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bellcurveThe pre-dominance of the Bell Curve in performance appraisals has never been in doubt. It recognizes the fact that all people are not identical, the tasks assigned to them are different, and the environment they operate in need not be homogeneous. All organizations have their share of high performers, free riders, under-performers, and downright deadwood.

A well understood Bell Curve principle is about building meritocracy and practising a differentiated rewards strategy. It has its own limitations, especially in highly innovative outfits. However, it keeps the bar high, thereby helping an organization to scale greater heights.

(Excerpt from my book ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’)

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Advertising

As a Chief Executive Officer, if you hire lions like Pablo Picasso or MF Hussain to create a corporate emblem for your company, would there be any point in getting a bunch of giraffe Vice Presidents and General Managers to meddle with his final work? Define a target and a budget, and let the agency have a free hand.

As a trainee cub, join an ad agency if you love irregular working hours, midnight escapades and hobnobbing with the hoi polloi of creative geniuses whose king (or, queen) size egos need to be managed at all times, with clients’ deadlines looming large over your work horizon. Depending on your skill set, you may gravitate towards copywriting, production, media planning, or client servicing. In all cases, creativity under pressure should be the motto of your life.

(Excerpt from my book ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’)

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Celebrating the first anniversary of having launched a book in Portuguese in March 2016.

English version to follow soon….!

ashokbhatia

Surviving in the Corporate Jungle

BookFrontCover

This is a short introduction to a book by yours truly, the Portugese version of which is getting launched in Portugal shortly. The launch event  in Porto is planned on the 2nd of March, along with a talk on “Work Life Harmony” at the  Catolica Porto Business School  of  Universidade Catolica do Porto. The launch event in Lisbon is planned at Universidade Europeia on the 3rd of March, 2016, as part of an event titled ‘Passport to India.’

How this book happened

Forty years back, the School of Business at a prestigious university in India made a big mistake. They awarded me a degree in Business Management. They were so very happy to see me off the campus that they even awarded a silver medal to me.

I owe this book to my professors – some of whom taught so well that I learnt a…

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AdvertisingAs a Chief Executive Officer, if you hire lions like Pablo Picasso or MF Hussain to create a corporate emblem for your company, would there be any point in getting a bunch of giraffe Vice Presidents and General Managers to meddle with his final work? Define a target and a budget, and let the agency have a free hand.

As a trainee cub, join an ad agency if you love irregular working hours, midnight escapades and hobnobbing with the hoi polloi of creative geniuses whose king (or, queen) size egos need to be managed at all times, with clients’ deadlines looming large over your work horizon. Depending on your skill set, you may gravitate towards copywriting, production, media planning, or client servicing. In all cases, creativity under pressure should be the motto of your life.

(An excerpt from the book ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, published in Portuguese recently)

BookFrontCover

Se fosse um diretor-geral, e contratasse um leão da estirpe do Pablo Picasso ou do Andy Warhol para criar a imagem da sua empresa, faria algum sentido ter uma manada de girafas vice-presidentes e quadros intermédios a meterem o bedelho no trabalho final dele? Defina um objetivo e um orçamento e deixe a agência fazer o seu trabalho à vontade.

Enquanto ‘cria’ estagiária, vá para uma agência de publicidade se adora ter um horário de trabalho irregular, ficar no escritório até altas horas e misturar-se com uma turba de génios criativos cujos egos gigantescos têm de ser constantemente bajulados, e com os prazos dos clientes a ensombrarem ameaçadoramente o seu horizonte de trabalho. Consoante as suas competências, poderá optar pelo departamento criativo, de produção, de planeamento de media ou de gestão de clientes. Seja como for, a criatividade
sob pressão será o seu lema de vida.

(This is where you can lay your hands on the book:
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BookFrontCoverAn interview of your truly which appeared in Vida Economica in Portuguese some time back:

1. You are publishing your book in Portugal in March. What’s your relationship with Portugal? Why Portugal to publish your book?

It would be recalled that the relationship between our two countries goes back quite a few centuries.

At the personal level, I have several friends from Goa and Cochin in India, both of which were the seat of power for Portugal till the 1960s. I have always people from these areas to be highly committed but fun-loving at the same time.

At the professional level, having worked in the leather footwear industry for a long time, I had occasionally been in touch with some such businesses in North of Portugal.

Some time back, I came across CEO World, and felt connected to your lovely country.

Relationships evolve over a period of time. It is time to improve the engagement between our two countries. Traditional knowledge and management wisdom is just one facet of the possibilities. That is how, the thought of publishing a book here came up.

2. Amazon said recently that they will not fail to be a major player in India (as it happened in China). They will invest much more this time. How do you see the opportunities for Portuguese companies in India?

Against the gloomy backdrop of major economies, India happens to be a bright spot in the world today. The new government has grand plans for development and is taking steps to improve the ease of doing business in India. The potential in the semi-urban and rural pockets of India is great. Portuguese businesses have a unique opportunity now to enter into tie-ups with companies of Indian origin.

