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Monday, June 30, 2014

Encourage Your Employees to Talk About Other Job Offers 06-30


Encourage Your Employees to Talk About Other Job Offers

Why can’t employees speak honestly about their career goals with their managers? It’s because of the reasonable belief that doing so is risky and career-limiting if the employee’s aspirations do not perfectly match up with the manager’s existing views and time horizons. It seems safer to wait until another job offer is in hand, so that if one’s manager reacts badly to one’s ideas, there’s no danger of being passed over for on-going professional development, or worse, left unemployed. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: once an employee has gone far down the road with another potential employer, it’s hard for her to maintain a positive relationship with her current company.

Neither manager nor employee necessarily wants the current employment relationship to end, but because of the lack of trust and honesty, that’s precisely what becomes likely to happen with talented employees.
If you want to forge a high-trust alliance with your workforce, take a page from a popular clause in founder employment agreements — the “Right Of First Refusal” (ROFR). When a founder wants to sell stock in the company and has an offer to purchase some or all of the shares, the company has the right to exercise its ROFR and buy the stock at the offered price. This compromise reassures the founder (or employee) that the company can’t block the sale of stock while allowing the company to make sure it isn’t saddled with investors it doesn’t want.
We believe that an equivalent compromise can help improve the employer-employee relationship: the “Right of First Conversation” (ROFC). If an employee decides she wants to explore other career options, she commits to talking with her current manager first, so that the company, if it so desires, has the opportunity to define a more appealing job or role.  This doesn’t mean that the employee informs her manager every time she receives a call from a headhunter—this kind of disclosure would be onerous for both employee and manager.  Rather, the employee should initiate a conversation when she is seriously considering alternate job offers or career paths. Similarly, the employee should also approach the manager if she felt strongly that her current tour of duty no longer fits, and that without a change, she would feel obligated to start looking for another employer.
As with other aspects of the employer-employee alliance, the ROFC isn’t a binding legal contract. It’s an understanding between manager and employee that carries moral weight if violated.
Because the employer typically holds the power in the relationship, it’s up to the company to take the first step towards building the necessary trust. Managers need to say, “We don’t fire people for talking honestly about their career goals,” and truly mean it. Once employees believe that the company will live up to those words, managers can point out the benefits to the employee of granting them the Right of First Conversation.
First, an employee can benefit from frank career advice from a manager on specific industry opportunities. In a high trust relationship, a manager will not reactively denigrate competitors or “say anything” to keep an employee.
Second, perhaps the current company can upgrade the quality of the employee’s existing tour of duty. An employee who provides advance notice allows the company the time necessary to explore and develop more possible options and offers. If the company has weeks to match or exceed an offer from a rival, it has a much better chance of pulling together a counter than if it only had twenty-four hours to respond.
Finally, even if the company can’t present a compelling counter or the employee chooses to switch firms, the ROFC helps preserve the long-term relationship. The split can be made amicably, and on a timetable that works for both parties, honoring the mutual obligations and investment they have made in each other.
As a manager, would you rather manage a planned separation from an employee who has completed her final tour of duty? Or would you rather scramble to perform damage control on a sudden departure?
As an employee, would you rather depart amicably and become a valued member of the company’s alumni network? Or would you prefer to depart under a cloud of acrimony?
The Right of First Conversation represents a major departure from business as usual, but that’s precisely the point. The lack of trust between employer and employee is costing both parties. Adopting the ROFC helps both parties build trust and a longer, more fruitful relationship.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

How Soda Caps Are Killing Birds 06-28

How Soda Caps Are Killing Birds

Remember those haunting images of animals stuck in plastic soda rings? This is worse. Since 2009, photographer Chris Jordan has been documenting birds on Midway Atoll way out in the Pacific Ocean — near what's known as the "Pacific Garbage Patch" or, essentially, a swirling heap of plastic the size of Texas.
What Jordan found on those islands were carcasses of baby birds that have died an unnerving death:According to the BBC, "about one-third of all albatross chicks die on Midway, many as the result of being mistakenly fed plastic by their parents."
Jordan was a runner-up this year for the Prix Pictet, a prize in photography and sustainability, for a morose series that shows plastic guts spilling from dead birds. His photos, and others from the Prix Pictet contest, are currently touring various museums. He is also producing a film about his journeys to Midway Atoll, where the photos were taken.

