Saturday, December 24, 2011

Time to Reflect - December's embers

December has often given me reflective time. Last night, as we stood to mark the birth of Christ outside an overcrowded church, it would have looked like devotion spilled over. The year that has gone by presented scenes that would mimic mass movements – or tend towards one – Morrocco, Libya, Egypt and Syria are graphic reminders. The scenes and visuals on media these days would look like anti-corruption crusaders have billowed from sparks of angry protest. What are people in search of? Can they find it together?

The song Kolaveri di has a followership in subtlety in India, where as eminent psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar put through long ago – there’s a mighty projection through collective cooperation. We Indians foist upon singular entities a power that makes them do things we would not dare to do ourselves. The series of Occupy Protests in USA are a departure from consumerist numbness there. These eclipse the birth of a new country in South Sudan, altogether.  Economic machinations of the West, Europe and war-torn nations hold up a fragile situation on the other hand. The pressure on civil society to find new answers or rediscover old ones is increasing.

So here is the insight. The scientific approach has led to a belief that humans are at the centre of the universe and he/she can conquer and control the universe. Rapid material progress and reckless consumption have created an alienation and emptiness within.  The means to assert individual will have also made it a complex and a futile journey for many. The wherewithal for the present and the future include a self-leadership and a personal journey.
Manmade and natural calamities challenge us. However, in recent decades there is an awakening unfolding that humans are part of a larger Whole. More and more people have begun a search for meaning and purpose. The quest for meaning and purpose is inescapably an inward journey. Through constant awareness, the discerning seeker comes across a reservoir of  inner potential. In the course of the inward journey the traveller discovers new dimensions of human and universal existence.

Such a discovery process awakens spiritual intelligence in the voyager with a sensibility infused with warrior like qualities. These warrior like qualities enable the leader to go over the edge to venture out into the unknown. New frontiers open up new perspectives to face the challenges, tempered by compassion.

The future for human civilization is a shift towards the cosmos as a whole. This approach brings about a balance between we humans and our environment. Our corporations, communities, cultures and science will learn a new way of living and relating. The new way of living, leading and relating can pave the way for a mindful future that may enable sustainable life.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Spiritual Intelligence - Explorations with George Kunnath

I've had some fascinating moments exploring the aspects of a Spiritual Intelligence conceptualization, thanks to the sharing from George Kunnath. Like a babe on the shores this vast ocean of awakening waiting to be known, I wade through a water that ensnares, endangers and yet comforts. Non-rational at it's core, it is a force from which we may have arrived in material form, and yet, our forms of knowing inadequate to explain phenomena we experience in this respect.

Here's a glimpse of that exploration. Posted here for your reflections and comments please.

The Material and the Spiritual

The Newtonian scientific model challenged this understanding of unity and overemphasized empirical verifiability as a prerequisite for any existence. The overemphasis of the Newtonian paradigm eclipsed indigenous wisdoms of the heart and idealised everything that is cerebral.  What we now witness is an intractable reductionism of essentially phenomenological experience into measurement, and look-alike frameworks of an extrinsic measurement paradigm. This has led to the propagation of ‘indices’ for phenomena such as customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and learnability. Every facet of human life has been driven by the cerebral rather than the visceral.

The rapid material progress in the West at the cost of all other dimensions of human existence created a vacuum. Many Westerners began to look eastward to find meaning. The feudalistic rituals of the institutionalized religions became redundant for the true seeker of the spirit and meaning.  The inner quest for greater meaning beyond material existence gave rise to many gurus and spiritual practitioners outside the religious structures. Western seekers came to India in search of peace and enlightenment.  Many found the solace they sought as they traversed through the chaos and immersed deep into the ancient spiritual practices.
Since, the treatise on Spiritual, Emotional and Analytical is an on-going one with a respectable legacy already available in literature, we wish to stress on a transformative space that leaders could act from. As the saying goes, it is better to cover one’s feet with slippers than to carpet one’s path on this world laden with thorns and stones.

... everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe - a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.” - Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Albert Einstein - The Human Side, Princeton University Press, 1979.

Albert Einstein, probably the personification of fundamental inquiry in the pure sciences, acknowledged the existence of a greater power that makes us humble and surrender before it. Spiritual intelligence is a higher intelligence governing the universe.  Looking at the way the universe operates, it is a great marvel. Every event, every process in the universe is governed by a principle or a set of principles.  The manifestations of the governing principles can be observed in the operation of the universe. The planets orbit through their paths and the birds fly in the sky with no super highway crashes or mid-air collisions. There is a particular principle governing every species on earth unique and yet different. Seeds sprout, grow bloom, bear fruit and perish. Mammals are born, they grow, they reproduce, and they decline and die. The cycle of life continues; irrespective of the host habitat – the tectonic plates of Iceland, the fold mountains of the Himalayas or the Great Australian outback.

