- Do nothing, and hope for the best
- Be an armchair activist and talk about this problem to everyone you know
- Question the people who are doing something to eradicate corruption: whether they are the right people, whether they are themselves corrupt, whether they have a good plan, etc.
- Join the cause, and do something, provide some support and momentum – be present in the events, talk to your friends and neighbors and inspire them to join this movement.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
One thing is common – hardly anyone gets punished for being caught in a scam. At the most, there is some temporary setback like resigning from a post, raids, being questioned by investigating agencies, some time in judicial custody, etc. Have you wondered what happens to the money that was stolen? It remains stolen – there is no effort to bring it back.
Three things shape our behavior – Values help us to do the right thing, to be ethical. The law of the land defines the things that are illegal. When this does not work, the consequences give a clear message that unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. It creates a fear of punishment if caught doing something wrong.
Today, in India, there is no fear. Why? Because no one gets punished. In fact, the greed has been increasing day by day. People have become brazen, and the quantum and size of corruption related incidents is increasing exponentially.
At some point in our life, we have come face to face with corruption – and got frustrated and angry – and complained and cried – why does this happen! If you gave in, it would have made you guilty and full of anger. If you stood up, the things would have gotten tougher, and it may have required a lot of energy and patience before your job got done, if it did. But you would have felt good, but still wondered – why does one have to fight just to be right?
When talking about corruption, the common man is generally helpless. Our action is generally restricted to complaining in our drawing rooms and intense debates on the television and media. However, no positive change seems to be happening.
However, we do have an opportunity! The India Against Corruption is a Citizen’s Movement started by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ram Dev, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Shanti Bhushan and many more. And they have come up with a specific plan – to help enact the right legislation and have drafted Anti Corruption Bill and the Lokayukta Bill. And there is a single goal at this time – to convert these into law. See http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.org/ – there are crisp details including how the current drafts of these Bills are just a lip service, an eye-wash. There is analysis of what is lacking – the drafts are not proposing enough teeth. India Against Corruption has done research and taken inspiration from successful models, especially what transformed Hong Kong.
For the last 42 years, these Bills have been languishing – almost all political parties have formed governments, but these Bills have not come into force. The political parties are very quick about throwing stones on instances of corruption in other political parties – their sole motive is to bring them down and form the government. None of the political parties are interested in really tackling and removing corruption. These Bills will actually make them accountable!!
If you are reading this, chances are that your economical position is amongst the top 10% in India. The people who suffer are the ones who are at the bottom of the pyramid – the money meant for them gets siphoned and they remain poor – and struggle for basic needs of food, water, health, shelter and education.
Here are 3 things YOU CAN DO to Make A Difference:
1. Read some basic details on tackling corruption on http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.org/
2. Join India Against Corruption on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/IndiACor
3. Join The March on Jan 30 at 1.00pm – Come to Ram Lila Maidan, New Delhi at 1.00pm
I am sending this to 1000 friends and colleagues. If each of these people send it to 50 people each, who in turn send it to 50 people each, this would reach to 25,00,000 people. Wow!
• 25 lac people will become aware that Corruption can be tackled, and there is something they can do.
• If only 10% of the people actually joined the movement on Facebook, we would have 2.5 lakh new supporters of India Against Corruption.
• And if only 1% people join the march on Jan 30, we would have 25,000 people in the march. It is rare to have 25,000 together for something like this – what an impact it would have – and hopefully inspire other citizens, media and NGOs to join.
Surely, the problem will not be solved on Jan 30 – it will be a long haul – tough and challenging. But a beginning would have been made – the longest of journeys begin with the first step.
Step 1 would take 15 minutes.
Step 2 would take 5 minutes.
Step 2a (send it to 50 friends) would take 10 minutes.
Step 3 would take 4 hours (including commuting time).
Are you willing to spend 4.5 hours this month to be M.A.D. – to Make A Difference to your country?
As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says – 98% of the people are good, concerned but don’t generally take action. The 2% ‘bad’ people are action oriented – great on execution. Can we, the 98%, not take action this time?
If you do nothing about this, you have actually made a decision not to do something about corruption. And are actually supporting it indirectly!
Jai Hind! See you there!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
We’ll definitely try and be there if only for a short time.
Just so’s the rest of the family unnerstans a bit more about this here “Thanksgivin”, I thawt I’d give ma version of the his-story of this innerestin American festival!
So there are these 100 odd rather puritanical Brits who were dead set against the Church of England and it’s debauched ways. So one day, they decided to head off to this magical place they’d heard of from previous settlers called the New World. (I really don’t know what Huxley was thinking of - trying to create his perfect world nearly 300 years later – didn’t he read history?) Anyway, so these Brits set off and completely by mistake, they first hit the Netherlands across the channel, thinking to themselves that they’d reached rather quickly. When they learned of their mistake, in pique they grabbed some easily subdued Dutch people and sailed off in the other direction.