"For me," Jordan writes in an artist statement, "kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth."
They are hard to look at, but it's even harder to confront that this is not fiction.

Friday, June 27, 2014



Merger performance varies greatly depending on the number of pre-merger third-party ties connecting the acquiring firm to its partner, according to a new study by researchers at the Yale School of Management and INSEAD.
Mergers and acquisitions perform poorly, on average, but there has been little insight into what accounts for the variation in performance. In the study, published inAdministrative Science Quarterly, the authors found that the number of indirect ties, such as common clients and shared suppliers, affect both acquiring firms’ choice of partners and the performance of the combined firm after the merger. The study revealed that the probability of being acquired rose, but performance of the combined firm declined, with the number of pre-merger third-party relationships connecting the firms.
“Mergers destroyed value, on average, only because they usually combined firms with third-party connections,” says Olav Sorenson, the Frederick Frank ’54 and Mary C. Tanner Professor of Management, who co-authored the study with Michelle Rogan, assistant professor of entrepreneurship at INSEAD. “Our results strongly implicate picking the wrong partners as one of the primary factors underlying the poor average performance of acquisitions.”
Sorenson and Rogan examined how indirect ties affect the choice of acquisition partner and post-merger performance by analyzing data from mergers and acquisitions that occurred in the global advertising industry from 1995 to 2003. Third-party relationships between firms are generally difficult to ascertain; however, ad agency clients are regularly reported in industry trade publications, making common clients a convenient measure of third-party ties in that industry.
The results show that the number of common clients significantly and positively predicted acquiring firms’ choice of partner. The probability of choosing a partner with common clients increased with the physical distance between the firms, and also increased among potential partners serving distant industries. As the number of common clients increased, the performance of combined firms declined, both because they lost clients and because they sold less to the clients they retained. Firms with no common clients experienced no effects to positive effects on post-merger performance.
The authors suggest that the results could be attributable to two factors. “Either managers hold positively biased beliefs about those connected to them through common clients, or they restrict their searches for potential acquisition partners to those they already know, despite the disadvantages of doing so, ignoring targets that may have more potential but with whom they have no indirect ties,” says Sorenson.
Sorenson and Rogan expect the study findings to apply not only to advertising agencies, but also to merged firms in other industries, and across indirect ties other than common clients.
“Picking a (Poor) Partner: A Relational Perspective on Acquisitions” is published in the June 2014 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly.

