5 hours and 247 pages: The Seven Day Weekend

5 hours and 247 pages: The Seven Day Weekend

Business team with hands together - teamwork concepts, isolated

 

Last night I opened a book and 5 hours and 247 pages later, the book had broadened my thinking. That book was titled – “The Seven Day Weekend”, authored by Mr. Ricardo Semler.

The best part of reading a good book is that the horizons of the reader’s mind get broadened and he becomes wiser than he was before opening the book. What I realised post this mini-readathon was – 1) I was ready for the scheduled book review session. 2) I got something to read which was insightful not just in terms of business perspective, but also helped me to focus on what I actually want from my professional life and 3) the approach I have had with me actually does exist in the business world and firms do exist and make good profit by implementing the same approach.

The primary reason as to why this piece of work is admirable and inspirational is that the author talks of having chosen employee happiness and satisfaction as the driving force of his business, unlike the more bottom-line obsessed business workplaces.

The author shares his experience of working at Semco (the company headquartered at Sao Paulo, Brazil), where he wants not just him (the CEO), but also his employees, customers, suppliers and community to be happy. The real motivation or the driving force behind a successful company is not growth, not profits, not power, not status, but Happiness.

Along the way, he asked himself, “If the workweek is going to slop over into the weekend, then why can’t the weekend, with its precious restorative moments of playtime, my time, and our time, spill over into the workweek?” The author then provides a roadmap to achieve personal and professional success.

The stressful and many a times overloaded workweek robs us of our passion and pleasure, it destroys family and community stability, and sets up businesses to fail once they have burned out their employees and burned through ever more manipulative and oppressive strategies.

The book describes how managers can turn the repetition, boredom and aggravation of the usual workweek into an environment that is filled with joy, inspiration and freedom.

I do believe that the old way of doing business is sprinting towards its deathbed, and the time has come to re-invent and re-engineer the way of doing business which could be more or less like the Semco’s way, aimed at fulfilling the central purpose of business. Thus, a satisfactory and rewarding life can be made possible for the entire workforce for their hard work. In order to achieve that, it is important to treat co-workers like intelligent mature adults by allowing them to manage themselves. This, as a business model, has worked like a charm for Semco and could possibly be put to use at any organization, anywhere in the so business world that wants to move beyond traditional thinking to a more democratic realm.

While highlighting how flexibility in work time and self-management by employees can work wonders to improve a company’s bottom line, it also narrates how self-organized employee groups can harness extra potential to bring about change in productivity just by eliminating time lags. The book supports encouraging employees to rely on their own intuition and use it in the workplace with a combination of reasoning and experience to reach a decision.

The book is full of stories from Semco’s everyday existence and is a joy to read. Time and again these stories illustrate that one must not opt for the easy way out.

On one hand, it is a thought-provoking guidebook that reveals how freedom and happiness can lead a business to success. On the other, it is an easy, fun to read book as it shares the day to day experiences at the workplace. Also, it is 100% free of MBA-jargons.

Author : Kinshuk Chaturvedi

PGPM Class of 2017, Great Lakes

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 50 “Invisibles in Life”

Dear friends,

“Seeing is believing” is a popular catchphrase. Its natural corollary has been that “do not believe what you don’t see”. However, our biological eyes have their own limitations in being able to see everything that matters in life. Helen Keller, American Author-Lecturer-Activist, deaf-blind from the age of 1-1/2 years was once asked: Is there anything worse than blindness?

  • “Yes, having eyes but no Vision” was the answer, after a pause!

“There is a significant difference between Vision and Visuals”. Invisibles can be seen only through vision which is in the domain of mind and not eyes.

Invisibles in Material World

In the material world itself, we cannot see electricity, magnetism or electromagnetic waves which can be sensed by sensors only. We are talking to the person on the other side of the earth today through “unseen” signals! Electromagnetic waves, light and x-rays, radio signals or infrared, can travel through the vacuum, which also we can’t see. They set up electric and magnetic oscillations, which do not need matter. You can have these fields in a vacuum. Can gravity be seen? It can only be sensed. Even air cannot be seen by our eyes but can be sensed by feel.

Invisibles in Spiritual World

Goodwill, blessings or respect cannot be seen but felt through body language or indirect actions which need to be interpreted. Eyes alone cannot help; you need the support of your mind and intellect (invisibles themselves) to feel them.

