Change

The Elphinstone Stampede – Getting back on our feet

On 29th September 2017, an overcrowded foot over bridge at Elphinstone railway station, Mumbai witnessed a horrific stampede. 23 people died. What can we, as a society of organizations, do in the aftermath of the Elphinstone stampede? Let us explore the way forward using systems thinking. It might be a good idea to start with a description of the mental model we carry in our collective consciousness. Mental models are the very foundation, the source of how we create our own social reality. Mental Models Here is an articulation of the current mental models as I perceive them. ” Mumbai is the city of dreams. The financial capital. The corporate hub. Everything worth striving for is in Mumbai. We must go to work where the offices and establishments are. The best way to travel? The Mumbai locals – hands down. Cheaper & faster than anything else. Sure, it’s risky. Rush-hour.Packed trains, people falling off, getting run over. Part of the deal. We have made peace with it. Brave everything you encounter because there is a job to be done and food to…

Leadership This Month : Missed Opportunities

Institutional Leaders with a historical legacy are faltering in the present. The International Olympic Association (IOC) & the Republican party establishment in the United States, in particular. The International Olympic Association (IOC) Russia, a sporting superpower was recently indicted in an independent anti-doping enquiry for establishment-backed doping by Russian athletes in the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia. Imagine hosting the Oympics and playing dirty on the side to help your country athletes win. This goes against the very spirit of everything that the Olympics stands for. With the Rio Olympics so near, the IOC had to respond and act fast. What did it do? The bare minimum was to bar Russian track and field athletes from Rio 2016. And that it did, though even here, there is a provision to get them in. But the IOC did not impose a blanket ban on all Russian participation in Rio. A blanket ban would have sent a very strong, but much needed message to all member nations and their sports-establishments that the IOC is uncompromisingly committed in its fight against doping and any other…

What Disruption means for HR : Summary of a learning Session for marketing professionals

The Young & their interests We put ‘The Young’ as a customer category and spelled out what interests them. When time came to identify the industry/sector, we found that we had to scratch our heads a bit. This is significant. KEY POINT – The boundaries between industries and sectors are disappearing or getting blurred. Certain industries or product/service categories are fighting for survival itself examples – music industry, mobile service providers, movie halls, publishing industry, retail shops. This is because of disruption caused by technology. Disruption – Examples Netflix/ rentals ; Internet movies/  theatre screenings ; Uber/ rental cars &  ownership itself ; Amazon/book stores ; itunes/Spotify / Rhythm house ; Kindle/ Printed books; Mobile apps/ television viewing ; Online booking/ travel agencies ; Paytm/ card-swiping. Bottomline is that a company can move into an entirely different product line or service category. is the most famous example. If watching television via app catches on, ‘television’ as a product category gets wiped out. Hotels will struggle big time if one house in every street decides to become an Air B&B partner. E-commerce…

When warring sides played football on the battle field: The remarkable Christmas truce of World War I

In the days leading up to Christmas in 1914, soldiers from all sides began to realize that the war was going to drag on. It was not going to be all quiet on the western front for some time to come. Soldiers had dug into trenches, six to eight feet deep; and fired when the enemy sought to move forward from their own trenches. This trench-warfare of World-War I created a situation of perpetual physical proximity for enemy combatants. The Christmas season triggered off unusual acts of reaching out to the enemy. Soldiers started shouting out tentative intents of venturing out of the trenches. The first ones to believe and keep the faith survived and soon got talking with each other. The initial confidence-building hurdle out of the way, there were spontaneous outbreaks of unofficial ceasefire all along the trenches! The Germans & the British started exchanging Christmas gifts & souvenirs. They recovered & buried dead comrades, lit candles, decorated their trenches, sang carols, and started chatting & bantering. They showed each other photos of dear ones, offered cigarettes, food,…

Three Work-Realities Impacting Your Career That You Need To Prepare For

Ask any corporate professional if the world of work is changing, and the answer is a resounding yes! Ask how they are responding & the answers are general. Never take your job for granted. Always be learning. Network for career growth. These generalities are useful only if you persevere to understand what in the world of work is changing, how organizations are adapting to such changes. When you relate these changes to your specific circumstances, you will know what to do. Here are the three work-realities to connect your specific circumstances to. 1) Organizations are proactive in changing before they are forced to In the recent past, organizations reacted to growth demand by swelling its ranks. The recession made them shrink. In absorbing this painful body-blow, thinking organizations are determined to do it differently next time. They are not mindlessly expanding at the first signs of revived demand. By taking recourse to outsourcing & technology, they are catering to new business without bloating in size. They are open to internal restructuring as a proactive business strategy. Inspite of the absence…

When a Man Becomes a Woman: A journey into personal change

He was in the ladies compartment of a Mumbai suburban train. Neither an alarm nor an eyebrow was raised by the women around him. For all the ladies out there, with one notable exception, he was a lady. They barely noticed. He was not looking at anyone either. His heart was dying out on him. What am I doing out here?! My friend had joined a professional development course. As course-work, each participant had to commit to one action, just one deed of change. This action should be do-able. And the only barrier should be their own self-perception; what they think they can or cannot do. My friend had picked up this one: Pick up filthy garbage in front of his office with his own hands & deposit it into a garbage dump in full view of others. The course does telephone follow-up of course-work status before every meeting. When my friend was called, he had not done it. The course was giving him a lot to think over and do. Somehow, he couldn’t get himself to do. Up until…