Do the working and learning styles differ across generations?

 

So can you classify generations at work? Do they have different orientation and hence different working styles? Do they have different learning needs and preferences?

I am not sure whether the government organisations face these issues or questions because of their set pattern of hiring and promotions, however I have seen this as one hot topic of discussions in various conferences, forums, lunch meetings etc with reference to private organisations.

Anik Tolbize, a researcher at University of Minnesota in her seminal work gives some insight on this issue. This study is done for American workforce and might differ to an extent for other countries including India.

Here is my understanding of these generations, their working styles and learning preferences.

  1. Traditionalists :

These are the people who are born between 1928 and 1944. They value conformity, authority, rules and top-down management approach. They expect deference, special treatment and more weight given to their opinions. They prefer learning soft skills through on the job, peer interaction and feedback, classroom instruction – live and one-on-one job coaching. They prefer learning hard skills through classroom instruction – live, workbooks and manuals, books and reading.

  1. Baby Boomers :

There are the people who are born between 1945 and 1964. They are workaholics and may not be very comfortable interacting with authority figures. Similar to traditionals, they expect deference, special treatment and more weight given to their opinions. We find a similar soft skills and hard skills learning patterns as that of traditionalist

 

  1. Generation X :

There are the people who are born between 1965 and 1979. They believe on working only as hard as is needed.  They are comfortable with authorities and are not impressed with titles or intimidated by them.  They find it natural to interact with their superiors. They want to be held in esteem, want to be listened to and do not expect deference. Their preferred soft skills learning style is discussion in groups, peer interaction, assessment and feedback. Hard skills learning is through classroom instruction – live, on the job, workbooks and manuals and coaching.

  1. Generation Y :

These are the people who are born between 1980 and 1994. They believe that respect must be earned. They are comfortable with authority. Similar to generation X, they want to be held in esteem, want to be listened to and do not expect deference. Their soft skills learning preference are on the job, peer interaction, assessment and feedback. They prefer learning hard skills through on the job, classroom instruction – live, workbooks and manuals and coaching.

  1. Generation Z or Millennials :

There are the people who are born after 1995. This is a digital generation. Wants flexibility is every aspect possible. They are fast decision makers and are highly connected.

Many traits are yet to emerge for this generation.

Here is a summary for your quick reference.

Traditionalists 1928 – 1944 Value authority and a top – down management approach; hard working; make do or do without
Baby boomers 1945 – 1964 Expect some degree of deference to their opinions; workaholics; be anything you want to be; eternal youth – retirement as freedom
Generation X 1965 – 1979 Comfortable with authority; want to e listened to; will work as hard as is needed; take care of yourself; importance of work-life balance
Generation Y 1980 – 1994 Respect must be earned; you are special; achieve now; technologically savvy; goal and achievement oriented; slacker generation
Generation Z/Millennials 1995+ Many traits still to emerge; digital natives; fast decision ,makers; highly connected

 

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As we enter 2016….

With this blog I complete a quarter of a century. This is my 25th blog on intelligentinsights.in. And if there is one person to thank for the journey so far, it is YOU the dear reader. Your likes, comments, feedback, constructive criticism has helped me immensely in this journey. So thank you once again.

Here is quick account of what and how these blogs came into being.

Course providers 1On intelligentinsights.in, it started with the first post on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). I did a couple of courses on MOOCs and that gave an idea of writing this blog. I thought this may help know about it or if you already know than some statistics may help you further. This blog gives you all that.

Singapore lost its founding father in  March 2015. So I wrote a blog about his leadership style and there is somethings to learn for us.

Around the same time I saw two things with people.  Issue with presentation skills and the fact that knowledgeable Dunning-Kruger effectpeople kept mum in meetings and vice versa. So I wrote 2 blogs on these subjects. Check the April month and you will find these topics there.

Training effectiveness and productivity enhancement through training are the questions that people ask me quite often. So I made a small attempt writing multiple blogs around this subject. If you go in the category section and look out for training / learning related blogs, you will find some interesting stuff there.

Is Heuristics misleading your judgements, Why do we choose chocolate over fruits when under stress are a couple of blogs you may find interesting since they beautifully integrate psychology and economics.

Can we make changes and sustain them as well is the topic that might interest you if you wish to know the mechanics behind why and how change happens in individuals. You will find it in May month blogs.Motivational message.

If you are keen to know what design thinking is and whether it is for you, please explore June blogs. Hopefully you will get some answers.