Every invention of man is a poor imitation of nature. Perhaps Nature does not make the effort to communicate its bemusement of our flattery for Her. The most sophisticated computer is no match for the human brain. No technology can match the marvel of the universe. The World Wide Web which is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, it would appear, is modelled on the planets and stars and the interconnected nature of things in the universe. For the design of the most sophisticated fighter planes, extensive studies are done on eagles in flight with cameras attached to their body to capture the angle of their flights.  Whatever it may be called, a superior intelligence governs the entire universe including the humans. However, often we think that man can conquer and control the universe. In this quest for mastery and control of the universe we have forgotten that humans too are governed by the same higher intelligence that governs the entire universe.

Spiritual intelligence is not separate from the higher principle that governs the operation of the universe. In the Indian spiritual tradition any human soul (atman) has the potential to take the inner journey and be one with the whole (Brahman) universe. In this oneness the duality disappears, humans and the universe are not separate, they are one whole. When connected with one’s core we are connected to the whole. Being whole is our fundamental nature. When we experience separation form the whole due to karmic effects (akin to the collective consciousness of Carl Jung) we are unable to access the higher intelligence. Being one with the whole gives us purpose and meaning. We become clear about our true calling and we live out our true destiny. When we are one with the whole we constantly tap into the infinite resources of the higher intelligence. Our connection with the higher intelligence guides us to live our lives for something greater than ourselves. We respect other people and everything in the universe.

In the universe we humans are the only ones who kill for pleasure. The animals kill only for self-preservation – either to defend against an aggressor or for food. Human conquests are for greed, power and control. Human greed has depleted the natural resources, threatening the equilibrium of the planet..

Going back to nature to learn our basics again seems inevitable and precarious in our moments of choice. What if we were to remodel our corporations on the basis of the laws that govern the universe? Would that be a design choice? Individuals and organizations are taking to adventure and nature exploration. Some organizations are experimenting with workplace spirituality. While many such initiatives appear as attempts to be current with developmental practices, some leaders are undertaking an inner journey to explore intangibles that gives them meaning and anchor. Such a journey leads one to the inner core from where one learns to connect with the whole. 

The communion with the Whole brings about a transformation in the leader. A leader thus transformed allows oneself to be guided by the higher intelligence. These leaders help transform their groups, corporations, communities and nations. When the duality between self and others dissolves we merge into the interconnectedness of the Whole.

Spiritual Intelligence flows from personal authenticity, integrity and congruence. Every creative process at work is indicative of Spiritual Intelligence at work. When Spiritual Intelligence is at work, questions of purpose and meaning are at rest for they are continuously unfolded by the constant interplay of Spiritual Intelligence with everything in the universe. The interconnectedness of the universe ever manifests the spiritual intelligence at play. The incessant flow of energy through all animate and inanimate life forms in their various stages of creation is spiritual intelligence incarnate. The ever present natural order amidst apparent chaos reinforces the presence of the superior intelligence that governs the universe of which humans are a tiny spec. This realization makes humans to surrender to the greater power in the act of letting go. In this apparent loss of control we learn to accept the supremacy of the higher power that guides the destiny of the universe.  A new natural order emerges and we learn a new way of living, leading and managing our lives and the surroundings. The new way is sustainable for the present, future of our planet and future generations. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

The noise about Research in Human Resources in India

The noise about Research in Human Resources

The recent NHRDN Conference featured a session devoted to research in Human Resources. The presentations made indicated a curiosity in areas that needs sincere inquiry. However, I had some observations about 'research’ as a student of such disciplines. I was pained that attendance at these sessions dropped merely because it was placed for the last day of the conference.

After serving as a reviewer on journals, I have now a few jarring noises to make on the way research enterprise is brazenly unchecked. In fact, my gut for the notes here is agitated further by the collusion of academia in the 2008 financial collapse that shook the world. ( That is a 2 hour documentary, and not a scientific treatise in itself. Yet, the evidence it makes inspires me to write as below.