Why discipline is different from punishment 06-27

Why discipline is different from punishment

punishment vs disciplineI shared this image recently on Facebook and was really surprised by the amount of push back it received.
There were a number of teachers who felt that punishment is the only thing that works at times, especially for students in high-poverty classrooms. Some commenters interpreted the quote to mean that positive reinforcement should be used instead of punishment, and decried the lack of consequences that students receive in the name of politically correct behavior management.
Here’s my take on it. I think this quote explains the difference between discipline and punishment very accurately and clarified the terms in a new way. The very first sentence refers to *discipline*…it doesn’t suggest that students’ poor choices shouldn’t have consequences or that positive reinforcement should be used instead. 
The point is to approach discipline with the intent of helping the child improve rather than making him or her suffer. We have all punished kids out of anger or frustration, and it doesn’t help anyone. The quote is a reminder to think of the end goal of discipline: to produce children who can solve their own problems and make their own good choices.
Let’s say you have a student named James who gets physically aggressive with other students or even teachers. James gets into an argument over something silly in the classroom and shoves another student. (Repeat 15 times a day–so often that if you attempted to suspend him each time it happened, James would probably spend about three minutes a week in your classroom.)
You see the incident happen, and you feel your blood pressure rising. You’re furious at James for interrupting a learning activity, hurting an innocent child, and creating havoc yet again when you have so many other issues to attend to. And so your knee-jerk reaction might be to punish James. Get out, go to the office! or Go move your desk to the corner, you’re sitting alone until you figure out how to treat other people! or That’s it, you’ve lost your recess! I’m so tired of this!
Can we get really honest and a bit introspective about those punishments? Can we admit they’re given out of anger and frustration, and they’re designed to make James suffer for what he did? Punishment is an act of retribution: it says, You mess with me and my classroom rules, and I will get you. Punishment does not show the child how to make better choices or in any way reform him.
Punishment involves consequences that we hope the child will dislike enough to stop the behavior. But since most chronic misbehavior is deeply ingrained and somehow meets the child’s needs (for power, etc.), it’s highly unlikely that any punishment will ever be enough to stop the child from acting out again. We try every punishment we can think of, making each one more severe than the previous and can’t understand why nothing’s working. We don’t realize that until the child is comfortable with an alternative way of behaving, the misbehavior will continue.
So what would discipline look like? It doesn’t necessarily mean positive reinforcement. That’s a method that has been over-emphasized in recent years, in my opinion, and it’s not the solution for every problem. I’m not suggesting you say, “Okay, James, each time you go five minutes without hitting another student, I’m going to give you a piece of chocolate! Would that be alright with you?”
Discipline is going to involve consequences. James does not get to hit other students and get off scot-free. However, the discipline will not be given out of anger, it will be determined based on what is going to help solve James’ problem. Any kid who’s getting violent on a daily basis obviously has some problems he’s dealing with: maybe his family or community taught him to defend himself physically, maybe he’s feeling bullied in the classroom (you’d be surprised how many bullies perceive themselves as victims), maybe he’s so far behind the other kids academically that he feels stupid and lashes out at them every time they realize he doesn’t have a clue what’s he’s supposed to be doing.
Strong and effective discipline figures out the root of the problem, and applies consequences in a way that addresses that root problem, not just the effects of the problem (the chaos of misbehavior in the classroom.)
Discipline is also designed to help the student understand what he or she has done, why it’s not okay, and what other choices are viable. In our example above, James needs to learn how to solve his problems effectively. His go-to solution is striking anyone within arm’s distance when he’s mad, and he’s dependent on you as the teacher to prevent that from happening. This is not sustainable. James has got to learn how to control himself and express his frustration differently, or else this is going to keep happening over and over and over again.
In my next post, I’ll share how discipline vs. punishment could play out practically in the classroom, and explain what I would say and do with a student like James. There’s no guarantee that my suggestions or any discipline will work. There’s certainly no guarantee that punishment will work, either. But discipline helps to produce the kind of child who can problem solve. It’s an approach that builds rapport instead of a wall between you and the child. Discipline addresses the heart of the child’s issues and helps to create long-term solutions.

Creating a Culture of Quality 06-27

Creating a Culture of Quality

by Ashwin Srinivasan and Bryan Kurey

In most industries, quality has never mattered more. New technologies have empowered customers to seek out and compare an endless array of products from around the globe. Shoppers can click to find objective data compiled by experts at organizations such as Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and go online to read user-generated reviews at sites such as Amazon; together, these sources provide an early warning system that alerts the public to quality problems. And when customers are unhappy with a product or service, they can use social media to broadcast their displeasure. In surveys, 26% of consumers say they have used social media to air grievances about a company and its products. And this issue isn’t limited to the consumer space—75% of B2B customers say they rely on word of mouth, including social media, when making purchase decisions.
But just as companies’ margin for error has decreased, the likelihood of error has risen. In many industries, cycle times are compressing. During the recovery from the Great Recession, output gains have outpaced employment growth, and employees report straining to keep up with demands.
As a result of these pressures, managers must find a new approach to quality—one that moves beyond the traditional “total quality management” tools of the past quarter century. For two years CEB has conducted research exploring how companies can create a culture in which employees “live” quality in all their actions—where they are passionate about quality as a personal value rather than simply obeying an edict from on high. We define a “true culture of quality” as an environment in which employees not only follow quality guidelines but also consistently see others taking quality-focused actions, hear others talking about quality, and feel quality all around them.
We interviewed the quality function leaders at more than 60 multinational corporations, conducted an extensive review of academic and practitioner research, and surveyed more than 850 employees in a range of functions and industries and at all levels of seniority. Some of what we learned surprised us. Most notably, many of the traditional strategies used to increase quality—monetary incentives, training, and sharing of best practices, for instance—have little effect. Instead, we found, companies that take a grassroots, peer-driven approach develop a culture of quality, resulting in employees who make fewer mistakes—and the companies spend far less time and money correcting mistakes.
Going Beyond Rules