Globally, the largest pool of educated manpower willing to work hard is available in India. History has taught Indians to live harmoniously together, despite wide-ranging diversity in terms of religion, languages and castes. These are unique strengths which can be effectively leveraged by businesses in Portugal.

Companies which want to do business in India would do well to (a) Identify their key strengths which would be of relevance to India, whether in the field of infrastructure, renewable energy, farm productivity, leisure and tourism, etc, (b) Take the help of experts who can put them in touch with reliable business partners in India, and (c) Be clear and patient about the characteristics of the market segment they identify to cater to.

3. “Surviving in the Corporate Jungle” mixes humour with management. Why do you think it should be read by Portuguese managers?

Management concepts are universal in nature. When you wish to motivate your team members, it does not matter whether you are in Porto or in Mumbai. When you are down-sizing, the challenges are the same, irrespective of whether you are in Lisbon or in Delhi.

Portuguese managers who follow one of the effective habits popularized by Stephen R Covey – KEEP SHARPENING YOUR SAW – would greatly benefit from the managerial wisdom of India.

The messages conveyed in the book are serious in nature. Their packaging is not. Profound truths conveyed with a dash of humour, I believe, have a better chance of being effectively communicated.

I believe the upcoming book can help managers in Portugal and elsewhere become smarter, in other words, more effective.

4. Why did you decide to become a founding member of the Portuguese start-up CEO WORLD?

We live in times when the world is shrinking faster than ever. We are at the cusp of a new kind of ‘Industrial Revolution’ which is knowledge-driven. Call it a ‘Binary Revolution’, if you will. Technology is making information more democratic in nature.

Start-ups which enable sharing of management practices across the world serve a useful purpose in the society. Moreover, when we share challenges and discuss possible solutions on a global platform, we gain in terms of empathy and expand our consciousness. We are then making a small but significant contribution towards global harmony, much like a small group of violinists which is a part of a grand orchestra.

For example, one of the platforms CEO World offers is that of Peer Groups. Here, I get to share my current challenges with CEOs from all over the world on a video conference platform. There is no conflict of interest, there is accountability, and there are no travel costs involved. As and when one is visiting each other, one can take the discussion forward.

Peer Groups have been in operation since the last 60/70 years in such countries as the US, Canada, AU, NZ and UK. But the novel idea being practiced at CEO World is that of virtual peer groups which are global in nature. This is a disruptive concept led by a Portuguese start-up.

5. What are your plans for the future and how do you envision your relationship with Portugal?

As a person who suffers from ‘Professoritis’, the plans are for an enhanced level of engagement with the management institutes and associations in Portugal. Another book proposal is on the drawing board. Given support, I would love to do a book comparing the managerial styles of CEOs in Portugal and in India.

It would also be exciting to connect with Portuguese companies who want to have a better understanding of the Indian culture and market and vice versa. Perhaps I can make a modest contribution towards building more bridges between our two countries. This gets aligned with the mission of CEO WORLD: of decreasing the gap between cultures and bringing about a better understanding between the two populations.

(Source: Vida Economica, February 26, 2016)

You can buy the book here.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico-2-0

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico-3-0)

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Surviving in the Corporate Jungle

BookFrontCover

This is in continuation of two earlier posts, providing a short introduction to a book by yours truly. The Portugese version of the book is getting launched in Portugal shortly.

The launch event  in Porto is planned on the 2nd of March, along with a talk on “Work Life Harmony” at the  Catolica Porto Business School  of  Universidade Catolica do Porto.

The launch event in Lisbon is planned at Universidade Europeia on the 3rd of March, 2016, as part of an event titled ‘Passport to India.’

What is the book about?

This book is a compilation of some tactics you can use to not only survive but also do well in the corporate jungle. It is intended to amuse, entertain, and educate. It is a light-hearted take on the art and science of management, from the jaundiced perspective of someone who is still learning it!

It offers quite a few gems of wisdom meant for managers and entrepreneurs of all hues, sizes, and shapes. They could be the aspiring kind, the practising and the tired kind, or the retired kind.

Glum Chief Executive Officers, hassled by the harsh slings and arrows of managing a business, upon leafing through some of its contents, might get motivated to look at the sunnier side of life.

Nail-biting aspiring managers may understand how to successfully navigate their way through the corporate jungle.

Entrepreneurs, whether of a social or an unsocial kind, could find some clue on getting out of the blunder-prone world they frequently find themselves in.

We live in exciting times. An information overload saps managers’ energies faster than the time it takes to gulp down a cup of their favourite tissue restorative. Thanks to rapid strides in technology, newer challenges keep popping up in all areas of management.

