The Impact of Automation on present Employees and young graduates


The anxiety of job loss is palpable for several employees from across the industries. Robots, Deep learning, Artificial intelligence has rapidly matured in taking care of most of the work performed by millions of Software engineers or white/blue collar workers.  Automotive and auto parts, electrical and electronic parts, business process outsourcing, textile, clothing and footwear  and retail are some of the industries that already are seeing loss of millions of jobs.

Most of the Banks, financial institutes, brokerage firms  will face closure due to rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin which will affect millions of graduates/MBA’s  wanting to work in financial sector.

There are driver less cars, deep machine learning techniques which can accurately predict diseases (Doctors are you reading this?) and provide medical advices are some examples of how deep the impact will be.

Modern machines, Robots, sensors, Software can now not only do manual routine tasks but also do work that requires cognitive intelligence.

As a result a highly trained radiologist or a specialized software engineer in a company is in danger of being replaced by a Computer software or a Robot that have the cognitive capabilities and can work consistently.

According to a World economic forum report “current trends could lead to a net employment impact of more than 5.1 million jobs lost to disruptive labour market changes over the period 2015–2020, with a total loss of 7.1 million jobs—two thirds of which are concentrated in the Office and Administrative job family” Source:  http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs.pdf

Due to rapid and wide spread automation, AI, Deep learning and Robots replacing humans,  there will be no requirement of software engineers who are just specialists in any core technologies such as JAVA, Web or RDBMS. Rapid maturity of the above mentioned technologies will have the following impact on employment, present jobs and future jobs.

  1. Around 56% of jobs in industries such as Logistics, Healthcare, banking, transportation etc. in areas HR, Services, deliveries, finance, IT,  middle management jobs (supervisors, managers, Software engineers, clerks, tax experts, bank clerks etc. ) are automated and employment in this areas will be dwindling rapidly.
  2. Other areas of job loss will be are hotels and restaurants (80.7 per cent), wholesale and retail trade (77.5 per cent), construction (70.8 per cent) and manufacturing (61.6 per cent). Source : http://www.ilo.org/global/lang–en/index.htm
  1. By year 2020 employees will be working with Robots and other intelligent machines as colleagues and they have to take orders from machines to fulfill the remaining work that is not already replaced by the machines.
  2. There will be a situation in many companies, where humans will not be able to get jobs and only robots handle entire company operations. One such live example is Dyson’s automated Singapore plant where 55 robots do all the work that is done by 100’s of engineers. https://www.fastcodesign.com/1671939/dysons-80-million-new-factory-dedicated-to-its-most-unsung-invention
  3. Infosys an Indian IT giant plans to embrace automation and artificial intelligence, besides other newer technologies. Post-automation of certain operations, Wipro is already in the process re skilling 4500 employees for new technologies.
  4. Few and few companies will visit Universities and colleges for recruiting students (NO MORE CAMPUS Recruitment)  and there is no choice for universities and colleges but to rapidly adopt to changing business needs and adopt to new skills and teach students the same. Otherwise they will be producing huge numbers of Un employed youth that will have a cascading effect on industry and the country’s growth prospects.

Suggestions for Universities, educational institutes, Schools and other skills imparting institutes.

  1. Employees, Students should have the mindset for New skills adaptation and they should always be willing to be learning constantly based on the business needs.
  2. Change the ratio of teaching staff to include Industry experts in the proportion of 60% academic and 40% Industry experts in universities, colleges and schools and make faculty accountable of what skills they impart to students and reward only those who make students acceptable by industry.
  3. Avoid recognizing Marks as the parameter of students success in academics and recognize and reward special skills , creativity shown by students. Allow industry experts to teach students ‘Creativity , innovation and change” and make it mandatory for students to prove they are learning this vital skills.
  4. Eliminate class rooms and replace with Practical labs. Embrace online MOOC classes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course  and make students to pass the courses designed by industry and academic experts.
  5. Ask students to solve society’s or industry’s problems as part of school, college project submissions. Indian Government as part of engaging citizens has shared some challenges with rewards. Check details here https://www.mygov.in/  BTW i participate in some of the challenges.
  6. Change syllabus to include what industry will be needing in coming years. Be Proactive in knowing the skills needed in next 5 to 10 years rather than reactive in teaching present skills needed.  There is a huge requirement for software and hardware security experts by 2020. A report from Frost & Sullivan and (ISC)2 found that the global cybersecurity workforce will have more than 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2020. But the security industry is a fast-growing market.  More details on this report is here. http://blog.isc2.org/isc2_blog/2015/04/isc-study-workforce-shortfall-due-to-hiring-difficulties-despite-rising-salaries-increased-budgets-a.html
  7. For those who are working in Software industry or any other sector here is my advice.  Visualize yourselves working with robots, machines only and into next 10 years of your career and work backwards to check what skills will be in demand after 10 years and start learning them right now. If you just know one skills you will be in danger of losing your job pretty soon. Having a diversified skills set is a reward in present job market.
  8. Jobs in areas such as Artificial intelligence, robotics,cyber-security,  building intelligent machines will be on raise and also many traditional jobs that need deep cognitive skills won’t be replaced rapidly and there is scope for job stability.
  9. Because of huge pressure, stress, anxiety in work areas,  individual’s health will suffer which will force for more visits to hospitals. Yoga and meditation will gain tremendous influence in helping those who embrace Yoga and Meditation. I advice young students to start seriously practicing YOGA and Meditation. You can make a career in this two healthy areas.

