Governance Operating Model: A Key Enabler for Business Transformation.

Here is my overview of governance operating model designed to assist business transformation efforts.

http://eapj.org/governance-operating-model-a-key-enabler-for-business-transformation/

 

Image Courtesy: Freepik

The guide.

“The Guide” is a story of survival. It describes a scene in which a specialised search dog, trained to sniff out ammunitions and explosives, guides a patrol of soldiers through an infested area, to safety.

http://www.sparkthemagazine.com/?p=10114

Thank you to the team of Spark Magazine for publishing my story.

The erring rains.

His broken ankles made it a slow journey. Body cramps and abdominal pain made it lethargic for him to walk the two kilometres he initially traversed with his tractor. The scorching heat made the sweat ooze out of his frail body frame. He tried to soothe his parched throat by reaching out his tongue to the sweat that streamed through small trajectories on his wrinkled face.

The scavengers flew over his head, squawked and feasted on the carcases of his buffaloes. The smell of dead meat and old cow dung reflected in the air by the sun rays. What appeared to be his flourishing field was now a dead and barren desolated area. He had nurtured the piece of land that he had inherited as ancestral property as his child. He had seen it like his child growing from an infant to a toddler to an adolescent to a young man to an old swag.

Until four years ago, the rains sung melodies in his village. The showers bestowed prosperity on his fields and household. The showers sounded like the clinking of bangles and clanking of anklets making his and other children dance in the muddy puddles. He thought he had the riches for his generations. He flamboyantly celebrated festivals in the village. Every day was Baisakhi and every night was Diwali. His harvest of crops resembled an ever-blooming garden.

However, the happy days were short-lived. Last few years, the rains had been erratic. The rainwater harvesting project was yet to receive funding approvals. Until that time, his field was at the mercy of the rain gods.  He wished he could recite raag malhaar  like Tansen to ring in in the rains at his command. The village was scorched. His crops only needed a minuscule of rain for him and his family to survive and manage his loan repayments. Alas, for the second consecutive year, the rains played a truant.

Three years ago, unseasonal rain and hailstorm caused a significant loss of harvest.  The rain swamped away everyone’s home to make it’s own. The rain sang melancholy and screamed as it outflowed gulping down the villages in its path. His savings dwindled, and debts were ever increasing. Even the money spent on Godmen to bring in rains turned to be a vain attempt.

Only if the rains were seasonal and regular.

Global warming, increasing summer heat dried up the dams. Coupled with drought, his farm was converted into a worthless wasteland. The banks refused to give further loans. Cunning bank officers asked the Panchayat  (aka village council) to intervene. The head of the Panchayat colluded with the banks to ensure that bribes were paid to get loans, sometimes the bank officers asked for bribes on their own.Moneylenders charged extremely high rates of interest. Moreover, the conditionalities attached to loans were such that it proved impossible to avail loans once repayments on the previous loan defaulted.

He was blinded by the devilish force of prosperity and wealth so much that he never planned for any such adversities. Like an invisible dragon with dreaded teeth of terror and poison of hate, the rain had started to engulf him and his family.

Only if the rains were seasonal and regular.

Bottles of pesticide were beginning to gather mould. What was their use when there were no crops to protect? That morning, he shared a bottle with his family and chose to walk to his field. He couldn’t see his wife and kids suffer.

The thoughts of happy days reverberated in his mind as he reached his field, which now resembled a graveyard. He slumped to the ground. His brittle knees couldn’t bear his weight anymore. He landed on the field with the support of one hand. His palm scratched against the rocks to peel off his white kurta and brown skin.

The pain in his abdomen grew stronger and vacillated in his body. The blood that he vomited mixed with the dust. Finally, convulsions took over, and he transformed into the next feast for the vultures. Meanwhile, the anticoagulants had made his wife and kids lay in his home asphyxiated with a mouthful of froth.

Hopefully, the compensation guaranteed on his death will pay off the loans to banks and money lenders.

Only if the rains were seasonal and regular.

Content Management: A Critical Enabler for Your Digital Business Strategy

A massive wave of digital transformation is emerging, and those organizations that can skillfully ride the wave will survive the game. To traverse these rather uncharted waters, it is imperative that organizations build up sufficient digital expertise.

