Chance favors the connected mind


In the fast moving digitally connected  and complex world-  our beliefs ,skills,  assumptions , our knowledge is constantly  challenged.  Willing to accept that we need to refresh our knowledge, skills and other matters makes us better positioned to take on any kind of new challenges that come across.

RICHARD GREFÉ  :   “You know, a few years ago, whoever had the knowledge had the power. But today, the power resides in those who have a sense of the way that knowledge flows. And that becomes critical because knowledge is growing at an exponential rate. So what does that mean? That means that for any individual to succeed, has got to go beyond just knowing things. They have to be curious, they have to be thoughtful. And that doesn’t come from social media and that doesn’t come form deep-diving in data. That comes from thoughtful conversations.”

We are in a  era and times that requires us to think differently. 19th and 20th century education has built invisible walls around everything. We are trained to see things, learn , watch and use things individually.  Students are trained to learn subjects individually.    Civil engineers focus more on their subject and less on other engineering branch knowledge and similar is the story with all other branches. Computers science students focus more on software and less on industry’s domain knowledge  which is more vital in today’s market place. There is no one course that combines all these knowledge from different fields and provide us the insights of how interconnected everything is and how to acquire the right knowledge to face today’s smart planet’s requirements to stay successful with the right skills for the rapidly evolving nature of corporate work and society’s cultural shifts.  I always used to stress this point to graduate, post graduate and PhD Students of engineering and MBA to come out of their  specific subject knowledge and look afresh by learning how all the subjects knowledge works together to create solutions and products we use everyday. (Think Apple I Phone’s focus on Design more technology less) . Today Technology has erased the boundaries of  all branches of sciences, agriculture, medical and even changed our daily life habits. Why then are we not understanding that we have to have a open mind and inclination to learn something unrelated to our subject matter?

I get inspired when i look at some smart companies combining cross platform knowledge from different industries and come with a radical design and products. One such company is Dyson. James Dyson is famous for inventing something new that we never think possible.  They don’t hesitate to take inspiration and knowledge from different sources to come up with  new product. Here is a Blades less fan they invented using principles or aerospace fans. Click here to know more http://www.dyson.com/Fans/FansAndHeaters/Fans.aspx

For those who have guts to think differently and achieve something Dyson innovation awards is the platform to take on the challenges. Here is the link

http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/Prize.aspx

Similarly Companies such as Toyota come with some amazing ways of improving quality in their products , minimizing waste in production process and reduce the cost of making high quality products for less.  We already learnt their best practices such as Lean manufacturing, Kan-ban, Kaizan widely implemented in different industries.  They now use a new method called Andon Cord.

” The andon cord is literally a cord that workers can pull – a cord they should pull – any time something in the manufacturing process goes wrong that would compromise the quality of the product or safety of the people. The line stops immediately. Everyone’s attention is turned to the problem. Everyone helps to solve the problem. And the line doesn’t restart until the problem’s been fixed, thus ensuring that zero scrap or defects are allowed to perpetuate.”

http://www.toyotageorgetown.com/qualdex.asp

So innovation don’t need to be complex. we just need to think different.

World’s knowledge levels today (mostly Industry) are so mature that we don’t need PhD’s anymore because industry’s maturity levels are so high that until we think differently and look beyond  PhD’s  knowledge;  sustainable solutions are not possible for the complex problems we face today. Medical field is one such area where sufficient knowledge is not there to solve diseases such as Diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer or parkinson’s etc in spite of having top notch scientists with multiple PhD’s.   The only way to go is look into a different field , combine your subject knowledge with it to create a new idea or a cool product or a new medicine for a deadly disease.

We have different lifestyles than our parents. Youth today are in a constant flux of adopting to new lifestyles with high connectivity to the entire world. Mobile connectivity, social media interactions, crowd sourcing for solving complex problems of the planet,  Internet of things, body connected intelligent sensors, health tracking devices like Nike shoes and many more new technology gadgets allow us to look different , work differently than our predecessors and acquire knowledge differently than what is taught in our colleges today (the good old style).