So the universe is full of “invisibles” at material and spiritual level. Let us not discard the invisibles! Let us ‘keep our eyes open’ duly supported by other sense organs and “Mind & Intellect” to comprehend the “invisibles”. There is an invisible within us which controls the “Mind & Intellect” and body of course, which when leaves the body makes us “dead”.

Once we realize the invisibles and understand the limitations of our biological eyes, we become conscious of yet unexplored world of invisibles and the avenues of discovery, moving towards completeness.

Power of visualisation to sense Invisibles

Invisibles like peace, purity, power, knowledge and love cannot be seen but visualised and felt. For example a visual of Mansarovar can make you realise peace, a visual of “Boudhi Vraksh” can take you closer to the knowledge or wisdom, a visual of lightening clouds makes you realise power, a visual of Krishna or Buddha can take you closer to purity, Christ in the arms of mother Merry can make you feel love, and so on. Power of visualisation is very strong and you can fill your mind with the great virtues of life by closing your eyes but keeping your mind open to the suggestive prompts.

Invisibles in Management Paradigm

Some of the world’s most talented, accomplished people choose to fly under the radar, not to be noticed. What do anaesthetists, structural engineers, interpreters; cameramen, story/ dialogue writers and background music players in Cinema have in common? When they do their jobs poorly, the consequences can be shattering, but when they do their jobs perfectly . . . They are invisible, explains David Zweig in his book “Invisibles”.

For most of us, the better we perform the more attention we receive. Yet for many invisible skilled professionals whose role is critical to whatever organisation they are a part of – it is the opposite: the better they do their jobs the more they disappear. In fact, only when something goes wrong that they are noticed at all. What has been lost amid the noise of self-promotion today is that not everyone can be in the spotlight. Invisibility can be viewed as a mark of honour and a source of a truly rich life.

Millions of these Invisibles are hidden in every industry. And despite our culture’s increasing celebration of fame in our era of superstar CEOs and assorted varieties of “genius” – they are fine with remaining anonymous.

A book by A.G. Krishnamurthy “The Invisible CEO” brings forth the magnanimity of an unconventional CEO who wants to be in the hearts of his associates rather than in high-profile cocktail circuits and press conferences. He develops a chain of leadership, remaining an invisible dot at the centre of the spiral.

Our subtle faculties generate consciousness

In life many happenings cannot be explained only in material or physical terms. At certain points of crisis or inspiration, there are deep emotional and spiritual experiences which separate us from the world around. We look inwards at such times; in order to understand these experiences.

Indeed, anything perceivable to us comes from two sources; that which is detected by the physical senses and that which arises from impressions recorded on our subtle faculties (thoughts & feelings). When we are in dreams during sleep, we see very real pictures although our biological eyes are closed. This clarifies the role of our invisible internal faculties. The recordings are unwound in the form of dreams. The things that we can see, taste, hear, smell and feel, as well as the body itself are formed of matter. But the subtle faculties of mind, intellect and personality make up what we call consciousness.

In order to live a conscious life of completeness, one has to explore invisibles, not getting restricted by visible only.

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI) Govt. of India

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 49 “Education & Spirituality”

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 49 “Education & Spirituality”

My dear friends,                 

Once I was captivating introduction of the new batch of MBA at NPTI. The dialouge went as follows:

A Student:          Sir, I am Shrivastava, BE(Elect)

Me:                       I am not interested in your surname and your degree

-These are on our records

Student:             Sir, I am Mahesh Kumar (Imaginatively substituted name)

Me:                      That is your name given by your parents-drop it

Student:             I am a student of NPTI

Me:                      That’s your present occupation-I know it

Student:             Sir, I am a boy

Me:                      I am not interested in your gender

Student:              I am becoming conscious now, who am I?

Another Student: I am feeling intrigued, I am thinking now,

His next:               I am sensitized on my existence today,

Next to next:        My conscience says I am God’s creation,

Yet another:         I am motivated to think, I am divine.

Me:       When you drop all your labels, you come out as “the pure you” :

  • Your consciousness (awareness)
  • Your conscience (sense of right and wrong)
  • Thinking & feeling part of you
  • Your sensor/ sensitivity
  • Your motivation/ inspiration
  • Your divinity

-is your Spirit . Keep it awakened!

We need it all the time for the spiritual paradigms of our MBA education at NPTI, I indicated. I further clarified to them that subjects like “Power Reforms” , “Customer relationship & Entrepreneurship”, “Energy Environment Interface & Sustainable Development” etc. derive their essence from holistic spiritual paradigms of our survival. Besides technicalities, they involve ethics and ethos, human values, customer care, environmental sensitivity, resource renewability, society’s anxieties over clean energy, electricity for all and its availability 24×7 and so on.

