|This is what some of the participants had to say after attending my workshops through I Train Consultants (I) Pvt.Ltd:
|This is what some of the participants had to say after attending my workshops through I Train Consultants (I) Pvt.Ltd:
|Abhinandan’s strength lies in his ability to get people to participate, think and act! “Learning is not compulsory, neither is change, nor is survival”, is his idea to introduce learning by relating to the audience & making them comfortable to step out of moulds and benefit by sharing their perspectives. He says ‘ to change the world, change yourself first’Abhinandan joined I Train Consultants (I) Pvt. Ltd. bringing with him over seven years of experience in the training and development function. He passed out of the prestigious Army School GRC and moved on to do his Bachelors in Business Administration followed by an advanced diploma in Organizational Psychology from The University of Stonebridge, UK.
Apart from being a FIRO-B® Certified practitioner, he also comes with an excellent understanding of participant behavior and adult learning best-practices. His background helps him design and deliver a wide range of programs, across levels, with a strong focus on participants’ development through the use of innovative tools and methodologies.
His humble beginnings and experience in other spheres such as counseling, sales, hospitality and advertising allow him to offer a wide variety of perspectives during his workshops. With his uncanny sense of humor and energy which is always contagious; his workshops are ever ‘Alive’, creating an environment where every participant feels empowered and included.
His regular interventions , workshops and keynotes include Leadership, Managerial Effectiveness, Creativity, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Analytical skills, Influencing and Negotiation Skills, Assertiveness, Communication, Sales & Collections, Conflict Management, Planning & Organizing, Stress management, Motivation, Coaching & Feedback, Achievement orientation, , Team building and Interviewing Skills across audiences with 0-35 years of work experience.
Abhinandan’s clientele is spread across industries with clients like Mc Kinsey & Company, Wipro Consulting, Right Management & Book Supply Bureau in the business consulting domain. Maruti Suzuki India Limited, JCB, Motherson Sumi Group & Valvoline Cummins in the automobile sector. Canon, HP, Benetton, Dish TV, ESPN-Star Sports, UCB, Shree Cement & ACC cement in the Manufacturing and Consumer products sector. RBS, Religare, American Express, XL Capital and AA Insurance in the financial services domain, Embassy of the United States of America and IFCI in the public sector And Indus Towers, SAP, Sapient, Toluna , Aircom, Avaya, Adobe, Navisite, Serco Global, Quatrro and Huawei in the IT/ITES and Telecom Sector. Amongst others.
He is based out of gurgaon, India where he lives with his wife, Prerna. He is an author, adventure sports enthusiast; a black belt holder in Karate, also loves blogging at www.abhinandanchatterjee.com , tweeting, poetry, photography, painting, while enjoying socializing, good food and soccer.
Why Learn, Why bother ?…
A 6 year old girl once went to her elder sister who was in the kitchen.
She saw her frying fish (I have every right to start with fish , I am a bengali !) and in astonishment, asked her , ‘Dee, why did you cut the head and the tail of the fish off before frying it?’
Her sister took a while and said, ‘Why?, I dont know, but mom does it this way so I do it this way too.’
Hearing this the little girl ran to her mother and asked, ‘ Maa, why do you cut the head and the tail of the fish off before frying it? Dee told me’
Her mother too, took a while to think and said, ‘Why?, I never thought about , I don’t know, but your Granny does it this way so I do it this way too.’
The little girl became more inquisitive than ever, she really wanted to find the answer to this question. In this quest, she ran towards her granny, found her and asked, ‘ Dadi, why do you cut the head and the tail of the fish off before frying it? Dee and Maa do it too , they told me’
Of her old age, her granny took a while but finally figured it out with a gleaming smile; ‘I don’t know why they cut it , but I did it because my frying pan was very small.’
…In our world of make-belief
Every time I hear this story, apart from becoming hungry, I also am forced to ask my self, ‘ Am I doing the same thing? Cutting the head and tail off the fish without knowing why?’ In fact, think about it , are you doing the same thing ?
When was the last time you decided to learn something new and actually used it with a bit of compassion?
If it wasn’t yesterday, are we doing even close to what we are capable of doing as people? If no, why not so ?
These are some questions that keep coming back to me, every time someone says something about ‘How they are forced to, supposed to,told to,taught to, made to or confined to do something?’ How in the hands of fate they are simply stuck? or in extreme cases infected by depressing movies, like ‘Ram Gopal Verma ki AAG’ , find themselves almost at the world’s end.”
People complaint about boredom, about monotony and about that ‘something’ missing from life.It is just the ignorance for what is available and what can be done in most cases.