1.       A report does not research make. Method in inquiry does. Not any kind of method – but those that observe the canons of science.
2.       Print and electronic media like to splash opinion, given the mediocrity in discernment of science. Such a market of opinion is not the method, but merely the yearning for a voice. An opinion is a fact of opinion, not always the fact of methodical enquiry. Verifiable science too is generalizable under the certainty of specified conditions. Human Resources Development is more akin to a social science, where the laws of generalisation and universality are more circumspect. Moreover, the level of abstraction and inter-subjectivity in social sciences require a community of practice to safeguard research standards as also to promote relevant enquiry.
3.       A presentation does not make a research, and it is in fact impoverished by a lack of curiosity. Similarly, a book of collection of procedures from organisational practices does not make for a construct of scientific reality, howsoever symptomatic of a phenomenon or two they may be. Testing of constructs requires a temperament of methodical experimentation.
4.       The authority of an office is not to be confused for the authority of a subject matter. Social hierarchy often denigrates the merit of fact, especially if the conviction of enquiry and the method of communication do not help the cause of research. Scientific endeavour is no cakewalk. The art of enquiry is only eased with the practice of rigor. If you are a knowledge worker in a service industry, you may even experience the obfuscation of organisational truths when irrational procedures are foisted down the hierarchy in the name of standardisation.
5.       Several consulting brands claim to have a research focus. They also do not always acknowledge the bias of commerce in the choice of research and methods that drive research towards commerce. Practices in such commercial research would often be unconscious of compromise in research designs. Slavish to a numerical algorithm, or a framework, issues of collinearity and discriminant validity hardly matter to the ‘consultant’. Worse still, the research design gets less and less innovative and stuck between the fulcrum extremes of quantitative and qualitative planes. Contextual maps for coherent enquiry are required to make meaning of evidence in ways the subjects experience phenomena. So calls for indigenous research for example do not find takers, if science cannot be framed in service of that idea.
6.       If you intend to do a Doctoral Program in India, be aware that the quality of your investment in inquiry is not just dependent on the standards of the University or academic institution, but also on the larger ecosystem. A data-shy corporation, an oversensitive field guide or a weakly tempered supervisor can jeopardise your motivation for science itself. Research in educational institutions is hardly encouraged.  Be more prepared for the program than you care to for a job interview, for a cross examination from your side helps.

So much for now, I would think. A noise that cancels out another will not make music, I assume. If there’s a way in which educational institutions wish to up their research capabilities, I would like to learn of it. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Key Principles of Employee Development

I owe the following to Dr. Dan Harrison. While his points are succinct and distilled, I've tried to make the narration of development sportive. Indians follow cricket so furiously, that some popular characters may bring home the points. Hope you will enjoy these points stated as principles of employee development.

1. Ensure the right placement for the one who wishes to develop for performance at work. This makes development of the incumbent in the role practical. No point taking the gloves off Dhoni's hands to deliver dot balls as bowler in the slog overs. Inspire the incumbent in roles that offer what he or she enjoys doing.
2. Consider both technical and behavioral competencies. Without either, performance post-development will falter. It is not enough for Sreeshanth to tear down the green and pound the leather into the pitch. He should carry himself in ways that his conduct is deemed appropriate to the requirements of the game and that such be acceptable in his own conscious mind.
3. Consider all relevant job suitability factors. This reveals all behavioral factors that affect job performance, work satisfaction and retention. So to get Laxman to very very specially be special at all formats of the game would be risking a lot of his special talents.
4. Discover, acknowledge and utilize strengths. This provides encouragement and the motivation to develop. Dhoni could do more to discover young talent like Jadeja, Raina and Kohli as part-time bowlers. They will be thrilled to contribute to performance in inspired ways.
5. Work on Self-Awareness before working on others' development if you can. It helps to use the self as working model of development for others to value their own development seriously. Besides, experience is a humbling touchstone. Self-realization makes contribution or service more likely without having to quote one's own effort in development! One quotes one's efforts only when a committed learner asks for it.

In summary, whether performance or development, man likes to have the pleasure of engaging in activity he chooses to. Development is a future oriented effort for the employee. It is an investment if and only if the above principles are held together in the development decision. Focus on the developing employee's needs.

Secure her or his learning in a non-threatening  and enabling work environment. When an employee asks for development, listen to the intent in the ask. Distinguish a curious question from an internal commitment question. When an employee intends to develop to make impact (and not impression), the commitment to perform is assured. A curious question lacks the emotive tonality that accompanies a committed intent.

Am sure you can tell me more from your own experiences of the millions of dollars spent wastefully from developmental budgets, when unwilling, confused, disinterested or disoriented employees enter a learning situation!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mind the medium for the body too

