Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson - Beat it!

Michael Jackson – KING OF POP is no more. I am not sure about the current generation, but for those of us who grew up in the 80’s, Michael Jackson was a big star, larger than life.

Michael did not do his fans a lot of good in the recent times with his brush with the law suits et al. Nevertheless Michael is Michael and as fresh in our memories as it can ever be!

We love you Michael and may god provide peace to your near and dear ones.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

IT as an enabler for egovernance

I had an issue with my PAN Card and I was quite skeptical as to how I would get the stuff changed on the card.

Like any other person with a work and home to take care of, I too had a challenge of being able to spend no more than a few minutes on this, also since it was not critical , it was not a show stopper.

My name on the PAN had been spelt incorrectly , it was how one would pronounce my last name in Gujarati J. I wanted it changed and the address too was a place I am not sure even exists today J

I just happened to do a Google search and figured out that the government of India has enough mechanisms to do all of these things and to my surprise, many more things online at a cost!

I was happy but was still skeptical about the response and I was pleasantly surprised with the response, it was amazing, within couple of days of my sending the application form thru’ courier along with the required documents, I had my new and classy and corrected PAN card with me.

IT has and is changing governance in India significantly. Did you have any such experienced with the Government agencies of late!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How much of a social networking person are you?

Are you on facebook?

Do you tweet?

You blog?

Familiar questions! There is a great chance that you heard these and many such questions from unusual quarters. I have heard these and similar queries from my neighbors son who for all this while was a teenager I thought was focused more on sports than studies.

What’s mind blowing is the amount of headway most of these social networking sites are able to make with in no time of their launch. Take a look at the statistics and you will wonder, what the heck!

Most of the top sites actually boast of 100 million+ users! I also happened to see a cover on TIME last week.

So, How much of a social networking person are you? How do you answer these questions from curious teenagers around you?

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno... End of an Era

One of the few TV programs that I loved watching was the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Funny to the core, the special effects that Mr. Leno added were a treat. The celebrity guests on the show were chosen well and I must admire the staff for it. For 17 long years Mr. Leno took the stand up act to a new level – performance of a sublime kind.

I often liked the music at the end of the show as well. For many years it had been something that I looked forward to catching up over the week end.

Conan o’ Brien who has taken over the show would need a lot of effort to get to where Mr. Leno took the show to. Big shoes to fill in for sure.

All the best Conan!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

What's happening in Australia?

What’s happening in Australia is appalling and any citizen of any country would feel insecure if the attacks continue as they happen today.

The law should take its course and most importantly the executive and the legislative in the respective country should ensure the citizens and immigrants feel safe and are provided adequate safety. The sad part is the attacks are not just on the professionals but on students too!

There are larger issues that come up when we think deeper about these attacks.

Why are 90,000 students from India in Australia?

Does the country not have decent educational institutes of repute to host and train 90,000 of its own youngsters? What is the government doing about it? Are we still fighting over petty chapters in history books that need to be added/modified/deleted to appease certain sections of the society? Can we not set up many decent institutions of higher and secondary education with in the country modeled perhaps on the world renowned IIT/IIM/NIT’s.

Why are professionals still leaving the country?

Exposure is one part that I personally have felt is significant when it comes to a career in a globalized world and being an expat provides with the much needed opportunities for this exposure. But if one looks at the salaries, Indian salaries have risen significantly especially in the growth sectors like services.

What about the self respecting Indian? Are we able to assert ourselves?

YES, especially over the last few years the surge and growth in the economy has made a lot of Indians confident (some over confident too!). We, as the Australia example shows are able to stand up, protest and demand what is rightfully ours.

Let the Australia incidents of protest against the injustice serve as an example to Indians in other parts of the world and call for their conscience and self respect. We need to see this in say the gulf countries (at least some of them) where hordes and hordes of migrants from places like Kerala are forced to work in inhuman conditions, where the “Sheikh” is served before anyone else even if he is the last to arrive, passports are snatched for a year(?) so you are bonded to the employer….

Let us rise, awake and demand for a humane treatment of our kids studying abroad and our bros and sisters working away from the country!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

From hand written memos to emails

I have been writing for some time now and it seems to come easily now and it looks like I can write just a little better than few of my peers.

Well I am talking emails!

Yes, in the corporate set up, you are now so used to typing emails and some of us are so adept at it, we can do few hundred in a day’s work!

One to one discussions culminate in a parting statement asking each other to email the stuff back. Big shots close the meetings asking for an “send me an update presentation” by email. Team meetings end with a minutes of the meeting created and circulated over email.

We are writing emails all the time. I come from the time when I was required to send a hand written memo to the next department and also keep a Carbon copy of the same on the log! J No, I am not that old, I am talking just about 12-14 years back time frame – mid nineties!

Let’s see what happens to all the emails we are writing today, with advancements in technology and newer more nimble tools coming in!

Processes - Gate Keeper or Enabler

Read this piece on “Gatekeeper or Enabler” and could not help add my views, I have been in the process world for some time and been keenly following some of the relatively newer development on the process front actively.

One way to look at it, like Neel mentions is to put yourself in a more rigid and at times an academic position where you do everything by the “BOOK”.Well from my own experiences of defining processes, running them, implementing them for others I have over the years come to well and truly become a believer in them.

I have a simple theory as to how and who should create these processes and I have seen it to be working well.Most times when something is created by “others” and thrust upon you, it just does not seem right, even though you might have ended up doing the same thing yourself, considering the constraints etc. It hurts more when these processes are created by “others” who are also “amongst the management”.

Processes that are customer facing need to be created by people who have been there, done that and over and above critically reviewed by people who have a sense of the customer business and ways of working. I would put business before the processes and Business value ahead of regulation (unless it’s a legal, compliance related process).Internal processes must be defined by people who are less arrogant, flexible and understand the intricacies of the business, these must be reviewed by people who typically are hard to please, a bit arrogant.

When one is looking at implementing these processes typically try to expose people to the changes as the stuff is being created, see the feedback, test the waters as they say. Any sudden change is a thing that most people do not wish to take up, so bring it slowly but surely and do not retract once you are sure that you have the right process and can back it up with a business reason for doing something!