Monthly Archives: February 2012

12 Most Compelling Reasons for You to Write

Over the last few years, I have discovered my love for writing. Along this journey, I have discovered its many benefits. In this compilation, I have articulated the 12 Most compelling reasons for you to write. I do hope you enjoy reading this and it inspires you to start writing!

1. Writing makes you think
The single most important benefit of writing is that it makes you think, and thoughts are vital in the journey of life. Simply because to think you need to observe, you need to listen, you need to smell, you need to feel, you need to analyze, you need to reason, you need to question, you need to rationalize, you need to appreciate, you need to process, you need to internalize, and you need to conclude.

2. Writing brings clarity
One of the most important prerequisites for writing is clarity — clarity in data & facts, clarity in reasoning, clarity in views, and clarity in opinions. At the outset, you may not necessarily have the clarity to write, but before you finish you should achieve this clarity, otherwise you will not be able to complete a piece of writing to your own satisfaction.

3. Writing facilitates learning
One of the perks of writing is that it facilitates learning, because when you write you tend to ask questions — both to yourself and others. You tend to read, you tend to notice, you tend to reflect; and all of these contribute towards your learning.

4. Writing enables growth
As long as you learn, you grow. Growth can be in one or many dimensions of life such as intellectual growth, professional growth, personal growth, emotional growth, financial growth, and spiritual growth. Growth is a key contributing factor for progress in life.

5. Writing improves your literary skills
If you take the time to write, you will definitely improve your literary skills over a period of time. Not only will you learn new words and improve on the Ps and Qs of writing, but you can also learn and develop alternate literary forms — from prose to poetry. And the only way to improve in anything in life is to continuously work on it.

6. Writing opens new doors
Writing can open the door to new friends, new ideas, new possibilities, new ways to constructively utilize your time, new ways to earn money, new professions, new experiences, new considerations, new contemplations, and new harbingers.

7. Writing makes you disciplined
One of the best results of writing is that it makes you disciplined — in your thoughts, in your daily routine, and in your life. Once you experience the benefits of writing and begin to enjoy it, it becomes a habit… a compulsion… a fascination.

8. Writing gives you ME time
Writing gives you time to be with yourself — to connect within, in your own way, at your own pace.

9. Writing makes you respect other writers
Only when you write do you appreciate the process of writing. This gives you a new found respect and appreciation for other writers.

10. Writing makes you view books in a new light
Only when you begin to write, do you begin to acknowledge all the efforts that go into compiling a book, and only then do you acknowledge and value all the books you read in life.

11. Writing enables to create a personal brand
Writing is a reflection of your thoughts, views, ideas, literary skills, creativity, and opinions. What you write has the potential to influence others’ perceptions of you. This enables you to create, maintain and enhance your personal brand.

12. Writing gives you a chance to leave a legacy
Irrespective of your age, you will always cherish personal writings — be it from your parents, your grandparents, your uncles, your aunts, your nephews/nieces, your children, your spouse, your special friends, your past lovers, your soul mate, your role models, your teachers, your mentors, your students, your boss, or your customer.

And so in the same light, if you do write a note, a blog, a tweet, a poem, a story, an article, a point of view, a citation, a commendation, a paper, a book, it sure has the potential to be of value to someone somewhere — either today or 50 years from now. And that will be your legacy… provided you start writing today.

Published @ http://12most.com/2011/11/22/12-compelling-reasons-write/( 22 Nov 2011); Republished with permission, courtesy of 12 Most

 

BPM and Cloud – The Many Perspectives

The relation between BPM [Business Process Management] and Cloud is significantly determined by the perspective one takes; and the possible impact and resulting potential depends on the perspective…

Following are the many perspectives:

1) BPM Product Capabilities provided on a Cloud – From a product vendor perspective, this capability enables vendors to provide their BPM related products / solutions on new commercial models [For e.g.: Usage based, Subscription based, etc. as opposed to Product license based models]. This definitely provides a new set of customers who can leverage the BPM product capabilities and also opens new service opportunities related to Training, Consulting, Support and Hosting. An example of this is Intalio’s BPM SaaS service, Appian’s Cloud BPM, Pega’s Cloud offerings, etc. From a customer perspective, this translates into lower TCO [Total Cost of Ownership] and rapid environment set-up for development and deployment