We start treating our philosophy as facts and live in that world of make-belief. A world that says, after you are 40, you are done with most of your life and learning is not your ball game anymore. You can sprinkle some emotions by saying ‘ You cannot teach an old dog new tricks. What is to prove?’
Funny thing, it is not only a challenge with people, even organizations face this music. I’ll give you an example, Kodak first developed the digital camera, maybe too soon and that did not gel with the business plans of the worlds No.1 film manufacturer. They put it in the cold bag and went conservative, 3 years later , they were almost out of business. And they were not, the only big fish with a million business forecasters, that went really wrong.
There is always a right way, a right strategy, right age, a right time, a right direction. Most of our actions are governed by what we are supposed to or not supposed to do based on things which are supposed to or not supposed to work. Who decides that, moreover, why is it more of a law than just a suggestion?
These suppositions spoil our freedom and cloud our judgement, crippling our ability to learn. This lack of comfort, peace and openness is called conformity.
Sometimes its with systems, sometimes with society, sometimes with values and mostly with our own mindset.
And the very few people who dare to stand out, are thrown out, mostly to be appreciated later. Look at Einstein, Jobs, Gates, Bacchan and the list is endless.
…Find your way to evolve
Those who argue, will argue that non-conformity is chaos. It’s random, unpredictable and hence not social enough to fit into our lives. But let’s look at it from the other side of the greenfield; what is not chaos is boring like our college lectures, what is not random is often to too structured like our education system, what is not unpredictable is just around average like our political reforms; and all because we are suppose to do things a certain, pre-defined way. Where is the room to breathe and experiment? Where is the room to learn?
Every invention was, is and always will be an example of non-conformity. Buddha was non-conformity, so was your special short cut to your girlfriends house, so was your signature style at college, so was your special strength area at work,so was that situation when you had no clue what to do , yet ‘Jugaad’oed’ your way through. In other words, you did things differently and experimented because that was the only way to evolve! Wise decision. P.S.( I didn’t say so, Darwin did.)
That was the real learning that happened, the question for you to answer is, how often do you manage that kind of stuff.
That 6 year old girl I was talking to you about earlier,asked a lot of questions, most of us don’t even dare or bother doing so. How much do we learn? How much have you evolved? Dont answer it, just find the answer, only if you feel like!
Learning is surely not necessary, its not in the rule book but neither is survival.
Here is what a non-conformist would say his philosophy of life is; Be open to listen, Be curious to learn and Be yourself to live at peace. That is true non-conformity. But, only if you like!
I don’t have to learn to live,
But if I do,let it be worth;
I dont have to burn to give,
But if I do, let it be worth.
I know not what wisdom is
Then why should I pretend to be wise
Trends talk to me this way
I must, should I want to rise
It’s trough toil and labour, as they say
Fortunes are made night and day
What toil is it in deceit,
Still it seems to rule the street
And I think I have built a place
For me in this worldly world.
Just then I see that smarter con
I am just a peg in his worldly turf
How so? That I don’t know,
Will I ever make it large
Or just like life meant me to be,
Will I succumb to latharge?
It is my battle to choose and
which will be the final stand?
I don’t know how will it end,
But I will make sure it is grand.
While working across the board with over 50 organizations and 12 industries, I have always heard employee’s complaint of favoritism, or inconsistency in decision-making, or lack of fairness. This constant cribbing gets to me at times; I can only wonder what it does to the poor HR people!
I am looking at only one side of the story here, the employee’s side, I am sure there is an organizational perspective to justify whatever, but hey, this side is a big one and it is hard not to choose it over others.
I do wonder if you have ever faced this challenge. If so, the problem – and the solution – may be your organization’s values.
On its face, identifying values to guide workplace behaviors and decisions seems reasonable, productive, and highly desirable. Yet such values may, in fact, be detrimental to the organization’s health. In fact, unless managers go beyond merely identifying organizational values, unintended negative outcomes are likely to occur.
For example: An organization where honesty is fostered; maybe pushed too hard, processes become so stringent that they begin to hamper its growth by reducing flexibility. Or for that matter, too much focus on fairness and equality will not let two colleagues with minor hierarchical differences to work together; they will simply be scared that ‘what it might look like?’
The fact that values are subjective is the reason they may be detrimental to organizational health. To take this discussion further, let’s take the value of ‘Integrity’ as an example. Each of us has a “picture” of what integrity looks like. That picture varies from person to person – and in fact, often is very fuzzy. We tend to think, “I’ll know integrity when I see it.” That’s not good enough: when the pictures vary, so do the judgments of who is acting with integrity and who is not.
