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Friday, October 25, 2013

How could anyone think that Linking a game to #Happiness was Impossible ?

Well not if you are an Indian and been around or connected to #India during the last 25-35 years.  Here's a tribute by Sambit Bal of ESPNCricInfo to the Sachin Tendulkar - who to me is Cricket and cricketer personified.

I feel that Sachin and his career is the best example for any young cricketer (and their parents and well wishers) in today's GenY crowd to emulate. The turf has changed a lot with multiple format and influx of sponsors and attention, the chances of followers taking the wrong path (about which they realise only when they reach a dead end) is highest now and in future.

From an HR perspective, it also confirms the value of connecting Talent and Attitude for success...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wondering Diversity influenced our Luck on a Trekking trip to Parambikulam?

Goal - Have a good 'Journey' (Trekking trip) to Parambikulam Tiger Reserve (www.parambikulam.org)

Where we a Homogenous group ? Except for the Organisation where we all had our 'day-jobs',  that's a word which could not be any farther from reality if one attempts to describe the backgrounds and interests and the #WHY's for the 14 members from our company trekking club who team up for this journey which commenced from Infopark, Kochi around 6.15 am on 19th October.  Our 'soon to become six' year old firm's employees had began teaming up for the cause of adventurous treks to natural habitats for some time now and this one happened to be the fourth (we call it season) session for the Club overall and third one for myself with this gang.  I had really enjoyed the trips to Chinnar-Marayur and Thekkady earlier and was excited about this one as well. Frankly, i thought the heterogenous nature of the 'Whys' actually make it all really worthwhile for the entire team from a Learning perspective. I also thought that this sort of added to the diversity aspect of the group and actually aided in binding the group together.

Things started to unfold a bit slow as we approached the sanctuary gates from Kerala's border at Govindaapuram. It's interesting to note that we will be traversing two states on this journey as the only   motor-able roads for public use from Kerala to Parambikulam are via Sethumadai which is in Tamilnadu State. This was a trivia question that travellers shared during my first trip from CMS college back in 1993-94.

So we took almost 2 hours to cover the last 30 odd kms as the roads were not very good and the procedures we had to comply while travelling on a hired vehicle (Traveller in our case) related to the border crossing (permits etc).

So one would ask - how was our trip? Here's a list of animals, birds, reptiles etc which we saw during these day days:

  1. Black drongo 
  2. Striated heron 
  3. White throated kingfisherRed wattled lapwing 
  4. Greater racket tailed drongo
  5. Stork-billed Kingfisher
  6. Spotted dove 
  7. Crested Serpent Eagle
  8. Velvet fronted nut hatch  
  9. Orange minivet / Scarlet Minivet
  10. Malabar parakeet 
  11. White breasted drongo 
  12. Jungle owlet (The one all heard on 19th night)
  13. Jungle babler 
  14. Kestrel 
  15. Yellow wagtail 
  16. Malabar trogon (Red and blue coloured bird)
  17. Purple rumped sunbird 
  18. Black-headed Oriole
  19. Lesser golden back Woodpecker
  20. Indian peafowl (male and Female)
  21. Jungle fowl (Male and Female)
  22. White-browed Wagtail
  23. White-breasted tree pie 
  24. Pond heron
  25. 25. Common Myna

Animals and Reptiles etc:
1. Leopard
2. Sambar deer
3. Spotted deer
4. Gaur
5. Nilgiri Thar
6. Nilgiri macaque
7. Monitor lizard
8. Spider (male and female)
9. River tortoise 
10. Civet cat / mangoose ?
11. Elephant 
12. Malabar giant squirrel
13. Three striped dusky squirrel
14. Flying squirrel 


Looking back - the delays actually helped us to sight more animals as our dusky safari extended  an extra half hour into the night - a time when animal activity is higher.

Here are my picks for the major "High's" of the trip - adding a pic wherever i could capture one.
1. Sighting of a Leopard - just my second sighting ever and we had this one in our sight for over 30 seconds

2. Malabar Trogon
Malabar Trogon - Male
3. Dusky Palm Squirrel - the smallest squirrel in our country and very rarely seen in the wild. This one is shot at 400 mm Focal length from a tall tree.
Dusky Palm squirrel 
4. Flying squirrel - sighted during our dusky ride and not captured by camera
5. Sloth Bear - sighted during the dusky ride so not on camera - this one we could have used flash but I decided against it as seeing it in it's natural habitat itself was satisfying.

