Friday, April 29, 2011

Survival of the fittest

When Charles Darwin used this term (it was actually coined by Herbert Spencer though), explaining nature's evolution from a single-celled Amoeba to such a highly complex species called Humans, he not only explained Nature's arcanum but one of the most Universal Laws which applies not just to evolution but comes down to basic simple things of life, a simple day, a job offer, a good idea, a startup or be it a big MNC.

Survival of the fittest, as the phrase finder describes as " The Idea that species adapt & change by natural selection with the best suited mutations becoming dominant" never meant that the best wins but it can be easily comprehended to a simple logic that whoever, understands the scenario, and acts accordingly by adapting himself/ his company to the same, not only wins the game but also takes the best ahead to evolve to the next level. The smartest instance I can quote here is of the FB Founder Mark Zuckerberg. The way he shaped his now most popular, an addiction-to-many social networking site makes him one of the smartest people on the planet.That is even after many controversies surrounding him.This shows that its not only the best talent which won but also the one which fitted the need of the hour the most.

A company would differentiate itself from the other by adapting to a market demand, faster than its competitor & definitely under a group of leaders who would think a step ahead which is no rocket-science though impossible without an in-depth domain knowledge.So now you know when a restaurant down the street runs much better than the other, it must have simply focused on these :

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life Ho to Aisi ?

So 'My Galaxy' never talked so much of sense as it had been doing in my recent last few posts !
Anyway came across this quiz during one of those days where you Work-From-Home & sit around the internet & have nothing better to do (not even those FB Quizzes where the manager has all the chance to know the actual Work-from-home status !).So here I tried one :

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 7.6
Mind: 6.7
Body: 7.5
Spirit: 6.3
Friends/Family: 5.6
Love: 7.7
Finance: 7.4
Take the Rate My Life Quiz
Looks good.. & looks more like the engineering CGPA's ! :D

So what do I conclude..?

Silly Quiz ! Need to get back to some sensible stuff aghain !

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How the Pulitzer this year reminds of Animal Farm

Politics, it seems like, is one of those few things which hardly changes irrespective of the era, location or any civilization.It remains the same & carries with itself the same flavors throughout the time.

Back in 1945, the famous Journalist & author Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, described a Dystopian Society in his one of the famous works, Animal Farm.Inspired by the Stalin's era & being anti-soviet, it described how the rich exploit the so-called unfortunates through the games played by them for their own selfish benefits.He depicted this through a perfect analogy of politics in an animal farm, as how the powerful animals exploited the weaker ones, convincing them at every step, promising them benefits & in-return further making them weaker.

Coming back to the present.It wasn't surprising to find Wikileaks, which created some biggest international headlines & controversies last year, not even being considered for Pulitzer Prize (America's top Journalism Award). As informed by the officials, it came to notice that Wikileaks couldn't even submit its reportings because of a single reason that it did not belong to any location & was not registered anywhere on the globe.As can be understood from this Forbe's article here.
Quoted :

" Only American organizations are eligible for U.S. journalism’s top prize. So WikiLeaks, which is officially based nowhere in particular, couldn’t apply on its own."

Of course, at the end of the day, mightier keep getting mighty.It will give explanations & reasons & would convince in every possible manner to keep its Power.Animal Farm indeed !

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Who is it Next ?

Internal or external, younger or older, Indian or an outsider, these are some of the choices infront of the committees formed by the Tata Group as well as the IT giant Infosys, and generally many other firms in order to look out for the successors as the Leading man of these groups are all set to step down finishing off an inning full of great works which comprised not just of mere leadership but of changing the directions & steering ahead the major Indian Enterprises.Of course,these committees face an enormous task ahead.The decision can be nothing less than a complete branch of management.Mind you, it is not only the business which faces this situation, the same applies to any field.

For instance,
- the succession of Dalai Lama as a religious head,
- the entertainment indutry, where the star kid tries to carry his parent's legacy, or
- the same goes to even the sports field & as we see the bigger the legacy,
- the more the pressure it is for the successor as the comparisons are bound to happen.

Both the leader & the successor, who is all set to fill some really noteworthy positions, have to be comfortable with each other including a correct balance of trust & confidence apart from the knowledge & much needed practical experience required to head such a big firm with the same zeal & sense & to most of all the ability to fill in the shoes of someone being so looked upon by everyone from the stakeholders to board members & infact, even the competitors.

A peek into the history of some great companies includes how these firms handled the same scenario when faced with a question about Succession & how working on this eventually led to something called "Succession Management".