What embeds quality deep in a company’s culture? And how, precisely, does an organization benefit as a result? These questions were at the heart of our “culture of quality” survey.
A minority of the employees we surveyed believe their company has succeeded in making quality a core value: Roughly 60% said they work in an environment without a culture of quality, especially when it comes to having peers who go “above and beyond.” Such companies are missing out on significant benefits. Employees who ranked their company in the top quintile in terms of quality reported addressing 46% fewer mistakes in their daily work than employees in bottom-quintile companies. In our surveys, employees report that it takes two hours, on average, to correct a mistake. 

Assuming an hourly wage of $42.55 (the median for CEB client companies), a bottom-quintile firm with 26,300 employees (the median head count) spends nearly $774 million a year to resolve errors, many of them preventable—$350 million more than a top-quintile firm. Although figures will vary according to industry and company, here’s a broad rule of thumb: For every 5,000 employees, moving from the bottom to the top quintile would save a company $67 million annually.
We also studied quality-improvement actions in eight different categories and conducted regression analyses to understand the relationship between those actions and employees’ appraisals of how rigorously their company focuses on quality. We found little or no correlation between the use of standard tools and the achievement of a culture of quality. We are not suggesting that companies abandon those tools; however, they should use them to support rules-based quality measures, not as the underpinnings of a true culture of quality.
We pinpointed four factors that drive quality as a cultural value: leadership emphasis, message credibility, peer involvement, and employee ownership of quality issues. Our research indicates that companies could do much better with all four. Nearly half the employees surveyed reported insufficient leadership emphasis on quality, and only 10% found their company’s quality messages credible. Just 38% reported high levels of peer involvement, while 20% said that their company has created a sense of employee empowerment and ownership for quality outcomes.
We have identified clear actions that can help companies improve in each of the four areas.
Maintaining a leadership emphasis on quality. 

Even when executives have the best intentions, there are often gaps between what they say and what they do. As a result, employees get mixed messages about whether quality is truly important.
Seagate, a $14 billion provider of media storage solutions, uses a series of leadership engagement mechanisms to help executives identify inconsistencies between their actions or decisions and the company’s ideal culture. Company leaders begin by agreeing on what would constitute an ideal culture and what behaviors would be needed to achieve it. Next, the quality and HR teams compared their definitions of “ideal culture” with employees’ observations, which revealed areas for improvement. The leaders then attended workshops that helped them spot behaviors that might be impeding their stated goal. Simulations made the lessons from the workshop concrete and memorable.
By showing leaders the gaps between the expected and the current state of their culture, Seagate created awareness and buy-in. “Executive participation has been the most important factor driving culture change,” a senior development executive told us. “Leadership has shown enthusiasm and commitment that has trickled down through the organization.” Although the company does not share its data, it says that quality metrics have risen since the program began—and it expects the gains to continue.
Ensuring message credibility. 

Most companies energetically promote messages about the importance of quality—but their efforts are wasted if the messages are not believed. One company that has been successful with credible messaging is the beverage firm Diageo, whose brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, and Tanqueray. Confronted with the challenge of having 21,000 employees in disparate locations, Diageo identified four distinct segments of employees in terms of what drives hard work and created quality messages tailored to each one. It recognized that some workers respond best to messages emphasizing the reduced cost and hassle of producing defect-free goods, for example, while others are inspired by an emphasis on customer satisfaction. Local site managers chose the campaign they thought would most appeal at their site, and this customization helped the company’s messages resonate.
Smart leaders realize that quality messaging, like any campaign, needs to be refreshed over time. Managers should regularly test messages with their employees and use the feedback to ensure sustained relevance.
Encouraging peer involvement. 

