Let’s not do it better , Let’s do it different


“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

― Albert Einstein

Recently I started paying attention to connect different comments posted on Facebook to see if I can come up with a different insight and experiences that are different than routine. On Facebook I saw postings of joy and relief when exams are completed and students planning different activities to enjoy holidays before next semester starts. One was excited to go to Mumbai and some going back to their native cities and towns to hit the malls and cinema theaters. I saw posts from professionals who are planning of having trips to exotic places. I watch comments and likes  on the  photos posted on the face book. One of my friend posts about the songs he likes, another posts photos with beer cup in his hand.

My observations is that when we go to a farmers market we ask our mind questions related to food and when we are watching a game in a stadium we ask questions about the game. We don’t usually think of asking our mind  how to cool our tension with a nice and fresh fruit from a vegetable market when we are in a crowded  stadium.

Our mind is processing thoughts and giving us answers to questions that we ask. The questions that we are asking are what drives our behavior and is the key for our success in getting better at everything we love to do. By combining the fun and excitement of game with a healthy drink of fruit juice instead of junk food makes our experience more memorable and keeps us healthy  but that needs us to  ask  ourselves better questions to maximize the benefits from every action of ours.

We can maximize our fun, experiences, find new possibilities and enrich our lives if we can think of different things that can be done by asking the right question to our mind.  So if you are having holidays and want to have a greater level of satisfaction and experience,   ask your mind what are the new options you have other than the predictable things you do during a holiday.   we all need to have a  innovative mind set and we should be mindful of this. This kind of asking the mind, the right questions enriches  life with better experiences and may lead to more opportunities that we have never imagined possible. I always ask this question myself at the end of the day “What is that one thing that you did differently today?”  The key to innovation is to connect unrelated dots from different things, experiences  to come up with new experiences, new possibilities and new opportunities.  Good luck for a “ better life with best practices” (My company’s tag Line and vision)

New Economic Model and the Role for Academy


The dynamic environment of economic activities that shape the nations growth and prosperity needs a new language and new practices to sustain long term.   There is no end game. It is infinite game of aligning the best interests of our societies to stay hale and healthy, coexisting harmoniously within the wonderful nature by preserving and aligning our economic, industrial, technology and any kind of  progress and wellbeing of all the  living species . This can be achieved by orienting all that progress towards new environmentally friendly products and services and solid growth.

In order to meet that target there is an urgent need to redefine the status quo in Academics and bring academics to the forefront of economic activity of the nation.

Merging Academy and Industry as one entity will lead to major job growth and Economic Resilience when IOT (internet of things), Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Machine learning like technological innovation take away human jobs. The question to ask is  “GROWTH CAN BE MANAGED AND GUIDED, BY WHOM, AND FOR WHAT NEEDS”?  Academy should become the wellbeing centre of excellence (as explained in my Earlier blog here https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/stop-building-classroom-and-focus-on-wellbeing-buildings-and-more-laboratories/

) to sustain and nurture new opportunities in products and services that align us with environment.

Innovation typically precedes strategic decisions and by redefining academy as part of economic growth of any country we will be in a position to create new opportunities and new possibilities.

Here is the game plan for introducing a new paradigm that I call ‘Economic sustenance by redefining academics’.

  1. The boundaries, language and legal matters that identify universities , colleges , schools and all educational related institutes needs to be redefined with an eye on tapping the vast pools of raw talents of students(knowledge and skills gatherers) , Research scholars, professors by orienting their academic activities on creating new opportunities.
  2. There is a huge effort by government in attracting major industries to invest in their respective states. Some of those industries in areas such as Machine learning, Chip designing, Artificial intelligence, Gene mapping, anti-aging (example: Google Calico project collaborating with Drug maker Abvie https://www.calicolabs.com/ ) have to spend money in establishing research laboratories. Instead Universities and colleges should be tapped and allowed to participate in government’s activities in this kind of initiatives to map the academy’s internal resources, knowledge, skills and infrastructure required by industry and actively engaged. This allows Faculty, students to learn corporate best practices and become valuable contributors to the economic prosperity of the institutes and helps industry with lowering their costs of establishing new laboratories.
  3. State and Federal (central) governments spends a lot of money on infrastructure development projects such as building dams, roads, mining (example sand, minerals etc. ) , smart cities and many such activities by floating tenders and inviting private industry to take up the projects.  Most of the projects are not implemented as designed due to various reasons such as corruption, poor usage of manpower, materials and plethora of issues. Academy and students should be allowed to become part of the project’s stakeholders which helps students, faculty to learn vital project management and people’s skills and earn some money for the institutes. Some of the major project delays, poor quality, and corruption activities can be eliminated as students and academy’s interests will be more in implementing quality and good practices in the projects.
  4. The whole academic nomenclature, infrastructure needs to be redesigned to make them part of this new economic model by mapping the raw talents of the students , expertise of faculty and connecting them to industry needs.
  5. Government should act as facilitator by allowing academy/private participation in projects implemented at state and country wide.