The idea of  'Succession Management', started when Walter Mahler helped to shape succession of General Electric back in the 1970s, himself inspired by Peter Drucker's  (a famous consultant himelf) books. GE's succession procedure became the most widely followed one as GE managed to grow its leaders consistently.On the other hand, once competitor of GE, Westinghouse landed to bankruptcy due to a bad managed succession.Moreover, while considering the scenario in India, there is a thin line between family business & a global company.So overall, it is the safest bet to start the succession planning well in advance & follow certain fool-proof procedures with some intelligent innovations which might lead to a successful succession.In short have a good idea about the Succession Management & plan it well.

PS :
1. An amazing write-up on Succession Planning by A V Vedpuriswar (Warning : A pdf file)
2. Another good read for the Same (Warning : Again a pdf )

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Idioms - 1

As a part of GMAT SC preparations, am starting a kind of Super Week (Yep inspired from those silly ZooZoos & also someone's idea ! ) to jot down the basic Idioms, specially helpful to the non-native English speakers ! To begin with the following 1st list from Kaplan !

1. Regarded as ...& not regarded to be:

I regarded him as the most intelligent... & not 

2. Considered a :

Considered to be is right but considered wordy by GMAT
Considered as a is Wrong

It is considered a major market leader...

3. as long as :

It too me 4 times as long as it would have taken me to complete the report...
& not long than XXXX

4.The Geneva Convention covers such Questions as (& not like) proper treatment

5. He plays Guitar as his father does. (& not like again !!)

6. at a rate of & not in a rate of

The GAs was being produced at the rate of...

7. prefer to & not over

 I prefer Korean food to Japanese & not over (How to remember : GMAT avoids being wordy !)

8. from attending & not to attend (How to remember : You don't discourage someone to attend but from Attending !)

My Mom tried to discourage me from attending ,..

9. Between is used to choose to distinguish two things..& among is used for more than 4.

Ex : They divided the pie among themselves or among 4 of them

10. Fewer is used for countable things & less is used for abstract items & uncountable

Ex : Less milk/water .. Fewer Salary !

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Experience maketh a leader

You may be a child prodigy, you might have a great direction to focus & develop your thoughts, with a very fulfilling education or might be a holder of an attractive degree from one of those shiny coveted B Schools, but all that won't suffice when it comes to leadership.It needs that extra factor which may distinguish a leader from another & hence their actions & ways to lead.Experience it is.Nothing beats experience especially in a field like this where one's experience teaches him/her the best on how to react & handle a situation or a crisis and after reacting, manage it in a most efficient way.

Once bitten twice shy.An experience leaves a great mark on an individual & by this I mean in both positive & negative manner.It is obvious that while leading a leader will pass on his learning in some or the other way to his followers/team members.After all, that's what a leader does, leading the way forward by setting up examples learnt from his own.Take for an instance, a 30 year old recently passed out college grade into leadership role & a 50 years old gentleman in the same, working for a firm in a same team.When faced with an urgent crucial decision,involving matters of high financial concerns, it is undoubtedly the later who will be presenting forward the best advice for the company at that point of time.Now, you might argue, that at times, things get obsolete & hence the decisions made by the more experienced person in this case might appear to be irrelevant.However, this is not some technical stuff we are talking about.It is mostly dealing with people under given situations & circumstances we are talking about.These are the basic inherent rules of leading which we are talking about.The rules, which like common sense never change & only get better & what matters then is number of years of experience.They never go obsolete but keep on adding to a person's experience.In short, what I mean is that the names of the theories might change to make things appear more systematic & easier or rather I should say complex with more & more theories to remember for, but the universal rules in these cases remain the same.

Undoubtedly, a person's skill, knowledge, its brand value & the knack of applying the same matters but motivating people, understanding behaviors, all based on social learning.Be it a teacher, a sportsperson, or a CEO, or whatever field it might be,we all know what refines that leadership quality in a person with such a role to look towards to.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sweetest Victory

So India wins the ICC World Cup 2011, & Indians get to party the whole saturday night as the complete nation celebrates the Cup being brought back home again after big 28 years, a festival of its kind, celebrated from Wankhade, Mumbai to the streets of almost every Indian city & even outside India.

Nothing had united us recently as much as this big win has.Its only tricolors everywhere, tattooed Indian faces smiling, social media with the videos & pics of the moments of our glory & the teary-eyed happy Team India, tying us all with a sense of achievement & pride :) The first team to win the World Cup at its home ground & its winning moments :