Fostering peer engagement is a delicate balancing act. If leaders become overly involved in orchestration, then impact and authenticity suffer—but if they show too little support, they miss important opportunities.
One organization that has created effective peer networks is HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies), a Western Digital company. It uses positive social pressure to encourage employees to generate quality initiatives. The company displays employees’ ideas on posters in a busy hallway, providing a reminder that everyone at the company should work on quality.

 Managers publicly evaluate employees’ quality-improvement projects, highlighting not only business impact but also softer criteria, such as participant enthusiasm. HGST also organizes friendly “quality competitions” that capitalize on collective pride, not simply financial rewards, to spark ideas. “When I first joined the company, I was skeptical of the whole thing,” a quality and customer support executive told us. “But there’s a real sense of pride in work that people have developed as a result.”
Increasing employee ownership and empowerment.

One of the defining traits of an organization with a true culture of quality is that employees are free to apply judgment to situations that fall outside the rules. Providing the right level of guidance is key. Too much stifles creativity and discretionary action, while too little leaves employees unclear about their authority to make decisions and carry them out.
Wrigley, best known for manufacturing chewing gum, writes “quality in action” guidelines to help employees understand the company’s expectations. It takes great care to apply the guidelines only to a short but critical list of improvement opportunities—the dozen or so “quality accountabilities” that each function is responsible for on a daily basis—and to strive for clarity while avoiding micromanagement. In addition, Wrigley creates opportunities for employees to observe and recognize quality actions that fall outside the guidelines, and it conducts group brainstorming sessions to determine the root causes of mistakes and identify corrective actions.
The specific actions needed to help an organization shift from a rules-based quality environment to a true culture of quality will differ from company to company, but the first step in the process will always be the same: Managers must decide that a culture of quality is worth pursuing. Our research unambiguously demonstrates that it is. A culture of quality requires employees to apply skills and make decisions in highly ambiguous but critical areas while leading them toward deeper reflection about the risks and payoffs of their actions. In an environment where customers’ tolerance for quality problems is declining, a workforce that embraces quality as a core value is a significant competitive advantage.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A great way to recall Nostalgic memories

Having lived and relived those awesome moments with my children, those of my brothers and sisters and grand children. These image presents an opportunity to relive those glorious and heart warming moments once again.

Do these images kindle or rekindle some nostalgic moments and take you down the memory lane???

Thanks  Grant Snider & Huff Post

View at the original source

3 Trends That Are Changing The Way We Work Today 06-23

3 Trends That Are Changing The Way We Work Today

Does your boss let you have flexible time, focus on results instead of hours, and encourage collaboration? No? Then your workplace is ready for a change.

Businesses have talked about becoming more flexible in their work culture, open in their leadership, and collaborative among teams for practically as long as the Internet has existed (and probably longer than that).
But with the rise of mobile technologies and the shedding of 9 to 5 norms, instead of paying lip service to these ideas, corporate cultures are now finally being forced to adapt or face losing their competitive edge with both customers and employee recruits.

At an event held at Microsoft’s Technology Center in New York City, experts in work culture gathered to talk about these changes. “We’re seeing huge experiments now in major companies,” says Adam Pisoni, co-founder of the office social networking site Yammer, which Microsoft acquired in 2012. “For years, there’s been increased tension between the old and new ways of working without translating into action. Thirty to 40-year-old ideas are now coming to fruition.”


An organization with 1,500 people used to build an office for 1,500 people, with 1,500 desks. Now, employers can get away with less, but they need to think differently as workers adopt different work schedules, and stay at home and travel more. Even when in the building, they may want to move around, rather than being chained to a dusty cubicle. This kind of “out of the box” office design thinking used to apply mostly to tech companies, but now it’s all companies. Take Delphi, an automotive parts supplier with 260 sites worldwide that is piloting flexible work spaces. “We’re trying to be more flexible to improve from a retention and burnout standpoint. We want to integrate tools and workspaces into people’s lives,” says IT vice president Andrea Siudara. “It’s more about results than it is about desktime.”
The physical space is still crucial to productive work but it needs to become more adaptable, says Ryan Anderson, director of future technologies for Herman Miller. He says Herman Miller is creating a new taxonomy in the way it designs furniture, recognizing that people want their physical setting to match their style of work. “We’re moving beyond work function to work modes,” says Anderson. “When someone says, ‘we need to collaborate,’ that could mean 20 different things ... we need a new vernacular.”