2) BPaaS [Business Process as a Service] – This is the capability of defining and deploying ready-to-use business processes for specific requirements and providing these business processes as a service. The long term success for BPaaS providers depends on the ability to identify processes which are relevant for a large addressable market space / customer segments, have the potential to significantly scale-up in volume, can be rapidly generalized, standardized & customized and which can be rendered in alternate commercial models. An example of BPaaS is NetOxygen’s Hosted / SaaS LOS [Loan Origination System]

3) Leveraging BPM for “Cloud” enablement – The other area where BPM can be leveraged is in actual definition and execution of business processes for Cloud enablement. Typically, enterprise cloud initiatives require a fundamental change in the way IT implementations are done. These changes impact multiple teams within the organization (For e.g.: Asset Procurement Group, Software License Group, Release Teams, Development teams, etc.) and external groups (For e.g.: Product Vendors, IT Service providers, customers, etc.). A promising area for BPM is the ability to define enterprise level business processes for standard and rapid cloud enablement initiatives. For e.g.: Standard processes for hardware provisioning, software provisioning, etc. The ability to provide these services in a BPaaS model is another area which has promise.

4) BPM Cloud Services – An opportunity to provide BPM Cloud Services related to any of the areas listed above to product vendors, cloud solution providers, cloud service brokers or IT service providers. The range of services can include Training, Testing, Production Support, Migration to a cloud, Consulting, Hosting, etc.

What is your perspective?

Originally published @ http://www.wipro.com/blog/BPM-and-Cloud-%E2%80%93-The-Many-Perspectives

Nischala’s Blog-o-Rendezvous with ABHIJIT BHADURI

Abhijit Bhaduri is today’s featured STAR in my Blog-o-Rendezvous Series.

ABOUT ABHIJIT BHADURI
Chief Learning Officer @ Wipro, Author and an Eternal Student. A more detailed bio can be found here. You can follow Abhijit on Twitter OR Stop by his blog .

THE RENDEZVOUS
How can a discussion with the Chief Learning Officer not be about learning?
Nischala: Good Morning Abhijit! Thanks for your time for this Rendezvous
Abhijit: Pleasure is mine

Nischala: So Abhijit, let’s start with a very basic question – In your view, why is learning important?
Abhijit: In today’s day and age, most knowledge comes with an expiry date. Be it your educational qualifications, professional knowledge and expertise or even soft skills / life skills. In the past, a formal college degree had a longer shelf life. Today, things are changing rapidly, new things are being discovered and hence it becomes important to make continuous learning a focus and priority in both your personal and professional life. With time, there’s obsolescence in what we have learnt in the past. And over a period of time, the level of obsolescence will definitely increase.

Take the scenario of medical science. Even a few years back, the number of diseases known was limited. So if a doctor had knowledge in these ailments and knowledge & experience in how to identify and cure them, the doctor was effective. However, today the nuances associated with diseases has increased manifold and so also the nature and type of solutions for each of these medical ailments. Hence, it becomes important for doctors to learn continuously. And you can extrapolate this analogy to any discipline and you will see that continuous learning is key!

For learning, you need to make space in your mind. It’s important NOT to hold on to the past. It requires un-learning and re-learning. You need to be able to bring in and assimilate new information in your mind.

For e.g: I read that the cause of ulcer is not stress, but a bacterium. Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren did extensive research on this and also won the Nobel prize for their discovery of “the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease” (For further reading, refer http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2005/press.html , http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9576387/ns/health-health_care/t/two-australians-win-nobel-prize-medicine/ ). Even though this research was given the Nobel Prize in 2005, even today in 2012 after about 7 years it’s still not been a part of mainstream adoption in medical science. So current research and findings are making old notions obsolete, but there’s a definite time lag to mass propagation of information and acceptance…

So it’s important to make learning a part and priority in your life

Nischala: How can one make learning a part of your life?
Abhijit: In my view, the most effective ways are:
1) Do the exact opposite of what you usually do – For e.g.: If you’re an engineer who enjoys logic and logical things try doing something you are not naturally drawn towards. Explore fine arts, design, classical music, photography, watch an abstract movie from a creative director you’ve never seen / heard of, watch a movie in a language you don’t know. Or if you are an artist/ writer, try to read or study about finance, economics or math. Even trying to attempt something like this will be met with internal inertia. It is TOUGH to push yourself beyond the known frontiers. So by doing what you don’t usually do, you constantly challenge yourself. In the long run, you learn and build your ability to hold diverse points of view

2) Engage and Interact with a wide and diverse group of people – And by diversity, I mean diversity in age, socio-economic background, professions. For e.g.: Usually younger people deal with older people or vice-versa in social gatherings or when they don’t have a choice. What I am suggesting is to actively seek the company of people / groups who are different from you. Be open to talk, express, communicate and have a meaningful interaction – Observe and learn. Learning is really about getting questioned and questioning your own beliefs and information. And this is usually hard for many of us as we create a static world and are cocooned in it.