Universities, colleges and Education isn’t here to make us feel comfortable.  The intention, practices and the language is to make students feel excited and raring to go and find the truth and enlightenment. Academic institute in their pure form should be bringing energy, efficiency, bliss and completeness and fulfilment while actively engaging the raw talents of the students.

Want to add your thoughts and feedback. Please do so by commenting.

Associating Belief systems and cultural practices to Academics


From childhood some common rituals, practices, beliefs are hard wired into our brains. Some of these practices are beyond the proof of science. Even those with extra ordinary capabilities in science and technology follow certain ceremonies that are still beyond the reach of human cognition. One such phenomenon is seeking blessings from God before a launch of satellite or starting a major and complex projects spanning across the globe.

When we are suffering we look for solace in practices that cannot be proven by science and we take great pains to seek the blessings or visit far off crowded religious places to just get the blessings we need. Come Rain or Shine we are so determined to follow the rituals.

When we look this from a scientific angle we see the best human characters such as determination, focus, will to overcome obstacles, patience and all those best practices that can make anyone highly successful if same are followed in academics or career.

A major effort is going on in reforming education system across the globe. To name a few prominent personalities in educational reform are Bill gates  https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2010/04/12-Foundations-Commit-to-Education-Innovation-with-US-Department-of-Education

, Khan academy https://www.khanacademy.org/  , Facebook Zuckerberg https://chanzuckerberg.com/ ,  Indian Government sponsored national skills development programs  http://nsfindia.org/,  Massive Online Open courseware (MOOC) programs  and the list goes on.  If we search online we can find organizations, corporate houses, foundations all working to reform education system.

I felt everyone is missing the last mile effort in their Noble intentions of reaching out to every kid on the planet. That is creating curiosity, love, blind faith, solace and all those characteristics that I described above which we follow without questioning when it comes to religion, culture, heritage and whatnot other than scientifically proven methods.

What I wish to bring to attention to all those great pioneers of educational reforms is to align their process, practices and subject matter to bring the same extra ordinary characteristics we show when it comes to all the practices I mentioned above into academics and corporate best practices.

A great research is needed on deeper understanding of how even a very common person exhibits extra ordinary human characters when it comes to religious practices, cultural and belief systems. That insights should then be ingrained in to our educational practices.

Also I think by aligning our education system, syllabus, skill enhancement programs to spirituality and to harmonious living with nature, will bring extra ordinary success not just in making our children the best but also saving our planet from disintegration because of our behaviour and practices till date that will lead us just to destruction.

It is time that we align our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education more in tune to Nature’s way of handling the Planet’s resources. Our living standards should not be measured by materialistic gadgets we have but how well we are integrated with the nature around us and how well our gadgets are aligned to nature.

What do you think?  Complement and enrich this thought process with your comments and suggestions please.

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.

 

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…

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…

 

 

 

 

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. ..

 

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.

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

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.

Wireless internet access using LED, Software tool for Disaster areas


Wireless internet data from LED Bulbs

A German physicist Mr.Harald Hass  has come up with a promising new technology named D-light for accessing internet wirelessly using Led bulb

By flickering the light from a single LED, he can transmit far more data than a cellular tower — and do it in a way that’s more efficient, secure and widespread.

It has new applications in hospitals, airplanes, military, and even underwater. Click here to watch his demo at ted.

http://www.ted.com/talks/harald_haas_wireless_data_from_every_light_bulb.html

The findings are already in practice in different forms in many research labs across the globe. Here is a link to what others have found about using the flickering light bulb for transmitting data wirelessly.

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/led-lights-internet-lvx-dec-27-2010

Wireless communication when everything breaks down during a disaster.