Finally those who are lifelong learners and who can rapidly adopt to changing job specifications, skills will stay relevant and those who resist change will be side-lined.

Any comments, additions to this article are welcome to do so. Thanks

Creativity , Innovation Life Rings


While doing the MOOC course on Creativity , Innovation and change we are asked to prioritize the 5 most important life activities to cover all our responsibilities. The course expects us to be creative while presenting our solutions Here i created life rings and a Poem to describe what matters most to me. Let me know your thoughts.

life-rings

A poem on my Life Rings.

The new career choice in imparting knowledge and skills

The Life ring of new career switch is a thrill.

 

The ERP software gave me a wonderful career tapestry.

This life ring fulfilled my life’s dreams and fantasy

 

To work in the community service is a challenging affair

This life Ring reminds me to have a dedication to fulfill kids who aspire.

 

The Entrepreneurship is a reflection of my business needs.

The Life ring will stands as the memory of fulfilling the same with concrete action deeds.

 

The family is dear to me and all my efforts finally merge to   keep them hale and healthy.

This Life ring is a conclusion of my life’s meaning which is always remains as plenty.

 

The art of leading life.


“Time, not money, is the most valuable commodity of all”

We have proven track record of achieving extraordinary success in things, projects or big goals that we never imagine we can do it. Belief in attempting things that are beyond our imagination and achieving them enriches our lives with fulfilment and many times makes us famous and rich. “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible”.--Albert Einstein Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Nobel Prize Winner

We are living in a very competitive era and we all have onus of making some impact with our way of living life on ourselves and the community around us. We should develop the habit of liking to be challenged, stay self-motivated in spite of negative pressures on us; take big challenges and try our best to accomplish them and people will start noticing you. There is a need for every one of us to make a difference in whatever we attempt to do.

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self”. —Aldous Huxley Novelist

We are known from what we achieve.  But our achievements have a shelf life. That means we cannot just stop improving ourselves and impacting others as role models.  World moves dynamically and age, values, knowledge, experiences are constantly progressing and where we stand is what matters. Taking risks and learning from setbacks and moving forward are the only way to stay relevant in this world. There are problems small to complex that needs to be solved and we have the capability of solving many of them.

Some examples are “Genetic sequencing of human genes that help in target medication for individuals instead of generalized prescriptions”.  Similarly we have global warming challenges to solve. We have challenges to reach Mars, Venus and colonize Moon. Our imagination is what matters the most.

There are people who are able to achieve some extraordinary feats such as  mimic human behaviors, experiences and creativity by using some complex machine learning techniques, Mathematical algorithms such as K-nearest neighbor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-nearest_neighbors_algorithm ) to analyze music , predict Hollywood movies whether they will be hits or flops even before starting on the projects ( http://www.epagogix.com/ ) and finally computers creating music (we don’t need music directors anymore)  http://geb.uma.es/melomics/melomics.html

But for a beginner in life like young students there is ample opportunity for you to start building your life and leading on the edge of achieving some extra ordinary things. Here are some basic principles of achieving some extra ordinary things.

  1. Ignore the Noise. Once you firm up your mind and motivate yourselves to start working for great achievements you will find naysayers around you all the time. They will try to pull you down. Just ignore them and slowly and steadily start building knowledge and experiences in what you really want to achieve that is beyond your imagination.

Do remember “It is not who is Right but what is Right” matters.

  1. Have clear objective. Start reading/learning diversified information. Today world needs people who are deep in one knowledge area but also very good in every subject matter that is not related to their fields. I wrote a blog on this https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

3. Stay focused: As you continue your journey of achieving great goals you may be distracted         by many events, circumstances, constraints, family pressures and many unknown   factors.            Coming back on track is very important. Doing regular Yoga and Meditation will help you to             regain focus.

                          “Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshiped.”

  1. Develop patience. Today digitally connected and instant gratification world is making young students to be restless and expecting instant results. But in order to achieve great things you have to be patient enough and continue your journey until you reach your goals.

                “There is no limitations except those we create for ourselves” ―Lolly Daskal, Thoughts Spoken From The Heart

  1. Watch your progress: we all make judgmental mistakes and sometimes it may be that we may choose a wrong direction. So occasionally checking where we stand in our achievements should be monitored and measured. Otherwise all our efforts may be ultimately futile .

 

  1. Not able to accept failure: We should never become possessive of our tasks, work or people we work with. Sometimes if things won’t work out we should be able to ignore our failures and continue on a new path. Possessiveness makes us Sad and creates mental distress and other health problems. I wrote a blog on this subject here https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/failure-is-not-final/

            “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail”                   .– Ralph Waldo Emerson Philosopher, Poet, Author, Essayist

7. Question your acts: You should constantly ask why you are doing something in a                        particular fashion. By questioning your way of doing you will get a chance to do it much                better.  I wrote a blog on this

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/where-there-is-a-why-there-is-a-way/

                  “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do,                                 something to love, and something to hope for”.–Joseph Addison English                               Essayist, Poet, Playwright And Politician.

Good luck to you.

“Change yourselves and the world is a better place with You” –RK  This is my quote for you.