3. Pursuit of hobbies – I find this a truly admirable trait in individuals. And active and serious pursuit of a hobby can be a phenomenal learning experience – It can be a new language, cuisine, art, craft, etc. Embracing even a hobby in totality is a metaphor for learning.
We all have unconscious biases. Normally, we don’t like to challenge ourselves, struggle or move out of the comfort zone. So initially the pursuit of a new hobby will compel you to move out of your comfort zone, and over a period of time, you should enjoy doing it. The process itself helps us to learn

Nischala: So, any specific individual / person who stands out in your mind when it comes to learning?
Abhijit: The best example is of my neighbor when I was living in the US. In my assessment, she was probably in her late 60’s. Soon after she became a grandmother, she enrolled in a community college to complete her education. The fact was that after school, she had never really been to any educational institute because of her family commitments, mortgage, other responsibilities, etc. I truly admired her spirit to learn and not only did she complete her graduation, but I heard that now she has enrolled for a Post-Graduation as well.

Nischala: Do you think age has any influence of one’s ability to learn?
Abhijit: Learning has nothing to do with age. It is an individual orientation. The best example I can cite is of Daniel Kahneman who is close to 75+ years old is still doing some cutting edge research. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential living psychologists. You should watch his TED Video

I believe that learning is the key in the journey of life. Like I said before, the whole process of doing something new / something out of your comfort zone is in itself a learning process. You need to re-jig your calendar, space and life for this new activity. Let’s say you want to take up reading and many will say they don’t have time to do this. To me, this is a reflection of attitude towards learning than just shortage of time. And changing your attitude towards learning is also a self-learning process

Nischala: How do you personally ensure that you are learning?
Abhijit: I find Twitter to be a great learning platform. I figured out early in the game that the trick was to follow the RIGHT people. And the fewer the better – I usually keep the number of people I follow to less than 40 and constantly review the list. Among the 40 I follow, they are great curators of information and knowledge that I am personally interested in – From Music, People, Technology, Learning, Innovation, Ideas, Books, etc. There’s enough variety among these people. And then Twitter is just one channel. I read a wide variety of other blogs, papers, articles, etc. I love reading The Economist – It’s an amazing magazine and if I had to read only 1 magazine – It would be this.

Nischala: So how much time do you spend on Twitter. It’s so easy to lose track of time once you’re on Twitter.
Abhijit: I don’t spend more than 30 minutes daily on Twitter. I don’t tweet everything I read. Usually I tweet about 2 – 3 tweets / day on average. It’s either something that I read previous day and mulled over and felt it was worth sharing OR some new idea or phenomenal research that I just came across. You can’t flood someone’s timeline with everything you read. So if someone tweets irrelevant stuff excessively, I just Unfollow them.
A few days back, I came across the Human Library project in Ottawa. It fascinated me a great deal, so I put it on my timeline. The underlying premise is this – Everyone has a story to tell and not everyone needs to write an autobiography, but this is a great opportunity to hear those stories from people who you probably will never come across in your life – bankers, criminals, bus-driver, opera singer, deportee, fire-fighter, taxi driver, journalist, sheep farmer, etc – All from diverse walks of life for a one-o-one discussion. I’ve never read or heard of anything like this before. Its an amazing idea…For more reading, refer this link

Nischala: That’s interesting. So any final words you want to share as a part of this rendezvous?
Abhijit: Learning can be threatening. It can upset your inner world. It can challenge conventional wisdom. Learning is really about a continuously curious mind. It is about constantly asking questions and being questioned.
Does everyone have a learning orientation? Probably NOT. But can one learn to be a better learner? Yes.

Nischala: Thanks Abhijit for this rendezvous. I really enjoyed hearing your views and am sure readers will also enjoy this post.
Abhijit: Thanks. Take Care. Have a GREAT DAY!

How did you like this Rendezvous? Leave a comment to let us know

A PERSONAL REQUEST FOR YOU
* If you liked this post, please sign-up for the e-mail subscription. You will recieve updates whenever a new post is published…
* Please share / forward / Tweet in your network via mail, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Tribber, Buffer, etc..