During a disaster relief agencies depend on satellite phones for communications. But they are expensive to buy and use. Here is a company that came up with a cheaper alternative software code that can be used to communicate information from a disaster zone.

http://thelifenetwork.org/

You need to download the software code(free to download) to your laptop or phone and can use in the absence of vital internet access. For extra service like texting you might have to pay a small fees for use. Still it is considered way cheaper than using satellite phones.

The company partnered with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India, which will help deploy the service in communications-poor areas that have been hit hard by recent cyclones.

Bladeless table fans

Dyson an American company found a way to create a fan that does not have blades and called air multiplier. Dyson’s air multiplier blows a single sheet of air. The slope of wing creates negative pressure around the moving air sheet–thus sucking more air along for the ride. Thus while blowing little air the fan uses less current and gives out more air. Check more here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A3IM06xgr0

Jobs if you write code here http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/08/programming-challenges-benefit-job-seekers-and-employers/ 

 

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.

“I” or “Me”


The below is from Oxford Dictionary.  http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/i-or-me

Please visit the above site for more details.

‘I’ or ‘me’?

The two personal pronouns I and me are often used wrongly, usually in sentences in which I is being used with another noun. Here are some tips to help you get it right:

  • Use the pronoun I, along with other subjective pronouns such as we, he, she, you, and they,when the pronoun is the subject of a verb:
He went to bed.
We waited for the bus.
Clare and I are going for a coffee.
 
In the last example, the pronoun I, together with the proper noun Clare, forms the subject of the sentence, so you need to use I rather than me.
  • Use the pronoun me, along with other objective pronouns such as us, him, her, you, and them,when the pronoun is the object of a verb:
Danny thanked them.
The dog followed John and me to the door.
In the last example, the pronoun me, together with the proper noun John, forms the object of the verbfollow, so you need to use me rather than I.
  • Use the pronoun me, along with other objective pronouns such as us, him, her, you, and them,when the pronoun is the object of a preposition:
Rose spent the day with Jake and me.
Me, together with Jake, forms the object of the preposition with, so you need to use the pronoun merather than the pronoun I.
Another good place to checkout for new words that got added is here
Need more training on softskills?   Contact me at skillsnest@gmail.com

Consider this


In our school and college days we have seen how sports are conducted. For example if there is a running race then there are clearly marked paths on which the runners have to run. That means they have a starting point and a finishing point. Without a set path there is a chance that the runners can run from any point and end at any point. That means they have a direction to follow. In life we also need a direction to focus and succeed in whatever we wish to achieve. We also need skills such as determination, right attitude and knowledge. We measure distances with a ruler, time by the ticks of a clock and small steps of progress by tasks scratched off our list. We are judged by others on what we achieved in life not by what you think internally that you can achieve. We judge ourselves based on our assumptions about us. Suppose if you think you can manage in interview without knowing proper English or not having sufficient communication skills you are ruining your chances of succeeding.  Even if luck favors you and you get thru the interview you will get stuck in the career without growth until you acquire skills needed to progress. If you don’t get the habit of preparing well in advance whether for exams or for interview you are no different from a Gambler.

People can definitely succeed if they spend at least some few hours of every day on developing their skills.  If you choose to avoid the hard question to know about your weakness you may loose an opportunity. Those are life changing  moments sometimes.

Remember that we waste lot of time in a day that doesn’t add value to our lives. The fun of mastering some skills  stays with you lifelong.  So obviously you need to focus on the most important skills you need, to become a successful person

What you can do is sit alone and just write down honestly what is your goals or aspirations and what is your weakness (for example not having good communication skills etc) and what it requires you to master that skill. Until you resist the influences of the surroundings and other time wasting activities you cannot make it to the top. The most productive hours of your life should not be wasted. They belong to you and you are the master of your destiny. So your destiny is in your hand. As we strongly believe in god remember god blesses only those who work sincerely towards their intentions and wishes.

Never assume we know it all and Never assume that what we think is correct.

Consider the following.

1) At the top of a blank piece of paper write this heading “I assume that the following points are important” for me to succeed.
2) Then, start a new section with the heading, “These things influence my mind  and divert my attention from achieving success in life” It should include time spent every day on unproductive things that does not add value for you to become successful.