Mind the medium for the body too

The mind-body- emotive balance is a way of expressing the analytical, the emotional and the physical parts of ourselves. We are all of these. Are we only these?
I’ve heard often of the Structures of the Mind. I’ve also known that the structure is changed only when – am willing to die to my past. Every cell in me would get reorganised.  In working on the Time-line with Dr. McHugh, SJ, the glimpses seemed more than a possibility. In that structure of experience, though, the consciousness was that the responsibility for self is an awareness of ecological sensitivity. It was then a consent to experience the emerging, without persuasion. Unlike cynical interpretations of NLP, the 'Mind with a Heart' paradigm shone through.
Yesterday, when with George Kunnath, I was awakened to a point of assemblage. Accessing it as a episode of memory is a mere menti-fact. Rejecting any part of its wholesome encoding is robbing myself of the resonance I  need to tune into. Fears of uncertainty and similarly disposed emotions shut us from ourselves. Just yesterday, a distilled sensation got expressed by a colleague as this “Peer in organisations work against each other in the hope of advancing themselves. They look up, and they hardly look around for what they should look at within themselves…” The territory of the self as Prof. Ramnath Narayanswamy of the Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore) mentions is an enormously neglected one.  Emotionality that is blocked is shut out to the self. Not resonant with the context around us, we stumble in pursuit of the illusory apogee of self-aggrandizement.
Retrospective repentance is posturing as if authenticity can be negotiated. Even the image of it is obscuring, as it hides the pain that is not dealt with. A lady with cancer once, took it on herself to reflect deeply. She traced the dolor to her decision to force herself to go childless. She dealt with it, and the pending treatment for her tumor annulled as she came to terms with herself. That bodily pain was gone.
As with individuals,  every organization forgets its ‘charism’ – it forgets the very purpose for which the institution was founded. As with individuals, organisations too need to take care of their health. As with individuals, institutions are more than economic identities. Imbalances in health – emotion, spirituality, are attended to with temporary curing. As with individuals, the world view of an organisation is a mediated sense of identity. Not to forget the confused reduction of ourselves to material yardsticks.
As with individuals, groups and organisations are sentient systems. As the self senses, it connects with the body's parts. As the body informs, the self becomes aware through the mind that is conscious in attention. Groups and organisations have their own sub-systems for communication. The collective therein is ‘sacrificed’ for the few ‘individuals’ at the top, if at all a semblance of unity in the system prevails. Apparitions of conformance are not essentially a team based unit, as what lies hidden from perception often is the pain of expressing what needs to be heard. “Sacrifice’’ is a suffering born of bondage. Giving is a release seeped in joy.  When each subsystem gives as part of being itself, the resonance is harmony in the context of the group. The mind is indeed the medium to the body.  What did you do to tend to your body today? What did you die to today, that you are renewed in this moment? As you sensed for yourself, what would make for sensation about your community?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Iain McGilchrist: The divided brain | Video on

Iain McGilchrist: The divided brain | Video on

I believe this is one of the most illustrative expositions in the recent uncovering of our neural pathways. Philosophically compelling, Iain McGilcrhist makes the case for an integrated view of how we perceive as also what we have done with our gifts. Enslaving rationale is being amused to death by a dogma that can at best dream of liberation. Liberation ironically means having a consciousness of the context, The appreciation of an  inclusion of others when we apply what we know makes for an aesthetics of grace.

Watch this and enjoy the video.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Centering in Core States

Leaders who bring facts to the table make a good contribution. They reduce the chances of the amygdala hijack. For those not familiar with this term – it is the fearful arrest of wise choice when under stress.  ( Those who present their facts in an endearing way have certainly a higher chance of making the desired impact. This implies that influential people succeed on at least two acts of mastery – managing emotions within oneself and dealing with others’ emotions.
Of late, people summon data that float in the cyber space. With the advent of Murphy’s laws ( a trend ensued for the internet era. Prime among them being Metcalf’s law
( and Moore’s Law ( It is trendy to quote analyst claims from financial business houses or from commercial research houses with just as much authority as Newton had on the laws of gravity. The other day, on Steve Jobs demise, several used the incident to paint pictures of topics as diverse as innovation, leadership, and yes the recession in the economy.

A seasoned veteran from the world of business surrendered at our plight – ‘all of this is illusion, an analysis that paralyses anyway’ he mused. One implication of that musing I thought, was the woeful lack of awareness of being in the process. Commenting on change when outside of it is different from reporting it while being in it. Another is that which Dr. Richard McHugh SJ impressed upon me. "There is no such thing as TIME". We either live 'through time' dissociated from the events of a distant source as an analyst report or live 'in time' when the present moment is interpreted within the self, associated with the meaning of an involved state of feeling.
Today I came across the term ‘centring’ again – as in a state of being that is productive through effective self-management of emotions. Our living is made in the dance between unrestrained emotionality in joyful outbursts and controlled resilience in the face of adversity. Leaders who lack clarity when dealing with contrasts in their states of being, unintentionally signal confusion and provide evidence of their search for meaning in their own lives. Maturity often descends on the one who is balanced in the versatility to handle polarities. Like being frank and diplomatic both, in a forthright diplomacy; or being risk-taking and analytical of pitfalls in a mindful courage. Beneath or above such poles that we straddle, could lie the core state in which our values coalesce in a near indelible signature of our identities. Is Peace at the core? Or Joy? Or Restfulness? May the compassion from that state be with the ones you are with. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Not far from the birds, crocs and nature itself

This is Ranganthittu, a bird sanctuary active for tourists between October and March near Mysore, India. Siberian cranes, snake-birds, and a kind of pelican are early visitors.

  The real plumage is in February they say. They nest in their hundreds around a riverine estate. With huge bats for company atop trees, and about a 100 crocodiles in the waters of the Cauvery, this is a great reminder of Mother Nature. 

No motor boats here, but experienced oarsmen, who comprehend conversational English too.  Organised and serene, this is a place to visit best at 7 am or after 4 pm in the evening. The snaps here are of 8th October 2011, taken by me and my son, between 1005 and 1040 in the morning hours.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Team Roles - Which of the 9 Lives do you prefer?

