Archive for the Work Category

Humans as Corporations

Posted in Musings, Work with tags , , on September 3, 2009 by samudranb

In today’s “Corporate Dossier” supplement, I found this small piece dealing with “change”, tucked away on the 3rd page. It ends with “10 questions that leaders must ask of themselves and their organizations – questions that speak to the challenges of change at a moment when change is the name of the game. The leaders with the best answers win.”

The questions got me thinking. How similar (or different) are people and corporations?

To be successful as either, they should have a drive to be the number 1 in their respective fields. Both have to provide some service (labour) or have some product (knowledge) that the market must be willing to pay money for. Both take quite a lot of pains to find and maintain strategic partnerships. Both want to leave legacies behind. Both want to live longer. Both worry about the future. Both take steps to ensure their survival. Both (or atleast many of both kinds) are afraid of change.

So would it be possible to manage one’s life, as one would manage a corporation?

If you were managing the corporation “You, Inc.”, how would you answer these following questions? (I have modified a few words to make them relevant for people)

  1. Do you see opportunities the competition doesn’t see?
  2. Do you have new ideas about where to get new ideas from?
  3. Are you the most of anything?
  4. If YOUr company went out of business tomorrow, who would miss you and why?
  5. Have you figured out how YOUR organisation’s history can help to shape its future?
  6. Can your customers employers live without you?
  7. Do you treat different customers people differently?
  8. Are you getting the best contributions from the most people?
  9. Are you consistent in your commitment to change?
  10. Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

Would love to hear your answers in the comments.

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My last day at my first job

Posted in About me, Lessons, Musings, Work on August 30, 2009 by samudranb

The day before yesterday was my last day at my first job. Would have been pretty memorable anyways, given that it was my first job, and I have made some lovely friends there. But some other out-of-the-ordinary happenings definitely made it unforgettable.

For starters, I had some random people walk up to me and congratulate me. I don’t just mean people whose names I forgot. I mean people who I had never met in my life before. Why were they congratulating me? Well, they seemed to think I had a lot of balls for quitting without having any other job in my hand. Most didn’t believe me when I said i wanted to go for a biking trip. Maybe they just wanted to verify if I was as crazy as they had heard. I hope I didn’t disappoint them.

After spending about 11 minutes 26 seconds drafting my “Last day mail”, I spent another minute drafting another mail. An invitation to lunch. And sent it to Anshoo Gaur. Of course, I was not surprised when I did not receive a reply.

Lunch time. The usual gang. The usual food. The usual Brownian-movement-like conversation.

Tring Tring.

“Hello”

“Is this Samudra?”

“Yes?”

“Hi this is Radha calling from Anshoo’s office. He cannot make it to lunch, but would you have some free time around 2:30pm?”

(to myself: “Umm… i will have to check my outlook calendar… can you hold on a minute?”)

“Sure, I will be there. Thanks!”

It was like meeting your girlfriend’s father for the first time. It was good. I managed to keep my knees from making that rattling sound. I saw what I wanted to see, I observed what I wanted to observe, and of course, learnt what I wanted to learn.

But what impressed me most about him was his simplicity. Everything around him was S.I.M.P.L.E. His mannerisms was reminiscent more of an older neighbour, than the Division President of a  $3 billion + company. The 20 minutes I spent with him might not alter the course of my life, but it definitely made an impact.

There is one thing that I took away from both the meeting with him, and my exit interview, that I had not considered so important before. That is the importance of communication. Correct and timely communication could make the difference between an enthusiastic workforce, and an antagonistic one. As Anshoo sir said, “translation” of the communication between the layers makes or breaks it.

All important lessons to be used when I need.

But for now, I am just happy to be planning my biking trip.

Update: Finally!! Someone in a similar position!