Spirituality

Spirituality is a rather mysterious term for the scientific community who keeps experimenting with external and physical world only. There are several inner dimensions of human existence which can not be denied; for example Mind, Intellect (consciousness transforms intellect into wisdom), Innner voice/ Intuition (sixth sense) etc. An encounter with one’s own “inner dimension” is spirituality.

Spirituality is manifested by original qualities of “the spirit or the soul” such as love, compassion, wisdom, bliss, peace, purity, humility, power, forgiveness, sacrifice, contentment, self-responsibility, values, self-esteem, harmony and connectedness to others.

Spiritual literacy is a basic literacy for all that enables the understanding and use of the deeper meaning and connection in all aspects of life. Spirituality teaches us how our lives fit into the greater scheme of things.

Education & Spirituality

 Swami Vivekanand said : “Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain, undigested all your life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas. If you have assimilated just five (5) ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library.

A semi-literate man “Anna Hazare” also talked of 5-ideas

  1. Pure Thoughts
  2. Pure Conduct
  3. Unblemished Life
  4. Sacrifice and
  5. Capacity to withstand humiliation;

which he assimilated, practiced and demonstrated, becoming the most literate man of today, saluted by the Indian Parliament.

Education is not merely Academics

Somehow we have misunderstood academics to be education

– We teach our children to read and memorise history but we don’t teach them to create history

– We teach them geography, but not geographical cultures and respect for them

– We teach them science, but not the science of life

-We teach them external management, but not internal management of Mind

Education is to lead a person to knowledge (know-how & know-why) graduating further to wisdom (discovery of truth by himself) to see life in its totality and to face it in its completeness. It is to set a higher goal of life, inner transformation, vision of oneness and genuine care for others.

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI) Govt. of India

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 48 “Self-Management”

My dear friends,

I wish to share with you all a ‘Mantra’ that I shared with the graduands during GLIM’s Convocation on 18 May 2016. It is a tiny mantra against “The Bhagavad Gita” which has become a compulsory core course for every student in Seton Hall University in New Jersey, USA having > 10,800 students. The mantra is that “All the external managements have to be preceded by Self-Management.

After joining their jobs, many of the entrants are sent for corporate training programs some of which are grossly misnomered. For instance, Time Management. Time is an irretrievable resource and there can be no inventory management in it. You can only ‘self-manage’ to be punctual and to be time bound. Another example is Stress Management. Can you manage stress after it is created? You have to depend only on doctors from headache to cancer. According to an authority on stress-related diseases, cancer is the end product of non-forgiveness. The secret is to ‘self-manage’ so as not to create stress, anger or hurt by you, within you. How do you do this? Foremost is the awareness that you are the creator of all these emotions.

On his first day in office as President, when Abraham Lincoln entered to deliver his inaugural address, a fellow stood up and said “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for me and my family” The whole Senate laughed. Lincoln said “Sir, I know that and I also know that there was never ever any complaint from any of his clients including your family. He was a genius and he used to pour his heart and soul in to his job. I am so proud of him. “Let me see to what extent I can reach his creativity and perfection while presiding over the United States.” No one can hurt you without your consent.

Buddha was known to be beyond hurt. One day one visitor took up the challenge and started hurling abuses at him till he was himself totally tired. Finally he said Oh! Buddha you are still smiling, you have no self-respect. Buddha replied with the same smile “It is like this. If you offer me an apple and I don’t accept, where will the apple go? The visitor replied “obviously it would remain with me.” Buddha said “it is exactly the same with abuses; they have all remained with you”

The Blame Game

Unfortunately, we are all caught up in a blame game. We make some body responsible for our hurt, anger and stress. This starts from early childhood. Can you imagine a 2-1/2 year old child telling her grandfather “Nani has hurt me inside. She says she will not give me ice-cream until I finish my food”. We smile it off. We also help the child nurture a ‘belief system’ of blaming others for any hurt caused. Whenever she falls down and gets hurt, we go and hit the floor or the obstacle to console her. We never explain her that she fell down due to her own lack of attention.

