Author's Posts

Four Reasons Why We Need A Mentor

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | September 25, 2015

Traditional educational systems very often kill the creativity that is so needed to succeed in a world that our children will inherit. It is so rare to find people who truly enjoy their work and also excel in it. These are people who are in their “element” every day. The Element is the spot where your talent and passion meet. It is something you are good at naturally, and you love doing it so much that you lose track of the time. The rewards do not matter anymore. The journey itself is the reward.

The Laundry Test

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | October 17, 2014

Is there a simple test you can give to find out how siloed or collaborative your organisation is? For that we need to create the equivalent of the “marshmallow test”.

Are online friendships deeper

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | October 09, 2014

We are in the year FB 10. Yes there was life before FB. But those memories are hazy. There was friendship in pre-Facebook days and there are friends I have in 2014 then is 10 FB because this is the tenth year since our definitions of friends and friendship has changed.

Friends in the age of social media

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | September 22, 2014

I wake up in the morning and remember it is my friend’s birthday. I like to make my own greeting cards. I arrive at my friend’s doorstep with card and a gift only to be greeted with a snarl.

Building the workplace of our dreams

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | March 17, 2014

Anyone who has felt stifled by the sloth and bureaucracy of a large organization has only one dream. That is, to create a nimble and agile workplace. As long as they have only one employee i.e. the founder-cum-CEO-cum-coffee-machine, things go smoothly.

Lost conversations!

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | February 28, 2014

Like many others I took my vacation at the year end to spend time with the family and to catch up with my reading list. My wife and I had warned our children that the hotel had told us that they did not have television. We were driving out very early to avoid getting caught in traffic snarls. Before we left home, the family spent thirty minutes on their respective devices bidding good bye to their Facebook friends and warning them that they would be incommunicado for the next week or so.

Recession is the time to rethink and replenish

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | November 06, 2013

While watching the movie Bhag Milkha Bhag I started to notice how the runners use the time between the sprints. They use this time to prepare themselves to win the next event. They use the down time to rest their muscles, catch their breath and rethink their strategy and approach to competition. The best of the runners use the lean period to prepare for the next race.

The Brand Matters

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | October 08, 2013

India will soon have a fifth of the world’s working-age population. Hiring fresh undergraduates who have a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Economics, Commerce and Sciences is a great source of talent. The same goes for students who seek employment after doing an MBA.

A Global Mindset

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | September 16, 2013

On a flight back to India from Europe, I was seated next to the head of a firm that supplied to some of the largest automobile manufacturers across the world.

Fear Your Strengths

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | September 10, 2013

Tell me about your strengths and development needs” is the second most frequently asked question in interviews. “Tell me about yourself” is easily the number one question interviewers ask when they have not read the candidate’s resume in advance.

Is Your Child A Prodigy?

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | November 27, 2012

Andrew Solomon is a writer and lecturer on psychology, politics, and the arts; winner of the National Book Award; and an activist in LGBT rights, mental health, and the arts. His new book, Far From the Tree has been hailed by the New York Times as "generous, humane, and compassionate…wise and beautiful." His last book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the 2001 National Book Award, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and was included in the London Times list of one hundred best books of the decade. Solomon is a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and lives with his husband and son in New York and London.

Tailor corporate presentations to suit the novice

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | November 22, 2012

I was running a workshop on storytelling for a group of senior executives. These were all experts in their areas and could reel off everything you ever wanted to know about analytics, cloud computing and mobility. Their presentations comprised dense data-packed slides. I asked, "How many of them are techies who can match you acronym for acronym?"

Why Soft Skills Should Matter in B-Schools

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | June 25, 2012

Most professionals will agree that the success or failure of a project largely depends on the quality of their interactions with their teams and customers rather than just their knowledge and technical skills. It’s about how well you communicate and connect with others or how they perceive you – as a leader or as just another techie. In a nutshell – emotional quotient (EQ) or soft skills come into the picture.

Staying in touch with your remote employees

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | June 01, 2012

Say the word ‘virtual worker,’ and more often than not, we think of employees working in another country or city. But the challenges of managing a person working out of another office building is the same as it is across the country or across time zones.

Who is paying for your free Internet?