The rigors of corporate governance keep snapping at the Chief Executive Officer’s heels at a much faster pace. Issues of gender diversity keep giving Human Resource honchos sleepless nights. Hapless managements, pre-occupied as they are with their aim of delivering better value to their stakeholders quarter after quarter, continue to miss the woods for the trees.

How does one retain one’s sanity in such challenging times? Surviving in the Corporate Jungle (A Backpacker’s Guide) is an endeavour to present to you some basic secrets and techniques of managing a business successfully and happily. You will pick up some aphorisms, some in-depth analyses, and some tongue in cheek comments.

The format of the book is that of a ready reckoner, with topics arranged in alphabetical order. Each topic gets covered in a short and crisp write up. Each topic gets a page all its own, thereby making the book easy on your already frayed nerves.

About Liberty Seguros, S. A.

Liberty Seguros has over eight decades of experience in the insurance business. They rely on the dedication of each one of our 510 employees to find the best protection solutions for Portuguese households, individuals and for micro, small and medium-sized companies.

The company has 31 business offices, called Espaços Liberty Seguros, and 7 branch offices distributed across the whole of Portugal, that give support to the insurance agents, their strategic allies, through whom they offer a broad range of products and services designed to ensure their customers enjoy safer, better protected lives.

Liberty Seguros is governed by values of Solidarity, Team Spirit, Dedication, Work Commitment and Responsibility to the Community.

Introducing Vida Economica, the book publishers

Vida Economica is the best source of information for Portuguese companies and professionals. They have an experience of more than 80 years on delivering news that their readers can use. Vida Economica is the first business weekly in Portugal.

Their activities include special interest magazines covering most important subjects for business as books. Their book portofolio has more than 300 titles with some of the best-sellers on economy and management.

Statutory Warning

This book does not guarantee solving any of your problems. Yes, it could help you to gain a fresh perspective on the challenges you face in your career.

Mandatory Declaration

No animals were harmed during the writing of this book.

You can buy the book here

(Related Posts:
https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico
https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico-2-0)

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Surviving in the Corporate Jungle
BookFrontCover

This is in continuation of an earlier post, providing a short introduction to a book by yours truly. The Portugese version of the book is getting launched in Portugal shortly.
The launch event  in Porto is planned on the 2nd of March, along with a talk on “Work Life Harmony” at the  Catolica Porto Business School  of  Universidade Catolica do Porto.
The launch event in Lisbon is planned at Universidade Europeia on the 3rd of March, 2016, as part of an event titled ‘Passport to India.’

Why the reference to a jungle?

One, it is fashionable these days to talk about environment and sustainability. Two, in many ways, the type of organizations we work in and the kind of people we meet there, many parallels can be drawn.

I believe there are three kinds of organizations: the Circus kind, the Zoo kind and the Jungle kind.

Whatever the kind you work for, you get to see Lion King bosses who are the lords and masters of all they survey. Mentors who keep an eye on the quality of work that you do, much like a giraffe would.

Colleagues who are like enchanting deers, always willing to support you. Subordinates who are snakes in the grass, waiting for an opportunity to back-stab you. Customers who are as prickly as a porcupine. Suppliers who are as cunning as a fox.

Fed up with a company? Change over to another one. You would still find people there with similar traits. Only the names and the faces would change. In other words, there is no escaping the jungle!

Some bouquets

Those who deserve bouquets for what they have unwittingly contributed towards the conception as well as the delivery of this book:

My friends, philosophers and guides: They continued to egg me on to write a book of this kind – late Prof. S. P. Singh, Ashok Kalra, S. P. Krishnamurthy, Vipin Dewan, C. S. Dwivedi, Prof. R. P. Raya, and a few others.
Thought leaders, like Peter F. Drucker, Philip Kotler, J. R. D. Tata, C. Northcote Parkinson, Laurence J. Peter, Ratan Tata, Sharu Rangnekar, Stephen R. Covey and many others.
Hapless souls who have undergone the trauma of going through and commenting upon the rough portions of this book: Miguel Dias, Founder, CEO World, Jose Antonio de Sousa, President & CEO, Liberty Seguros, Jack Jacoby, Executive Chairman, Jacoby Consulting Group Pty Ltd, and a few others.

Those who have worked so very hard on the illustrations – thereby making the book a wee bit livelier.

Vida Economica, the publishers, who showed the courage to pick up a whacky manuscript from an unknown first-time author.

Quite a few others who have burnt the midnight oil, acted as proficient midwives and taken me through the labour pains of the editing and publishing process, ensuring that the baby got delivered.

The souls which play the role of my immediate family members in this life, without whose support this book would not have seen the light of the day.

Special thanks are due to my soul-mate and the very young ones, without whose support the book could have been finished in half the time it actually took to write.

Few brickbats

If any brickbats are to be hurled, those have to be unerringly directed at the author of the book. However, before flexing your muscles, please be so kind as to check if he is covered for such exigencies by any insurance policy issued by Liberty Seguros.

You can buy the book here.

(Related Post:
https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico)

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