Flow


After a gap I have gone back accepting global assignments in ERP consulting again. Iám also studying MBA under Andhra University.  I accepted part time work  so that I can spare time for my passion for teaching. I was once a Mentor for MSIT (Master in science and information technology,   under “Center for Higher learning”) course,   in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (USA) at JNTUK campus.  Juggling between global software project work , studying MBA and teaching needs proper time management schedules and I  follow a certain flow  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology) for doing my best. I  love getting to my peak performance at anything i take up  pretty quickly. In other word I want to get back to flow. It took a while for me to find the rhythm I needed. But I felt that I should share my experiences with my students and others  who read  my blog. While interacting with students I  found that many are struggling to get the best out of their day  and to find success in whatever they dream of doing.  But many are not able to focus on neither studies nor in other positive actions, that contribute to their success due to lack of willingness to work hard towards their goal, lack of focus ,concentration and the facebook effect  (https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/facebook-or-other-social-websites-are-harmful-to-you/ ) .  If you are building a new machine or developing  software games or you are a software coder you cannot achieve peak performance at your work with just a couple of attempts. It takes some time and good effort to find a rhythm and consistency at your work. If you want to become expert in one area , it takes ten thousand hours of practice to achieve perfection in whatever you do. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/on-luck-success-and-10000-hours.html Here are some ways of getting back to your peak performance of whatever you want to do.

  1. Yoga, Meditation is a proven way of getting back your focus. Try learning the right way of yoga/ meditation and practice it. Yoga improves your health tremendously, and Meditation brings peace and tranquility to a turbulent brain.
  2. Visualization .Imagination.  Many from sports use it. It is mental rehearsal. It enables them to find some way of achieving what they want to. More about it here. http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/sport_psych/a/aa091700a.htm
  3. Try doing something that scares you,  for example presenting in front of audience. It is emotional feelings  that have to be controlled to bring the best out of you.
  4. Your study room matters a lot. Keep your table tidy. Remove the mountain of books on the table. The more clutter you find on your table the less you ware inspired to study. Otherwise find a serene place where there is good lighting. Well lit parks are good places for yoga,  studies and physical exercise .
  5. Moods matter a lot in whatever you want to do. If the mood is not good then listening to music and going to gym or parks is a good way of relaxing your brain.
  6. For some,  Coffee gives the relaxation they need but too much of coffee is not good for health.
  7. Visiting temples, church or mosque gives the peace of mind you need so that you can come back with peace and work on your assignments. Try that out.
  8. Finding the best time of the day for studies also helps to prioritize what you want to do at that time.
  9. Everyday exercise , morning or evening walks in parks  helps to tone up your body. Prayer, meditation helps your mind.
  10. Doing what you love the most is what matters. So from early stage of life try finding what you love the most and develop the skills you need and find success.

My life story in Six words


One of the habit I’m developing while at my regular walk during Morning and evening is to keep my mind busy with thoughts that might help me with my work and life. One of the routine is to write blogs on something that could  help/inspire someone who reads my blog. I was thinking of writing a blog for quite some time but was busy with guest lectures and a Coursera course (https://www.coursera.org/ )  “Developing innovative Ideas for a New company” I started this March 3rd. This is a six week course but they allowed students to go ahead and finish the course earlier. It occurred to me that I should attempt to complete all six weeks course in Six days of the first week itself but should be able to target for highest marks possible. Guess what, I completed the course but took Ten days (Wednesday 12/3/2014) taking the last quiz before midnight 12.00 PM. So the result is that by constraining to six days forced me to be creative with my daily schedule.

So the constraint that I made for completing my course in six days made me think creatively and set goals to reach it as much as possible. Constraints should enhance creativity not bog you down to stress and anxiety.

The most common problem college students engage is procrastination, the act of ‘putting off something until a future time – postponing or deferring action’. That means most of them become serious with their exams or career planning in the last minute. This creates stress that leads to anxiety.

They come to me with this problem of stress and anxiety due to lack of time (it’s too late). How do I help them?  This became my challenge for  quite some time during my daily walk.  I read extensively on how to reduce stress and anxiety as listed bellows that helps some of the students or employees to overcome their stress and anxiety.  But I was not sure that this research will solve everyone’s problem.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/02/21/mikaela-shiffrin-takes-lead-olympic-slalom/fBf912OWzecqxe9RY2h9KM/story.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22755446

http://www.athleticinsight.com/Vol5Iss2/ClimbingImagery.htm

The only way stress or anxiety can be reduced is to plan ahead and stick with that plan and reach the goals you want to reach.

But that is not easy with the distractions of daily life. So now I thought let’s explore how to use these constraints of daily distractions, mental weakness, and procrastination to reach our goals or reduce the stress.

I started exploring the web on constraints and came across a story of Ernest Hemingway, a story writer who bet with friends that he could write an entire story in just six words. It seems impossible feat but Hemingway did it as follows

“FOR SALE: Baby Shoes, Never worn”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_sale%3A_baby_shoes%2C_never_worn

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18768430

That excited me to write my life story in six words and here is what it is

Fall ,Rise, plan, achieve, Sorrow , splendid –RK

So procrastination , stress , anxiety , tension or what ever it is that is stopping you becoming great should be used for your advantage.  For me planning , setting goals and also sticking with the goals to the best of my abilities is what made me what I’m today. My physical constraint never bothered me reaching to a better life with best practices. So I wish this blog inspires you all to think how to use your constraints for your advantage creatively…

Now I challenge you to write your life story in six words as comments to this blog.

