Sunday, 2 July 2017

#When Change Happens. What happens when an organisation transforms? By Lalit Jagtiani

#When Change Happens. What happens when an organisation transforms?

“Change management is not a practice where one size fits all. It needs to be adapted, improvised and then fitted to the needs of the organisation”

When Change Happens by Lalit Jagtiani, Digital Transformation Thought Leader, at SAP is a free-flowing management book devoid of any corporate jargon. It’s well laid out, with illustrations and call-out quotes that grasp your attention, highlighting key takeaways and lessons for any organisation. ‘When Change Happens, A story of Organisational Transformation is a work of fiction which has been candidly threaded together with real-life office situations that make it an easy read. One can easily relate to such situations when an ogranisation is going through any sort of change.

To kick start, for any kind of change in an organisation it is vital to appoint a change agent and a dedicated team that will drive this transformation. The role of a change agent is key to support teams in overcoming barriers and drive business results but what is also most important is to involve the larger employee workforce and get their opinions. They need to be feel involved in any process and experience a sense of ownership. This could be in form of engaging surveys, group discussions, team building and bonding exercises, meetings or workshops. To ensure any such engagement activity or meetings are productive it is critical for teams to have a clear and mutual understanding of what would constitute a productive outcome and the role they are expected to play in achieving this. This helps in keeping the discussions focused and to the point. Communicating an organisational change to your workforce ensures there is a harmony in driving change and everyone feels they are playing a key role in supporting the organisations transformation goals.

Co-created common goals help employees feel motivated to share their views and insights. It’s also important and it makes employees feel good about a job which has been entrusted to them for which they share a passion and commitment. This enhances the probability in achieving the desired results. It terms of a common goal and vision, Lalit adds that, it’s not only about creating and having a vision but what is most important is people need to believe in it and it should be made clear to them on how it can be achieved. Vision is not a document that a team writes and forgets about. It is about continuous and ongoing efforts focused on driving a mutual understanding, alignment and strategy to achieve the envisioned outcome. It is a powerful tool to enhance alignment and achieve outstanding outcomes.

CVL Srinivas, CEO, South Asia, Group M adds, “When change happens, is a very well written book and coming from a full-time practitioner it does not end up with frameworks but is full of practical tips derived from real life situations.” The book not only offers change managers and consultants but also corporates, employees and startups resolutions for various situations. Sharing his views on Lalit’s book, Imre Vadasz, Regional HR Director AMEA, Sony Electronics Asia Pacific, notes, “The book accentuates that change management is not a binary process, also it is more complex than mastering methodology, following a well elaborated plan, using a toolbox that fits every ogranisation.” 

However, an interesting point that Lalit calls out is that every organization he has engaged with has a unique culture and characteristics. Hence, there is no one prescribed way of ensuring the success of interventions.  Another key observation made is that, realizing assumptions and limiting beliefs opens the possibility of achieving superior outcomes. Limiting beliefs often weigh you down and don’t let you achieve your full potential.

This write up however does not do justice to the multiple management lessons Lalit has penned. Get your personal copy now from Amazon. Com or alternatively from any leading book store, else just read it on your kindle.

When Change Happens, was first launched in Singapore followed by subsequent launches in Mumbai and Chennai. It was well attended by key corporate honchos, management gurus and the media fraternity. The launch in Mumbai was followed by a panel discussion where Lalit Jagtiani was accompanied by Vinod Kumar, MD & CEO, Tata Communications; Deepa Soman, Founder and Managing Director, Lumiere Business Solutions and Rohit Suri, Chief HR and Talent Officer - GroupM, Asia.

Lalit’s journey as a Business Transformation Specialist began in the late 90’s when he along with a couple of his colleagues were christened Change Agents. Since then, Lalit has been instrumental in leading and managing organisation transformations for companies across South East Asia, India, and Sri Lanka. 

Lalit is a Business Transformation Specialist with focus IT enabled transformation. He is also the co-founder of LeadThink© – a platform for leaders and professionals to showcase their capabilities through personal insights and sharing of experiences in driving successful transformation in their organisations.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Trekking the Himalayas, trek to Roopkund

At 15000 feet we conquered Roopkund. 

It all began with a flight to Delhi, a 7 hour bus journey from Anand Vihar to Kathgodam and then another crazy and tiring 9 hour sumo ride,  through the rocky road escaping falling rocks to our base camp at Loharjung. 

We walked and trekked an average of 8kms a day, crossed narrow hill paths, stayed in a village home, snow covered tents and tents that were nearly blown away and all with the best views of nature’s bounties.

Roopkund, situated in the Chamoli district of Garhwal, in the state of Uttarakhand has been a preferred trekking site. The hill stations Nainital and Kathgodam are the closest but at a distance of 217 km and 235 km respectively. 
It is said that you can spot over 300 human skeletons at the bank of the lake and it is believed that they belong to the Palaeolithic age.
We began walking through green grasslands crossing the green coniferous forests of pine, oak and spruce trees and over the week made it to the snow clad mountains. 

Tired, sweaty, and showered with hail stones or a drizzle, we marched on. Refilling our water bottles on the way from the streams and miniature waterfalls that we crossed. At the few halts we made, we ate yummy fluffy omelettes, spicy maggi noodles and drank some garam chai to keep the chill at bay.   

