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Archive for the ‘Work Life’ Category

Revelations

Posted by Girish Krishnan on August 21, 2008

  • Stop waiting for that 1 hr workout that you plan to do – 15 min of exercise daily morning makes you more agile and active than you could imagine!
  • Put an end to the dust accumulation on the $60 book today! You are never going to get those two free days when you plan to finish it off in some marathon sittings. 5 pages a day over a couple of weeks would get you far ahead than you ever thought of!
  • Switch to Macbook today, forget about a potential productivity loss during your learning exercise! You will start loving it more than windows in no time!
  • Unread mails would always remain there! Read it and tag-create a  to-do list which you review and update everyday!
  • Be happy, think positive and cheer up people around you – this day wont come back again!
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Bengaluru Intl Airport

Posted by Girish Krishnan on June 17, 2008

Had a chance to visit and use the new Bangalore Airport. Since i had an early morning flight, traffic really wasnt an issue. It took just under an hour to reach the new airport (given that i stay close to the old HAL airport).

I was a bit disappointed with the new airport because there is no way it is going to scale for the requirements even for the next 5 years.  There are not enough Aerobridges (just 6 or 7 of them are operational now), and we still take the ground transportation to board the aircraft. By the looks of it, there does not seem to be any plans to improve on this infrastructure. Again, there not sufficient number of gates (altogether 11 for domestic) for the flights, and the airport authority were not in a position to tell which gate the flight would be boarding at prior to even an hour before departure. Its tough on passengers to keep roaming on the floor keeping on checking where the flight is arriving!

I also had the privilege of sleeping on the waiting chairs provided in the airport – courtesy the travel agents who sent their car an hour early to pick me up. Surprisingly, the chairs for the passengers were also in short supply. In contrast, the Shanghai airport had vast stretches of empty seats and passenger wait areas which were themselves wasting a lot of power through more than adequate lighting and air-conditioning.

An optimistic way of looking at these issues is to acknowledge that India is a developing country which cannot afford to spend lavishly on public infrastructure. My international flight from Mumbai had around 3 wheelchairs kept at its entrance, and once i reached the US, i found almost 15 of them stacked up at the aero bridge – talk about the height of wastage of resources!

I dont advocate the US or the chinese way of wasting resources, but i believe we need to consider future scale as well when we design public places like airports. For more information checkout their website – http://www.bengaluruairport.com/

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Moving from Disturbia to Ekaagratha!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on June 16, 2008

This was inspired by this Sunday Times post by Andrew Sullivan.

There are some inherent issues with people with seemingly a lot of energy. A lot of people suffer from lack of “Ekaagratha” ( meaning concentration in Malayalam – etymological root in Sanskrit). Plainly put it is nothing but digression of attention, and i am feeling the pinch of it thanks to all the technological advancements we are making in the internet space.

You are doing something and in between a mail pops up; you read it because of your curious nature. By the time you finish with replying to it, your bloglines reader shows up a new post, and you go after it. By this time the stock quotes widget shows up a serious drop in one of your watch-list stocks and you prioritize to tackle it. This is a like another illness for an already ailing person. A famous usage in Malayalam is “Kooninmel kuru” (like getting a blister on top of the hunch for the hunchback) – what could be worse!

Concentration is king and being disciplined aids in this “information on fingertip” rich world. Its okay to lose out on a lot of superficial information as depth of knowledge is what will lead us to insights and differentiation. We understand that there is a clutter of information that is hitting each one of us every moment we survive and in the process priming or biasing our thoughts. We cannot stop this from happening, but we can choose to drill into some of the information selected from this set and leave the rest out.

The victors of this information dominated world would be those who can pick the right sources and prioritize the information leads properly. Others, even with the same or better intellectual capabilities, need to develop more ekaagratha (concentration power)..

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Back!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on June 16, 2008

Finally i believe the writers bloc has moved away, kick starting my hopes to blog at least 15 posts a month.

I could be like an injured player, who has to put in more efforts to excel when he comes back after a gap. Great players come back better than they were before the break, and more aware of their limitations.

I hope to improve this time as well; to excel in writing has been a cherished dream, but dreams don’t get realized without the effort.  Ideas and thoughts are blunt when they are born; and growing them up feels great when you have a lot of support!