The links below are some extraordinary “creativity under constraint” stories for you. Enjoy and let me know if you liked this blog and make me happy please by expressing your opinion (it’s long overdue from my readers).

https://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch03_Embrace_Constraints.php

http://99u.com/articles/5993/reel-back-finding-creativity-in-constraints

http://austinkleon.com/newspaperblackout/

http://vimeo.com/55804669

https://www.attendly.com/exceeding-limitations-is-all-about-the-way-you-think/

My favourite talk on TED must watch http://www.ted.com/talks/phil_hansen_embrace_the_shake?embed=true

http://www.sixwordmemoirs.com/

Don’t forget to give your story in six words as comments… Thanks and I appreciate your time reading this blog..

Agile professionalism


Wrote a blog for employees on how to stay successful  in their career in my linkedin profile. Click on this link for the post

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140924055329-6970802-agile-professionalism

Students this is for you


India is still considered as developing country and I feel extremely upset with this thought. We produce so many well learned people and this country ranks high in the number of PhD’s and master students who come out of universities. But still not a single university ranks high in the top 100 lists of the world.

Every part of the government machinery is still limping with inefficiencies, bureaucracy and off course corruption. It is a nightmare to get work done with government still. How long we take to become transparent, modern and nimble?

But what puzzles me is why our education system is suffering from status Quo with antique teaching methods and subjects that do not align with our modern industry?  These same students someday become government employees and they continue the same old tradition. Why are they not questioning this and why are they not attempting to change except handful of very dedicated officers and employees?

I know many will disagree with some statements above but the point I want to drive is things that needed to be done at the college levels. Present state of affairs is basically the result of our education system that needs drastic disruptive changes.

I request “Universities and colleges : Please wake up and fix your systems”.

Majority of young student’s lifestyle follows a predictive path once they steps into the college. They read the same stuff their friends read, they go to the same movies their friends go, they play the same games their friends play and everyone studies for just marks/grades and finally waiting to get into job thru campus recruitment or some other methods. Then they enter workforce and live life depending on their lifestyles.

This result in massive waste of brain power, youth’s energies, strengths, will power, time and many qualities that otherwise wisely tapped, would have developed the nation to highest degree of living standards. In a Billion population there are handful who are contributing to the  growth of the nation’s living standards but why are we collectively not thinking of following those brilliant people who strive for the nation.

This is because we never question anything and just follow the protocol. We never develop skills such as creativity, innovation, the quest to live a better life, the craving for quality and the interest to dive deeper into our subject matters. Many students won’t learn subject for knowledge but just for getting grades. Universities take long time to adjust syllabus that follow industry best practices. Even if they introduce the syllabus the faculty is not trained to the latest and greatest trends in business so they cannot teach the same to the students.

Read what The CEO of one of the largest software company has to say about teachers here http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/education/20-of-teachers-in-the-country-not-sincere-azim-premji-says/articleshow/43212004.cms

Inspiration to do things differently is low in teaching community and there are several reasons for that but that will be for a different blog.

But I blame partially students and parents for not willing to question the status quo. Here are some steps required by students to initiate a change for a better life and a better country . This same can be used by any other developing and under developing nation’s  students.

  1. Change in lifestyle. I absolutely agree that students should have good memories of college life with loads of fun but I totally disagree that they should feel that this is the top priority. They should first take a snap shot of daily life and confine fun to couple of hours a day. This should be done collectively by all students because if one follows the rule the other will break it and the overall change is not possible.
  2. Learn from Internet. I do not know why universities take so long to keep syllabus fluid and aligned to ever changing business needs, but that should not stop young students to spend time to learn the best practices of the industry online. So instead of spending time on Social networks spare time to learn what’s going on in your area of subject matter. There are several exciting stories in business circle that will inspire you and energizes you with knowledge and opportunities you may not get if you just study for marks.
  3. Engage fellow students: Form a team from different educational backgrounds and take up a local problem and try to solve. For example during winter most of the babies and children become sick from viral fevers and hospitals are packed with patients. It is painful to sit for long hours to get treated and you know it is much more painful if that hospital happens to be government hospital. So as a team you should collaborate with fellow medical students and come up with preventive steps from diseases and conduct community classes to educate parents and others from having good health for themselves and their children. This helps you to learn communication skills, project execution skills and time management skills. These soft skills are very vital skills needed for business.
  4. Engage with professionals that visit campus or on social networks. Students should join professional networks such as LinkedIn and start participating in group discussions and identify opportunities from the challenges industry is facing and brainstorm of ideas to solve the problems. That way you become expert in that subject matter and you will do much better when you join the business.
  5. Yoga and Meditation: Modern life style is full of pressures and pulls from every direction. Maintaining top health is very difficult if you are not disciplined. So from very young age it is best to practice Yoga and Meditation to maintain top health.
  6. Sports : It is mandatory that students come out of Facebook and internet games to play real games to develop good and healthy body/mind, otherwise we end up with sick nation with no hope for becoming most developed. Remember Swamy Vivekananda’s call for youth.
  7. Reading and listening skills: Spend time reading books online and newspapers every day. Search for business videos, ted talks that inspire you and teach you some very important life lessons and listen to them. Bookmark some best sites that help you to get the best and the latest in your area of interest. This helps you to improve your vocabulary and also general knowledge which are useful during interviews.
  8. Try teaching: Start teaching your juniors whatever you learnt on a daily basis. Adopt a school and go and teach them what you learnt. This will help you to memorize the subject matter and also keeps you on your toes to learn something new to teach some other day.
  9. Form teams and go to a nearby village and check what problems exist there. Then come back and see if you can use your learning to solve their problems. In the process you may even start your own company and give jobs to fellow students.
  10. Finally remember every student attends the same schools, read the same books, go to the same movies, play the same video games, and watch the same TV shows so how can you expect to have a  life experience, ideas of  your own or world views? If you do not follow a better living standards?