The reach of internet to every nook and corner of the world allows us to know any kind of information , acquire knowledge and skills needed. Technology as i said above , erased the boundaries of everything and i want you to remove the mental blocks (the artificial silos in your mind)   and train  your mind to look at things differently with a open mind. Today we are connected so closely via social media, tech gadgets that we can collaborate with the world’s  best  on a massive scale that is not possible in a physical form. One of the courses  I’m doing on Coursera ( https://www.coursera.org/course/strategy101)  has 90, 000 students from across the globe. We are learning by doing  , something new but connected to a single platform on coursera No class rooms to go,  only online practicals using technology and internet connection. Cool way of learning something new,  Right?   Colleges and Universities should focus on building Labs to help today’s students to experiment, tinker with tools and gadgets. Otherwise we only produce paper engineers ,  MBA graduates who are just fit to do a service job  , does not provide any competitive advantage to students nor to the country as a whole. Today we should worry that we bring out very insignificant percentage of  cutting edge products to market  in spite of one billion population and large number of PhD’s and Master students.

Do you want to be a listless person or want to impact the world with your knowledge.  Remember the title of this blog  “Chance favors the connected Mind”  That power of Connectivity should become your major weapon to acquire skills needed for 22nd century companies. Many of the problems industry faces will be solved by individuals  from across the planet. This is the future of work. People won’t be working for a single company. There will be problems that need to solved and if you solve it you get paid. That is what will happen in Job markets going forward.

So why waiting. Go get connected with the world’s knowledge. My Previous blogs have several world class resource links to start with . so check them..

As part of this Blog here are some useful links for you to get on the fast track of 22nd century learning… Enjoy and good luck to you..

Learn something new here https://www.coursera.org/  or here https://www.udacity.com/  or here https://www.edx.org/ or from the whole internet which is at your finger tips.

Good luck to you and do not hesitate to reach out to me through your comments in this blog…

The Drizzle of Her Thoughts


I am just like him, he is just like my synonym

When I’m excited, he always quickly reacted

My life reminds me a missed dream, his interest unfolds like a tidal stream.

Friends for me are passing clouds, but his charisma shows no bounds

I’m like slow drizzling rain and he busts like a morning sun shine

My thoughts swing back and forth in dilemma and his actions appears like an enigma.

I’m surrounded by many with attitude and he appears to be lost in Solitude

I’m grounded in reality with a mind of explorer and he is always looking like a Crazy wanderer

I love wearing some exotic cloths of fashion and he loves writing with Passion

My mind always racing to reveal that love is fertile for which he unfolds himself with an artistic style

My Life passes leaving behind the beautiful moment and his always clasp for another enjoyment

My mind is controlling when the heart is revealing but his every action and move are sizzling.

The shadow of his presence is always with me and his wait for the glory arrived with a glee

Within him the memories of the time is like a stream and within me I felt that I am just like him

By RK dated 07/09/2015

Indian University rankings


The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country. The methodology draws from the overall recommendations broad understanding arrived at by a Core Committee set up by MHRD, to identify the broad parameters for ranking various universities and institutions. The parameters broadly cover “Teaching, Learning and Resources,” “Research and Professional Practices,” “Graduation Outcomes,” “Outreach and Inclusivity,” and “Perception”.

India Rankings – 2016 based on this framework were released on 4th April 2016.

Know more here.

https://www.nirfindia.org/univ

Universities that did not register can do it now by clicking the below link

http://nirfweb.cloudapp.net/Registrationnew.aspx

To know more about my professional work   click here http://skillsnest.com/

Reverse engineering Resume


I was helping one of my master students with his resume preparation and felt that I should write a blog on how job candidates should make their resume appealing from an employer’s perspective.

Before you start your resume you should put your imagination to work. You should think you are the recruiter and interviewing a candidate. What answer are you expecting from the candidate. As recruiter you will ask questions to the candidate as follows

Why are your skills right for this position?

Tell us more about your last job?

How are you going to add value?

What is your work ethic?

Tell us three adjectives that would describe your attitude?

What about your weaknesses?

Why should you matter to us?

Where do you want to eventually live and settle?

Where else are you looking and why do we stand out in your set of choices?

Are there any reasons why you would not take this job if it were offered?

I have written a book “Interview questions with answers” which have 80 more questions with answers so that all branches of engineering and MBA candidates can use it to prepare their Resume.

When you are reading the questions your mind also thinks of what answer you expect from a candidate.

Now let’s take one question from the above Why are your skills right for this position? “

Depending on job requirements you can have variety of answers for the above questions. 

Let’s assume the position is a Software engineer and expected skills are soft skills , Java, web and mobile technologies. …

One answer is : “My skills of java code will enable a process and quality improvement,  if implemented in a manufacturing firm production facilities”

 

If a Mechanical engineer has to answer the above question he/she can  consider this sample answer: “my deep understanding of engine technologies (let’s say hyrdolics )  made me to come up with new engine improvement ideas that would be helpful to the company and my knowledge of software coupled with Domain knowledge makes me productive right away “

Look at the answers I wrote. These answers enables you to understand whether your skills and subject knowledge is enough to meet the expectations of the recruiter. In your skills and abilities section of resume you can put exactly what kind of end results you can provide by using your java or whatever you learnt. . By clearly reverse engineering the end results of your training’s and skills you can put the same in your resume and your resume stands out from other candidates very well.