After a terrible journey with no air-conditioning or even toilets, they finally hit a big rock which they christened Plymouth, out of respect for the tiny little island that they’d left behind.
They got off the rock and immediately tried their hands at communism, which hadn’t been invented at the time, a fact that did not seem to worry them unduly. They improvised. They decreed (decreeing was big in those days – people never just decided things, they decreed and in some cases proclaimed them) that all the surrounding land was hereby communal property and each man should work as much as he wanted and take as much as he needed. Yeah, right! That has the hallmark of a winning strategy! That’s like telling US Auto workers to decide their own work hours and salaries – whoops. That’s what they did for the past couple of decades, didn’t they? Anyway, just like a dude called Marx many years later, they failed. (Yet another example of how people could learn from the mistakes of their forefathers if they only spent some time reading). More than half of them died of starvation and disease and if it hadn’t been for some native Indians who, after curiously observing them for nearly a year in open mouthed astonishment, decided to help. So they shook hands and taught these strange people how to farm the land and tend to their sick. This worked and by the next harvesting time, there was enough food for everyone and some left over.
Now here is where there is a minor divergence of views on historical facts. Some good people say that in sheer happiness, the Brits proclaimed a great feast to which these very Indians were invited to celebrate and break bread with them in a spirit of “let’s all learn to share and live in complete harmony”. Some others, obviously ‘bad’ people however, rather rudely claim that having learnt how to farm the land and use native medicine, the Brits decided to eliminate the Indians so that they wouldn’t have to share the land any more. So they massacred the entire tribe and then a great feast was proclaimed to celebrate the elimination of competition.
Either way – you get the picture. Proclamations and celebrations are common to both views, so why quibble the details?
And by the way, all this happened in August for the first time following a harvest but subsequent US President’s sequentially changed it to November, declared it a holiday, struck the holiday and then again declared it a public holiday to be held on the fourth Thursday of November. (By this time declarations of various kinds had become popular, replacing the antiquated decrees and proclamations which were thought to be a mite feudal).
So ther’y’are folks! That’s the reel story of Thanksgivin for ya. Hope yo’all enjoyed it and will show up to share the celebrations even though you are Indians!
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Monday, May 11, 2009
Attrition Study 2008
The Game Plan for HR Professionals
Attrition can never be wished away. One can reduce it to the right level. But what is even more important is – are you losing the right people.
The study of attrition by PeopleStrong and Business Today has thrown some interesting data. Since the study covered 59 companies in 8 industry sectors across
But, we now have the benefit of seeing some trends that could be used to make HR strategies. Here are some highlights:
Reducing Attrition: Losing new employee early leads to a lot of loss of opportunity as well as wasted expense and energy. The study shows that 33.8% of those who quit are Early Leavers. One of the most effective ways to reduce attrition would be to cut this down by half. If the overall attrition of a company is 15% and early leavers are one-third of this, then cutting down the latter by half would mean that attrition would get lowered to 12.5%, a huge change! A strong new employee induction and orientation program would create strong glue to hold them back. The first 90 days are most risky.
Women are leaving earlier than men across industries. Is there a special intervention that is required here?
Regional Practices: All big companies have regions, and they have regional HR organizations. While each region may have its own cultural flavour, but they all fall under the gamut of common corporate policies. This study clearly shows that different regions need to make a different implementation plan for the same HR strategy. For example, 40% of leavers in North and 27% of leavers in Rest of India are Early Leavers. What this means is that there is a different need in North because of which a stronger and different approach is needed, so common
broad brush may not work. And the gains would be much higher too. Also, as an HR Head it makes more sense to implement ‘reduce Early Leavers’ plan in the North as the gains there would be maximum.
Reducing Early Leavers: Early Leavers constitute a whopping 64% in BFSI, followed by a significant 40% each in ITES and Retail. If your company operates in these industry segments, you know where the priority must be.
Undergraduates and Frontline Staff are the biggest categories in Early Leavers across all industries. A targeted approach in these categories will bring the biggest gains.
Quality of Attrition: No company likes to lose the Top Performers. They are the ones who drive the growth as well as the key strategic initiatives. Surprisingly, the IT sector has emerged as the dubious winner here with 45% of quitters rated as Top Performers, followed by Manufacturing at 23% and BFSI at 22%. The best are Pharma (9%) followed by Retail and Telecom (10% each) and FMCG (11%). What can the HR Heads of IT, Manufacturing and BFSI learn from their colleagues in Pharma, Retails and Telecom?
North seems to be able to keep the Top Performers the best (17%). The other two regions are at 22% each.
One of the best ways to keep the top performers engaged would be by implementing a strong career planning program for them. Give attention to everyone, but focus on them. This is well supported by the study’s findings – the biggest driver of attrition is
Check out the story at http://businesstoday.intoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&Itemid=1&task=view&id=10919§ionid=5&issueid=55&page=archieve.