Thought some of you may not know about Dr. Meredith Belbin. Dr. Belbin has been more known for his contribution to Team Role theory than he has been known as someone who was asked to study the effects of the computer on humans at work. Here's my take on Belbin’s Team Roles.

Team roles describe patterns of behavior that characterize a person’s behavior in relationship to another's when in team process. Functional roles refer to the role of an individual in terms of the general technical demands on the person's formal position and - the knowledge and experience that it requires. Most people enter their jobs on the basis of the functional demands and only learn about the importance of team roles later. Remember people are hired for what they do (and often fired for who they are)! 

Roles themselves are significant for people to understand their work situation or their social situation, as they create the patterns of behavior that give shape to the wider mosaic of interaction at work. Team roles are valued because they contribute to the effectiveness of the team. The functional role is often implied by the job title. In every day terms the functional role embraces a professional role; often more than that – it will have to cover all the work that needs to be done, at least the important bits.

Most jobs are drawn up with reference points that are largely internal. Yet, no person at work is an island. There will be interfaces with other people who are sure to present problems. Long established employees will have different concerns as compared to an unwary new comer. It is common practice for the professional to be expected to work with colleagues from other backgrounds when some important issues arrive. That is why an understanding of team roles play such an important part in enabling professionals to align with others.

In a very small team the focus falls more on the individuals and their working relationships than the work itself. Effectiveness in performing the work is closely related to how they get on with one another. This simple position may serve as a good starting point. However, the fundamentals of team roles emerged after a long period of research at Henley Management College conducted in conjunction with the Industrial Training Research Unit at Cambridge. Dr. Meredith Belbin is one of the original ‘gurus’ in this effort. In his early writing on Management Teams, he reported some unexpectedly poor results with teams formed of people who had sharp, analytical minds and high mental ability – he called this the Apollo Syndrome.

His criteria for selecting these teams have elements in common with criteria for selecting staff – using ability and aptitude tests to select those with high analytical skills. The initial perception of Belbin’s Apollo teams was that they were bound to win in the team competitions. However, the results were quite the reverse, and the Apollo teams often finished near the bottom of eight teams.

This failure seemed to be due to certain flaws in the way the team operated:
·         They spent excessive time in abortive or destructive debate, trying to persuade other team members to adopt their own view, and in demonstrating a flair for spotting weaknesses in others’ arguments.
·         They had difficulties in their decision making; with little coherence in the decisions reached (several pressing and necessary jobs were often omitted).
·         Team members tended to act along their own favorite lines without taking account of what fellow members were doing, and the team proved difficult to manage.
·         In some instances, teams recognized what was happening but over compensated they avoided confrontation, which equally led to problems in decision making.

There were successful Apollo teams, however, that were characterized by
·         The absence of highly dominant individuals, and
·         A particular style of leadership

Successful leaders focused attention on the setting of objectives and priorities, and shaping the way team effort was applied. Rather than ‘drawing out’ team members, the successful leaders were tough, discriminating people who could both hold their ground in any company, yet not dominate the group.

A key lesson from Belbin’s work is that putting together a team of the cleverest individuals does not necessarily produce the best results, and the team needs to be designed to ensure that there is a blend of team roles. The fact that a forecast could be offered with a measure of success made for an understanding of the processes underlying effective team work. There are only limited number of ways in which people can usefully contribute in executive team work.
1.    coordinating the team’s efforts,
2.    imparting drive,
3.    creating ideas,
4.    exploring resources,
5.    evaluating options,
6.    organizing the work,
7.    following up on detail,
8.    supporting others and
9.    providing expertise.

Hence each team member could be described in terms of their team role contribution patterns. Individuals varied greatly in their patterns. What was observed, was that individuals who are outstanding in one team role were often weak in another. This issue gained central importance in combining certain people with others. Complementary combinations of people proved to be far more effective in their working performance than people with similar profiles competing with each other. In workshops, we deal with the nine Team roles from this line of work done by Dr. Belbin. 

And, oh, by the way, I am accredited by Belbin Associates to help you with Team Roles understanding. I've used this often for team designs and interventions in ongoing team efforts. My client teams included CEOs and Business Unit leaders, where the dynamics are quite high-strung. As my former boss put it once "It is like a tiger asking you to count it's teeth. There's little guarantee of getting your hand back from it's mouth"...  I'm telling the real tale!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bouquets and Brickbats...Thanks for them all...

Thought some of you may like to know the nature of farewell I had, and the wishes you have for me! Excerpted below - some of the wishes that touched me ... Many, many thanks...Very encouraging, very real!


Wish you and your loved ones all the best for your future endeavours.  Do keep in touch.

All the best Joseph George. It was a pleasure talking to you. For the first time, I realised that there is more to the science of training…….Will stay in touch…let us know of your consultancy, so that we can explore to be benefitted from that.

Dear JG,

It was wonderful being associated with you though it was a very brief period. I still remember….. Aug 2004 is when I first met you for coordinating one of the program for PMs in Solutions Division along with Kasi.

