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…

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…

 

 

 

 

A big Opportunity for companies and others


Wrote a article on the above title here. Please check

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/time-standardize-inventory-parts-data-radha-krishna-behara

Competency based education


Time and again I’m revisiting education because there is a seismic change happening in Educating our young population. I have written blogs that focused on the the changes that are happening due to Massive online open course ware (MOOC) movement, big companies such as Microsoft, Wipro, IBM’s investment in this sector, how universities, colleges , students need to re orient themselves to stay relevant  to the present conditions and how to learn smartly using technology tools in the following blogs.

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/classroom-learning-with-concert-of-technology/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/uncommon-sense-and-common-nonsense/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/free-online-resources/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/students-this-is-for-you/

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

But most of these practices are still not able to make students employable right away after coming out of colleges. There are still many factors that contribute for  success of new employee other than the core skill that is basically needed to work. Realizing this, below universities along with industry collaborations came up with a new way of imparting skills to students. This approach is considered more relevant to industries needs and is called competency based education. I want students to take a look at the following universities that are providing this education because getting jobs is very much likely.

https://www.brandman.edu/cbeducation

http://www.capella.edu/flexpath-self-paced-learning/

http://flex.wisconsin.edu/

http://pl.nau.edu/

http://collegeforamerica.org/

http://www.wgu.edu/why_WGU/competency_based_approach

I personally feel that time has come to club medicine, engineering , agriculture, life sciences and other fields together, create a course and impart training to solve some of the great challenges of the world.  I wrote about my opinion here. please check http://www.ghdonline.org/innovation/discussion/5-innovations-in-global-health-maybe-not-what-you-/?ref=dashboard#reply-14103

 

So why waiting just start learning. your feedback is appreciated.

Imagine cup and Top Information technology (IT) skills for the year 2013


Microsoft offers monetary support for those students who are innovative and come up with great ideas that helps society. Check for details here http://www.imaginecup.com/

some ideas that got prizes are as follows. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zbW9ys-MUbk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-VW-ROCvbSI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WHXFXL7TN3s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OOQBrNgpEfE

The government of India today said there will be a demand of 4.7 lakh cyber security professionals by 2015 for protection of IT infrastructure in the country as well as to serve the export market.

“Taking into account the requirement emerging for protection of information technology infrastructure in the country as well as to serve the export market, a demand for 4.7 lakh cyber security professionals has been estimated by the year 2015,” Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

More about the news click here  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/jobs/around-4-7-lakh-cyber-security-professionals-needed-by-2015-milind-deora/articleshow/17430201.cms

Computer world’s annual forecast says that the following skills will in demand for this year and coming year.

Telecommunications:Skills in automatic call distribution systems such as  Cisco   UCC = Unifed Contact Centre  (generic) UCCE = Unified Contact Centre Enterprise  UCCX = Unified Contact Centre Express More can he known here  http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/custcosw/ps1846/index.html and http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/index.html

Web2 skills: Open source software will rule and HTML5 Will be most sought after. Most of the web content is build for computers but not for mobile phones with varying degree of display ratios so there will be a need for Responsive web designs and all the present web2 content need to be made responsive to all kinds of devices moving forward . More about this here http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.in/2012/04/responsive-design-harnessing-power-of.html

Other software’s such as NoSQL  , R programming, Python, .Net, AJAX and PHP as key back-end skills, with HTML5, XML, CSS, Flash and Javascript for front end design will be in damand.

Data Center-Virtualization skills will be in demand due to cloud computing becoming more and more prominent that leads to  Networking experience in services like VMware and Citrix valuable.

Help desk and technical support in local languages becomes more and more prominent with use of internet via Mobile. Mobile related business, apps, services , games, product information all become much more prominent in coming years;  increasing demand for IT professionals who can master mobile Operating systems, apps related to mobile phones.

Presently many companies are looking  for people who can make their existing data, software available for access thru mobile.

Business intelligence will be in demand  and that will open opportunity for data scientists ( this will be the new job in the market). Analytic software’s  such as R programming, S programming, CRM will be sought after so those who are good in statistics, analytic’s can find plenty of jobs going  into 2013.