Companies are becoming more and more driven by outcomes. “It’s not about what did you do for 40 to 48 hours this week, it’s about results,” says Alan Lepofsky, collaboration software analyst with Constellation Research. "The concept of a consistent 40-hour work week doesn’t for anyone anymore.” Trust is the new currency. “For your boss to say, I don’t need to see your punch card anymore, that’s a really big change.”


Office social networks have made it easier for CEOs and executives to seek feedback from employees and for teams to collaborate from far away. “Front-line team members are now talking directly to the senior VP,” says Grace Chanpong, communications and technology manager for Jamba Juice. “These are new waters for people to navigate.”
On the other hand, there are challenges in getting people to participate and making them comfortable. Jamba Juice is offering one-on-one coaching to some staff. It’s particularly hard for middle managers, says Charlene Li, founder of the Altimeter Group and author of the bestseller Open Leadership. They are used to being “gatekeepers.” “Instead of being gatekeepers, they need to become facilitators," she says.
Li also notes it’s a mistake when some offices try to shut down non-work-related interactions online. She says that serves a useful purpose of allowing intimacy and friendships to form, even remotely, which will in turn encourage people to share their knowledge with coworkers who they don’t work with directly. “People don’t share because they like a project or brand ... they share to help people who they want to see succeed.”

Signs You’re Being Passive-Aggressive 06-23


Signs You’re Being Passive-Aggressive

When was the last time you did any of the following at work?
  • You didn’t share your honest view on a topic, even when asked.
  • You got upset with someone, but didn’t let them know why.
  • You procrastinated on completing a deliverable primarily because you just didn’t see the value in it.
  • You praised someone in public, but criticized them in private.
  • You responded to an exchange with, “Whatever you want is fine. Just tell me what you want me to do,” when in actuality, it wasn’t fine with you.
Whether intentional or not, these are all signs you’re being passive-aggressive. Whenever there is a disconnect between what you say (passive) and what you do (aggressive), you fall into that camp. And while it’s easy to recognize a passive aggressive co-worker — the colleague who is agreeable to your face but badmouths the idea behind your back or the sarcastic direct report whose constant retort is “but it was just a joke” — recognizing one’s own passive-aggressive behaviors at work can be quite difficult.
Take Chris, for example, a senior marketing executive that I coached. When we discussed the 360 feedback he’d received as part of a leadership development program, he was shocked at what his colleagues wrote about him:
“You never quite know where Chris stands on an issue. He’ll agree to one thing in a meeting but then do something completely different in the follow through. That can make it hard to trust him.”
“While Chris is a really nice guy, I wonder if he’s really honest with his views. He’ll say he’s fine with some thing but you can just tell he’s not and he’s saying that just so we can move on.”
“Chris makes backhanded comments about the quality of someone’s work or idea without directly addressing the issue with the person. It comes off as snarky. It’s not what you’d expect of a leader.”
While Chris admitted that there was some truth to what was described, he bristled at the thought of being perceived as passive-aggressive. Yet that’s exactly what he was.
Over time, passive-aggressive behavior is a slippery slope that breeds mistrust and chips away at your credibility. Being known as passive-aggressive will not serve you well in your career. Fortunately, it’s possible to change your behavior. Though it requires a commitment to self-development and a willingness to get out of your comfort zone.
Here are five strategies to consider:
1. Recognize the behavior. It’s important that you recognize which circumstances or situations drive you to be passive-aggressive. Knowing what they are helps you consciously explore other ways to respond. Start by thinking about the circumstances that bring out these behaviors: Who was involved? How did the situation unfold? How did you react? What happened? Do you see a pattern? Chris recognized that when he felt like his contributions were not valued or like he wasn’t being heard, he resorted to a passive-aggressive stance. This particularly true in leadership team meetings where Chris felt like he had to defend marketing’s role, value, and resources to the rest of the organization. He had a hard time understanding why he was always being tested.