Should a Blogger have an Editorial Calendar?

For a long time in my journey as a blogger, I used to publish posts on my blogs as soon as I finished them. As a consequence, there were times when I published 30 posts in a week, and there were times when I did not publish a single post for several weeks.

As I observed fellow bloggers, studied their blogs and analyzed the blogging patters of some really successful blogs, I realized that many bloggers published regularly at a specific frequency – Like one post every day OR a Guest Post every Wednesday, etc. Some were even punctual about the times like 8 AM or 7 PM. And most importantly, this information was published on their blogs. So as a reader I knew when I could find an update on their blogs. At times, there were deviations to this schedule – but this was always communicated to the readers through the blog itself.

I wondered how they were able to maintain and plan their blogging schedule so well.. And that’s when I learnt of a blogger’s Editorial Calendar

So what’s an Editorial Calendar for a Blogger?
Essentially, it is a calendar in which you as a blogger identify the frequency, dates and topics on which you will blog about for a specified duration – can be month, quarter or year.

The Editorial Calendar should have:
1) Topic of the post
2) Date on which you will publish a post
3) Date by which you should have the draft ready – including any links, images, videos, podcasts, etc.
4) Date by which the post should be reviewed by you / someone else (if applicable)

 Where should you draw up your Editorial Calendar?
I recommend Microsoft Excel, but you can use whatever tool you like. You need to set reminders (Email alert, SMS, Calendar reminder, etc.) for yourself so that you are able to work as per your plan.

Should you share this with your readers?
Well that’s your choice. In my view, the single most important reason to publish your calendar is that you are making a public commitment to yourself, your blog and your readers [It’s like the difference between dating someone and putting on the wedding ring ;)]. And then you plan and work to honor the commitment. It does not really matter why you are blogging (for fun or money or whatever!) – You will definitely benefit from drawing up your own editorial calendar because it brings focus and discipline to your blogging efforts

Many bloggers do expose key information especially with respect to Dates and Topics on their blog. For e.g.: I personally liked the way Margie Clayman has launched a new series in 2012 called An Alphabet of Marketing Myths . In this series, Margie will be posting for 26 weeks every Monday on topics which she has listed on her blog – I loved her creativity on the choice of topics.  On a separate note, if you have any interest in Social Media & Marketing, I recommend a visit to Margie’s blog - You will learn or laugh or go back wiser :)

My Mantras for a Bloggers Editorial Calendar    

1) When I draw up my editorial calendar, I look to see if there are any specific global events / holidays / celebrations / festivals which can be the central theme / topics for my posts. For e.g: In Feb, there’s Valentine’s Day. In March, there’s Women’s Day. In May, there’s Mother’s Day.

2) I usually plan my Editorial Calendar on a monthly basis. Since I run several blogs of my own, what I really decide is how many posts I will publish on each of my blogs every week. This is especially important for me since I also feature as a guest blogger on several blogs of global repute and I am able to sign-up for about 2 -4 guest posts / month – That way I am able to blog about a range of topics and reach a diverse reader base

3) One of the key benefits of having an editorial calendar is that it helps me zero-in on the blog topics well in advance and gives me a sense of the time I would need to set-aside for blogging. Also, if I need to do some research, I know what I should read or learn about. If I need to have discussions with others, I can plan and schedule them accordingly

4) It is advisable to review your editorial calendar once a week – to take stock of the progress you are making towards achieving your targets & if any course-correction is required with respect to the blog content or dates

Ending Words of Wisdom

Additional Suggested Readings on a Blogger’s Editorial Calendar
What’s an Editorial Calendar?
How to Build a Blog Editorial Calendar Even If You Don’t Know Where to Start
Why Creating an Editorial Calendar Should Be a Priority
How to develop your editorial calendar?

The Biorhythmic Cycles of a Blogger

I started blogging in March 2010 – At a moment when I experienced something deep, and wanted to capture it in my own way. Along the way, I have evolved and transformed as a blogger, writer and more importantly as a human-being…

After about a year in blogging (in March 2011) when I looked at my blogs, I noticed several interesting patterns:
1) There were times when the quality of ideas to blog about was brilliant; and these repeated in periodic cycles
2) There were times when the quantity of blogging ideas were almost infinite; and again these repeated in periodic cycles
3) There were times when I was able to generate superior quality content for one / many ideas at a phenomenal speed (efficiency and effectiveness); and again these repeated in periodic cycles
4) There were times when I got neither ideas nor was able to write – no matter how hard I tried; and again these repeated in periodic cycles

And the above had really nothing to do with time (lack of OR availability) – In fact, since I love blogging I always all find and make time to blog – in spite of two full time jobs – One as a part of my corporate employment and one as a mother 

I was wondering if there is any scientific explanation for this. Anything which can predict and possibly give me answers for these repeated cycles?