We decided to take a different and more picturesque route back to Kochi via Valparai.

I had not seen Nilgiri Thars outside of Eravikulam National park ever, so seeing this one in an unlikely spot as we were taking pictures of Aaliyaar Dam was a pleasant surprise.

More pictures can be viewed from my Facebook album at this Location / link

How did diversity help ? Well we had people who kind of had different interests and some of these translated into enabling behaviours like the ones I'm attempting to list below:
1. Some members would concentrate and watch so that they can be the 'first' to locate and feel proud (that's it)
2. Some would cheer the group when there was a lull in sighting
3. Some would add their 'story-line' to events that were unfolding - adding to the excitement
4. Common Goal of 'Enjoying the journey' - struck us together.

We did have a small situation where our driver was careless while parking at Valparai (delayed Lunch time) and his efforts to seek rationale from the Police officer did not end up being very pleasant - but that only had folks coming together (yes volunteering) for support and providing solutions preventing any hold up.

The last animals we saw when the entire group had only 'home and loved ones' in the minds, a bit  seen after we crossed Vazhachal -yes, we saw three elephants as they were lit up by the headlamps of the vehicle behind us :-) (Lucky again?)

Looking forward to season Five now....


First Live chat :-) #IndiaHRLive

Nisha Raghavan (here's her coordinates on www),  invited me to share the approach our company  had taken to #Install (yep software lingo everywhere) #Flexibility as a core enabler of business results while we the formative team went about the tasks of setting up the India subsidiary of a US based media measurement company in Kochi, Kerala, India starting off in January of 2008.
Nisha's profile is another interesting thing to follow for any young and GenY minded (intentional use) HR professional.  I found out from our interactions and some googling (yep she's left a nice trail) that she's a fellow HR professional from Gods own country (how could I miss that rt?) who is presently carving her own niche in the tapping social media for spreading Human resources knowledge based in the US of A. She's written a nice context for this group in detail here

I would assume (that was kind of easy actually) that her interest can be traced to the recent SHRM India award for which my company won as an ongoing result for that approach. One of the interesting things about any practice within any society (yep, company or any group of people) is that the 'special' or 'novel' nature of that practice to the internal stakeholders diminishes within 3-6 months (can be shorter) of its successful implementation :-). But the same practice will continue to be of interest to external stakeholders / learners / practitioners.

Here's a link to the youtube recording of the 40 min interaction I had with Nisha.


Kudos to Nisha and the #GenY HR professionals efforts to catalyse the use of social media to impart learning and also showcase Talent to Global audience.

Interested folks can follow this energetic group of HR professionals on the following channels:

1. facebook group
2. Nisha's twitter handle
3. Internet coordinates


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Getting Deeper into Birding in Kerala

Crested Serpent Eagle - taking off. April 2012
Never thought I would get to thank #social-media for rekindling my interest in birding ! Checkout this public Facebook Album of mine to get the complete #picture :-)

Yes, it's the third time this year that I went back to Periyar Tiger Reserve .. the interest was kind of re-initiated last year when I got to take part in a Wild-life photography workshop at the same venue with the renowned Balan Madhavan which was set around that years Full moon time in April.
It all slowly fell into place when I looked back at those pics from April 2012 and found
the following picture which I took of the Crested serpent Eagle....
Crested Serpent Eagle from Periyar Reservoir
This was followed by two more trips this year .. and each time nature has presented me with special moments like this one
Malabar Grey Hornbill with feed for female - March 2013

Each picture led me to go deeper into understanding about bird behaviour as explained here...

I guess the Tipping point came with the introduction to two facebook groups...first one was 'Birdwatchers of Kerala' and the second one was 'Indian Birds' 
These groups kind of reduced the lead time for my learning ... Yes, the Visual medium and the shared Knowledge was just too good.. and I did not care to look up reasons that makes people share, like this one did....

I also realised that I was being 'surrounded' by birds and other forms of wild life, wherever I go ...well actually, I began to be aware of my surrounding better, was also able to listen better to sound in nature..even when I'm not inside a forest / nature trail .... People in my profession can really do with some extra stuff on Listening for sure.