Above suggestions will elevate your career and help nation to become better. Please take time to rethink your priorities and strategies and try your best to live quality life with best practices. Comments are appreciated.

Now or never. You decide your fate


If you’re young and ambitious and driven, don’t run from the challenge, run towards it. If you’re terrified of learning something new, go find a way to learn and master it. When you are a student and young you have loads of energy and enough time for learning as much as possible. You won’t stay young for ever and student life won’t stay with you for ever. You spend so much time having fun during college that you miss this vital point, that once you are out of college you are on your own to find a job and succeed in career. Campus interviews may give a job for some but that is the worst job with low pay and high pressure to handle.Those students who are smart enough realize the value of time and work towards their goals early on and once they are ready they also look for jobs they like to do in LinkedIn , twitter and Facebook other than campus interviews.

Life is full of temptations and distractions. When you are young you will have more opportunities to waste time, money and your youthfulness.

Start using your mind on what matters most for your life and for your family.Fate is not decided by anyone. It is you who can decide what is best for you and your family.  Time is precious and need to be spend wisely.  One of the best practice you need to develop is to check how you spent your day and what value you derived from all the activities you did during the day. Spending time on  Facebook, twitter or games or chatting or going to movies should be restricted otherwise it will  only add more junk in to your precious mind.  Networking with professionals , spending time to know yourselves , your strengths, your weaknesses and becoming mindful of all your activities will give you enough mental strength, knowledge and courage to find what you love to do for your career. Positive habits help you with clarity of thoughts when you need direction and guidance to succeed in life. Think of your parents, teachers and friends who you should trust for guidance and work hard to learn skills needed for you to succeed.  You may not love it while you’re going through the learning phase, but you’ll carry that learning and success with you  for ever. Once you achieve what you are aspiring for then you will have wonderful life. May be you will be  visiting exotic places and working on some wonderful and challenging assignments.

In order to have quality life, good food and good life you need to work for  it and  prove that you are eligible for good life.

I worked for that and I succeeded and i want you to succeed too.

You can start with small positive actions such as reading for a hour a day something new, doing yoga /meditation for a while etc and as days pass by they become your habits and you will be in a position to control your life and lead a life rather than living a life.

Similarly for getting rid of bad habits you should start with small attempts and then slowly  get rid of that bad habit  completely after some time.

Please do comment your feedback and suggestions.

Tips for great presentations


Most of us are not new to the most boring to the most entertaining , educational and motivational presentations we attend.  What we need to learn is not just what is told in the presentation but we should also watch how presenter /speaker is performing his act. That includes Body language of the presenter , the way the topic is covered, what tools and software is used, how they modulate their voices/moods and gestures  and how much they are interacting with the audience.  There are many online resources to tell us how a great presentation should be. Here are some sample of what is good practices of presentations. Search for some outstanding live presentations after you read this blog

1. Your Face.

While presenting you should attempt to connect to the audience in the room by briefly having a eye contact with each of them.  Audience should feel that you are presenting to them. You should also have smile on your face while presenting. Your facial expression are very important. If you look at the roof, or away from audience , that shows your lack of interest or purpose of your presentation and they will loose interest in what you are saying  and they stop listening to you.

2. Your body

Standing like a statue and reciting your presentation will not entice the audience towards your speech. Having appropriate body gestures adds some excitement to your presentation and keeps audience engaged. Moving around the space you have on the podium should be considered along with your body gestures in order to show your enthusiasm for the subject you are speaking.

3.Your Voice

Your voice is most important part of presentation.How you say what you say is most important for any good presentation. Adjust your volume and tone according the size of the room and the number of audience you have. Silence and space between words allows for emphasis and lets your audience catch up with your ideas. Variation in the volume, tone along with body gestures can bring life to your presentations. Avoid words like “Nothing but””, Like ,  ümmm”, Ähhhaa” Érrrr” etc.

4.Your presentation.

Your presentation should be a mixture of your talk, slides, audio and video and what and how you present on the stage. Engaging Audience for long time needs an outstanding mixture of all the above.  Audience will not have eternal focus on what you are saying until unless what you say matters so much for them. You are presenting for the audience’s benefit not to fulfill your desire to be in the limelight.

5.Practice a lot.

Practice helps you to avoid mistakes and  fine tune your language and other skills of presentations. Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers says that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Practice is the mantra for an outstanding presentations.

6.Develop great opening.

The first 15 seconds are enough for audience to make a impression on you. You should use your opening statements wisely to catch the attention of the audience and  to listen to rest of the presentation. Start your speech by talking about something interesting: Give a staggering statistic, ask a question, make a declaration, or use a quote to draw people in.

7.Organize your presentation.

Your presentation should be a smooth flow of speech  as if you are saying a great story to your audience. Your presentation should have an obvious opening, a body, and a conclusion. Your presentation should also have a mixture of pictures, video and limited text. It is you, who is presenting not the power point. Power point slides allow you to stick to a certain flow and end your presentation on time.