Pro Kabaddi gave me some great insights on reviving a game and leadership. So I wrote couple of blogs on Leadership lessons from Pro Kabaddi. You will find them in July blogs.

In country like India, where the average age of the country is 28 years, how do we move? Fast or Slow? You may get some answers in the blog ‘Fast or Slow – Which way to go’. Please check September blogs for more details.

Team management for first level supervisors is something that you will find in October. Whether you are an individual contributor, first time manager or otherwise, I think you will surely find some things of value.

I wrote about intrapreneurship in November. You may also want to check whether the Cinderella moment for you have come in the blog on ‘Have you had your Cinderella moment yet’?

2015 has offered a great opportunity to expand my horizons on variety of subjects and contribute through blogs in whatever way I can. And as I said the force that helped me  is your encouragement.

I enter 2016 with new hopes, new aspirations and new resolutions. I am sure your encouragement, feedback and care will continue the way it has always been….

Wishing you, your near and dear ones a rocking 2016….

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Why adults hate classroom learning? And can that be changed??

 

Situation 1 :

Whether you work in private firm or PSU or Government organization or an NGO, I am sure at multiple occasions you were nominated for the training sessions, particularly classroom session. What are the usual thoughts that cross your mind? What are you thinking right now after reading the scenario?

Situation 2 (extension of situation 1) :

Imagine you and some of your colleagues are nominated for a training program. Let’s say these colleagues are your tea or lunch buddies. What is the usual conversation you will hear or participate in while discussing about that training invite?

Kuchh to aaya hai…. (Something has come…)
Oh no, one more training….
What? Classroom training? Isn’t there any other way out?
Training now?? I have lot of meetings and pressed agendas. Why can’t they understand this? (By the way, this statement goes irrespective of month, date or time of the year)

On one side all of us agree that to be competitive and relevant in our roles or otherwise, we need to continuously upgrade our knowledge and skills. If this is what we agree and believe, either by choice or as a necessity, why is it that there is reluctance to structured learning when we start our working life?

I decided to try and get answers to this question by checking through some informal conversations with my training participants at the invitation stage and during the class room session. The findings are interesting.

“We have had enough of learning during our school and college days, since the experience largely has been so great, now no more learning in that fashion” said one of my training participants.
“As working professionals, we want to see instant results of whatever we are learning in the classroom” said the other participant.
“My boss wants me focus on work at hand and normally not keen to send me for the training program” said the third. I suddenly heard the class clapping at this sentence. I guess most of the participants wanted to say this and someone showed the courage to make that statement hence the claps. The boss’s belief of training sessions as a waste of productive time is sometimes a big hindrance and unfortunately it shapes up his team members thoughts and Orientation.

So here we are talking about 3 entities. The participant, the Boss and the Training Manager/Function.

Participant perspective:
They want instant application of the learning. If the learning objectives and design is worked out carefully so that they are able to see the application to their work life, it can interest them and they may not have as much hesitation in coming for the next learning event. One of the common observations I have is that participants love to have humour in the class. They learn maximum when they are engaged in activities relevant activities in line with the learning objectives of the workshop.

Boss :Presentation skills
If one has to remove the resistance of ‘The Boss’, why not involve him and his boss and the function head right from the objective setting stage of the program or workshop. If the program is meant for the employees of a particular function, why not get the problem statement from the function head herself, authenticate it with the larger audience of her team and design the program around accordingly? Since the bosses  may see the direct relevance and benefit, they hopefully will not resist engaging their team in learning.

Training Manager/ Learning and Development Function :

Ed Monk of Learning and Performance Institute (LPI, UK) says that the modern learning team must be able to curate content, create bite sized learning, deliver anytime/anywhere learning, collate resources and engage with the business on a strategic level.

Hence the L & D function needs to look at all the stages of program creation like relevant content, engaging activities, building trainers capability to deliver engaging training and finally feedback, particularly on the participants expanded ability to apply the newly learned things in her work area.

Three important things are emerging.
a. Engage all stake holders at a strategic level and create only relevant learning interventions.
b. Offer engaging, flexible, formal as well as informal learning environment to the participants.
c. Have an effective feedback mechanism to understand the efficacy of the program.

The conversation during lunch or tea for the participants after receiving a training invite will possibly then take a positive and exciting turn.

Let me know your views…

 

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Have you had your Cinderella moment yet?

A Cinderella moment is the moment of an overnight success or recognition of an individual in an Organisation.

