Should Professors Get Tenure

Should Professors Get Tenure

Teaching has long been considered to be a “noble” profession. They shape the future of our progeny. But the path towards becoming a professor is hard and time consuming. In US, they chase the mirage of becoming a “tenured” professor – a process that lasts up to a decade if one is lucky. “Publish or perish” keeps them doing research and writing papers that no one may read or use. […]

Introduction to Storytelling by Pixar

Introduction to Storytelling by Pixar

I am a fan of Pixar’s storytelling style. I don’t know if you have ever read their famous 22 rules of storytelling? If you have not, you must. Some of the tips are really super useful to newbies like me who are fascinated enough by the magic to want to be a magician. But for now one has to be grateful that I am getting to read the magician’s book of spells before he returns. I make a quick note of rule number 2 in the Book of Spells.

HR has an expertise problem to fix

HR has an expertise problem to fix

HR needs to go beyond its role as a “touchy-feely” only function. The HR team must be able to design an amazing employment experience based on research, evidence and science. The real role of HR lies in shaping the culture of the organization, finding ways to attract and develop top talent and to be a futurist for the organization. Being able to design the right experience is the real value of the function. That needs expertise.

Careers in the times of perpetual beta

Careers in the times of perpetual beta

In the tech industry the people who have started a product line have rarely been the ones who have won the race. Archie was the first search engine but they lost the race to Google. Kodak invented the digital camera but had to make way for more nimble competitors who saw the digital camera as the future. The leaders of Kodak looked at the resolution of the awkward contraption called […]

Book Review: Talent Is Overrated

Book Review: Talent Is Overrated

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
The answer: Practice, practice, practice.

If you have not heard that one then you have certainly been told as a child, “Practice makes a man (or woman) perfect.”

What if I told you that both the sayings are wrong? Maybe I should say that they misguide you to believe that if you practice, there is no reason for you not to be at the top of your vocation. The reality is that practice does not help you achieve perfection — “deliberate practice” does.

Relationship Workers will replace Knowledge Workers

Relationship Workers will replace Knowledge Workers

Computers and automation saw the rise of the “knowledge worker”. A knowledge worker was a person whose job involved handling or using information. With computers increasingly taking over such jobs, those who are skilled in working with people will become more prized. The future belongs to people who are more emotionally intelligent. This may be the era of the “relationship worker” – someone who can handle complex human relationships.

The Rise of Liberal Arts

The Rise of Liberal Arts

I know parents who roll up their eyes in horror when their kid wants to pursue a Liberal Arts degree in college. Does Liberal Arts fall short of that promise or is it the hottest degree for the future? Why are some companies falling over each other to hire Liberal Arts majors? Do they know something we don’t?

How To Become Better At Almost Anything

How To Become Better At Almost Anything

Was Malcolm Gladwell wrong about the “10,000-Hour-Rule”. He said, it takes ten thousand hours of practice to become a master of a skill. His book Outliers told people that if they put in 10,000 hours of practice, they could master any skill. His finding was based on Anders Ericsson’s research paper. Maybe practicing for 10,000 hours will NOT make you an expert. Here’s why …

Team Building for Startups

Team Building for Startups

The founder put his feet up on the office table, adjusted his black shirt and blue jeans and wondered if he was getting old. Akshay was already 22, which is a good three years older than what Mark Zuckerberg was when he started Facebook. That is why he has started to model himself on Steve Jobs instead. But Steve Jobs was already on to Apple II at age 21. Akshay […]

Changing Organizational Culture

Changing Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is what we call the habits of an organization. These are ways in which people behave spontaneously especially when they are unsupervised. When everyone starts behaving in a similar manner consistently, we say that the organization has a strong culture. The new members of the organization quickly fall in line. They watch everyone around them and learn how to behave in most commonly occurring situations.

The Insane Possibilities of Virtual Reality

The Insane Possibilities of Virtual Reality

When I stepped into the Virtual Reality lab with my colleagues, I was skeptical about why it was such a big deal. I had seen 3D movies before and how different would this possibly be? Someone handed me what seemed like an oversized version of welder’s goggles which also had earphones that sealed off all external sound. I looked at the world I had entered. It was a roller coaster […]

Total Rewards

Total Rewards

Addressing the lower rungs of Maslow’s hierarchy seems passé. Are employees willing to work in a stressful workplace if their mission seems lofty enough? Evidently yes. Recently, Tesla and SpaceX – both run by Elon Musk were in the news for being stressful places to work. Elon Musk responded by saying, “SpaceX and Tesla rated most meaningful work in high tech. Also, most stressful, but that goes with the territory.” Musk has really made engineering and manufacturing interesting again.