My interaction with you was very little but what I learnt in that brief period was the eye for detail you had in the documents that were prepared and how to customize it for the reader etc. What also taught me was that the faculty does not compromise on the delay in the reading materials which are to be made available during the programs (You almost screamed at me when I told you that the training materials will be available only by 10 am whereas the program was from 8.30 am!!)

Well no body gets an opportunity to learn two lessons & that too different ones from one class!! I claimed myself lucky because what I learnt in 2004 was applied in 2009 when I was organizing & instrumental in coordinating for Diamond Trek  - Leadership Program @ WI J

It’s mix of feelings - sad that you will be leaving Us at the same time glad to know that you will be venturing your own consultancy. Congratulations & best of luck for your future endeavors.

Dear Joseph,

This comes as a surprise.  Wishing you the very best for all your future endeavors.  Will certainly stay in touch.

Thanks for all your contributions and support. 

Dear JG ,

You were one of my mentors in giving shape to my professional life . I would always be grateful to you for your help and guidance .
I wish and pray for tons of Peace, Success and Abundance in your next assignment and in your personal life.

Thank You Again.
Good Luck.

Its been great knowing you.You have been an embody of what true HR is. I always loved  your communications…they were almost poetic.
We got to know each other through the ... process and it has been amazing on how you continued the journey long after the program was officially  completed.
I look forward to bumping into you in this “small world” …until then will try and keep in touch.

Thanks a ton and best wishes for everything you do in life.

Dear JG,

It has been wonderful knowing you. Wish you very best in all your endeavours.

Will be in touch J

Joseph – I really enjoyed working with you. Wish you all the very best

Dear Joseph ,

I just got to know last week about your moving out ... It indeed is a disappointment to many. In the brief interaction I had with you while I was handling MBA recruitment / relationship , I was impressed by your knowledge , patience and willingness to teach .

I wish you the best !

Hi Joseph,

Nice farewell note...professional, polished and thoughtful in typical JG style!

In the few opportunities that I’ve had to interact with you, your passion for what you do and the depth of your knowledge have come through powerfully. These opportunities have been a genuine pleasure.

I wish you the very best in your new avatar. The description of it is very interesting. I’m starting to head in somewhat of a  similar direction myself...corporate L&D focused on achieving individual and team excellence. It will be great to stay in touch and exchange notes. My personal email is……….nd my mobile number is …...

All the best.

Dear JG

I have personally benefitted for having the opportunity to be part of some of the sessions anchored by you…ranging from interventions like SKIP level meeting / NMA or sessions which helped be understand my strengths as a facilitator. 
I must share this with you that as recent as last week.. that someone was appreciating a SKIP level meeting, the way I had conducted and I said the credits should reach you for I learnt the fundamentals of facilitation from you.
Thank you for all the support /help….Would stay in touch..

All the very best !

Dear Joseph

This is big surprise to hear this from you.
I wanted to talk more about your domain, organization change matter etc.

Really hope that we can keep in touch.
By the way, are you in any SNS?

Wish you all the best!!

I had opportunity of learning from you twice and I must admit it was enriching, specially with the personal attention you take towards participants.

Thanks for all the support and do keep in touch. Wish you the very best in your future endeavors. 

Joseph, its sad to see you go! But everything happens for a good reason. All the best in your next role.

Dear JG,

Very sorry to know that you are leaving us. Will definitely stay in touch. I had been out on leave and just resumed work this month.

All the very best with your future consulting plans.

Hi Joseph George,
Sad to see this mail. We worked very closely and your contributions to the Organization are immense. You are always a source of learning and the talks with you are inspirational. All the best for your future and let us stay in touch.

This is a surprise. Wish you all the best for your future endeavors.  It has been great knowing you and I look forward to staying in touch.
I am very saddened to hear this. Your guidance and counsel through the ... program has been of inestimable value to me and my colleagues. You will be sorely missed. My very best heartfelt wishes for your future endeavours.  


Good move for you sir! I am sure you will be successful in your future endeavors and wish you all the very best! Yes, we should stay in touch. Take care. I don’t want to say Great knowing you etc as I am sure our roads will cross soon ;-)

Very sad to see you leave JG…will always miss you here. Had a great learning experience working with you. Lets stay in touch please. And all the best for the future

Hi Joseph,
I wish you all the very best in whatever you take up from now on.
It was great knowing you and working with you and it was unfortunate that we did not get to work together as we had once planned.


It was great having known you closely during the ... days. I always felt that you used to bring in fresh air into the program, whenever, we felt low occasionally. You are also a very fine and thorough individual and I cherish our acquaintance. Will surely keep in touch in future…

Have a great career ahead and fulfill all your dreams..!


A big loss for Us. Am sure we will stay in touch as friends... still remember those days..


I am really disappointed that you are leaving.