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | May 21, 2012

As the old saying goes, "There is no such thing as a free lunch." So, do you ever wonder who is paying for all the free stuff on the internet – the ‘free’ web email, the ‘free’ maps, the ‘free’ apps? Well, that someone is none other than you. You are paying for it by sharing your personal data.

Make the Intangibles Count

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | April 05, 2012

When I was a child, I used to think that gifts at the year-end were given by Santa Claus. The sense of anticipation would build up and reach its peak on the eve of Christmas. I had to tell my parents about my wish list so that they could convey it to Santa in time.

Managing your online reputation in days of social media

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | November 29, 2011

Every time I visit a business school campus I come back with new ideas about careers. I met Nisha, a first-year student, who wants to be an entrepreneur. Her big idea is about launching a service that helps individuals and organisations manage their online reputation.

Intangible Opinion – The Intangible experience

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | November 23, 2011

I used to work in an ad agency then. One day, I was summoned to the CEO’s office to discuss the case of Rahul, the hot shot Account Director we were luring away from the rival agency with a hefty salary package. Those were the days of high attrition in advertising agencies – too many jobs chasing too few people. Two days later I heard that Sunil, the Account Director in our Mumbai office had resigned. I breathed a sigh of relief. Sunil was a poor performer and his departure was no loss to us especially since we already had hired Rahul to replace him. A week later I met the HR manager of the rival agency at a party.

The Barber

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | March 08, 2011

There is a town with just one male barber; and every man in the town keeps himself clean-shaven: some by shaving themselves, some by visiting the barber. The barber obeys the following rule: He shaves all and only those men in town who do not shave themselves. Does the barber shave himself?

Emotional Intelligence Matters More Than IQ

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | December 20, 2010

So says Dr. Daniel Goleman. More of that later. Intelligence has been the subject of hot debates. Each time some psychologist tried to settle the debate by designing a defining test that showed how to check for intelligence, there would be another wave of research that showed how flawed the test was. What is then a good measure of intelligence? Ask Mensa – the high intelligence quotient society. Membership of Mensa is open to persons who have attained a score within the upper two percent of the general population on an approved intelligence test that has been properly administered and supervised. If you are curious to know the kind of questions that Mensa uses to test for intelligence, you can take a workout – not the actual test on their site – just to see if you can crack those 30 questions in 30 minutes (try the Mensa workout). If two typists can type two pages in two minutes, how many typists will it take to type 18 pages in six minutes? Is the answer 3, 4, 6, 12 or 36? The average person’s IQ is 100, college grads usually fare better at 120 and Mensa candidates usually have their IQ at 130+. The highest ever recorded IQ is 195 for Chris Langan – a score that only 1 in 100 million humans have that score. Chris never finished college and worked as a bar bouncer in New York.

How to Nurture Creativity among Employees

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | October 28, 2010

Creative people are a rare species in an organization. They are a strange breed. They are a minority. Unlike many other minority support groups, they don’t have anyone to speak up for them. Creative people do not always choose the performing arts or the media to build careers. In fact if anything at all, the ones who are doing the solo act or those whose career lies outside the grip of an organization does not face the same challenges that the creative people face within the organization. Organizations have a way of taking over the lives of people who work there. We all have the ability to be creative. A child can spend hours playing with a box imagining it to be a space ship, a piano, a turtle… Organizations can tap into the creative person hiding inside all employees to make the workplace a more interesting place to be. The basic premise of what I am suggesting is that creative people are like performing artists. They derive their thrill by simply practicing their craft. But what takes them to the next level is appreciation from others. Creative people take their craft up by a notch each time someone applauds their work or idea. A part of them slowly wilts when their work and ideas go unnoticed and unappreciated.

In Praise of Irrationality

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | August 03, 2010

We have all grown up in a world that clearly values rationality and rational behavior. Being emotional was frowned upon. Whenever someone displays emotions in public, it makes news (Think of Maradona’s expressions as the team played and lost) and the world turns its cameras to look at the person who just “lost it”. When I studied Science in school, I was told by my teacher that if there was something that cannot be explained by Science it was not worth knowing and that it was obviously irrational. Such was the vehemence with which I was nudged towards being rational. As I grew to develop my own view of the world, I got fascinated by the limitations of rationality. Rational stuff had a logical sequence and clearly activated that part of my brain that I had difficulty accessing.