Before we discuss about Cinderella moment any further, let me something about Keshav.

My friend Keshav works at a middle management position with a mid-size private Organisation in Mumbai. He has had a straight career graph. While his college did have the campus recruitment, he did not get through to campus interviews and hence no jump from C2C (Campus to Corporate). Keshav had to struggle for initial few months to get his first job. Thereafter over the last 15 years he has had a decent growth. Keshav comes across as a warm and soft spoken gentleman and maintains low key profile. Just like an ideal, dependable friend at workplace. His appraisals swung between moderate to good to very good and rarely excellent due to BnB effect (Boss’s perception and Bell curve :-)).
Keshav has one issue though. His bosses and super bosses do not entrust him with big, independent projects. They feel that he is too ‘mild’ to mobilise the resources and steer the project. This has started building some uneasiness and frustration in Keshav. He was struggling to understand the reason. In spite of doing all the work, why such a lack of confidence from the bosses?

Do you think Keshav ever stands a chance to lead a Project or Process or People initiatives independently?

Well the story I shared with you is of 2013 and today when we are entering into the year 2016, Keshav has handled many independent, complex projects, got awarded as one of the good people managers and has been contributing significantly to his Organisation. Well, he always was, its just that the world has started recognizing it.

The question is, how did Keshav became an overnight success or what made this turnaround? How did Keshav get his Cinderella moment?

Ask Keshav and he says what Mary Karr, an American poet, essayist and memoirist once quoted. “I was 40 years old before I became an overnight success, and I’d been publishing for 20 years”.

His favorite is Lionel Messi’s quote. Messi once said “It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success”.

So one has to know what skill sets and knowledge to acquire and stay the course irrespective of circumstances to have his or her Cinderella moment’, I asked Keshav.

“That I don’t know, but I stayed the course and it has helped me” said Keshav.

“is there anything else” I asked.

Two more things said Keshav. Resilience and Transmutation.

Here is a brief of these tow qualities.

Resilience :
“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits the bottom” said George S Patton Jr. How do you approach failures and handle them is more important than our ability to handle success. It’s easier said than done. Watch any sports. Especially watch the losing team. Those teams who demonstrate a composed and matured demeanor have better chance of positively channelizing their energy and focus on practicing the game to improve the probability of winning. All of us have the ability to bounce back. The ability can be deepened by observing sports and people.

Transmutation :
Sometime back, I saw an advertisement of a machine that processes decompose and transforms it into a fragrance. People who succeed are somewhat like that machine. They build their mindset in a special way.  While pursuing their goals or objectives whenever they experience positive situations they draw energy from that positivity and continue with their work. When they get negative experiences, their attitude or unique mindset converts it into more energy and their intensity of action around their purpose enhances. They have an uncanny ability to transmute any experience into desired velocity.

 

I have seen Keshav actually take efforts around these aspects to develop himself, however now I knew the structure to decode the process which he knowingly and un-knowingly followed that led to his Cinderella moment.

Here is a quick look at the three things he mentioned.

1. Staying the course: He continued with his focus area(s) irrespective of the circumstances.
2. Resilience: He never allowed his chips to remain down for long. He bounced back from setbacks.
3. Transmutation: He developed unique mindset to convert positive and negative experiences to his advantage.

I would be happy to hear your Cinderella moments. Do share your experience/feedback.

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Intrapreneurship – Fad or a necessity

Many Organisations today, whether big or small, are looking out for this one important requirement amongst their employees. The requirement is called Intrapreneurship.

There is no word called ‘Intrapreneurship’ in the dictionary. So I was curious as to where have the word come from, what are its different traits of Intrapreneurship, is it possible to acquire or enhance these traits within us and importantly what are the additional rewards we can get if we take efforts in embracing these qualities?

Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large Organisation. Intrapreneurship is known as the practice of a corporate management style that integrates risk taking and innovation approaches. This also involves rewards for such behaviours. Traditionally these behaviours were considered to be the province of entrepreneurship.

Some time back a business newspaper published an article that had a headline ‘India has got start up talent, but….’. The article talks about the key traits a startup entrepreneur requires and argues whether we have an ecosystem that facilitates development and fostering of these traits or competencies.

You might wonder that when we are talking about ‘Intrapreneurship’, why is the reference to Startup Entrepreneurial traits? In fact, this is the key question. Let’s try and answer this question after seeing some of the startup entrepreneurial traits.