2. Identify the cause. There is likely an underlying cause for your passive-aggressiveness — it can be a fear of failure (a desire for perfection), a fear of rejection (a desire to be liked), or a fear of conflict (a desire for harmony). It’s critical to understand the root of the issue so that you can address it head on and determine whether your fear is warranted. For Chris, the root cause was a fear of conflict and the belief that if others valued him, they wouldn’t push and question him and his group. In effect, Chris equated any sign of conflict with not being valued. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Others questioned marketing because they saw it as a critical part of the business and wanted to ensure its success. When Chris realized how his beliefs were driving his passive-aggressive behavior, he saw how important it was to change his default response.
3. Be honest with yourself. Once you understand the underlying reasons for your behavior, you need to be honest with yourself about what you really want. Continuing to veil or deny your feelings will only perpetuate the passive-aggressive response. What is it that you truly think? What is it that you really want to say? What outcome are you hoping for? Then think about how to express that desire in a direct, but respectful, way.
4. Embrace conflict. A large part of letting go of passive-aggressive behavior is accepting that conflict happens. Conflict at work (or anywhere) is not necessarily a bad thing if you make an effort to move through it productively. Seek mutual understanding (not to be mistaken with mutual agreement) of each other’s positions and recognize that even if you don’t agree with someone, it typically does not mean that the relationship is in jeopardy. By accepting that engaging in conflict enhanced what his division had to offer rather than derailing its work, Chris more readily took part in those interactions. Instead of shutting down the exchanges by offering a fake agreement or withholding critical feedback, he respectively disagreed and asked questions to better understand his colleagues’ perspectives.
5. Get input. Working on any behavioral change is hard. It’s easy to be overly critical of your own efforts or simply disappointed that you’re not seeing enough progress. For that reason, it’s important to check in with others on how you’re doing. Share what you’re working on with a few folks that you trust. Periodically, ask them how you’re doing. Do they get the sense that you’re just talking the talk, or actually walking the walk? Chris’s road was not an easy one and every now and then he defaulted back to his passive-aggressive response. But over time, those occasions became more and more rare as Chris focused on being direct and clear in what he wanted to communicate. Some of his confidantes did a good job holding him accountable, even going as far as kicking him under the table during team meetings if he started showing the passive-aggressive behavior that he’d worked so hard to shed.
Managing your own passive aggressive behaviors is about getting rid of the incongruity between your internal dialogue — what you think — and your external actions — what others see and hear. Not only will aligning your thoughts with your actions build trust with your work colleagues; you’ll increase your own self-confidence and trust in yourself. And there is nothing passive-aggressive about that.

Best B-Schools That Offer The Value For Money 06-23

BANGALORE: With so many top-level MBA programmes to choose from and in so many different countries, the whole process to find the best B-schools that offer great value for money is something that has left many aspiring students in dilemma. Keeping that in mind, we have listed top MBA schools in the world that offer better returns on investment, as reported by Yahoo. 

#1 HEC Paris:

Post MBA Salary: $123,964

Return on Investment: 66.5 Percent

HEC Paris is a European business school located in the southern fringes of Paris, France. HEC is the business school of Paris Tech and is considered as one of the top reputed and prominent business schools in the world. Along with this, HEC also hold the tag as the best business school in Europe for seven times in the eight-year period between 2006 and 2013 in the Financial Times ranking. It is also one among the most selective French institutions and traditionally seen as the most prestigious French business school. When it comes to courses, HEC offers Master in Management, MBA and EMBA programs, eleven specialized MSc programs, a PhD program, and many executive education programs.

#2 Aston Business School:

Post MBA Salary: $67,739

Return on Investment: 64.5 Percent

Aston Business School, also called as ABS, is one of the largest business schools situated in Europe. Part of Aston University, ABS is situated in the centre of Birmingham, England. 

