Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Triumph can overwhelm

Not sure yet which gender belongs to Mars. Venus is still light years off. The frugal engineering and parsimonious applied science that launched India as a nation through interplanetary space lifted human spirit like never before. 

It is no equation or alloy technology that I can identify with when marveling at ISRO scientists' collective accomplishments. I do not know how to feign such knowledge either. So here's what surrounds me as the overwhelming mood engulfs the nation.

1. It was a mission, like locusts movements. Locusts have no king, and yet they march in ranks. It was not a campaign where a kingly authority reigned. Yet, the nation willing to be swept beneath the apogee missed this distinction. I am hoping we glean this subtlety sooner than later.

2. Design trumps operations. No matter how marvelous project and program management can get with agile and scrum methods, MoM may not have delivered without a requisite specificity in design phases. Quality cannot be sacrificed even if expense control is a target.

3. Shared context is unconscious value base, and diversity binds it best. It is known that most of the scientific cadres on Indian government rolls come from aspirational histories. The lack of the silver spoon hardwired struggle and survival in resource constrained contexts. The distinguishing competence of these scientists may well be the temperament of method in enquiry, and not curiosity per se.  Both past hardwiring and cultivated scientific temperament fuse together best when language, creed and faith are transcended in long gestation. If removed even by a bit, you may experience jugaad, but not the elegance of robust science.

Well for starters, these are points that I choose over many others. They may seem simple on the surface. But they may well transcend the complexity of rocket science.

In sheer paradox, as a nation, we may have got this mix in serendipity than through science of social psychology or the procedures of conscripted ideology or manuals of leadership code. 

What do you think?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Against the grain?

Recently at least two of my clients requested my assistance in selecting people to positions they needed to recruit into. My OD self stirred in the confidence of the relationship, but raised a question of identity.

Both clients however decided that all they wished were  referrals. They would shortlist and recruit at their will. That was a small relief. But the anxiety revolved around the ability to place and position my request in their mould to people on my social network. However in one case, it was apparent that the client knew a candidate and wished an independent opinion.

I brought on my scientific temperament and asked the candidate to respond to the Harrison's Assessment online questions. That gave me a surer footing in the face to face interaction.

That is when it occurred to me that differentiation by specializations deflect whole person presence in the selection process. That to me is an organization effectiveness window.

So when I gave my sense of a thumb rule, the client's eyes and ears were up. Here's what I mentioned.

25% to social references from professionals known by the candidate.
25% to sound psychometrics especially on person role fit and likely derailers.
25% to candidate track record, of which 15 is self-report, 10 is based on rewards and ratings of others.
25% to the interview method or a slew of selection processes.

Now I have conveyed to my social network that I do not think am a specialist at recruiting. But they liked my trusting them to their ability to refer and do their references a world of good.

What was against the grain, was a learning experience for me. What do you think?