You and I could argue all day about whether someone has acted with – or without – integrity without reaching agreement because we’re arguing about a subjective concept. In order for us to resolve this argument, we have to agree on specific behaviors that demonstrate “integrity” so we have a more objective way of assessing the extent to which someone’s behaviors and decisions reflect this value.
I wonder whether it might cover the flight of good intentions from an employee and make him look like being an ‘Asslicker’ (Sorry for the language, the last I checked, this is what we used!)
The impact of such situations can have a life-long effect on the people and the culture of any organization
Hence, there are very real costs to the organization when employees perceive a disparity between stated values and actual behaviors.
Based on this discrepancy, employees might conclude that management is inconsistent, unfair, and shows favoritism.
They may experience feelings such as disillusionment, anger, betrayal, disappointment, confusion, and distrust. An organization that articulates values sets the expectation that its managers’ behaviors and decisions will reflect those values.
What if this can’t happen because employees and managers define values differently? In addition to the above negative outcomes, we can expect low morale, decreased trust, and increased cynicism.
Yes, managers are expected to demonstrate these values, but new managers, new to the role, the team, the task or to the company will find it hard to demonstrate a set of mnemonics he or she barely remembers. In my book, it’s not too much of a fault for them too.
We can maximize the likelihood that employees’ expectations will be met by identifying specific behaviors that indicate people are acting with integrity, having conversations around those behaviors, and distinguishing clearly between desirable and undesirable behaviors.
For example, I would characterize people as acting with integrity when they engage in the following behavior:
– Do what they say they’ll do.
– Tell the truth.
– Make decisions based on stated criteria and logic (e.g. Work allocation, promotions, appraisals).
– Hold themselves accountable for their behaviors.
– Hold others accountable for their (others’) behaviors.
– Admit their mistakes and take responsibility for them.
Once we have identified and communicated the behaviors represented by the value of integrity, we can have a productive conversation.
NOW we’re getting somewhere!
Here are nine steps to ensure that your organization’s values are not detrimental to its health:
1. Identify a few values that support the strategic goals and define them at the organization level.
2. Have, Invest in developing people based on their natural value sets or hire based on it, managers and employees collaborate on personalizing those values – i.e. identify specific behaviors that demonstrate each value and groom people who demonstrate them more.
Note: Examples of specific behaviors may change at different levels. All behaviors should be consistent with the organization’s definition of each value so there is alignment up and down the organization. For reference, you can look at the Affective Domain of the Bloom’s Taxonomy – ‘RRVOI’
i.e. Level 1(Frontline) audiences are mostly stuck at the first R-Receiving & R-Responding, Level 2 audiences (Middle Management) take it mostly to V-Valuing and if done with care even O-Organizing. Only the Level 3(Senior Management) can be and should be deemed capable of I-Internalizing the organizational values.
3. Communicate the behaviors through multiple media. Don’t just share the values. Break it down for those who don’t think.
4. Incorporate the values and their respective behaviors into the performance management process – for managers as well as for employees. State what behaviors you WANT, rather than those you don’t want.
5. Ensure all systems support the values and do not punish desired behaviors (e.g., when teamwork is a value, rewards are based on team behaviors rather than on individual behaviors).
6. Provide training as necessary (e.g., how to identify relevant behaviors, how to evaluate behaviors, how to give and receive constructive feedback).
7. Reward/recognize people whose behaviors demonstrate the values.
8. Take corrective action when behaviors violate the values.
9. Ensure that managers consistently model the desired behaviors.
What percent of your employees can identify your organization’s values?
How many of those individuals can tell you what each value “looks like” in terms of their own performance?
Unless you are able to answer nearly 100%, you may want to consider taking the above steps to improve the health of your organization. End of the day, it takes more than an apple to keep the doctor away.
It knew not how to be born,
Yet it broke its way through the shell
On a wicked branch it crawled its way
A lavishing leaf it could tell.
Crowning his way amidst the fear,
Dreading to be consumed!
He took his hundred steps together,
His fate was un-assumed.
It grew and grew and seasons stayed
Untill one day he froze,
‘The End’ is that what it was ?
Or was it just another prose.
His heart began a slower pound
And harder grew his cocoon
A parched leaf was his final ground
He knew not the Sun or Moon
Change was constant, life was not
Nobody told him this !
What next? was next and bed was hot
Wonder what he would wish?
Tough times as they were then
he started sensing his beat
Now he could hear the chirping birds
and he could feel the heat !
Soon enough a ray of light
made it to his eyes
a herculean hole lay ahead
but he had to rise!
He pushed and pushed till he could breathe
and hours felt like days
He was now a different bloke
and different was his ways
He walked not but he could fly
a different world he saw
He had his pain and found his pleasure
He then called a draw…