Content management is one such enabler that empowers enterprises to maneuver through the digital transformation wave. Large organizations often spend millions of dollars and a lot of effort on managing content – both internal (such as policy documents) and external (such as marketing content). Maintaining, updating, and ensuring access to such content is both time-consuming and expensive.

This Executive Update, a publication of Cutter’s Data Analytics and Digital Technologies practice, presents a roadmap for content management.

This article is a Cutter Consortium paper authored by Amit Temurnikar. Cutter Consortium is a global business and technology advisory firm.

Click here to read the complete article.*

*The article can be downloaded after filling up a short registration form.

Write Tonight.

The warmth in the lounge normalised my bones stiffened from the sudden chill outside. The event space in the hotel was populated with accomplished and budding writers, publishers, editors, script writers, and historians. The ambience of the literature festival, aroma of various cuisines and the soft music transported me into liberal fantasy. My reincarnated feelings and her curiosity enveloped the atmosphere. I was meeting her after a long time. As we sat together, amber lights shone onto her and reflected far and wide magnifying her presence. She hadn’t changed one bit.

‘You are my first love. The one I ever yearned for desperately, from the bottom of my soul.’ I said to her, regret in my stomach.

‘That’s quite an expression.’, she giggled.

‘This is where we first met. It was my Uni’s art festival. It was love at first sight for me.’

‘Or rather an impulsive consent?’

‘Whatever you may call it. It felt like a thousand lamps lit inside. There was something very intoxicating about you. You possessed me from all directions. It showed in the poetry and essays I wrote for the University magazine. I didn’t care about my grades nor what the world had to say. I dedicated my days and nights to you. I loved every moment I sang and danced with you. Under the tree, near the sea. We weaved magic together.’

‘I too found a home in a corner of your heart. I thought I would stay there forever.’

‘Sigh! Those were memorable days.’

‘Memorable, but momentary.’

 

‘I agree. The adventure called life took over. After my graduation, I was overwhelmed by the paycheck and international placement my first job offered. The peer and family pressure, my selfish need to resurrect my family’s dwindling financial condition made me succumb. My greed didn’t stop there. The rat race made me scramble devilishly for all the worldly possessions, only to realise that I was running alone. I made you leave me.’

‘Could I have done anything to change that perception?’

‘No. It was my mistake. My folly made me believe the ridicules that I couldn’t achieve the same heights of prosperity along with you. I lacked the courage of conviction to rebel against convention.  Every day of these twenty years, I convinced myself that I am on the wrong side of things. Something was always amiss. But I never lost the hope of meeting you once again, being engrossed within you.’

‘So what made you come back?’

‘Money doesn’t attract me anymore. Purpose does. When I am old, lying on a hospital bed, I don’t want to die in remorse.  I pressed for a job transfer back to the city six months ago. Since then, I round the corner of this place every day en route home.’

‘I know that first love sticks till the very end. What took you six months to approach me?’ , she chuckled.

‘I wasn’t confident I could match up myself with the same old me.’

‘You make me feel like your ex. What is different about today?’

‘Well, it’s the literature festival with a difference. They have called upon all lost writers to reignite their passion. This is my chance to blend us both into a dimension called forever.’

‘You have a demanding job and a happy family. Do you really see me in the equation?’

A wave of motivation surged inside me and inspired the birth of gentle emotions. I cradled them to form words and they reverberated through my veins. I raised the lid of my laptop, logged in and began typing:

‘True love is uninhibited. Let us make this newfound union a memorable one.’

The words transformed into pearls knotted beautifully to form a garland around her imaginary self.

 

“Don’t give up your writing. Ever.”

 

“Thank you! You made me feel so satisfied.”, I smiled.

“It’s all right. After all, I am your writing addiction.”, she smiled, winked and vanished into the literary atmosphere.


The title is a tribute to O.Henry

In Charge.

Managing your career – Be in charge!

 

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose of this article
This post will act as a guideline to prepare a Career Development Plan (CDP) and is part of personal career management and planning.

2. What is CDP? 

2.1 Brief Outline 

The CDP helps to develop an individual map for career progression. The idea is to have more controlled and measured approach towards one’s learning and career development. The organisation may follow it’s own appraisal process. But, you are the owner of your career. The CDP can be a simple word document prepared by you with the mentorship of his or her manager.