And that’s when I learnt about Biorhythm…

What is Biorhythm?
Biorhythm is an attempt to predict various aspects of a person’s life through simple mathematical cycles.

According to biorhythm principles, a person’s life is affected by rhythmic biological cycles which affect one’s ability in various domains, such as mental, physical, and emotional activity.

These cycles begin at birth and oscillate in a steady sine wave fashion throughout life; thus, by modeling them mathematically, a person’s level of ability in each of these domains can be predicted from day to day.

Most biorhythm models use three cycles: a 23-day “physical” cycle, a 28-day “emotional” cycle, and a 33-day “intellectual” cycle

This can be represented pictorially as below:

(Src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biorhythm )

What’s the link between Biorythm and Blogging?
I am inherently a left-brained person – logical, analytical and scientific. And most importantly, look for supporting data in any hypothesis or theory. So I decided to consciously observe and note down my own blogging patters with the biorhythmic framework as inscribed above…

My blogging cycles are depicted below:

Points to Note
1) Above data has been tracked from Apr 2011 to Jan 2012 – for a period of 9 months
2) The three key criteria for observation, analysis and evaluation were:
a. Quality of Ideas
b. Quantity of Ideas
c. Quality of Blog Output – Efficiency and Effectiveness
3) For ease of analysis, a rating and legend was compiled as below.
a. Quality of Ideas
i. 10 – Exceeds Expectations
ii. 5 – Meets Expectations
iii. 1 – Below Expectations
b. Quantity of Ideas
i. 10 – More than 30 blog ideas
ii. 5 – 10 to 30 blog ideas
iii. 1 – Less than 5 blog ideas
c. Quality of Blog Output – Efficiency and Effectiveness
i. 10 – Excellent
ii. 5 – Average
iii. 1 – Poor
4) Data was captured on a weekly basis
5) All the above ratings were based on my blog data followed by a detailed analysis

Key Observations, Learning’s & Insights
1) There was a cyclic pattern across all the three parameters
a. Quality of Ideas
b. Quantity of Ideas
c. Quality of Blog Output – Efficiency and Effectiveness
2) The best pieces of blog output was probably generated when there was a high in my emotional cycle or intellectual cycle or a combination of both – Of course, in hindsight the topics that I wrote about varied significantly
In times of an emotional high in the cycle – My blogs probably touched my heart and yours
In times of an intellectual high in the cycle – My blogs probably tickled my gray cells and yours
3) At times of an intellectual or emotional low in the cycle – I probably was unable to blog or even think of what to blog about. And again this was in cycles

Ending Words of Wisdom:
• In my view, there is a biorhythmic cycle for a blogger
• If you are aware of these cycles in your individual context, you will be better equipped to plan and schedule your blogging accordingly

Do you also experience these biorhythmic cycles? Leave a comment to let me know….
If you like this article, please forward, share, tweet or StumpleUpon to your followers..

This post is dedicated to my daughter – Naisha. My journey as a blogger started at about the same time as her journey on the earth…

The 5 Levels of Growth for YOU in an Organization

Based on my personal experience in the corporate world, observations and interactions with individuals at various levels in the organization hierarchy, I have identified that there are 5 distinct levels for any individual in an organization.

These levels are characterized by whether YOU are qualified, competent and empowered to make decisions along the following dimensions:
1) What you should do?
2) When you should do?
3) How you should do?
4) Who should be involved?
5) Why you should do what you do?

The key distinguishing trait is whether you decide for yourself or others decide for you on each of the above dimensions. And others can be your team, your peers, your boss, your customers, your partners, your management, etc. In many cases, it may be a team who finally decides by consensus, but the question is “Do YOU have the ability to influence the final decision?”

In the table below, I have depicted the differences between the various levels

Who decides

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

What you should do? Others Others Others, You You You
When you should do? Others Others Others, You You You
How you should do? Others Others, You Others, You You You
Who should be involved? Others Others, You Others, You You You
Why you should do what you do? Others Others Others Others You

So, as an example let me illustrate how you should interpret this table. At Level 3 the decision makers for each of the questions are below

1) What you should do? – Others and You. So you have an influence in this decision
2) When you should do? – Others and You. So you have an influence in this decision
3) How you should do? – Others and You. So you have an influence in this decision
4) Who should be involved? – Others and You. So you have an influence in this decision
5) Why you should do what you do? – Others. So you have NO influence in this decison and it is made purely by others for you.