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ISB confirms its presence in the BIG League!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on January 28, 2008

I was delighted to find a mail from our Dean Dr Rammohan Rao telling us alumni that the latest list of the 100 top Global MBAs in the world released by The Financial Times today ranks ISB at Twenty (20), making it perhaps the youngest institution ever to be ranked among the top business schools in the world. The fact that ISB has been ranked 20th in the first time it participated in rankings is truly commendable. Check out this link – http://rankings.ft.com/global-mba-rankings

 

This is a great news for our country that we have a prestigious institution that is considered among the truly elite class of B-schools of this world. It is important to nurture ISB’s reputation and make sure that going forward the government and politicians don’t do anything silly and ruin all the hard work put into achieving this laurel. We should also track the fast track development of ISB as a world class institution and try to emulate the success in the case of other educational institutes.

Posted in ISB, MBA Info-Sources, Work Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Reservation Delta bound to be harmful

Posted by Girish Krishnan on January 10, 2008

The TamilNadu government today justified its policy of providing 69 per cent reservation to the OBCs, ST/SCs and socially and educationally backward classes in the state for admission to educational institutions. (http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/jan/10quota.htm)

Not delving into the issue whether reservation itself is good/bad, the point i want to emphasize is that of change and a society’s ability to adopt it without disruption.

Change will always find resistance. Reservations met with a lot of resistance when they were implemented, now any process of removing them also will meet with a lot of opposition.
This essentially indicates that the smaller the change, the easier it is to implement it – especially when we are not able to predict the exact impact of the change on the society.

Small shocks can be taken by a society but its tough to negotiate the bigger ones as they continue to affect the community adversely for a very long time.
Think about the current situation in Iraq – its still reeling under the aftermaths of Saddam’s attack on Kuwait and probably is one of the reasons for the unrest in the middle-east and emergence of the Al-Qaeda. Did Saddam anticipate all these happenings? The Answer is pretty much evident and is a big NO!

Another point to note is that substantial reservation for a long time will probably bias the society itself. I have observed that a major chunk of the students who go to US for undergrad studies are from TN. The PG population has a better representation from Andhra and rest of India. This means that the number of FC students studying in TN is less and probably has a strong correlation with the number of FC students seeking job in India.When Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh’s Mandal II was seeing passionate protests in many parts of the country, Tamil Nadu was once again silent.Why? Because about 80 per cent of the state’s population is already under the reservation umbrella.In 1980, much before the V P Singh government’s Mandal move, the Tamil Nadu government had implemented 69 per cent reservation for backward classes in educational institutions and jobs.Thus the society has already become a lot polarised and may be dominated with a section of people whose views are pro-reservation.(To Read more – http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/may/30spec.htm )

I couldn’t find any studies which predicted how the society would look like 20 years from the time reservations were imposed on it. Even now, it would be good to have a study which will project the upliftment contributed by the reservations. Shouldn’t we calculate the ROI of the same?

As with all things in life, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure” is probably true in this case also. Unless we do a detailed study on what Reservation is doing to India and its people, by some eminent economist and probably have debates about it within the intellectual community – the path ahead seems bleak. In all probability, continuing reservation for a longer period of time is going to have adverse effects because the delta that has impacted the system is huge. I am just waiting for a strong indicator to confirm the hypothesis.

Posted in MBA Info-Sources, Work Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Innovating under a tough environment!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on November 26, 2007

Here’s an interesting topic that gets universal attention – How to innovate under a tough environment?  I believe that more than innovating oneself, spurring innovation in an organization is a greater challenge. Can we create a process for innovation and write a ” Structured approach to Innovation for Dummies”? hmm, that one’s tough, probably doesn’t make sense trying too.

I recently read an article in the McKinsey Quarterly which speaks Gary Hamel’s views on Innovative Management, basically analyzing how to spur innovation in companies and the managements role in pulling this off. Helping people to become innovators seem to be the line of thought for Hamel. If a company has people trained with the tools to innovate, and oriented towards doing this on a continuing basis, then Hamel and Lowell (in this interview) say that there is a good chance that the firm would do well.

My point is more basic – i think innovation has a lot to do with constraints (Read the innovation sandbox by CK Prahlad) and some behavioral psychology. Imagine a person in a prison and wanting to get out, how does he do it? I don’t have too much experience in heists and breakouts, but i guess the first step is to understand the problem itself. For once you keep seeing and sensing the dinginess of the small room you are in and keep looking out at the endless sea through the only source of light in your room. Soon each neuron in your body gets acclimatised to the surroundings. Now you understand your problem or your constraints really well that for you it becomes almost involuntary to answer questions regarding them. Once you are mentally ready to take the risk,your mind doesn’t get cluttered with a million possibilities (- constraints should be viewed as helpful!) and you have a plan to execute!