2.1 Stakeholders
The CDP is developed at the beginning of the year and is reviewed by his/her manager. It is your responsibility, and your manager can act as a facilitator. You and your manager can meet up at regular intervals during the year to take a checkpoint on the development and take corrective/progressive measures appropriately.

3. Before you start 

3.1 Self-Assessment
Assess your needs. Identify your current skills, knowledge level, technical or managerial abilities, and interests.

3.2 Overall Goals
Perform a goal setting exercise to determine the new skills, the technical or managerial experience you would like to acquire in the current year.

3.3 Purpose and Objectives
It would be fruitful to do a gap analysis as a first step to bridging the gap between the current situation and desired outcome. This would generate more insight into the purpose and objectives of this exercise.

4. What should one include in the plan?

4.1 Long Range Goals
This section can contain goals that you would like to achieve in the next 4 to 5 years timeline.

4.2 Intermediate Career Goals
This section can include goals that you would like to accomplish in the next 1 to 2 years schedule.

4.3 Annual Goals to Leverage Strengths
How can you apply your strengths to enhance your career? E.g. conduct training, publish articles.

4.4 Annual Goals for Learning and Knowledge development
Training courses and workshops that you plan to take up to address the development needs

4.5 Annual Goals for Organizational Activities
Plan for involvement in activities like recruitment, mentoring, etc

5. Review & Validate 

5.1 Initial Feedback & Revision
Once the CDP has been prepared, you can get it reviewed by your manager to validate it in accordance with your current career level and to align with the organizational goals. The goals that you set for yourself need to be SMART – Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

6. Measure and Track 

6.1 Evaluation
Progress is monitored against expectations on a quarterly basis. Techniques to measure different goals can be a part of the CDP.

6.2 Results
Based on the discussion with the employee, the manager can prepare a report of:
• Performance against goals
• Skills developed
• Knowledge gained

• Technical or Managerial abilities acquired

6.3 Feedback and Revision
Based on the feedback and results in steps above the manager can give appropriate feedback to the employee with some insightful recommendations.

6.4 Next Steps 

Once the employee has agreed upon the feedback, he/she can update the CDP for the next cycle.

The Winner’s Edge.

Some people have a strong sense of self-worth and their own set of values, which help them stand out in a crowd. While winds of conflicting ideas blow some people away, tides of various fads wash others away they stand firm leaving behind footprints on the sands of time, and that is a big part of being an ultimate achiever the world would always cherish.

How do these people manage to outclass themselves? There is a thin line between them and the rest of the pack. It is called ‘The Winner’s Edge.’ This edge is not the result of a privileged environment,  a high IQ, a superior education or unusual talent. The key to the ‘Winner’s Edge’ is the attitude, and a burning desire to get your dreams off the launching pad.

The turning point in the lives of those who succeed usually comes at the moment of some crisis, often a heartbreaking struggle. The tragedy of his love life penetrated the depths of his soul and converted Charles Dickens into one of the world’s truly great authors. That tragedy produced ‘David Copperfield’ and a succession of other works that made this a better world for all of us to live in.

Helen Keller became deaf, dumb and blind shortly after her birth. Despite great misfortune, she has written her name indelibly in pages of history. Beethoven became deaf; Milton went blind, but their names will last till time endures. The entire lives of all these people have served as evidence that no one is ever defeated until the defect has been accepted as a reality.

Honesty is an indispensable ingredient in developing a winning attitude. Being true to oneself and assuming the responsibility for your actions will help to find one’s goals. Daring to be different while respecting the rights of others and at the same time harbouring a strong courage of conviction will always endorse a silver lining.

Nothing is permanent but change. Adapting to changing situations brings grist to one’s own mill thus making oneself commendable of encomium. Let the three D’s of Discipline, Determination and Dedication underline the philosophy of your life. Let that be your soliloquy.

quote

Winners take the talent or potential they were born with and utilize it fully, towards the purpose that makes them feel worthwhile. In short, losers let life happen to them; winners make it happen!

“Believe in Yourself.”

