Thursday, May 29, 2014

Whether College Degree Matters in times of Internet ?

We have country wide discussion since last 2 days about the portfolio compatibility of HRD minister Smriti Irani.  This makes us thinking relevance of  education in life.  Are our formal degrees really critical for success in any field ? 

10th and 12th Standard results and parents are extremely concerned about the future of their child. Which course to select and what not. 

With so many options available and no clue about what each degree and work entails is the real problem of today. Children are not aware about what kind of work they will do in life with the degree they are opting at the age of 16 or 18. Parents are more clue less with multiple options available. Both children and parents are confused , worried and in the state of paranoia.

Therefore decision making abilities give way to explore what others are doing. Well what others are doing also is not based on any scientific research and aptitude of the students. Even aptitude varies student to student. Everyone is deciding on a gut feeling and according to the trend. Herd mentality is playing major role here. 

Parents must remember education and success are two different things. While our immediate Ex PM got the top job because of his higher education while present PM got the top job sheer by his determination and past track record and not education track record. We have examples of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & DH Ambani all are non graduates and on the other hand Narayanamurthys of the world.  

In his book 'The Professional' wellknown author Subroto Bagchi writes "Our education system measure IQ just based on left brain and completely  ignoring right brain capacity. There are 8 other forms of intelligence like literary, musical, kinesthetic (sports persons posse this), interpersonal, intra personal, spatial (Navigational), naturalists and spiritual."  

Therefore what we do in life depends more upon what drives us and not what we learn during degree college. We have shining example of IIT & IIM A graduate but successful author Chetan Bhagat pursuing writing as a career. He is writing what he saw & learned from life during his student life and not what he formally learned from the books. 

Do not worry much about the degree as one can study whatever but DO WHAT YOU LIKE. Degree will make one aware about the world around us , it will help us interpret the world better. But as we grow we realise our interest and passion & so just follow that. 

We have many Engineers, MBAs and CAs and we also need many musicians, painters writers , film makers. It takes guts to get out of herd mentality and do something what you really savour - now or even after graduation.  Do not waste life in doing things what you don't like just because you did mistake in course section at the age of 16 o 18.

We are living in different times where degree is important but not sufficient for the success. Passion , determination & mission of doing something matter the most and mere degree cant give you that. 

In times of internet we can learn and study anything without formal degree but human skill like determination, interpersonal skills , intra personal skills , communication skills , physical fitness is what we need to learn in universities. I think biggest challenge of the new HRD minister is to bring these elements in our education system which is missing completely.

From MASS production to MASS customisation.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Business Turnaround - Step Number One

Yes CEOs across the globe is putting CUSTOMER at the center when they plan for business turnaround. 

Finding reasons for sickness is certainly a good beginning for turnaround process to begin with however for any business it is CUSTOMERs who pays for its survival - be it good business or turnaround case.

Therefore immediate focus on better customer experience can give CXOs to work out plan and strategise turnaround initiatives. Preserving customers who have not yet left the organisation is critical and first priority & making them company evangelist is next best on agenda. 

Company may be sick for any reason but the moment customers know this they may continue to do the business but search for alternative is on immediately as everyone needs dependable service providers or suppliers. Even best customer experience service providers like Kingfisher airlines started losing customers the moment they know about the financial mess the company is in.  Only hope for their survival was their customer loyalty they had created by offering great experience. 

Imagine what can happen to companies not offering not so great customer experience.

Therefore while working on other issues to  turnaround the company immediate sharp focus on the customers is the key survival tool for turnaround companies. Many a times pathetic approach towards the customers is the reason for the companies to go sick and even die.   

Point is do not wait till your enterprise go sick to focus on customer experience. Focus on customer experience to avoid sickness and even is the situation arise customer can bail your enterprise out with their loyalty and word of mouth support.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Communication is the KEY but ..

We have had a lot of discussion on how poor communication by our ex PM and poor communication campaign by Cong routed them.  Yes communication is very critical it is about reaching out, it is about informing what is being done and what is possible. It is about what is available and what consumers need , it is also about what one knows and what one did. It is about what is one can do and what one stands for.