Village stay at Didna Village at 8,045 ft.).

At Ali Bugyal we were at 11,320 ft.

We crossed the pleasant meadows of Bedni Bugyal and made our way to Patar Nachauni at 12,818 ft. 

It just kept getting easier 😊 at Bhagwabasa at 14,117 ft.

Munching the local berries, Kafal

Himalayan beauties

Patar Nachauni at 15755 ft.
To book your trek, get in touch with Trek The Himalayas today.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Horses, Monkeys and Hand drawn carts only at Matheran

Matheran the ecofriendly hill station

Matheran is the only hill station that opposes two and four wheelers and hence earns the ecofriendly hill station tag. An hour and 30mins from Bombay (Dadar Central) by train is all it takes to get here.

Neral is the closest rail head and once you alight from the train, take the sharing cab service @80/- a seat to get to Matheran.
The toy train which takes one from Neral is Matheran is a preferred ride for many and offers picturesque sights of the surrounding hills.  It is now non-operational but the Railway Minster, Suresh Prabhu hopes the Central Railway will get it up and running soon. Once you arrive pay an entry fee of INR 50 for adults and INR 25 for children from age 2 -12.

You can then either walk for an hour along the toy train tracks or get unto a horse and ride along. The other option is travel in British Raj style in a hand drawn cart, pulled and tugged by three men. You can bargain for both these (horse ride would be around 250/- pp and the hand drawn cart around 300/-pp. Both will drop you to the main market junction.

The best time to visit is throughout the year but avoid the monsoons due to possible mud slides.  Usually packed during the holiday Season time may and Oct (school holidays) but otherwise you can visit anytime of the year

What to do and where to stay:

1. Buy shoes at a good bargain:  There are many shoe shops all over offering mainly Indian Kolhapuri type of chappals and other footwear. Also buy for keep sake, finger size type of chappals/ mostly bought for memory sake and has been sold here for around a century.

2. Kids play area at Chhatrrapati Shivaji Maharaj Udyan: Where there are around four - five slides and a number of other kids activities

3. Ride on horseback and visit 5, 7 or 12 points: The set of points in the same location usually 5-30 mins from each other. The view is great from all so nothing special about covering all the points unless you must do it as per your checklist. Bargain and get yourself a good deal. Do keep in mind the view is much the same form all points only the location changes.

4. Booze: Is available only at Pramod bar but at a premium so do carry your quota along. Located in the main market area and is easy to identify. Everything sold is at a premium from soap to oil to coke.

5. Hotels, Resorts and home stays you will find many all around. At the very beginning is MTDC 

6. Time to relax:  There is also a massage centre, Adoma just besides Hotel Kumar Plaza

What I like: 

1. Eco friendly hill station where Polythene bags are banned. Also no vehicles, two or four wheelers. (even cycles are not allowed)

2. Paver blocks for travellers to walk on align the mud road while a center mud and stone pathway for horses

3. The place is clean and no plastic bags or litter around.

4. And most of all not too far from Bombay 😊 

Good to know:

Saturday, 11 February 2017

My father is a hero, by Nishant Kaushik

My father is a hero

By Nishant Kaushik

‘My father is a hero’, is a quick read about a father – daughter relationship and portrays the ‘always on the move life’ we all lead.  Juggling work and his personal life, Vaibhav Kulkarni a single parent tries to make both ends meet. His daughter Nisha is the apple of his eye and he makes several sacrifices to ensure she is always happy. Throughout the book, Vaibhav a common man with his meagre earnings does everything he can, from enrolling Nisha for music and singing classes, organizing a birthday party to even surprising her to an international travel trip to meet her idol and diva, Rihaana.  Nisha is also the favorite student in class and is admired for her intellect and consistent zeal to excel, by her teachers. At some point however the story takes a twist where Nisha is unable to succumb to peer pressure of always being the best and comprehend why her parents split.

Its also about the relationships Vaibhav maintains with her teachers, fellow parents, his colleagues and his closest friend. Vaibhav does not have many friends he can confide in but just one close dear friend who he occasionally meets over meals and rarely to catch up for a quick drink.  Its also talks about work-life balance and how one has to manage expectations in an organizaion and work in a competitive environment where everyone is vying for a promotion. It showcases how at times careers make or break a family and how ones priorities become a key decision factor.

A highlight from the book and also a weakness for many of us is the use of credit cards to make ourselves happy. Vaibhav makes a number of credit purchases and is lured into collecting more loyalty and bonus points via using his credit card frequently. To this end, he shops more just to be awarded with a smart phone which he hands over to his daughter.  Even more, to surprise his daughter and to express his boundless love, he even buys flights tickets to Australia and makes hotel bookings too so she can see her favorite star Rihanna perform live.

The book is a good read for any parent and just shows the sacrifices one makes to warrant their child’s happiness.

Nishant Kaushik is also authored four other bestselling novels. He is married and lives in Australia with his son. My Father is a Hero has been published by Srishti Publishers. Copies are available at all leading book stores and on too for INR 97/-

Book Courtesy: I received a review copy of the book from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review