It was a real pleasure to see the impact of all this on people around me as well.. My 2 year old started adding bird names (his versions of course) to his vocabulary and my 7.5 yr old helped me get the Pronunciation of Dr. Salim Ali better ! 

Here are the just some of the #results, apart from the countless intangible ones for me from this trip - for which I should specially thank my good friend who in her usual impromptu manner landed in Kochi :-)

Fauna sighted on 17th and 18th Aug:

1. Jungle babler
2. White-bellied tree pie
3. Hill myna
4. Mountain Imperial Pigeon
5. Malabar whistling crush (boy these can really sing)
6. Blue-winged parakeet
7. Rufous tree pie
8. Common Tailor bird
9. Greater racket tailed drongo
10. Spotted dove
11. Red vented bulbul
12. Red-whiskered bulbul
13. Swallows (Not sure which kind)
14. White-throated kingfisher
15. Great Indian Hornbill (See pic)
16. Bison (Gaur)
17. Nilgiri langur (lots of them)
18. Pied wagtail
19. Indian cormorant
20. Pied kingfisher
21. Jungle myna
22. Dab chick or little Grebe
23. Ashy wood swallow


Here are two of the lucky ones which I could capture IMHO:
Great Indian Hornbill

Mountain Imperial Pigeon

Looking forward to this exciting journey...will be back with more pics ... maybe it's time I re-activated my flickr page

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Scanning the Internet for #HR #Trends #2020 (#HRtrends2020)

Here are some links which turned up as my search results for the future that human resource professionals can look forward to from 2014-2020

1. Starting off with someone who I feel has been #presenting #HR really well to the global audience by his unique research oriented approach... Prof. Dave Ulrich's take is given here.
2. Ceredian Canada has given some pointers (albeit country specific) about future trends in this pdf file
3. Here is another - this one has some bold predictions for 2020 - from Software Advice's blog New talent times

So what would be key differentiators for newbies preparing to enter the world of human resources in these years?



Monday, June 17, 2013

2000 tweets as of Today - that's just a start


Here is a link to my 2000th Tweet :-).. Been on Twitter since 2005 but most of the tweets happened only in the last 12 months starting June 2012 at Atlanta when I was attending the SHRM Annual Conference there..

Chanced upon a link to two videos on #Choice by Dr. Sheena Iyengar today.. and that becomes the topic for the day for me..

Many thanks to #shrm12 for helping me realise the potential of @twitter

I'm missing #shrm13 due to some personal situation - hope to follow it on #social media.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What's been going on with me?

Well, that's been a question which I'm trying to answer with this post :-)
As I look at what I've been doing over the past 12 months, the kind of activities when listed will look confusing to many.. so let me not go forward listing it.  A different approach to seek an answer will be to look for common pattern / things among those activities ... well that was easy - the word 'Internet' is common.. Yes, Over the past 12 months my access to internet has increased manifold in comparison to the previous 12 months. Wait a minute, I should not miss adding another word as prefix to the common thing here...'Mobile' ... so come to think of it, it's actually 'Mobile Internet access' that has been the most common thing in the activities which I undertook the last 12 months..
Still not convinced ?
Look at https://www.facebook.com/anish.aravind to see what I mean...

This combination of internet and mobility has brought about a new definition of 'Time' for me ... Well I'm sure it may have some unwanted consequences too - but thanks to my family (especially my 23 month old), I don't get carried away to the extreme either.

Volunteer activities connected me to www.ncon2012.com and this kind of helped me 'refresh' my interest in Twitter.... Result - your's truly was listed in the 200 most active HR pros on twitter :-) - that was indeed a surprise... for someone with less than 1500 tweets I thought. Made me realise that 'impossible' is just a state of mind hehehe

Here's my latest find- Treasure cove indeed rt?

Have a great day :-)

Looking for Tips to use Social Media ? Here's some ...

First post for the year.. Been more active on FB, LN, and Twitter this year so kind of missed the blog ! 

Heard about Slideshare.. ? here's how to use it for.. well - Anything!

make sure to check out this Twitter  Power tips as well....

Enjoy surfing :-)