Personally, whenever we met I always enjoyed meeting and speaking with you.  I also thought your in-sight on individuals was first class and I held your views in the highest regard.  I also always appreciated the calm and thoughtful approach that you had to our work.

Good luck in the future, hopefully our paths will cross again.

Dear JG

It was indeed a pleasure knowing and working closely with you – particularly during your Infotech days.

Even when you moved to WC, I have always had the comfort reaching out to you for advise and consultations.

Here is wishing you all the very best in your new role as a consultant and I certainly look forward to remain in touch.

Hi Joseph,

It was an excellent experience to be part of your trainings, workshops and some coaching sessions. It gave a new dimension to my ways of working and addressing the issues.  Would like to thank you for your support and guidance during these  sessions.

Wishing you all the best for the new challenging assignment, keep in touch

Joseph George,
It sounds as though you will be moving into something that is fulfilling and a natural extension of your work.
.... Best of luck. 

Since I never got my own PAPI feedback, have I now missed my chance? J


Good luck JG! Where are you joining?

We’ll surely miss you...

Will call you one of these days.


Missed speaking with you y’day…. Sad to see you leave Us – but moving on is something I can relate to … all the very best… hope we’ll stay in touch and I’ll try & see if I can meet you in person over next couple of days to say bye in person!

Hello Joseph!

All the very best in all your future endevours.

If I can support your VISION in any way then pls do let me know. I will be very glad enable your VISION.


Wishing you well Joseph. It was nice getting to know you and interacting with you. DO keep in touch.

All the very best sir..
It was a pleasure to learn from you!!
Dear Joseph

Thank you for sharing this.
I wish you all the best in your new innings which I am sure will give you all the fulfillment and satisfaction.
It has been a pleasure knowing you and we will definitely keep in touch.
I mean this so may I suggest that we meet when convenient to you – since you are going to be a consultant  at “facilitating change for individuals, groups and organizations” I think we should also explore possibilities of how you can collaborate / join us in our journey!

Hi JG,

Can’t imagine us without you being around -  as a mentor and well wisher… I can never forget the training you designed for consulting in 2002-3. Wish you best luck and let’s keep in touch

Dear Joseph,

It is great to hear that you are venturing out into a new inning and have had a rich experience at Us. It was a pleasure knowing and interacting with you over the years, though the opportunities were few. You are one of the few people who I know who brought a deep academic interest and knowledge to a corporate workplace. This often poses some limitations for corporates who are looking to doing things in a hurry and not necessarily in a thorough way. But, in the long run and for consultants, corporates are willing to invest serious time and money to exactly get that academic depth. So, I suppose you will find many takers and I wish you all the best in your new adventure.

We will certainly stay in touch.

Joseph, thanks for the email and the surprising news! At the same time, My blessings and best wishes in your new journey as a consultant. Please keep in touch. I am always available if you need to talk and get advice as you start the new practice. My phone numbe is …

Hi Joseph George,
It was good knowing you on the few occasions that we interacted. I am sure that with your specialised knowledge in behavioural science you shall do well in your future career as well.

I wish you all the best for the career option that you have selected for your future. Hope to see you around.

Dear Joseph,

Was a pleasure to know you.

Will miss those pleasant times when you would drop by our place at office…L
Your way of looking at things was refreshingly different. Hope that some of this manner, rubs off on me too J

Wish you all the best for your endeavors. Hope that we can catch up occasionally at least...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My 10 points of learning in 48 hours

I caught up with old friends, made new connections and renewed a few relationships over the last 48 hours. Here's a distilled memory from those interactions.

Some quick lessons over 48 hours.

1. Leaders with impact are what they know when they do this : Create conditions in which the world can live more amply.
2. Human Resources Development is the most noble errand since teaching.
3. To matter and to make our learning matter : Begin to make new endings.
4. Hope in the future is Power in the present. What can leaders do to deal in Hope?
5. Mark Twain : Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
6. Real leaders find their purposes when they are at the very end of themselves.
7. Let us not focus so much on our problems that we become blind to our possibilities.
8. Demanding and insisting on feedback in a culture that has not overcome its power distance is an overbearing insensitivity to our own selves.
9. When designing organisations, scale is to be met with structure. Structure is to be met with commitment and self-discipline. This process cannot be completed on paper and can only begin there.
10. When the CEO is held accountable, all but him or her escape scrutiny in the ravenous scrounge of electronic media. We've externalized our feudal mind-set unwittingly and unconsciously to the self-absorbed journalist and editor.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dealing with Introverts? - Work through their Unconscious Biases