Points to Note:

1) Your presence in a particular level is completely independent of your experience or tenure in a company. So for e.g.: An entrepreneur who has just set-up a new venture will be at Level 5 & an employee who has spent 2 decades in an organization may be at Level 3

2) Choosing to be at a specific level or planning to move to the next level is determined by a variety of factors – Its usually a function of individual competence, ambition, opportunity and organization ecosystem support

3) Your personal and professional growth is directly linked to the level you are currently in

Pause of Reflect
Which Level are you currently in?
Which Level do you want to be in?
How do you plan to get there?

Nischala’s Blog-o-Rendezvous with MEETA GANGRADE


The featured STAR in my Blog-o-Rendezvous series is MEETA GANGRADE…

ABOUT MEETA
For those who know Meeta (personally or professionally) will agree that this is a tough one. Where to start, How to proceed and Where to end?

What can I write about somebody I’ve known for close to 20 years of my life – Is one of my oldest, closest and dearest friends! Someone who is passionate about a gazillion things under the sun, is always full of energy and positivity, always amazes me (especially with how she can survive with no sleep for days in a row), inspires so many and always lives life to the fullest…………

So I decided to begin and build along the way – Meeta is a profound thinker, is very well read (almost a walking encyclopedia) and is an exceptionally creative individual, a gadget geek, a technology expert (Enterprise Architecture, BPM [Business Process Management] & SOA [Service Oriented Architecture]). She’s travelled 20+ countries & has friends all over the world – Yes! Anywhere she goes from Norway to Australia to Americas – She’ll always be welcome..

She loves music & has an amazing collection of music. She plays the following musical instruments – Piano, Percussion (Drums, Tabla, Bongo or anything that beats as she says), Harmonium and her latest passion is the Guitar. She’s also a good singer & has a music room in her artistically decorated home with the best-in-class music equipment. She loves running, cycling, swimming and plays several sports really well – Table Tennis, Tennis, Badminton, etc. to name a few. She also enjoys photography, travelling and experiencing different cultures. In addition, she is a fantastic painter & has interesting self-made art and craft work all over her house. She is a voracious reader with a marvelous collection of books, is a talented writer and poet & is also a superb cook. And if you don’t believe me, she’s won laurels in several of these. To name a few, she was selected for Nationals in Table Tennis for 2 years in a row, she won the Rashtrapati award for Scouts and Guides, won the 1st place for vocals at the school level, etc. etc. etc.

She is also an active member of the Melton Foundation founded by Bill Melton. She has also headed the Melton Foundation Board and was instrumental in their strategic planning exercise which has paved a complete new paradigm for the organization.

Ooops! I almost forgot to mention what she does for a living – She is currently the ETS (Enterprise Transformation Services) Head of Delivery and Solutions in Europe for HCL Technologies. In HCL, she’s been honored with the CEO Oxygen award (O2) 4 times in a row for outstanding performance and excellence in work contributions.

And if you’re thinking, she is unique, gifted and exceptional – I’d agree with YOU!

THE RENDEZVOUS
I spent a lot of time mulling over what I should cover in this rendezvous. I could ask her views about several things from technology to the future of IT to music to her advice to youth… Honestly, I could not ZERO- IN on the right topic to focus on. So instead of me deciding, I asked her “Meeta – Let’s say you have ONLY 5 minutes, what message would you give to the WORLD?”…

Her reply was instant “To live life to the fullest…”
And she was accommodative enough to have this rendezvous with me en route to Norway… In this blog, I will ask Meeta for her view on how to live LIFE to the FULLEST…

Nischala: Hey Meeta! Thanks for your time… So just how do you manage to do all that you do?
Meeta: Hmm… Well I strongly believe that if you want to do something, you will always find the time and means to do it. I think my mantra is this – Every morning when I wake up, I ask myself “If today was my last day alive, would you be happy about how your life has been this far?”… And that gives me the required fuel to keep going… I want to be able to wake up every morning and think I have already lived and nothing is left undone.

Nischala: Where do you get the energy to keep you going?
Meeta: My biggest motivation for anything and everything in life is a zealous need to experience LIFE – The Good, Bad and Ugly!