Kindle New Possibilities

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | July 06, 2010

The weight of the school bag has been the subject of much debate and speculation. Last January, the Central Board of Secondary Education in India issued a circular to all heads of institutions, to lighten the weight of school bags, especially at the primary level (see the video here). Sometimes schools have come up with ideas to alleviate this weighty issue. Apart from limiting the number of books that children need to study, schools have also been asked to make arrangements so that students up to Class II can deposit their books in the school itself. Diverse studies on school bag weights conducted by different NGOs across the country have found the average weight carried by a student to a school to range between 6kg. and 10kg. Internationally, most countries observe norms that limit the weight of school bags to less than one-seventh of the weight of the student. The BBC quotes a study that shows that more than a third of Italian pupils carry bags which weigh more than 30% of their body weight at least once a week. The studies advise limiting the weight of backpacks in accordance with labor law standards. "Rate of low back pain in children is approaching those seen in adults. Although the economic importance of the problem is small at this age, the lack of certified limits for backpack carrying is short-sighted."

Being a trusted advisor

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | June 08, 2010

Anyone who works for a “staff function” or a “support function” will tell you that the nature of this function is advisory. The people belonging to this function investigate, research, and give advice to their line managers or clients. The value of the function really then lies in becoming a trusted advisor to the business. Being a trusted advisor simply means that the “clients” value the deep subject matter expertise that the specialist brings to the table. All advisory professions have to earn the trust of the client without which they are not relevant. That view is as true for a Human Resources professional as it is for a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant … the list goes on. The feeling of professional self-worth of such service providers is directly linked to how valuable they and their advice is, to others. The more they are consulted the more valued they feel. A doctor who sees a crowded waiting room outside her clinic feels good about how valuable her service is to others. So what makes a person a trusted advisor? What makes us trust someone?

Building org cultures through storytelling

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | May 07, 2010

The Tale, the Parable, and the Fable are all common and popular modes of conveying instruction. The Tale is a story either founded on facts, or sometimes just a figment of imagination. There are no moral lessons expected to be learned. The Parable is intended to convey secret meanings. Fables are intended to impact human behavior through the stories and the characters. Good and bad characters are clearly demarcated. Aesop’s fables have become a part of our everyday language. The story of the thirsty crow dropping pebbles in a pitcher to rise up the level of water is one of the first lessons in innovation we learned. The moral of the story is explicitly stated at the end i.e. “Necessity is the mother of invention” in the case of the Crow and the Pitcher story.

The next wave will be at intersection points

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | April 19, 2010

At the time of the dotcom boom, any industry that got labeled as a ‘brick and mortar’ economy company was seen to be completely devoid of any fizz. Talent moved from the concrete brick and mortar buildings to the glass and hot air balloons of the dotcom companies. In no time, the hot air balloons soon crashed leaving many people sitting on tree tops. Human beings are survivors. From the graveyard of the dotcoms emerged many other sectors – some fairly new. For a brief minute it was all about being in Retail and then it was about Telecom. Everyone has had their spot in the limelight. From Aviation to Textiles to IT, everyone got a chance to walk with a swagger – for a while.

Learning Agility

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | March 25, 2010

How do companies identify high potential employees? Different organizations use different approaches. There are a host of assessments that can provide data on various competencies that makes leaders successful. There are competencies that leaders need to translate their vision of the future into a strategy. They need to have the competencies to communicate and inspire the stakeholders to buy into that vision. They also need to be able to cobble together a team that will execute that plan. To continue to be successful repeatedly requires leaders to be agile learners, to learn from their own experience of success and failure; they also need to learn from others’ success and failure. They are risk takers. Leadership success goes to those who are learning agile. I had attended a workshop by Bob Eichinger where he had outlined the four factors that make up Learning Agility.

Leadership Development Dilemmas

Posted by: Abhijit Bhaduri | March 08, 2010

Leadership Development involves “identifying and measuring leadership qualities, screening potential leaders from non-leaders, then training those with potential.” The definition makes it sound like a simple recipe to keep cooking up a steady flow of leaders. I wish it were.