlier dictionaries, however in the recent ones, it has been explained and elaborated on in detail. As per Encarta, Unlearn means discard something previously learnt like an old habits, try to forget, put out of one’s memory or knowledge. Oxford English Dictionary writes, Unlearn - verb - aim to discard (something learned) from one’s memory. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines it very suitably to meet the present day requirement of understanding unlearn. It says that unlearn is to make an effort to forget your usual way of doing something so that you can learn a new and something better way.

19th century - Limited Learning
20th century - More Learning
21st century - Unlearning

Learning and Unlearning Dilemmas!

I define unlearning as an extension of learning. Unlearning means to remove, discard, forget, and leave undesirable things from minds. Unlearning means keeping mind free from unwanted information, deleting irrelevant data from memory and having more free space in minds for future thinking. Unlearn is the process of removing something from your priority list of doing things. Unlearn is the way or path to move from self-defeating methods of performing something to different methods, leading to the road of success. Unlearn is the method to prepare a list of parameters to discard from life for a better life. Unlearn is the preparation of futurist steps for a successful life. Unlearn is the challenging age old traditions and customs which are keeping a human being away from even basic amenities. Like you put up efforts to learn something good, you need to put efforts to unlearn something bad. Learning can be done through various methods, similarly unlearning can also be done through some other methods. It is important for all of us to learn more about unlearn to live a better life in the 21st century.
Irrespective of the country or place, individuals will have to unlearn to have more happiness in life. There are few factors which are essential to achieve the tough task of happiness.

Theory of Human Happiness

The necessity of unlearning is basically to satisfy the various needs of human beings. However it is necessary to know seven critical factors (SCF) to achieve the objectives. I have personally experienced and implemented these factors since the last thirty years. With critical observation of self, family, developing society, reading and seeing the developed and developed world, I have concluded that these seven critical factors as ‘theory of human happiness’. In the first instance, the factors may not appear as critical as any postulate in the development of scientific theory, but once critical analysis is done then the importance and effectiveness can be understood and appreciated. The seven critical factors are -

1. Thinking and Action – In search of truth. How could you think and act correctly? Is it easy to find truth?
2. Aspirations – Goal of life! Are you capable enough to decide about your goal?
3. Sex – Human Relationship. Relationships are the most complicated aspects of human growth. Sex is at the core of all the human relationships.
4. God – Ethics and Behaviour. God makes you a gentleman or gentlewoman otherwise you remain a demon. Understanding God is essential for human growth.
5. Parents – As you sow so you reap. Parents are responsible to sow a seed of growth. Are you sure of your correct seed for growth?
6. God Father – Sense of security. Th human is a fearful creature. Always look for a godfather for your growth.
7. Wisdom Domain – Knowledge Source! Life without knowledge is hell. Create wisdom domain (WD) in this world of Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO).

The details of all these seven critical factors have to be monitored on regular basis. It is important to know that how these are keeping the human progress restricted. Once these critical issues are clear, we would be in a better position to understand and analyze happiness.

No amount of money or position can make us happy. Life needs few basic things for smooth journey. Unlearning has potential to bring normalcy and contentment back to anybody’s life. Posted by Picasa