By answering other questions that matches your skills and abilities you can make a resume with end results in mind to clearly mention the benefits you can provide for a recruiter.

If you want more advice you can contact me.. Happy job hunting…

 

 

 

 

How to build stories for making a great movie?


Cinema; the thought of it, the emotions, Heroes, heroines, action sequences, the story and what not brings great feelings. Cinemas are made of stories. Stories are mostly about love, good verses bad, heart touching, memorable actions, twists, turns and melodrama. We see people making movies for mainstream audience and some young aspiring artists making movies for online channels such as YouTube, waiting for a big break.

Stories are created from live events, from the rich imagination of some, some follow the proven formula, some come from historical events and some follow a template theme. One such template is called “story spine”, originally created by playwright Author Kenn Adams, is a tool for creating well-structured stories. The template helps to quickly build a story. It consists of

The platform.  Examples..

          Once upon a time….

           A man walking on a road ..

The catalyst

          But one day..

          Suddenly something happened to the man walking on the road..

The consequences

          Because of that….

          The Man started chasing another man

The climax

          Until finally..

          The man stopped the other and said “hello friend”…

The resolution

          Ever since then..

          The moral of the story is..

          The man and the friend both went to a restaurant and recollect their memories.

Then there is another way of building stories , called what story, how story and why story.

What story.  They simply tell what happened  

Examples…

          A story about an incidence that happened in a village….

          A story about a family that saw their ancestors…

          Boy meets a girl and falls in love but friends don’t like it….

How story. Stories that tell how that happened.

          There is a big hole made in a haunted house.. Villagers are thinking how that could be..

          how are ancestors show up like that …

          How can friends think the boy should not love the girl..

Why story,  analysis of the issue.

          Villagers found some ancient coins near that house…

          Why are the ancestors interested in that house…

          When the boy talked to the friends they told a story about their childhood incidence…

So by having a template like above we can make our imagination work to create stories. Modern cinemas are now made using cutting edge technologies and are influenced by modern society’s change of tastes.

Now being a Software guy I thought of creating a cinema template in the form of a flow chart. I’m using Microsoft word flow chart diagrams , so there will be a limit to my imaginations. But let me try.

The idea is to create a flow chart which can give us multiple choices for a particular theme. The flow chart enables us to come up with several logical conclusions while building some complex themes. So this template will be quite useful to test different ideas with a particular theme.

To create some great stories the trick is not to use the language Cinema people use. We have to change the language in order to come up with more creative stories. one such tip is to select a word and build a story on that word. For example in my flowchart i used a word called “Whisper”.

 I know there are experts on movies but I just want the movie makers to know that we can use innovative way of building stories. Ultimately I love to watch movies that are refreshing, touch the raw nerve, memorable, different and at the same time make me laugh. I made a story while building this template but want you,  the reader to build on the different choices I gave for the story to build your own story out of it. Please do write your conclusions to the story i created as comments…

Story telling
The flow chart for making Movies by RK skillsnest.. Better life with Best practices.

Time to standardize product structures


The Boston consulting group predicts that 10% to 30% of the goods that America now imports from China will be made at home by the year 2020, resulting in proceeds of up to $55 Billion a year.

The maker’s movement is gaining strength with rapid advancements in some technologies such as 3D printing and the new concept of distributed manufacturing becoming real.

Earlier prototyping of products have to be done either in China or elsewhere with tens of thousands of Dollars in costs but now a lot of prototyping of products are happening locally and resulting in low cost and the turnover is very rapid.

The above are some of the trends in product manufacturing which needs certain standardization in order to streamline the creativity, resources, money and new inventions in proper direction to solve the planets ever changing requirements.

Here is what I propose.