8.Connect with your audience

You need to establish a connection with audience. Use a personal story that reveals something about you or your experience to create a connection. If you are a professional then  highlight your background and expertise to make audience feel comfortable that you are going to add value to their time by listening to you.

9.Check the facility.

Make sure before hand that all the hardware, software, mike setting, Lighting and good ventilation is there in the hall. You should avoid adjusting all the above when audience have already arrived. It is better you check the facility and practice on stage to get rid of stage fear before the audience take their seat.

10.Ask for honest feedback.

No one can claim to be the best presenter and there is always plenty of room to improve your skills. So make sure to ask for honest feedback from your trusted friends in the audience and work in fixing the issues.

11. Change the content for next presentation : If you have to present again the same subject matter make sure it is still relevant otherwise update your presentation topics to match what is latest and the greatest .

Hope you will follow the above guidelines and next time if  i happen to hear you present , i expect you remember the above and show that.  Good luck with your presentation skills. As always I’m there to help you to improve.

How committed are you?


New Year brings with it some aspirations; unfulfilled desires within us which we wish to achieve. How many times you felt that you should accomplish something and you were not able to do?.   Until you change your daily routine or attitude or habits it is hard to become someone special. To achieve your dreams or unfulfilled desires you need to have the following characters.

Commitment

How truly are you committed to making a change coming year? Do you know clearly what your goals are?  Can you measure them in hours of work/study or activity at a specific time of the day? How many times in the past you thought of doing something and failed. What could be the reasons? Did you analyze the reasons of failures? How many times did you change your plans because your friends want you to come to movie, or chat online on Facebook or go out to just roam on the roads when your goal for that day was to study your subject for exams?  Can you and willing to stay focused? How do you want to focus? Do you have any ideas how to resist the temptation of chatting on Facebook or going out with friends when you really want to study?  Are you willing to work long hours, weekends and holidays for a limited time to accomplish what you desire? (By the way by just roaming aimlessly on your Motor bikes on the already congested roads;  you are contributing more to global warming, polluting your surroundings, depleting precious oil reserves. One solution is to use bicycles or walk or run. Health improves and you are not part of ruining our planet)

Planning

  • To accomplish something you need to know how to plan. Do you know how to plan what you want to achieve? Did you plan long term or just for that day? Did you plan as far as 6 months to a year. Life is not a short movie ; so you have no choice but to plan for your future.   How many hours are you planning to spare for achieving your goals today, this month, this year and many years to reach great heights in your career and life.  How are you planning to resist temptations and distractions from friends and others? You need to re engineer your body and mind to accomplish something great.

Change Your Behavior – Develop New Habits

  • If you continue to do same things you did  in the past you will remain same for ever without seeing anything new because repetition only results in same results you are seeing all your life. How you feel about yourselves? Are you willing to put some effort to improve yourselves? Can you go thru the pain of working towards your goals?  Think big but start with the small steps. Practice continually to bring some value into every hour of your life with conscious effort and your best practices takes you to a new golden world(“ Kotha BangaruLokam “ in telugu language)

What is the biggest change you will make this coming year to prove your self that you have the willingness to help your self?  Start your year with a purpose and some goals and try your best to achieve them.

Here are some interesting links as new year gift for reading my blogs.

http://d-lab.mit.edu/projects

http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2012/08/27/25-terrific-online-games-for-english-language-learners/

http://www.xprize.org/

http://vozme.com/index.php?lang=en

http://mootools.net/

http://gudigantalu.blogspot.in/

http://fold.it/portal/puzzles

http://www.akshayapatra.org/

http://www.ide-india.org/

Office manners


Bad manners can severely damage your reputation and effectiveness as an employee and can reflect poorly on your company.  In today’s culturally diverse workforce, the chances of saying or doing “the wrong thing” are much greater than ever before. Sometimes because of your behavior you may loose your job or may not get promotions until you fix your behavior.

The changing business environment demands that employees on all levels master the principles of etiquette as quickly and thoroughly as possible in order to avoid the serious ramifications of inappropriate behavior, poor judgment, or cultural insensitivity.  Here is the list of things you need to be aware off and change your habits.