Nischala: What would be your advice to anyone who wants to live life to the FULLEST?
Meeta: My definition of LIVING LIFE to the FULLEST is to see the small joys of life – LOVE, EXPERIENCE, BE HAPPY.

Also, I believe it’s important to be open to learning, keep learning & enjoy learning in the journey of life. And to learn you have to observe – Keep your eyes ears and mind open.

I’ve also realized that if you keep yourself busy, you figure out how to do time management better. And if you’re passionate about something, you’ll always find the time…
Also, I honestly believe you should never make a profession of the things you TRULY LOVE!

Nischala: Why do you say one should not make a profession of what you LOVE?
Meeta: Fundamentally everyone needs money to survive – pay bills, pay loans, have a lifestyle, etc. And most people expect their professions to fetch money. Let’s take the example of a singer – You start singing because you love it. But once you make singing your profession, you are forced to bend it in ways that you probably don’t want to just to earn money & that makes you lose the essence of the art. I’ve seen it with many of my friends – People who quit their well-paying profession to write a book out of sheer love for writing. And today they HATE writing simply because they need to write to SELL – in line with what readers expect.
To me doing things I love and am passionate about should eventually be about ME. As self-centric as these sounds, I should enjoy the process, the journey and the end-result. The end objective is to enjoy and connect with yourself – if that means I skip a meal or sleep – Then that’s fine by me!

Nischala: How do you manage with so little sleep and yet be so active, energetic all the time?
Meeta: For a long time, I honestly believed that sleep was a waste of time. And I always have one or many things which I’d prefer over slumber. Also, I can’t sleep peacefully if I don’t tick a few things off my To-Do list for the day. For e.g.: Today playing the guitar relaxes me and I enjoy it. And it has become a necessity for me to end my day
But with age, I’ve realized that sleep and rest are vital for an active mind and body – So do ensure that I get adequate rest!

Nischala: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Meeta: Inspiration is from people. I am most inspired by people. Not really famous people – But people who are a part of my life – whom I interact with, whom I observe – It could be a random stranger cycling on the road or my oldest friend or family…
Inspiration is also from LOVE – Rather my feelings for people which gives me the energy and drive to keep going.
And lastly, inspiration is from a burning desire to leave a legacy which changes the world in some way – something that defines / re-defines society’s evolution… Something creative, something which is my creation, something which is my OWN

Nischala: Why is creativity important for anyone in life?
Meeta: I honestly believe that creativity distinguishes a living man from a dead… In today’s day and age, that’s probably the key element that will distinguish you from a machine. I believe that many people live life very uni-dimensionally and are contained & constrained by the boundaries they set for themselves.

Nischala: Can you explain this more?
Meeta: Every time you make a choice in life, one tends to pick the one that they are surer off – And this is usually based on your past experiences and pre-conceived notions about yourself and life.
One is usually afraid to try, to experiment, to tread on an unknown path – especially after a particular age. Hence, by natural selection / elimination of boundaries / constraints, you limit yourself by selecting choices which you are comfortable with. And these choices end up in you having similar life experiences… – which make life uni-dimensional in some sense
Few things in life you should try – You may decide it’s not for YOU and give up, but it was worth trying. OR You may simply enjoy or REALLY EXCEL. I don’t think that I was naturally gifted in music. But I was keen on learning – So I observed, picked up by practice & guidance from many learned souls and along the way I enjoyed it.
Philosophically for many people it’s the experience or the end. For me, it’s the experience which counts

Nischala: So what do you want to do in life? Anything left? ;)
Meeta: Well lots of things! Experience cultures of the world – Not really as a traveller, But as a resident in the place. Looking back, I believe that the biggest driver to change my perspective in my life is all the global travel I’ve done extensively in the last 15+ years.
I also want to climb Machu Pichu & the Himalayas, spend a year without any connection at the physical level but only at a meta-physical level, create an enterprise, probably also consider Indian politics as I believe I have some great ideas for the betterment of the country!
If there’s ever a dearth of software jobs in India, I surely do have other options 

Nischala: Wow! That’s a long list. I do hope all your wishes come true.. Thanks again for this wonderful rendezvous
Meeta: Thanks… And Bye for now!

How did you like this rendezvous?
Leave a comment to let us know

Does your company have a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer)?

