Social Networking Lessons – A class and a movie

I am pursuing a mini-MBA program from UW, and one of the classes we had recently was about social networks and how important they are for career growth and getting things done. One of the most basic lesson was that you should have open-ended network (networks where your people in your network do not know each other) when you are in brainstorming/information-gathering mode because it helps in faster information flow and diverse ideas, but should have a clique-like network (where your friends/network nodes know each other too) since they help in better execution. Interestingly, I got another lesson on social … Continue reading Social Networking Lessons – A class and a movie

Are all communication problems same?

This is the article I published in The Smart Techie magazine in Nov ’06, you can find the original article here. Following is a slightly modified version that I had in my draft that I submitted: As managers in multinational companies we have to communicate with teams across different geographies. I present two instances of cross-site team interactions I witnessed recently, and then discuss some solutions briefly: Joe from US office wrote a long, complaining mail to a peer Kris in India office, and copied it to the entire team. Kris and local team in India spent quite some time … Continue reading Are all communication problems same?

Trust at workplace

I came across an interesting post on this on Cheri Baker’s blog: Trust in the workplace. It is a good read if you are interested in discussing how trust plays a role in workplace when you go talk to HR  about some issues and HR has to take it up with your manager. My experience has beeen slightly different, and I feel we should do much more to preserve employee-HR trust relationship, even at the cost of manager-HR relationship. Otherwise system of checks and balances breaks down and if there are some organizational issues where manager is the culprit or untrusted … Continue reading Trust at workplace

Reading and thoughts on world-class teams – III

Finally I am done reading the book! Very long reading indeed, usually I spend very little time in reading, and skim through most of the content, but this one I thought was time well spent, and I was right. Here is what I got out of the book: 1. Performance is the single most important driver for excellent team output. 2. You can not force team to be high-performing, you can only create conditions for them to prosper by defining clear, measurable, specific performance goals and specifying how they will be measured. 3. High-performance teams are rare as you go … Continue reading Reading and thoughts on world-class teams – III

Reading and thoughts on world-class teams – II

(Reposted from my anandoned blog) Read some more, and found some parts very interesting. For example, the author contends that a working group is way more productive and useful to the organization than a pseudo-team. According to the definitions used by the authors, a working group is when each of the members work on their own strengths/skills and the sum of individuals is equal to the whole. A pseudo-team is when the members think that they are a team though they are not (because they lack one of the important ingredients of the team: small size, common purpose, challenge, complimentary … Continue reading Reading and thoughts on world-class teams – II

Reading and thoughts on world-class teams – I

(Reposted from my abandoned blog)  This is a great book: The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization by J. R. Katzenbach, Douglas K. Smith I have read only first couple of chapters and stories, but I am already getting a feeling that I am going to like every single word here! Basically the book talks about what takes to build a great team and the authors’ hypothesize that giving a great challenge and setting very high performance standard is a must to get a good team and then set out to show by examples and logic to prove it (there … Continue reading Reading and thoughts on world-class teams – I

Where has business ethics gone?

I was travelling to India for a week (by flying on the weekends and working on the week), and among other reasons to travel was a very important reason: we were  hiring my peer in India organization and I wanted to make sure I am there when he joins so that we can sync up correctly, I hand over the responsibilities etc, and we start talking about future. Everyone else in the company (HR director, recruiter, VP E) had been keeping him engaged, counting down to his joining date, which was to be the last day of my trip. The … Continue reading Where has business ethics gone?