  1. You are in an important meeting and you are always on your mobile and ignoring people around you. Technology, which was supposed to make our lives easier, has increased expectations on our productivity. Work load is very high and time given to you will be  shorter, and you are required to handle multiple situations and tasks but you should never ignore people around you who are expecting you to participate in the meeting.
  2. You have a loud voice and you are shouting to your peak in the mobile phone ignoring your colleagues who are working quietly.
  3. You use the office kitchen and don’t wash the utensils that you used.   You fill up the office refrigerator with your food and forgot to remove it after several weeks. The fridge smells bad and it reflects on your callous attitude.
  4. Forgetting a name of a person you just got introduced to within few minutes of introduction.
  5. Forwarding company confidential email to a wrong person or to wrong company, or outsiders and not able to realize about it. This one will bring you a lot of trouble if you are not paying good attention to whom you are forwarding or talking to about company affairs. Be very watchful when you talk about confidential information to outsiders or even your close outside friends.
  6. You are in a meeting and forgot to switch off your cell phone and it started ringing loudly disturbing the meeting.
  7. Your lunch which has onions or garlic or strong smelling ingredient  can cause bad smell in your mouth that  your co-workers are unable to bear.
  8. Be observant and ask questions.  When traveling internationally, notice how people act, dress, and treat each other.
  9. Think before you speak.  Avoid slang.  Stay away from controversial subjects like politics and religion, unless, of course, your host brings up the subject but be aware whether you are in business meeting or personal meeting. While on company meeting be polite and divert the attention back to work from politics or religion.
  10. Keep an open mind.  Be aware that something as simple as a handshake differs from culture to culture.  In some countries, eye contact may be kept to a minimum as a way of showing  respect.  And don’t be surprised if someone greets you with a kiss on the cheek.
  11. Never refuse hospitality when it is offered.  In most cases your international host will offer you water, coffee or tea.  Gladly accept their offer, even if you are not thirsty.  By not doing so, you run the risk of insulting him/her.
  12. Appreciate the differences.  Don’t compare living standards of your country. with those of your international hosts.  There’s nothing wrong with being proud of where you live, but boasting and comparing can be counterproductive to establishing a successful relationship.
  13. Be apprised of world events.  You don’t have to be an expert in international affairs, but it is helpful to know the basics, like what foods your visitors or hosts enjoy, what holidays are observed in their country, and a lot about rules of the country and their favorite sports.
  14. Learn a few phrases that connects you to your international friends and make them comfortable talking to you .  Learn at least a few common phrases before traveling abroad Your efforts will be appreciated.
  15. When on international projects or in a different country do mix with other nationals as much as possible and try learning about their culture and habits. You may end up  becoming best friends for ever.

Some ideas to rectify the problems  you may have noticed in your personality while reading some of the above points are as follows.

Return to Courtesy
When confronting a colleague about his or her annoying behavior, focus on solving the problem and maintaining the relationship rather than venting your anger or embarrassing the other person. Speak to them in private and sort out the matter as quickly as possible.

Ask the bad mannered employee if he/she was aware of the effect his/her actions had on others and discuss possible solutions.

Start viewing your actions from the perspective of those around you so that you don’t create the same trouble to others.

However, even the most self-aware person can have blind spots, so ask a trusted colleague or good friend if there are areas in which you can improve. If you’re the boss, get feedback via anonymous surveys from your staff. You might also consider hiring a coach to shadow you.

And quit multitasking. Not only is it insulting to others, but it doesn’t work–research has shown that multitasking reduces both your effectiveness and your efficiency.

Finally, make sure the words “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” are a regular part of your vocabulary. Just saying “Thanks, great job” can make a world of difference and that brings smile to other person”s lips.

if you have any questions contact us via a comment on this blog. Keep reading the blogs just written for betterment of your life.

Goal in the mind


Every time I come across student community I feel frustrated at the mind set the education system is giving them.  Everything is done mechanically without being questioned whether that act brings value or not for today’s challenges faced by companies and how he/she would be the best fit for the job. I feel upset that the environment around them is blinding them from becoming the best and raring to take any kind of challenge with right set of skills when they become future employees or entrepreneurs.

Lack of clarity on what needed to be learnt for successful career is a major problem every student faces. We look at all the existing evidence of senior students who succeeded or failed at interviews and we try to judge our capabilities by using the information as the evidence in shaping the strategies we wish to adopt for our future.  One thing that we cannot guarantee is, whether can we exactly duplicate somebody’s success by just doing the same things what the seniors did?

Relying too heavily on previous experiences or information on hand might lead to the faulty assumption that yesterday’s solution to a seemingly similar career or job interview today is appropriate.

Let’s look at an example.

Just few years back software industry was booming and jobs are plenty with hefty pay checks and a promise of a wonderful future. Many students other than computer science background have jumped into the bandwagon of becoming a software engineer. Many succeeded in becoming software engineers. So a fresh student who is in his / her first year of engineering is witnessing that everybody is getting into software job easily and he/she carries that impression from that day till he/she is ready for a job interview himself/herself in the final year.

It is human nature to see every challenge we face as something similar to what we’ve encountered before (seniors getting jobs easily). That’s how our brains work and for good reason

Fast forward to previous year, global recession has eliminated so many jobs in one go from banking to software industry. It took away all the charm of a great life if you happen to be in software industry. Many senior employees lost jobs. Many ended up with heavy debt from buying cars or home mortgage situations. 

The situation created uncertainty for next batch of students who are now ready for jobs whether to look towards software industry as a career path for promising future.

Uncertainty becomes increasingly dangerous when we rush to understand it with an over-reliance on what we’ve witnessed before.

What we need to realize is that every situation should be handled based on the present circumstance not from previous experiences of others. Companies adopt changes to their way of doing business or work culture based on present and future competition and employees are trained constantly to adopt to the new cultures by the day.

So as a fresh candidate ready for a job interview or if you are a fresh employee just beginning your new life you need to accept challenges based on the face value of the challenge.

Here are few guidelines.

  1. Get a fresh perspective. Check what kind of skills needed for today’s job market or if you are an employee check if you got the right communication skills and other employable skills needed for a good career growth.  If you need help in judging what skills you need contact me and I will be glad to help you.
  2. Be flexible:  Employers love those who are flexible and adapt to ever changing corporate environment. You should have right mindset to adopt to new challenges and also at solving the old problems with the new perspective.
  3. Glance back, look ahead. It is prudent to assess the outcomes of our job plans and decisions about our skills; it’s how we get better individually and collectively. However, every review must be conducted at the right level of detail and with care. Don’t gamble with your life or career. Try to assess your position with care and then take appropriate steps to learn employable / entrepreneur skills right from the first year of your engineering or degree.  Don’t wait till the problem becomes complex.