Many a times technocrats think that their technical skill can replace need for good communication. We find many poor communicator at higher levels. Verbal Written & Gesture - Marketing Advertising & Social Media , at all levels and mediums.
At organisation level and at individual level too communication is very critical. We need communication as main subject in our all college level studies. We are so much obsessed and focused on technical education that need for good communication skill is never considered a basic need for the success. 

But communication will fail if PRODUCT is bad. Good product is a prerequisite for good communication to succeed. Best written book must be able to make it to the list of best selling book. Communication can not make bad product a good one rather in times of social media more communication about not so good product will it make it fail faster.   

We should not worry whether Cong should work on product or communication, as the rule applies to every one and every company. Introspection at all levels is necessary.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

NAMO moved the Cheese and ate it too !!

Who Moved Your Cheese is the apt book to read for all our politicians who are doing so called  introspection. 

Mr Narendra Modi has not only moved the cheese and but also comfortably ate it too. Everyone else during the campaign was denying that no cheese is not moving and they remain focused on old cheese. 

Yes , Governance and Development is the new cheese and others remain focused on caste , communal & secular politics.

Inability to see moving cheese happens when you lose touch with the ground reality and remain surrounded by YES men.   

Same rule equally applies to business enterprises. In a highly competitive market cheese is moving and those who can see is taking early advantage. 

Some will not accept till complete loss of business and some will agree after much of a loss to the business. 

New cheese is better Customer Experience (CX).  People have enough of options for goods and services.  They are looking for better customer experience.  Companies those who remain focused on all other internal competences will soon find that customer are not interested how smart you are internally.What matters to them or what count in the market place is what kind of experience your enterprise put together is delivering to its customers.

Many companies those who claim to be customer centric are only equipped with customer service department. They neither have mapped their customers journeys , nor has thought of offering scintillating rational and emotional experience (Most companies even have no clue about these aspects of designing CX).

Cheese is on the move , companies at the forefront are taking advantage. Companies in denial mode or in no clue mode or surrounded by YES men CXOs will realise the reality and learn lesson like the one learnt by most political parties after 2014 election (Most of them have not and will not learn even now).

Once again recommend the book Who Moved My Cheese.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How 101st Bank can still WIN !!!

Most of us most of the time become so obsessed with doing things that we only focus on WHAT we are doing. We fail to focus on HOW part of it.  

Even answer to WHAT will not give you the correct answer. Asking follow up question HOW will make the things clear. 

We are fighting for freedom is WHAT. It is non violent (HOW) means is what makes what we do meaningful.

We are publishing books is WHAT , we are doing it beautifully is HOW

We are upbringing our children is WHAT , we have learned about parenting and applying those principles is HOW

We are doing our job is WHAT , we are totally committed to it is HOW (or we just do for time pass is also HOW)

We are doing election campaign is WHAT , HOW aggressively or otherwise we are doing will decide its effectiveness. 

Customer Experience fails mostly not because product and services are useless or not up to the expected mark. Companies pays attention only on WHAT they are doing and ignoring HOW part completely. Achieve targets come what may results into mindless calls from call center  . mis-sell & corruption.  Defining and focusing on HOW is immediate priority if enterprise want not only to offer superior customer experience but also wish to become ethical.   

WHAT is rational and HOW is emotional. We human being are emotional creatures. 
WHAT you do/say goes to head and HOW you do/say goes to heart.

Therefore while designing Customer eXperience companies MUST focus on HOW part of  it to connect emotionally with the customers. HOW you make them feel while interacting with your company will decide positive or negative word of mouth (WOM) publicity , possibility of repeat business. 

Once you know about WHAT , deciding HOW can make you different.   
There are 100 banks in the country but 101st bank can still win just by focusing on beautiful HOW !!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Wow ! & Weird

Happy to inform that select posts (about 150) of the blog is finding its place in the book called Wow ! & Weird being selected by  a project by Rashmi Bansal.

I am sure readers will get an opportunity to read all the best posts at one place initially on website and if more readers like it , in the form of ebook and even more readers like it in the form of print book.

Keeping the tradition of many first time ideas of this blog , foreword for the book is written by not well-known industry professional but by a young and dynamic engineer and MBA aspirant Anish Desai (21). They are the GenNext , they not only need innovative ideas but they are driving business landscape with their innovate approach. We not only have to write for them but also have to learn from them too. 

I will soon update readers when the book is available online at