If you are interested in somewhat deeper data, check out http://www.peoplestrong.com/tl_ias.htm.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Someone in the booth of the political party brought a laptop with wireless internet access and they were able to find the details of many people through the website of election commission of Haryana. My phone had internet access too, and we tried to check our names, but to our disappointment, we could not find our names on the database. Seeing us checking things on the phone, many people requested to check theirs, and this lasted for two hours. In this time, we were able to find the necessary details (room number and serial number) for voting for over a 100 people. All these folks would have gone back without casting their vote! This was truly an amazing experience. And they were full of thanks as they had lost all hope.
Although this worked out alright, so many people went away without voting, some because their names were missing and some because they could not find their names. One couple told us that they were at the booth since the morning trying to find details so they could vote. Their commitment was just amazing! Finally, they were rewarded when we found their details on the web! So much to learn from them. Of course, all of us need to contribute such that the government organizes things more efficiently. In the meanwhile, we can all play our part, and help the organizers as well as other fellow citizens in some way, to keep the hope alive and making things better.
Lastly, the posting I had made requesting friends to vote and inspire others to vote got a lot of response. So many people called, sent sms and emails to say that they had voted! One friend even asked me whether I had :). And so many friends forwarded the email to their contacts and got similar response. This shows that contribution and change is not that difficult. All of us feel the same way, and some of us just need a gentle reminder.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Let us have a look at the following perspective:
Let us have a look at the following perspective:
- A Lok Sabha constituency has about 15 lakh voters.
- On an average, about 50% people vote, i.e. 7.5 lakh.
- Winner usually gets 1/3rd of the votes, i.e., 2.5 lakh votes.
- The 1st runner up usually loses by up to 50,000 votes.
- Most people in the middle class (including you and me) don’t vote.
- Actually, we do not count for the politicians! Has anyone from any political party approached you yet?
- Basically, the politicians know that we do not vote, hence we do not count.
- People in the economically and/or academically poor segment vote, and hence are counted by the politicians!
- Who can make a bigger contribution in making
a better place? The guys who usually vote or us? Obviously us, because we have the experience and ability. India
- If only 3.5% of the people who don’t vote decide to vote for the 1st runners up, he/she would emerge as the winner! This is the power we have.
- If 1/3rd of the people who do not vote decide to vote, they can choose anyone they want as the MP!
- But we don’t vote because we think that our single vote won’t matter! But, if we join together, it does matter.
- The 2nd reason we don’t vote is because there is no one good enough to be selected. But the point is that they are being selected anyway.
- When the choice is between devil and the deep sea, choose the one who is less evil. If we can get this person to win, then he/she knows we have the power, and will listen to us. Next time, we can negotiate with this party for better results and performance and less corruption. Gradually, the system can get cleaned.
- This may be somewhat slow, but it would work. All you have to do is to cast your vote tomorrow.
Actually, you can do a little more, with only some effort. Please read the following:
In a T20 match, if we have to make 15 runs in the last over, it is not easy, but good teams know that they can do it. So imagine that you are on the crease in the last over, and a six, a couple of fours combined with a single would take you home, as a winner.
Here is how we can bat in this last over :)
- The Single: Make sure that you cast your vote tomorrow.
- The first Four: Call at least 20 of your family members and make sure that they cast their vote.
- The second Four: Call 10 of your friends and neighbours, and make sure they cast their vote - each family will have 3 voters on an average, this means 30 people cast their votes.
- With the above, you have got 51 people to cast their vote.
- The Sixer: Inspire 5 people to do the above – this means another 255 people will cast their votes.
Tell people not to worry about the bouncers (like hot weather) or the wide deliveries (we are going for a movie), etc.
If 5000 people do the above between now and tomorrow evening, 12.75 lakh people will cast votes tomorrow, majority of who may not have cast their votes otherwise! This can make a big difference to who the winner is. Generally, the difference between the winner and 1st runners-up is not more than 50,000 votes.
So, let us all get ready, only one more over left, this is the time to give our best.
Let’s vote for change.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Though cost effectiveness is the buzzword today, I lean towards the latter perspective: I think CSR - as long as it embraces employee welfare, corporate governance, business ethics, transparency, strong sustainable community initiatives that enhance the consumer base, create a balanced and inclusive development, among other key elements, will be sustainable.
I feel CSR is not something to be done when businesses have resources in excess; rather it is a day-to-day activity and a way of running a responsible business. When the business model is such that the economic value of CSR is as clear as it can be, one does not require smooth market situation and booming economy to follow the laid down strategy. So in that sense, during the economic downturn, CSR might possibly move away from the charity-driven community initiatives to actually sustainable and responsible business practices that hold the company in good stead be it in good times or bad.