Good luck and hope you understand that  you need to begin planning with the end “goal in the mind”

No attachment, No emotion Just do it


“If you always think the way you’ve always thought, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”  ..xyz….

After a grueling (demanding, hard, punishing) and hectic two weeks of working on a project I got some break to focus on doing something else. The project is work in progress but my part is done so now I can connect with you all.  When I look back to the previous year I have gone thru some of the worst times and some of the best times. The worst is not able to maintain good health because of Polio and to work on the most exciting and challenging international ERP (enterprise Resource Planning) projects of some of the best company’s in the world as I used to do while I was In USA and some times while in India.  This makes me sad because I lost the opportunity to contribute something new to today’s challenges of diverse business units.  Working with diverse workforce from across different continents on the most challenging business problems gives you immense pleasure and knowledge that you can cherish your whole life. The pleasure of thinking that your contributions to customer help them to run their daily business will always remains with you.

Now coming to the best times of my previous year, I’m able to share my corporate experience with student community by connecting with them at JNTU and skillsnest. I’m happy that I decided to do what ever I can to the student community in what ever way it is possible for me. I should thank the students for showing interest in learning and cooperating with me.

I wish to convey that in life we wish so many things and we develop attachment and connect emotions to our wishes. (Fortunately I did not connect emotion to my career plans. I’m happy with what I achieved and what I’m doing now).

We feel we have a perfect plan of what we wish to achieve, but we miss to consider all the parameters that are required for a plan to work without a flaw. (In my case I underestimated my health in my career plan that forced me to abandon my projects and return to India).  

As you mature in age and experience you will realize that having attachment or emotion to your wish or desire makes you vulnerable and weak when you failed to achieve that. What you need to realize is that there is a possibility of failure even after you meticulously planned your career or what ever you want to achieve. That leads to frustration and you become upset with yourself and others around you. But remember one failure is not the end of your life.  You just need to learn what went wrong and correct that mistake so that you won’t do it again. By gaining such small experiences while you are experimenting in fulfilling your wishes you will ultimately succeed in many of the things you wish to achieve. What is most important is that anything can go wrong and it is better not to attach emotion or love to that thing.  What ever you do try doing it the best way whether it may be career plans or love affair or getting ranks in your academic exams but keep the emotion at Bay and do a failure analysis of what went wrong and correct it for your next plan.

World will not end if you missed something. If one door closes on you there is a possibility of another door opening for you. So you just need to be optimistic and continue your journey towards achieving what ever you wish to achieve.

No matter what you do just do your duty and enjoy the pleasure of learning something new.

 Yoga, Meditation and physical fitness helps you to withstand the negative emotions. Learn a sport and play regularly and maintain hygiene and clean surroundings. That gives you positive feelings and helps you succeed more. 

 “If opportunity does not knock, build a door.”  Milton Berle.

Silence or No response the worst kind of feedback


Some time back I was invited to a college that is on the way to Yanam  to introduce myself and my training institute. I spent a good amount of time with the Management and placement manager who is very enthusiastic, energetic and have great attitude to achieve something for himself and the college. So after learning about me and what I wish to do they asked me to send  email of what I train and agreed to arrange a guest lecture.

 As you might be aware from my  blogs I’m attempting to modernize thru my lectures and trainings  the way we learn , communicate  and gain employment effectively  so we are readily aligned to the modern industry practices and  much needed modern Organizational skills.  My aim is to see that students of tier 2 cities and rural areas succeed much like students from elsewhere from across the world by acquiring modern industry practices.

So I promptly emailed  my training documents to the placement manager and other concerned people of the college.  As I mentioned above I was supposed to be called for a guest lecture.  All these happened sometime in January 2010 and from that day I  called the concerned person on phone , emailed several times to remind him about the guest lecture but till today I did not hear anything from him or his team.

The above is one example of not getting feedback and prompting me to assume something that the  other person may not like.

It happens to me most of the time. I expect a feedback with whomever I contact such as the above college staff or my service providers or staff etc. I feel frustrated and confused sometimes not able to get communication or feedback from concerned person. What should I assume?  

Silence, is the worst, most damaging kind of feedback. Effective feedback is clear and specific. Silence is ambiguous and generic. It could mean anything.. If someone hasn’t called us, we think to ourselves, it must be that he doesn’t want to communicate something negative to us. We Indians don’t like to say “NO’ and we just don’t respond.

When working in organizations they expect you to speak when necessary or respond to emails on time or do work at expected time.

But if you carry silence (not able to communicate) to companies you will be the worst affected. For example you are new to job and don’t know much about a specific work your boss gives, you have a choice to speak to him or her and say you need help in the beginning but you assume that they might think you, as not knowing anything.

Now what you expect your boss to think of you, if you don’t deliver the work on time and at the same time did not ask for help?

So not speaking up will lead to misunderstandings and hurts your career.

If you speak misunderstandings don’t happen ,  they happen if you are silent for long time. And the longer the gap, the more room for misunderstanding. So the lesson is that you need to respond if somebody is expecting answer or wok from you. Never keep it to yourselves. Respond as quickly as possible. It’s good for your career.