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In this short article, I want to explore 3 different but inter-connected topics in my mind. The first, high value to work experience and work-life-balance; second youth, skills & employment and third our mindset.

Work Experience & Work-life-balance

Throughout my career I have come across candidates, employees & colleagues, who often introduce themselves proudly by their years of professional experience. I am sure there are many reasons for everyone to be proud their years of work experience. However, work experience has many facets such as quantity, quality, variety, intensity and relevance.

Does quantity of experience matter at all? How does one ensure experience is qualitatively good and relevant to the times? What is the variety in experiences that people should create to ensure there is improvement in the overall quality (of their experience)? In a world where conversations around work-life-balance has been blown out of proportion; what is the right intensity of experience you need to maintain throughout your tenure to ensure your experience is rich in its content. …


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In the last decade multiple startups have come forward with an aim to bring more technology into HR and solve as one says in the startup world “real problems”. I have often wondered if that was true? If it were true, adoption of HR Tech by companies would have increased significantly. If one looks at the allocation of a CIO’s budget across Technology products in companies, HR Tech would not account for more than 3 percent of the budget. It might not be fair to conclude based on one data point. So, let’s look at adoption of HR tech and where it is used the most. A couple of areas where HR Tech usage is the highest, it is Hiring Assessments, Video Interviewing, ATS, Attendance tracking, HRMS & Payroll and LMS in that order. …


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When we grow in our professional lives, we tend to develop a particular style of operation along with a unique set of skills. Our personality brings in certain attributes into our style of functioning. When we grow to become leaders, this style of operation tends to come under sharper scrutiny by people around us, as it starts impacting their ways of working.

Each individual has a style. It is but natural that people like to operate in a method that seems to work best for them. The interesting dimension however is when a leader (consciously or sub-consciously or unconsciously) starts to impose his/her style of working on the people around him/her or the organization at large. Personal values of leaders are known to significantly impact how Organization’s values are defined. It is also known that many great Organizations are built by people with strong values & character. Going beyond values, when leaders start imposing their style of functioning on rest of the organization, how does this impact the functioning of the organization? I also wonder how much can leaders separate their value beliefs from their style of operation? …


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When I started up 3 years ago, I was not a rookie who would learn fast and fail fast. I was someone who carried baggage of 24 years, past earnings and the courage to invest my hard-earned monies into my new venture. I thought I was sorted.

Along with 24 years of baggage, came a long list of friends in the VC circles who spoke very inspiringly about startup ideas they often heard of; how they made investment decisions; recommended many books to me as a budding entrepreneur and stories of how great ideas quickly got monies backing them.

I soon learnt over my 3 years on this journey, that Investors are merely a MYTH. When you hear anyone, who claims to be an investor or PE or VC (associated) or Startup Mentor etc., check on their credentials. Some interesting things to ask before you get too excited to share your ideas to them…


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One of the biggest challenges in the industry today is people’s lack of motivation to constantly learn and reinvent themselves. When I look back at my career I notice that my list of failures dwarfs my successes. In an entrepreneurial role today, I fail multiple times each day. Each morning I talk to myself, inspire my mind to believe it’s going to be a better day than yesterday and slog the day out. The learning is multi-fold but the growth is hardly inspiring to talk about.

I know some of you may be wondering what am I up to with this blog? I am going to touch a politically incorrect topic in this post. …


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Thank you for the wonderful response to my previous blog post on measuring the attitude of learnability using “Learnability Index”. Your questions and comments were thought provoking, it will enable us to think deeper.

In this post I would address the second point (b) on how does one build a culture of learnability in the company?

Let me start with an incident that happened 2 weeks ago. A potential client who is one of the largest IT Services player in the country reached out to us asking us if we had a psychometric assessment that could measure the “attitude of learnability” in their company. On further questioning we gathered that the company wanted to get all their employees to take an assessment & thereby determine if these employees had potential in the future. Imagine 1,00,000 employees taking an assessment and then the worse situation being results showing that 40–60% of these employees do not have an attitude to learn. …


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In my previous post, I shared a rhetorical view that companies that do not get their employees to reinvent themselves, are soon going to be extinct. I have received numerous endorsement to my views. I have also heard some very interesting contrarian views. I would like to thank all of you for your active participation in this dialogue.

As promised, I will look to address the issue around building and measuring the attitude of learnability. Just so that we are on the same page, I am reiterating the definition of what I mean by “attitude of learnability”.

People who demonstrate an attitude of learnability, are ever curious; flexible; adaptable; willing to learn / unlearn; willing to experiment, test, fail & retry; think current & future simultaneously; aware of their surroundings; self-motivated, self-reliant & self-directed; reinventing themselves continually and therefore are always contemporary. …


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The last 2 decades in India have been about the war for talent. Many companies today are still living in the past and trying to win the battle on how fast can we hire and staff people to grow revenues? All I can say with due respect is that you have been fighting the wrong battle for far too long.

The current & future success of companies, both in terms of Revenues and CAGR would be dependent on the following 2 factors:

1. Measuring and increasing learnability of your current workforce.

2. Hiring for high learnability quotient.

Gone are the days of linear revenue growth connected to headcount. The future is going to be non-linear revenue & profit growth driven by fewer but highly talented people, supported by technology. No matter which industry you belong to, disruption by technology is given. The smartest thing to do is to prepare now vs. wait for the tsunami to hit you.


Ghosts in Change

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I was in an interesting conversation last week with BCG. They reached out to me to learn more about our next generation “gamified learning enterprise solution”. What was interesting about the conversation was not that BCG reached out to us or the fact that the business opportunity was big? The interesting part was they were discussing with me on -

  • How can they help their ITES client (who has more than 1,00,000 employees) re-skill themselves in latest technologies?
  • How can they create a culture of a learning organisation?

The above 2 questions appeared quite contextual to the current times. …


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Watching from the sidelines as an HR Manager or HR Leader, all of us have cautioned our Business Leaders against short-term quarter focused thinking. Today, when I run Planet Ganges I realise how important it is to meet the quarter yet have a longer-term vision for the company. Working on both priorities concurrently is the only way forward.

However, the irony is that many HR leaders who I meet with and interact today are also guilty of short-term thinking. One example that stands out for me across the board is Campus Hiring. Despite large supply of fresh talent, everyone talks of shortage of good talent and how hard it is to find & hire from campuses, due to serious quality issues with young talent. The race for talent has heated up so much that a few companies have started making offers early during the 7th Semester. A few companies have gone overboard and made offers during the 5th Semester of Engineering. Yet, the challenge remains, as “no-shows” have increased. …

About

PGC

PGC is a boutique Management Consulting firm engaged in the business of enabling its clients to transform their Org, Culture & Capabilities.

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