‘Believe in Yourself’ is a postulate which should dictate the philosophy of one’s life. It means keeping surplus faith in one’s deeds, havings hundred percent mind power and developing a strong courage of conviction. Using this faith and desire as catalysts along with the three D’s – dedication, determination and discipline one can make his or her difficulties pale into insignificance, live in affluence and thus bring grist to one’s own mill.

We don’t need to impress all foreigners. We don’t need to think fair skin is beautiful. We don’t need to think local means cheap.

A long while ago a great warrior faced a situation which made it necessary for him to take a decision which insured his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his armies against a powerful foe, whose men outnumbered his own. He loaded his soldiers into the boats, sailed into enemy country, unloaded the soldiers and their equipment and gave orders to burn the boats that had carried them. Addressing his men before his first battle, he said –

“You can see the boats going up in smoke, that means we cannot leave the shores alive unless we win!. We have no choice – we win, or we perish” They WON.

The warrior had a desire to win, faith in his soldiers and above all he had that absolute belief, he had that coherent feeling in his mind that they could win.

Every human being who reaches a certain state of understanding sets a goal in his life and wishes for it. Plainly wishing for your goal will not strike gold, one needs to:
  • Desire for it
  • Placate yourself to believe that you can achieve it
  • Plan definite ways and means to acquire it
  • Experiment with them with a positive mental attitude and
  • Back the plans with persistence which does not recognize failure

Fate can be surmounted. Henley, the poet, wrote the prophetic lines -‘ I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul’ and left it to the people to derive their philosophies. Of course, disciples of this maxim can make fate their favourite puppet.

Let’s not be easily contented. Let’s not blame our failures on fate.

Self-belief is an urge one meeds to cultivate. Coaxing somebody to do so would be like riding one’s hobby horse to death. Though it is easier to comment than to implement, it is always beneficial to sport a never-say-die attitude. It encloses a universalizing factor by which one could usher oneself a millennium of peace and happiness.

Let’s believe we could do it. Let’s believe in ourselves.

What is Love?….Some thoughts.

  • Love is not just a four letter word. Love means spiritual peace. It is a supreme emotion which encompasses all relations. We all are leading high-stress lives. What would be the point if you go at the end of the day to a relationship that burns you out even further? You will just be charging the atmosphere with negative vibrations.
  • Love is as natural instinct as breathing, sleeping and laughing. Shakespeare said, ‘Love is blind’. Yes, but it should not be underestimated. It is as important as the creative urge. In fact, there are different states of existence. If your love life is right, it will help you perform better and help you evade all kinds of storms and cyclones that you may otherwise have to confront. Else, it may act as a catalyst in letting your life and career go off track.
  • According to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “Love is just not two people looking at each other, but in fact, two people looking in the same direction.” When two people just look at each other, it is “Luv”, and with two people looking in the same direction, it is “Love.”
  • Genuine love creates a unique bonding giving each other space to grow. Love does not shackle you. It ideally sets you free to be yourself, to be normal.
  • Relationships break up for a variety of reasons, e.g. expecting too much from each other or not treating each other on an equality basis. Incidentally, there are certain facts which need to be unfolded. The whole idea of Mr. Right or Ms. Right is hogwash. Nobody is perfect for measuring up to that title. So what is the point in beating around the bush?
  • To comprehend the whole concept once has to invest time in a relationship. The returns are more than their worth measured in gold. In the long run, when you look back at life, it is not the trophies that you have won or the bank balance that you are equipped with, but whether you have a loving a caring people around you on whom you can depend on emotionally. A happy and a joyful life, born out of love, is the greatest gift one can ever imagine possessing.
 
  • Real love is forever. I believe that I would be a poorer person without love – empty and depressed. Without love, life would be a desert mirage.

 

This conversation between Dr. Brand and Cooper during their Interstellar travel, drives the emotion home:

COOPER: You’re a scientist, Brand.

BRAND: I am. So listen to me when I tell you that love isn’t something we invented - it’s observable, powerful. Why shouldn’t it mean something?

COOPER: It means social utility - child rearing, social bonding.

BRAND: We love people who’ve died ... where’s the social utility in that? Maybe it means more - something we can’t understand, yet. Maybe it’s some evidence, some artifact of higher dimensions that we can’t consciously perceive. I’m drawn across the universe to someone I haven’t seen for a decade, who I know is probably dead. Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can’t yet understand it.