3) Now list all the things that help you to learn the skills needed   Take advice from your parents, Professors, teachers etc  for better results.

4) At the end of this list… “I assume there’s nothing else I could add to this list”
and finally?
5) Right at the very bottom  write the following… “I assume all of the above is true.” You need to focus on what it needs to reach your goals.

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.

Innocent or Ignorant? Both need taking advice.


Getting your first job is the beginning of a career where your personal skills such as effective communication, problem solving, managing people /work and handling pressure situations will be tested and will decide your Success in life and career growth. While you are still going to college it is a mandatory to acquire skills that employers are looking for as mentioned above and also learn technology tools, social networks usage etc. But don’t think you can learn these skills in the final year of college. Employable skills need time to practice and you cannot learn effective communication skills in English overnight in 10 days or a month. I advice you start assessing your skills right now and start learning them. For further advice contact us at skillsnest.

How you will ask advice at work is today’s topic for our blog.

When in trouble or not knowing what to do asking for help/Advice is a good thing.  Advice seeking has very significant benefits. It increases the possibility of finding better solutions to genuine problems, while creating a richer and more productive relationship. The importance of this issue should not be overlooked   How to ask for help — and how to do it right — is critical to doing your job well and setting yourself up for success. You may be afraid of looking dumb, but to be afraid to ask for and get the help you need is inexcusable. Typically we all ask for help or get clarifications by asking questions like ‘How do I do this’ or “how should I proceed with this” , “what to do next” etc but that won’t allow you to get the right help you are looking for.

Try the following tips

1. Start with what you know about the subject you need help with. Explain what you already know or at work how much you completed on your assignment (work) and where you are stuck with or what you are not able to do to finish the job.

2. Propose your thoughts on what you think about the solution and ask your boss for his/her advice if that is the right thing to do.  

 3. If you don’t know the direction to take or don’t know the solutions, ask for guidance. Instead of asking “What should I do?” ask specifically for the tools you’ll need to make that decision yourself, such as a recent example of a similar analysis or a template for a given task. Or, ask for a referral to someone who has worked on a similar initiative or project in the past.

In the vast majority of cases, you’ll get a lot further in your career by asking the tough, smart questions.

Planning your activities


We all live in hope. But Hope is not a strategy to succeed in Life. You need to work towards your goals in a more proper and practical way. You have to work towards a plan to support your development and the plan should be specific, realistic, with clear time frames and small manageable goals. For example Good communication skills are mandatory to enable a prospective employer to know about you clearly so that they can judge your capability much better and give you a job. But acquiring soft skills such as proper usage of English language or how to communicate what you think  requires you to spend time on trainings on soft skills. Companies want to hire students who are complimenting their academic education with employability skills (soft skills).   When writing an action plan to achieve a particular goal or outcome, you can get much help from the following steps.

• Clarify your goal. Can you get a clear picture of what your goal is? Can you measure your goals (you cannot have a goal like becoming rich overnight)? What problems do you have to reach your goal, like the limits on time, money, or no proper trainers?

• Write a list of things you need to do. Write down all actions you may need to take to achieve your goal. Write all possible ways of reaching your goals. Write down all the problems you have in achieving your goals and write down all the ideas to overcome that problems.

• Analyze, prioritize. Look and think of what you have written. What are the absolutely necessary and effective steps to achieve your goal? Give priority to all the action items that helps you to achieve your goals and get rid of things that are not important for you to succeed.

Example:  A student wants to write GATE and also wants to attend campus interviews. Both need trainings. For interview he needs soft skills (some example of soft skills are  Communication Skills ,Presentation & Work Communication Skills ,Interpersonal & Team Skills ,,Personal Effectiveness Skills ,Cross-Cultural Skills ,English Language Skills, Problem solving skills)

Between these two options he has to prioritize his time and trainings while he is attending regular college.

• Organize your list into a plan. Decide on the order of the plan. What is important in life for you? Write down in a sequence what is most important for your success. Things such as academic education, soft skills training should be given high priority and time than having fun and partying with friends.

• Monitor the execution of your plan and review the plan regularly. How much have you progressed towards your goal by now? What new information you have got? Use this information to further adjust and optimize your plan.

So tell me how you are planning and if you need trainings on soft skills , I want you to consider skillsnest as partner in helping and shaping your life . We are here to help students to excel from “Grassroot thinking to Global employability”