My English teacher in school S Swamy, was a teacher of norms as well. “Beware of the wrath of a patient man” he would tell fidgety, talkative and restless students. A patient person is often associated with being reserved most of the time, offering little expression even in the face of adversity. In a knowledge economy, harvesting the introverts is the new secret sauce. Those who interact with introverts do not draw them out purposefully. Introverts are a highly misunderstood lot. It is easy to dismiss the challenge by blaming it on them, as if they ‘deserved’ it. While it is true that they earn the consequences of their choicest silences, it does not equate as a sentient justice system on the laws of interaction.
I recollect essaying a treatment of polarities based on Dr. Hogan’s Unconscious Bias scheme. Let me attempt to review these as a dilemma point that the introvert experiences now.
Unconscious Biases
For the Introvert
Wanting to be the center of attention, assuming that other people need attention as much as you do, and not understanding modesty.
Wanting to avoid attention, assuming that others respect privacy as much as you as you do your own, without understanding the impact of recognition through attention seeking or being able to face the consequence of immodesty
Wanting to dominate or enforce actions to make a difference, assuming that other people are as competitive as you, and disliking people who lack a winning attitude.  
Not wanting to domineer while differentiating through an expertise edge; assuming that other people value meekness as you do, and disliking therefore people who want to win  by parading their wares unabashedly
Wanting to have fun and share experiences, assuming that other people are as fun seeking as you, and not understanding people who are overly serious.
Wanting to be conserved in energy and reserved in expression, assuming other people value intense internal reflection, and not preferring the abandon of compulsively fun-seeking people.
Wanting to help those who are disadvantaged or victimized, assuming that others are as concerned about them as you, and not understanding the need for self-reliance
Wanting to be self-reliant and thereby competent in one’s self-efficacy; assuming that others are as self-reliant and independent, at times at the cost of not detecting opportunities that other people engage in to assist lesser advantaged people.
Wanting opportunities to network, assuming that others want to interact as much as you do, and not understanding people who don’t want to be part of something bigger than themselves.  
Wanting to be insular and self-protective, limited in one’s free-willed interactions; not relating accurately with others who wish to be part of other people networks as an opportunity to be bigger than themselves
Respecting hierarchy, rules, and tradition, assuming that others are as compliant and demonstrative of compliance as you, and openly disapproving of any kind of non-conformity.
Irreverent of conformity and rules, assuming that others too wish to overcome rules and tradition, inwardly contemplative of actions of those who respect hierarchy to preserve traditions.
Disliking risk-taking and risky activities, assuming that others are as overtly cautious as you, and not understanding people who enjoy uncertainty and like to test the limits without much publicity.
       Embracing risky activities without much ado. Discerning of risks that seem attention grabbing, cordoning oneself off from needless impulse, and yet giving in at times to private joys of experimenting when no one is watching.

Wanting to acquire concrete symbols of success, assuming that others are as materialistic as you, and not understanding people who are indifferent to money.
In    Indifferent to money and material acquisition, assuming that others are as frugal as you; and not understanding people who want to acquire concrete symbols of success.  
Wanting to be in attractive environments, assuming that others care as much about quality as you, and not understanding people who lack a sense of style.
:  Not obviously discriminating of detail in sub-modalities like visual acuity in shapes, colors, sizes or olfactory variety in cuisine and odors..
Wanting to solve problems with logic and data, assuming others care as much about finding the right answers as you, and not understanding irrational or intuitive decisions.
W   Reserved in judgment, but thought through in implications, the introvert may prefer writing out one’s reasoning, so as to accomplish the exhaustiveness of logic, than spending energy in striking equity by talking logic with others.

Introverts are often on the cusp of transformation, if not deep into several transformative forces, that those whom they interact with can seldom fathom. The transformative energy resides in desired sense of balance in dysfunctional and opposite ‘cause’ motivations as the ones described above. In order to get better yield out of introverts, here’s my list of guidelines – does not matter what end of the expression spectrum you are – introvert or extrovert.
·         Make a hypothesis. Talk it with the introvert. Lay it for him in chunks that begin with the highest order of statement, followed by its descending components. He/she the introvert will respect your intellect. If you’re off the mark, stop hypothesizing. Reflect on your mistake, and offer your statement of ignorance as authentically as you can. Pause for that near-death silence. Bury your thought, and watch the other’s rise as a phoenix from your ashes. Then patiently watch the shift of energy in the conversation.
·         Empathize with the introvert’s special interests. Place or position statements that entice the internally excited mind to give vent to such thoughts. Draw the conversationalist in the introvert out like you lead a baby to walk – teasingly, and yet, letting the little leading finger go, when the rapport has been confidently struck.
·         Listen when the introvert talks. The intensity of the introvert’s disclosure is a matter to be respected. Fly in the face of adversity you will, if you do not appreciate the passion that flows on the tongue owned by a pent-up mind.
·         If you are not in the habit of reading, discipline your mind to read on the introvert’s areas of interest. Better to strike a liking based on mutual awareness, than to offer a pat during meal time, merely to register an association with someone – in this case the reclusive introvert.
·         Write objectively about your introvert friend. Crisp, clear and concrete descriptions for the laser-logical guy, and a narrative emotional and variously described text for the intuitive introvert. They do not like inefficiency and lack of focus in feedback. They value precision and depth. What is more, they can discern precision from accuracy!

Let me know what you think.