Here are some of the key traits or competencies.

  1. Problem Solving :

Recently I watched a sponsored event on start-up awards. As a part of this event there was a panel discussion. The panelists were Kunal Behl (Snapdeal); Naveen Tiwari (InMobi); Pranay Chulet (Quickr) and Ankit Bhati (Ola cabs). These are the people who build Unicorns. Unicorns in startup lingo are those companies that have a valuation of $ 1 Billion and above. The moderator asked them what makes a startup successful. Of the many things that the panelists said, one thing that was common was the ability of an individual or group to solve a problem. If you see, each of these entities looked at a problem that is faced by majority of people and build their products or services to solve that problem.

2. Creativity :

Creativity walks on two legs says ex IIM Ahmedabad Director Mr. Pradip Khandwalla. One is an analytical, logical and focused mode of thinking. The other leg is imaginative, even a fanciful mode of thinking, which extensively uses analogies, suggestions, fantasies, intuitions etc. So typically a problem solving exercise will demand one to operate on both these legs. So a startup entrepreneur (and her team) has to use logical and focused thinking to look at various aspects of a problem and imaginative and ambiguous thinking to arrive at various alternatives to the identified problem.

3. Collaboration:

To be able to solve a problem, the startup entrepreneur need to work with cross functional teams, external partners, people from the industry, regulator etc. So a hierarchy based mindset may not work. She needs to have the flexibility to adapt to the changing requirement of the business or project and collaborate with people.

 

Now coming back to our question of Intrapreneurs. Look at any function like Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR, Customer Service or any function that you are a part of. Do you think irrespective of the function, one needs to live these traits of Problem solving, Creativity and Collaboration? Do you think honing these capabilities will have its own rewards for us professionally and personally?

The American Heritage Dictionary acknowledges intrapreneur to mean “A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.

If we were to filter through this definition, we should get the answer whether Intrapreneur is a fad or necessity and whether embracing this attitude can be of help to us.

Please let me know your views.

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Managing team for the first time? These 3 things may help

So here you are. The star performer. You did exceptionally well. May be you got some awards along the way. Seeing your Performance and Potential the management decided to promote you and now you are ‘The Manager’. You may have had ‘Manager’ title perhaps, but now you actually have the team to manage. ‘Is life going to be same’, you think to yourself with lot of excitement and some amount of anxiety.

While excitement is completely understandable, is anxiety good? If it is, than how do you deal with it? More appropriately can you use anxiety as a force to establish yourself as a credible manager?

The answer to this question is YES you can.

As a manager and as a trainer who has trained people transition from individual contributor to a manager, my experience suggests that we can use this anxiety to transition ourselves as an effective and credible manager.

Here are 3 things I have seen successful first time managers use effectively.

Adaptability :

Synonym to adaptability is flexibility. I have seen successful first time managers demonstrating this trait quite often. They adapt themselves to the new learning they need to do as manager, they adapt themselves to the new situations they face like chasing the group target, presenting and justifying team’s performance to seniors, communication with the team etc.

One way you can develop this trait is by doing something regularly that you are not comfortable with. For example if you don’t like initiating a conversation on your own, try and do it at least once in a day or playing mobile games that are designed to develop flexibility of brain.

Demand vs Command :

Here are the two situations.

Situation 1 : Your senior has called for a review. You urgently need data from your team. Will you demand it or command it?

Situation 2 : Your unit (You and your team) need to achieve a target given by the Organisation. Unless all the team members contribute, you know that meeting the targets will be difficult. Will you demand the performance or command it?

Successful managers understand the difference very well. For short and quick requirements when they are time pressed, they surely demand. Simultaneously they invest time in developing their team and command respect. This enables them to forge bonds, own targets as a team and achieve them with collective efforts and individual ownership.

Wondering how do you do it? The mantra : Listen (not hear) more, speak when necessary and be passionately involved in the process.

Be a cushion :

The successful first time managers demonstrate unusual ability of acting as a cushion between their team and their seniors. Let’s face it. You are likely to get some stretched targets (sometimes you may think they are too aspirational or impossible) with stiff deadlines. The usual tendency is to pass on the pressure as it is to the team. This can really break the cohesiveness of the team. Their excitement towards their work may disappear.

So how do the successful managers deal with it? They surely involve the team and pass on the message (in this case the stretched targets and stiff timelines) but only to extent that builds positive tension amongst team members that accelerates their efforts.


How can you develop this? Play physical games/activities that help you keep mind – body coordination well and hence respond to situations faster and in composed manner.

Here is a recap.

The three things successful first time managers follow are:

  1. Adaptability : They keep themselves flexible to be in different situations and learn from it.
  2. Demand vs Command : They earn their team’s respect and hence can command their teams.
  3. Cushion : They act as shock absorbers (pressure from top) and help team channelize energies for meeting individual and team objective.
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Fast or Slow – Which way to go?

Some time back I received a communication where a person shared his experience of being with a Swedish company. He shared that any project even if it’s a simple one takes two years to finalise. It’s a rule.

He continued that globalised processes have caused in us a general sense of searching for immediate results. This contrasts greatly with a slow movement of Swedish. They on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold ‘X’ quality meetings and work with slow down scheme. If we look at some of the Swedish brands like Volvo, Escania, Erricson, Electrolux etc this approach seems to have worked well with them.

These days in Europe there is a movement called as ‘slow food’. The movement emphasizes that people should eat and drink slowly to be able to enjoy the taste of food and spend time with family and friends without rushing. Slow food is the basis for a bigger movement called ‘Slow Europe’ as mentioned by Business Week.

This no-rush attitude doesn’t represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress.

After going through this message, I had a question in my mind. The inflection point that India is at, can slow movement be any good for us?

Sample this. It took us 60 years to become $ 1 trillion economy (1947 – 2007). It took just another 7-8 years to add another $ trillion and become a $ 2 trillion economy. Estimates are that it will take just 4-5 years to cross the $ 3 trillion mark. Our per capita income has crossed $ 1500 per annum, implying that the discretionary (something that we spend at our discretion after meeting basic requirements) spends are only going to go up.

The e-commerce revolution, rapidly developing start-up eco system, Government focus on MSME (Micro-Small-Medium enterprises), availability of more non- agricultural jobs in rural sector and much more. Add to it the average age of our country which is 28 years.

With all these things, is ‘slow movement’ going to be any good for us? As Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of One 97 Communications and Paytm puts it “One company differs from other not in ideas and strategy, but only in the speed of execution”.

What is going to be good for us? A slow, deliberative approach to Government policies, processes, company products in an attempt to make it world class or a quick, may not be as great but gets things moving faster to cater to the growing and urgent needs of our country and people, be it productively engaging large young work force, affordable health care, poverty eradication et al?

Use system 1 and system 2 thinking :

That’s my take on the question. But first, let me share what system 1 and system 2 means. Noted psychologist Dr. Daniel Kahneman, who has done an extensive work on the subject of psychology of judgment and decision making and got awarded Nobel prize in 2002 for Economic science introduced something that he calls system 1 and system 2 thinking.

System 1 thinking is

  • fast
  • instinctive &
  • emotional

system 2 thinking is

  • slower
  • more deliberative and
  • more logical.

If the decisions are short term in nature, system 1 thinking may help but if the decisions are going to be structural in nature then system 2 thinking has no substitute.

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Leadership lessons from Pro Kabaddi first season winner – Part 2

In part 1 we looked at team composition; strategy and execution of Jaipur Pink Panthers. We also saw how we can juxtapose these team concepttenets to business life.

Let’s now look at the other 3 important tenets in this final section.

4. Resilience :Motivational message.

Its’ not that Pink Panthers had straight line victories. In fact they lost the first match of the tournament that they played against U Mumba. Jaipur played in all 14 matches. They won 10, lost 3 and 1 was draw. Of the 3 lost matches, 1 was lost to U Mumba. The draw again was with U Mumba. So the previous two experiences were not much in favour of Pink Panthers. “We couldn’t have won it if we hadn’t removed the fear factor from our minds. We had worked hard to reach the final and it was more of beating the team that we had failed to. The aggression and hunger clearly showed and there is no question that the better side won” said Jasvir Singh. Burning desire kept them consistent at winning and the bounce back ability helped them overcome their defeats.

  1. Clear communication lines :3D little human characters X6 discussing at a round table. Business People series.

Forthrightness and clear communication of players within them, with the coach and the captain is an important point to consider. They did not get into un-necessary egos. The team was encouraged to focus on strengthening their individual positions and skills. While doing this the captain and the coach ensured that the team member does not start strengthening skills in silos. They focussed on the collective performance and orchestrated efforts.

In the business context keeping the communication lines open for the manager or the leader is essential. Fear free expression of the team members will help address the issue(s) at nascent stage before it becomes a growing hot balloon. These are some of the methods some managers follow to keep the communication lines open.

  1. The open office design allows the team members easy accessibility to her manager.
  2. Follow a regular meeting schedules of skip level team members.
  3. Management by walking around (MBWA) if the team is in same location or through web chats.
  4. Informal get together
  5. Reviews and ideation sessions
  1. Branding and presenting :

Like other teams, Pink Panthers also had their team dress designed. This was sponsored by their apparel partner T K Sports. What was strikingly different is the way in which the team was launched by Abhishek Bachchan in a press conference. He made the media shy players extremely comfortable and presented them with their best side to us.Brand Text With Symbols

In the office context, we see the team logos, team names, team dress code etc. Anything that stands teams apart. Branding helps the team to identify themselves with the composite unit. The brand is easily noticeable. Showcasing the strength can give a good exposure to them in front of their stake holders. I have seen some managers follow it quite consistently.

This is what Abhishek Bachchan says about sports and kabaddi.

  1. Team work, loyalty and leadership is what you learn from Sports.
  2. Kabaddi requires players to be a gymnast, rugby player, wrestler and a chess player.

I guess businesses and teams need a lot of it to remain vibrant and successful.

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6 Leadership and performance lessons from Pro Kabaddi season 1 winner

Pro Kabbadi season 2 has started with full fanfare in Mumbai on 18th July 2015. The first match was between season 1 finalists Jaipur Pink Panther and U Mumba.

I must thank Mashaal Sports; Charu Sharma and Star Sports. You gave us a treat by reviving the sports of Kabaddi and giving it a great glamour quotient. Pro kabaddi has been a great hit.

For starters, Kabaddi has 8 players in each team. It’s a 40 minute intense, high energy game with one 5 minute break after 20 minutes. Two terms often surface in the game. Raiders and Defenders. Raiders are the one who go in the other teams’ arena; try to touch the opponent players and touch back the mid line without being held back by the opponent players. The defenders job is to catch the raider and not allow him to touch the mid line.

The season 1 final match was between U Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers. The first half was intense. However in the second half, Pink Panthers very decisively won the match with a score of 35-24.

The key question is what made this team demonstrate such a high level of performance so consistently match after match?

Here are the six (3 covered in this blog) leadership and performance lessons from this team

  1. Team composition :

The first task before the franchise owner Abhishek Bachchan was to get the people who can select the best players. He chose K Bhaskaran, an Arjuna awardee as the coach of the team. Next was to select the company or a person who can manage the team effectively. He chose Bunty Walia who runs G S entertainment. Mandate was to ensure that the team is taken care of well.

Now was the time to select the players. Abhishek Bachchan, K Bhaskaran and Bunty Walia did extensive research; studied player profiles and selected a fine mix of players. Pink panthers’ has some of the finest raiders; defenders and all-rounders.

In the business context, choosing your team right is of utmost importance. You don’t grow business. You grow people and they grow your business. If we have this piece right, the businesses or projects get going fast.

  1. The Strategy :

K Bhaskaran who has been there, done that knows the game in and out. He ensured that the players were given enough time and opportunities to practice. For 15 days the players practiced in Jaipur. Abhishek Bachchan was personally present for a week to encourage the players; keep them in the right frame of mind and keep them motivated. Bhaskaran ensured that right game strategy is put in place. He strengthened the position of each player and offered insights to make it sharper.

In the context of business, while getting the right people sets the pace, getting your strategy right ensures that you are in the right direction. Depending upon our business and the scope, we can decide which strategy tool or method to use to formulate the blue print for the business or unit. For example, my friend who hold a key position in one SBU (strategic business unit) uses 2 X 2 matrix, 5 force analysis and strategy maps quite extensively.

  1. Execution :

Each player was trained to do his role well. Prashant Chavan and Gokul Shitole held the right corner well. The team’s captain Navneet Gautam was at his best handling the left corner. Rajesh Narwal and Maninder Singh raided very well.  Jasvir Singh demonstrated cool, composed, smiling but a sharply focussed demeanour when he raided. He remains my favourite.

In the business context, using the strength of each and every team member is the real test of a manager or a leader. Fitting their skills and capabilities in the larger scheme of things is nothing short of a jigsaw puzzle.  Keeping the team member excited about the uniqueness of his or her contribution to the overall picture is tough but a fulfilling job for the manager or leader.

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