  • It all starts with Inventory part nomenclature standardization. I wrote a blog on this topic here. time-standardize-inventory-parts-data
  • An international team of manufacturing experts should be nominated for framing the standardization process for inventory nomenclature and product family/grouping and product structure nomenclature.
  • The team will be formulated by international trade organization (WTO) and will be initially funded by them until the whole process is completed and becomes self-sustainable.
  • Long term Sustainability should be mandated to make this effort profitable by WTO. Some of the ideas for this are given below.
  • The product structures should then be categorized on the same lines like Botanical nomenclature.
  • Next we need to create a cloud platform where all product structures are made available for everyone to access, excluding some sensitive (Defence) and copy protected ones.
  • Then we need to create Application programming interfaces (API) and other apps for accessing the Product structures by interested parties.
  • The API ‘s and other apps should be flexible enough to allow users to create new structures from the existing ones and also where able to connect to their own databases to transfer the structures as needed.
  • All the services should be charged for sustaining the standardization efforts.
  • Guidelines should be mandated for product structure usage and migration to user’s internal usage.
  • Guidelines also needed to monitor the new product inventions, accessibility of the new inventions and standardization of the same.
  • All global language translations for the product structures should be undertaken by crowdsourcing the same.
  • Every nation should have a team of experts to advice the core team on the standardization efforts and this team will be compensated from the WTO funds.

Benefits

  1. Redundancy of Product structures will be eliminated and standardization will increase operational efficiency and reduce cost of procurement, administrative and other costs for users.
  2. Same quality products will now be available for global citizens on equal terms with only pricing variations.
  3. Makes it easy to source semi-finished products or materials at the fraction of a cost due to visibility of the same from across the planet. Helps in supply chain logistics efficiencies and also reduce costs of transportation. This in turn reduces global warming due to less use of Oil.
  4. The huge network of users will now be able to talk to each other and can create new business opportunities for themselves and indirectly to nations by creating new employment opportunities and new start-up companies.
  5. The flexibility to mix and match products on the fly becomes easy for new inventions and trigger new creative ideas and new products.
  6. Rapid prototyping of new product inventions becomes easy from the existing ones.
  7. New business ideas and new start-ups ideas are possible due to democratization of inventory nomenclature and Product structure nomenclature.
  8. Many of the benefits that I mentioned in the inventory standardization will also apply here.

 

Please let me know what you think

The new technique of Performance reviews


PR is different in different companies and the aim is to align employees to the goals of the company. But all said and done PR can create mixed emotions in employees and many feel stressful to know the shortcomings.

Performance reviews thru ratings also have shortcomings because of the bias in the perceptions it carries and it is imperfect science.

So in many ways Performance reviews are having challenges that will not bring the best intentions of the management nor satisfies employees.

I felt this whole exercise needs to be redefined in different ways. The following are my thoughts on this.  Please do not hesitate to add your feedback or comments.

This exercise should be preferably done by HR or Admin teams.

  • For the present financial year, HR with help from sales, marketing, and management teams should prepare a chart. That should contain details of required skills, competencies, overall revenue targets, expected sales, expected new skills, competencies needed etc. in the form a visual representation. This competencies/skills can be categorized on employee designations if needed and corresponding revenue targets should be matched.
  • HR should then make another matching visual representation of Skills, competencies and experiences of each employee and distribute the revenue targets across them. This can be done in the form of potential revenue generation capabilities and expected competencies in the form of what could be realized if a new skill is acquired. A sample for an employee by name Bob is as follows

PR

  • By categorizing the required competencies of each area and matching the same with specific employees skills will throw open the gaps that still need to be fulfilled by Bob.
  • Revenue targets that matches the above employee’s skills, competencies, experiences should be matched to each employee and discounted.
  • Now it becomes clear that there will be gaps due to forecasted sales in areas that need new competencies, or deficiencies in certain areas for people whose role needs that skill or competency or experience.
  • That should be made visible to employee and employer in a centralized location and accessible to everyone. As the employee meets the revenue targets or skills targets in the form of deliveries in the new skills area, data values of the above graphs should be adjusted during the year. That will instantly provide information to both employee and employer about the performance of every one.
  • Same exercise should be repeated for any other target areas such as employee’s growth, special contributions etc. as needed by the company.

There are several advantages with the above method. It makes employees to check their improvements as and when they want and becomes a major morale booster when they see the graph’s real time changes. It helps management to take corrective action and help employees as needed. PR exercise becomes much easier, seamless and highly visible.

Ultimately every PR aim is to achieve high productivity, keep employees happy, equip them with skills that are needed, help them to grow along with the organization, pay well and at the same time make sure the company’s target goals are achieved.

What helps firms to become successful in reaching their goals is by documenting major risks,  issues, potential problems, Known resolutions, ways of mitigating issues (example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andon_(manufacturing) )  and helping employees to have access to the knowledge database so they won’t repeat the mistakes.

Your thoughts please. ..