If we don’t find a person or an object, we start blaming the circumstances. Do we really have to? Let me give you an example. Recently, in an award function where a renowned doctor was being felicitated, he shared his life story. He said he grew up in an extremely poor family who were not sure of the next day meal. He had an elder brother who was always blaming his father and turned alcoholic. His younger brother went into depression losing all hopes from life. This man thought the only way for him was to study hard and become a doctor, if possible, not only to get over the poverty but also to treat both of his brothers one day. He used to borrow books from his friends when they were playing or enjoying their picnics. He studied under the lamp-posts and struggled through. He attributed full credit of his success to the extreme poverty. The wind may blow from any direction, but the direction in which you go depends on how you set the sails. Setting the sails is Self-management or more precisely the Thoughts-management.

Egolessness

Egolessness is one issue which confuses the youngsters as well as the grown-ups. Should they not be proud of their higher qualifications, superior skills, long and rich experience etc? Should they compromise on their self-esteem in order to avoid ego clashes? These doubts arise out of the ignorance of a fine line between ego and self-esteem. If you are contributing in a meeting and if you say “This is the best idea” it is ego. But if you say “This is my best idea” it is self-esteem. You can keep your self-esteem intact by giving space to others’ self-esteem.

Willpower

At times you start feeling that you lack “Willpower”. You lack determination, resolve and strength of will. In order to explore this, you should start examining your own daily routine. You want to get up at 6. You put an alarm and the bell rings. You choose to close it and sleep for another half an hour, 45 min. or more. You finally get up and it is time to brush and go for a morning walk. You compromise on a bed tea. Now the daily newspaper arrives. You get tempted to see at least the headlines and the sidelines and the interesting lines. Morning walk gets postponed to the next day and you somehow reach office 15 min. late even after skipping the shave. You think 15 min. late is allowed, and you are still in the comfort zone! Now pause and look back, wherefrom the “power of will” can emerge and cultivate, if you go on ignoring the inner voice? So, if you want to be powerfully self-managed, you will have to:

  1. Revisit your ‘belief-systems’ and alter them to the extent necessary.
  2. Revisit your ‘so called’ comfort zones and see if their shells can crack under the resonance of your own Inner Voice.
  3. And have a better control on your ‘thought factory’ which is generating 25 thoughts/min. or 36,000 thoughts /day.

 

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI) Govt. of India

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)

All Between Success and Failure!

I AM NOT GOING TO WRITE HERE ABOUT SUCCESS AND FAILURE, THIS WRITE UP IS ALL THAT COMES BETWEEN OUR PERCEPTION OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE.

While success can give us the boost to do well in future endeavors and to perform with more sincerity, failure challenges our capability to do any job and it makes us believe that we are not capable of it. Going with the doubled sincerity and doubled dedication after a failure gives the person a required platform to outcast his last performance.

successBut is it that easy? After debacle, definitely not. We need to understand that success and failure is part and parcel of life. Growing up on failures and learning from them is the mandatory ingredient needed to concoct a perfect recipe called Success. Confidence and self belief are the two ingredients that are necessary to keep you going after a failure. History is replete with examples of people who braved failure to achieve success and make it big.

It’s up to us to decide which side of the fence allures us the most, the self content side, the side where people accepted things as they came, never challenged and never asked for more from their life or the side where people never gave up, they just kick started themselves after every debacle and went after the thing they aspired for more than anything else.

I would like to conclude with the famous saying by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”

– HIMANSHU SHUKLA

Samurais, PGPM Gurgaon Class of 2016

ON THE ROCKS

(the old rock to sit on…an old friend along…)

They rise and they fall

accepting it all

They come and they go. Where?

Do they know?

They meet and part

They do have a heart

and deeply immersed a mind

that knows not where to find

the ones long lost

some in sand,

some in frost

looking at the waves

wondering “do you even know”

it’s the same old me

and the ever changing you

but look at the irony

you’re just the same blue,

and here I am, I look so new

yes I rise and I fall,

trying to accept it all

‘coz all the change let it be,

its the same old you

the same old me.

– SHASHI LAVANYA APPAVURAJ

Samurais, PGPM Gurgaon Class of 2016

Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 20 – “Bharat Ratna” to Sachin Tendulkar

My dear young friends,

The President of India has bestowed upon Sachin Tendulkar  “Bharat Ratna” the highest civilian honour. At 40, he is the youngest recipient ever. Was it given to him for his unconquerable record of 100 centuries, 164 half centuries, 76 times man of the match; 33,896 runs in international cricket and 50,000 runs in all recognized cricket ? Or was it something beyond?