Does your company have a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer)?”…was the question which compelled me to wear my Thinking Hats

In my life, I’ve heard known and interacted with several CXO’s. The key one’s being CEO – Chief Executive Officer, CFO – Chief Finance Officer, CIO – Chief Information Officer, CTO – Chief Technology Officer, CIO – Chief Innovation Officer, CSO – Chief Strategy Officer, CBOO – Chief Business Operations Officer, CDO – Chief Delivery Officer, CKO – Chief Knowledge Officer, CEI – Chief Experience Officer, COO – Chief Operating Officer, CMO – Chief Marketing Officer , CPO – Chief People Officer, CLO – Chief Learning Officer …
But never really heard of a CHO – Chief Happiness Officer…

The thought continued to linger…The underlying questions on my mind were really:
Does any organization already have a CHO?
What should / would be his / her charter?
Do organizations need a CHO?

I did a little Googling. Interestingly, the following references caught my attention:
1) Ronald McDonald was given the position of Chief Happiness Officer in 2003. He was a goodwill ambassador and traveling the world to bring fun, happiness, and physical activity to people of all ages. For further reading, refer http://mcdepk.com/50/downloads/bio_ronald_mcdonald.pdf
2) Twitter mentions about a Chief Happiness Officer. For further details, refer http://profitablesocialmedia.comtwitters-cho-chief-happiness-officer/
3) Alexander Kjerulf, AKA The Chief Happiness Officer is one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work. His TED Video on the Happiness at Work is a must-watch. For further details, refer http://video.tedxcopenhagen.dk/video/910935/alexander-kjerulf-happiness-at.
4) Ashok Soota’s latest venture is called The Happiest Minds. While it is an IT company, the Corporate Overview on their web-site states the objective of the company is “creating the happiest people and the happiest customers.” .“People are central to any services organization, but despite the “employees first” motto very few firms are built around the belief that happy people translate to happy customers.” For further details, refer http://www.happiestminds.com
It’s interesting to note that while Happiness is fundamentally a human emotion, here Happiness is linked to the Mind…
5) Jenn Lim is the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of Delivering Happiness, a company that she and Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) co-created in 2010 to inspire happiness in work, community and everyday life. For further details, refer http://www.deliveringhappiness.com/about-us/contact/jennlim/

I followed up my online research with some real-world discussions, reading and introspection.

In this blog, I will present two views on this subject
1) The Employee View
2) The Organization View

THE EMPLOYEE VIEW
I conducted an informal survey in my professional network on what is it that employees really want from their jobs / careers – and hence, from their organizations? As anticipated, the initial response was varied. The top responses were:
1. Money
2. Recognition
3. Growth
4. Power
5. Identity
6. Social Status
7. Success
8. Chance to solve problems
9. Opportunity to Contribute….

I probed a little deeper with a series of Why’s?

And the underlying answer was unanimously common – HAPPINESS

The only caveat – “What really made one Happy?” was unique and personal.

In reality, the DNA of every organization is its employees…And if Happiness is a core need of employees, then is it not relevant for organizations to have a dedicated focus on ensuring employees are Happy?

So, would the designation of Chief Happiness Officer then not just be relevant, but also important and critical?

THE ORGANIZATION VIEW
From time immemorial, organizations have realized that their existence, growth and success are directly linked to the quality, productivity and value created by their employees…

Of course, every organization pays employees for the services they render as a part of their professional roles and responsibilities. However, employees need, want and expect more from their employer. And hence organizations do invest, plan and engage with employees in many different ways – For e.g.: Trainings, Team Outings, Medical Benefits, Leave policies, Mentoring, Flexibility at work, Support in times of crisis and emergency, etc.

However organizations have also realized that “What really made one Happy?” was unique and personal for each of its employees. And hence there is limited that organizations can do to ensure that every employee is happy and possibly cannot make every employee happy all the time…

Since organizations do invest in many different ways to ensure employees are happy, would the formal designation of Chief Happiness Officer then not just be relevant, but also important and critical?

MY VIEW
• It is definitely worthwhile for organizations to have a dedicated focus on employee happiness. And hence the formal role of “Chief Happiness Officer” is the first positive step towards achieving this – For the organization, employees, customers and the brand image of the organization!!
• At the end of the day, every employee is REALLY his / her own “Chief Happiness Officer” simply because you have your own definition of happiness, you know best what really will make you happy and most importantly, you have the choice of which organization you want to be associated with – to stay happy!

In conclusion, the words of wisdom
You are the Chief Happiness Officer of your CAREER, of your LIFE!!!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 137 other followers

%d bloggers like this: