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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SHRM15 - It's Vegas !

My third SHRM Annual (yeah, a hatric) has been very very special from the word go.. things were looking pretty good moments after i registered (yeah.. good to plan early) around Feb this year when I received confirmation of myself being an official #shrm15Blogger.  What made it very special was also the fact that I happen to be the only blogger from India in the list of over 45 bloggers. Look at the full list here.

Then came news that there is a possibility of catching up in person with a person whose work I've been following from 2001 after reading a book he co-authored - let me call it FBATR.  Bye the way, a Lot of strange connections (about which I should blog later) were nudging me towards the Subject / Study of Performance management.

I'm writing this from the Bloggers Lounge where there's too much excitement preventing me to get any further.. Let me use this post to connect readers to the public Facebook Album which I've created.

I shall be uploading pics from my phone, DSLR (yes, carried my 100-400 as well, just in case I get some birding)

More reasons for excitement - well here's the big one. I'm going to be facilitating  at a concurrent session today at the Global Lounge of shrm15 - No prizes for guessing the subject - Global Trends in Performance Management - context being the HBR article co-authored by Marcus Buckingham this april.

So long..

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Birding and Documentation - Lessons from #Kerala

20 Birdlists - each list being a minimum of 15 minutes should have been child's play for someone who has done over 100 lists just the previous month...Well that's what I thought read about the June Challenge put to my country's birders by @Birdcountindia Consortium on it's facebook page.
As it turned out, June had many surprises (pleasant ones) in store for me on the professional front and finding time to do birding, even if it's on my terrace got tougher as the week one progressed.  I knew i had to meet or beat the target by 26th June as I will need to fly out to Vegas for #SHRM15 on 27th.

The Monsoons took their time reaching my home state this year and that lull gave me some opportunity to get some birding in.

Then came the big weekend which had me attending two major birding events or birder community meetups (Annual ones) at the College of Forestry, Thrissur.  The need to get more visibility around impact of birding and documentation was felt at both the days. I would'nt say it was clear to the casual observer but having been observing the community members interaction in multiple forums (FB and Whatsapp being most popular) - it was easy for me to read between the lines.
Don't get me wrong here - let me clarify that Kerala's birders are pretty advanced folks and I'm proud to get invited to that communities annual event. Well I see possibilities galore, even though my state may be the first one in my country to get it's own bird atlas.

From the discussions, it was clear to me that my efforts will need to be centered around getting birders to get deeper into birding by documenting their effort. Documenting can be done using Tech tools like ebird platform. This platform also supports pictures and audio clips.
With more photographers around than birders, Pictures play a significant role for promoting documentation in my country. 
Well, I did muster energy to get to the magic number for the June Challenge by 27th morning - a day late than planned.

Here is an example of how a birding documentation can be listed for posterity -

Friday, June 19, 2015

Why is 'WHY' so Important ?

Ever since I've began posting pics (mostly of birds) on facebook groups and other communities on social media, I've noticed that I keep getting a particular type or request to my facebook Inbox - I'm pasting a body of text below to have readers connect with the pattern:

Thanks for ...Please have a look on my wildlife photography page, if u pleased by my photography, then please like/comment /suggest to inspire my photography work Thanks…

So it's been about two years since I've been posting pics and I did oblige some of these requests for 'Likes' and that gave me opportunity to track some of these pages at will. 
I found that in majority of cases, the interest in photography reduced over time and so did the engagement ability. 
I have now started to ask a simple - why photography?- question to when such requests reach my inbox.  Yes, Simon Sinek's TED Talk (watch video) has been an influencing factor for my interest in 'why' question.

The responses that I got had a predominant - "Sorry, I don't understand you" - feel to written over those bits and bytes ! How I wish they had thought about it before they invested in DSLR's and Time.

So Photography IMHO is a powerful tool as Images (anything visual) has special powers (Read this Harvard article for exploring) for generating opinion on a mass scale. I'm hoping that the plethora of 'shoot-schools' aka photograhy workshops and training sessions focus some efforts on helping their students unleash this power of photography.  This would be possible on when the student's have clarity on their own 'WHY' for photography. 

Looking at my own story, it was pure need to network that got me to attend a Photography workshop early in 2012. The workshop was lead by Mr. Balan Madhavan who is himself an ILCP Fellow.
Luckily for me, he started with a depth approach which kind of simplified the power of visual medium and photography in particular and the easy at which this power can be tapped for Conservation. 

I see potential for Photo Equipment businesses to grow if they form communities out of such individuals and encourage members to explore the power of Images leading to Win-Win situations.

Sadly some people seems to have found their Why's and depth faster - so there's a lot of distance for conservationists to catch up...

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Big Day for @PeopleMatters2

HR Folks in India - it's high time you bookmark The People Matters site. Here are just some reasons why I recommend this as a Must do for any HR person who wants to keep Learning and keep making an difference to things that they attempt to impact as a Catalyst ...aka - Change Catalyst?
2. Come August this year and watch out for #TechHR15  to catch up on what Top HR professional have curated to evolve under the Theme 'Driving on Digital' - I happen to bump into an investor of @PeopleMatters2 at #shrm12 when shrm was attempting frantically to connect HR folks to Technology and to better realize the power that lay dormant in this area. I've been following the energetic team from then on and vouch for their interest in this domain.

3. I see them attempting a lot of Connections - to me connections is all that matters when someone is trying to bring in change .. connections adds to diversity of thoughts which in the end leads to that pathbreaking result.

Yours truly is specially proud to have had the opportunity to connect them with NIPM Kerala Chapter some time back and I see a lot of possibilities for that connection as well.

Watch out this space and my tweetrolls for more

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Startup Success Metrics - the Human Link

My avtaar as an HCM and OE Consultant with SS Consulting (From Jan 2015) gave me the opportunity to get a 'From the Horse's Mouth' coverage of the Startup ecosystem as it exists in South India. I will get into specifics of my views on trends etc at another time... This post is to pay tribute to this (watch video)...

Thanks to the clarity of expression and use of data (however sketchy) I could relate to a lot of stuff I heard from first time entrepreneurs as they explain about their 'stories' to me. The stories they narrate help me to reconstruct the context with which they expect me to help them weave / repair people practices to support them.

How I wish I got this video about 6 months back :-)

TEAM - the second important determinant to success as per the data presented by Mr. Bill Gross.  After watching this video and connecting with it - I'm more confident to place my views to my present and probable clients about the need to establish a 'why' for the Team formation itself as they go about setting up the company (first time for many) - from the Idea stage to execution.

Excited about the journey ahead.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

My take on Re-inventing HR Professional bodies

Today I chanced upon an July 2014 thread of mails in which I had shared my thoughts about an approach for the local NIPM chapter (
This discussion was initiated by Mr. A S Girish the Kerala HR leader for Apollo Tyres after he got elected as the National Vice-President of NIPM - India's oldest professional body of HR professionals. Text which follows (red colour font) is an edited version so that my readers can connect to context:

I’m trying to chip-in on a discussion thread (pasted below for reference) which Jayaraj started couple of days back. As always, Girish Sir (Mr. A. S Girish) has been the catalyst of this thread as well :-) Have to say I’m glad about that as well.

Strengths of NIPM Kerala Chapter:
Special branding within NIPM due to consistent performance for past decade or so – culminating in NCON2012 and raring to better everything we do :-)
Location – Kochi is of strategic importance for Centuries, which no one can take away from us.
Unity oriented approach and family connect/focus which our senior leaders have instilled – this to me is a rarity in most HR bodies in our country.
India / Kerala HR context: 2012-2020
Demographic dividend – Huge thing shaping things across BRICS World for next 20-25 years. Our country is at the centre of this thing. We have already seen challenges of working with GenY population from every type of leadership (Union, Management, Government, Prof’nl bodies etc) - it seems most are taken by surprise on this one, some accept it, some close their eyes BUT that IS the reality.  The Technology changes which our country embraces (yes, sometimes faster than developed countries) makes this a complex equation.
As HR professionals, we are best placed to provide leadership thoughts in managing this huge change which our country is going thru – for next 25 years.
With a Majority Govt in Power there can be a revamp of key Labour laws expected soon – this if occurs, it may put back a lot of focus on Labour laws across industries – not just in Mfg. It’s also likely that Govt may make special laws to support the manufacturing sector as that’s may be the only way the planners see to increase job creation. See this article for a pointer -

Suggested Approach:
IR / HR it’s all about making an impact for the business – we should refrain from focusing on names like these so that Business leaders always seek our group for sound advice / Value for solving people problems which impact businesses.
Stay connected with surroundings / Stay current – our value multiplies when we do that. No one cares about AGE now.. I had heard Tom Friedman say this at SHRM14 last month (June 2014) – ‘Everyone is just interested in knowing what you can do with things you KNOW – not where / how / when you got it”. Practical solution: Let’s have at least one session in a qtr from Business Leaders / Entrepreneurs.
Embrace Technology – there is a belief that Technology is only for IT professionals. We in HR are best placed to remove that myth.  Think about how we can use existing technology to solve our problems – it can be that simple.
Connect with GenY – Like Rajasthan did for Labour Laws, can we at our chapter attempt to review all existing practices of our chapter to welcome GenY to our midst??? This takes a real collective effort.
Connect with Gender. Work places of today are Gender diverse, it’s another reality – it’s just simple math; and for our state with a  clearer Sex Ratio metric – what more should we wait for?
Some of these would take a few years to get done – we can push the start button anytime we want :-)

The future is bright – I am really excited to be just living thru it.  Love this group which has kept me on my toes for past 6 yrs or so with so much learning everytime we meet up.. Let’s continue to be trailblazers.

As for connecting with new sectors – Let’s revisit our VALUE proposition – People flock to anyone who can provide Value. Time / Cost for that Value becomes secondary.  Let’s think about what value we as NIPM Kerala Chapter can add to any industry we are trying to connect – and once we give them (and communicate it) - they will come running to us.

Well that was a year back and I'm really glad that the chapter's think tank has taken some of these thoughts to action level and also embarked on a  journey to add value.  The renewed focus on Manufacturing which our country is attempting will bring back the need for HR professionals to be comfortable with Labour laws.
I'm Proud to be associated with this elite group who to me are clearly the 'unsung heroes'....