Sachin had a unique combination of aggressiveness and speed with patience and seriousness. His humility, devotion, determination, commitment, passion, hard work and discipline were exemplary. First glimpse of his passion was seen when he was 16 and in his first match Waqar Younis’ bouncer hit his nose that started bleeding. He went for dressing. On return he slapped 3 fours on his ball in a sequence. Since then no bowler around the world could breathe in peace against Sachin. During 1998, in Sharjah test match Sachin hit Shane Warne’s balls so intensely that he had to say that he sees him slap sixes even in dreams. His regular net-practice before the matches speaks of his dedication. He used to enter the ground with the same devotion be it a charity match or an international test match. He never lost his cool during worst of provocation; he used to answer his critics with his bat. On being declared “out” he never questioned the umpire or his destiny. He simply left the wicket most humbly and obediently, accepting the failure with highest grace.

There are numerous stories about his providing inspiration and healing emotional wounds of his co-players in the dressing room. After Sachin’s retirement, Coach of South African team Russell Domingo stated that absence of Sachin Tendulkar in the dressing room would make an easy way for their team. No wonder, for setting up such sports culture, his photograph hangs in Lord’s dressing room.

Did we recognize this kind of Sports Culture and Sportsmanship?

Manoj Tiwari says when he was selected first time for Team India; he had to return to Kolkata from Bangladesh trip without playing a single match due to an injury. As per directions of BCCI he was getting ready to go to Mumbai for treatment. Same day Sachin was going to Bangladesh via Kolkata. He took his phone number from the local manager and made a call to enquire about his injury. During the talk Sachin asked him which doctor he has been referred to. When he told his name, Sachin said “he is a good doctor but is a specialist of knees while your injury is in the shoulder” Manoj told him that he may have to follow the instructions of BCCI and moreover he did not have any idea of another appropriate specialist. Sachin said he should wait for a while, he would do something. After half-an-hour Sachin telephoned him to say that he has fixed up an appointment with another suitable doctor and Board officials would help him in this. Without accepting captainship for long, his inspirational leadership was exemplary. The way he was carried on shoulders round the ground by his team members including the captain after the World Cup win in 2011 speaks of it all.

Did we recognize this kind of Humane Leadership?

At the time of his father’s demise during a world cup match he came to India to participate in rituals and immediately returned to England. In the next match when he made a century his tearful eyes looking at the sky were signifying that it was a salutation of a real patriot to his father. During 1999 Chennai test match against Pakistan, Sachin after making a century taking the team to a near win situation was declared “out” at 136 and India lost a romantic match. Disappointed Sachin returned to the dressing room and wept like a child. He did not go to receive his “Man of the match” award. After team’s defeat, his century and award both became meaningless to him.

Lalchand Rajput coach for Indian team in Australian tour during 2007-08 informs that several controversies had shadowed that tour. During that trip itself one day in Perth he was coming down in a Hotel Lift along with Sachin and Harbhajan for dinner. The lift stopped at eighth floor. An Australian entered and the moment he realized that he was face to face with Sachin, he almost became mad. He said his life became worth since he could directly see the God of Cricket. During the Australian tour in 1998 itself, Matthew Hayden had stated “I have seen God. He bats at No.4 in Indian Team in Tests”

Sachin’s benevolent farewell speech was telecast alive in Pakistan. Many newspapers praised him vehemently. Urdu daily “Insaph” wrote “Sachin like cricketers are not born every day. All love and respect him beyond limits”. Even Pak Taliban “Tehreek-e-Taliban” had to issue clarification that they never meant that Sachin should not be praised simply because he is an Indian.

When India plays its old enemy at cricket the ideal solution for many Pakistani spectators is for Sachin Tendulkar to score a hundred and Pakistan to win  according to the writer Suresh Menon. This speaks volumes of modesty, goodwill and consideration that Sachin has earned and spread across the Indian sub-continent, nay, the entire world. There are stories after stories to indicate that Sachin became an underpin of international goodwill which diplomatic machineries may take ages to build!

Did we salute his statesmanship?

Sachin was on the Golden Coin that was tossed in his farewell match, he is on the postal stamp, he is in the school curriculum, he is in Madame Tussauds and he is in a temple. He was an accepted “Bharat Ratna” for the unmatchable grace of Sportsmanship, Humane Leadership and Statesmanship even before the formal conferment by Govt. of India.

You would have realized my dear friends, the focus was not Sachin but insights into his aura of multiple layers of glory and grandeur which is generated by great human effort.

Satyamev Jayate !!!

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI Scholar, D.Engg.(Calif), FNAE
Hon.D.WRE (ranked amongst 30-most eminent scientists in the world)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI / REL), Ex-Director (REC)/ Executive Director (IREDA)

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)