Its tough to kill a man who doesn’t fear death, and similarly its tough to fail a man who doesn’t fear failure! Companies should try creating the ideal environment to innovate by imposing the constraints, nurturing fearlessness in its employees and feeding them with small successes. Getting back to the question we started with, innovating under tough environment is not rare, it is pretty much always the case.

Posted in Strategy, Web 2.0, Work Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Blog on Freshness!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on August 30, 2007

Some very valuable tips to keep your blogs afresh from a Marketing Prof 🙂 , Check out this link. Many of us write for ourselves and not for our readers.That list has me on its rolls whether or not you are there!!

For me my blog is the place where i record some of my ideas and thoughts. It has yet not fully developed into a place where i can bounce these ideas on a reader and get lots of feedbacks. I dont have a business goal set on the number of page views i want to get and i dont really try to boost up my traffic. The only goal i had in mind is to share some of my ideas and help myself think through some of them under the pretext of posting into the blog. Blogging does improve your writing skills – both in terms of the speed in which you can jot down quality stuff and also to assess the completeness of a post.

But i surely agree it doesn’t harm trying to increase the user base – the more audience one has the merrier! I plan to publish my goals in a day or two.

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Cinemetrics

Posted by Girish Krishnan on August 29, 2007

There are some events in the history of earth that serve as indicators of certain changes/characteristics of human behaviour. Similarly there are movies which come up with disruptive techniques that change filmmaking altogether.

Check this post by Paul Kedrosky entitled Open Source Attention Deficit Disorder Measurement. He writes:

There are stories making the rounds about people becoming nauseated while watching the popular new movie "The Bourne Ultimatum" Not because they movie is so bad, but because the shot lengths are so short, averaging (apparently) something like two seconds. In some people that sort of thing — alongside fast camera moves — seemingly induces vomiting. Fascinating.

That, however, got me thinking. Many people, myself included, think movie shot lengths are getting shorter and edits closer together. It is, to one way of thinking, a reflection of our collective attention deficit disorder….

So, is it true? Have shots gotten shorter over the years? Until recently that wasn’t something on which you could readily find data, but now you can at least begin to, courtesy of a growing database of public movie shot-length data at Cinemetrics.

As he points out, may be "The Bourne Ultimatum" indicates that the average attention span of people have decreased over the years. The world is apparently getting dominated by restless go getters who find it really difficult to adjust to a calm, laid back lifestyle be it in work or in personal life. The older slow movies which had long shots no longer hold people engrossed, and probably just get them bored. May be all avenues of business should take a cue from this .. what say?

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Winds of Change

Posted by Girish Krishnan on August 23, 2007

Recent Advertising spend figures in US indicate a clear trend that more and more advertising spending is getting redirected to the internet from TV, Radio and Print media. Check out this post.

You might also be interested to have a look at this article by Joel Achenbach in the washington post too. It is a cynical view of the impact of internet proliferation on print media,and i strongly believe that a confirmed behavioral shift has happened amongst the new age demographic segments which is mostly irreversible.

As apparent from the above pieces, these are scary times for large Newspaper corporations. If you ask me, there are two main points any good newspaper delivers on – The first would be articles of relevancy (recent news items) and the second one, articles of depth (literary articles or opinions by analysts). The downside of a reading a newspaper is that it is a package deal – there are lots of news items which are irrelevant to a reader, and skimming them is avoidable.

With the advancement of the web and its availability into highly accessible personal devices, the business models of newspapers are under threat. The advent of blogs very often give first hand insights into issues as compared to second order reporting available in newspapers. The real time delivery of news items in the internet further dilutes the importance of the traditional newspaper.Good in-depth articles that analyze issues in detail and those which are built of literary strength still have a good market and that is only remaining core-competency of newspapers. Another grave internal threat is awaiting these newspapers – that is the columnists themselves going independent. It is only a matter of time that good writers figure out a better means of making money than working full time in an aging newspaper corporation.

How can newspapers reinvent themselves now?

Tech Tags: Newspapers, Advertising, Internet,Google Revenue, Web 2.0 Business Model, Yahoo!, Google, Columnist,Internet proliferation

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