It is one among the very few business schools to be granted Triple accreditation: EQUIS by the EFMD, AMBA and the AACSB. To add on to that, ABS was also ranked 8th in the UK and 33rd in the world by QS. In the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008, ABS was ranked 9th in the UK and is one of only three business schools to be awarded a Small Business Charter Gold Award for its role in helping to support enterprise.

#3 University of Hong Kong:

Post MBA Salary: $94,371

Return on Investment: 60.2 P

Founded in 1911 during the British Colonial era ,University Of Hong Kong is a public research university located in Pokfulam, Hong Kong,. It is one of the oldest tertiary institution in Hong Kong which was originally established in order to compete with other higher learning institutions in China at the beginning of the twentieth century. Today, HKU is one of the highly reputed institutes that offer 10 academic faculties, and it exhibits strength in scholarly research and education of humanities, law, political sciences, biological sciences and medicine. It is also the first team in the world, which successfully isolated the corona virus, which was the contributing agent of SARS.

#4 IIM—Ahmedabad

Post MBA Salary: $32,899

Return on Investment: 44.2 Percent

The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad is a public business school located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. It was the second only Indian Institute of Management to be established, after IIM Calcutta. IIM-A is the only Indian institute listed by The Economist in its 2012 full-time B-school ranking, at 56th rank rising 22 ranks from 2011 when the institute was ranked at 78th. The Financial Times Global B-School rankings also ranked IIM Ahmedabad's PGPX programme at 11th position, whereas its Global MBA rankings featured the institute at 11th respectively.  

Established in 1961, the institute offers Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Management and Agri-Business Management, a Doctoral Programme and a number of Executive Training Programmes.

#5 Pittsburgh Katz:

Post MBA Salary: $76,136

Return on Investment: 41.9 

The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It was founded on the edge of the American border as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787, and evolved into the Western University of Pennsylvania by few alterations in 1819.

The university is composed of 17 undergraduate, graduate schools and colleges located at its urban Pittsburgh campus, and it is also home to the university's central administration and 28,766 undergraduate, graduate as well as professional students. It was also reported that for the class of 2013, 92 percent of Katz graduates found employment within three months of graduation.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Why India Will Soon Outpace China 06-20

Why India Will Soon Outpace China

On the face of it, the title of this article will seem absurd to many. While China’s economic growth has slowed, it’s still running at a brisk 7.4% annual rate. Moreover, the Chinese government seems to be successfully slowing credit in order to rein in a burgeoning debt issue. And it’s implementing a plethora of reforms which should propel the next phase of growth.
Meanwhile, India’s a mess. This fiscal year’s GDP will be below 5% and near decade lows, government and corporate debt is high, the current account deficit has been out of control until recently, inflation reached double-digits late last year, business confidence and investment are at extreme lows and corruption remains rampant.
Dig a little deeper though and the picture doesn’t appear as favourable for China’s economic prospects vis-a-vis India’s. First, it’s highly probable that China’s GDP growth rate is slowing much more than the fraudulent figures put out by the government (I’m not picking on China here as many governments are guilty of this). Second, credit tightening in China will almost certainly take years rather than months given the boom which preceded it. Third, Chinese economic reform will be a drag on growth in the near-term, as can already be evidenced by the crackdown on corruption and its impact on retail consumption.
On the flip side, there are many signs that India’s economy may have bottomed. The current account deficit has significantly eased, the currency has stabilised, inflation has substantially pulled back and corporate earnings are improving. With inflation down, interest rates will soon be cut, which may prove the catalyst for the next investment cycle. The election of a new, economically-friendly government should ensure an acceleration in investment and improved productivity.
There are other positive developments which augur well for India too. For instance, there’s an ongoing boom in the agricultural sector with rising investment and wages. This has resulted in India becoming a net food exporter – an important development given the country’s dependence on agriculture.
For a long time, India’s decentralised, often chaotic economic model has been seen as inferior to China’s authoritarian, top-down model. A reappraisal of that view may soon be in order.
How India became a mess
Morgan Stanley’s Ruchir Sharma has noted that India seems to go through cycles of economic crisis and reform every decade or so. In 1991, a balance of payments crisis preceded widespread economic deregulation which is credited for driving the rapid economic growth of the following two decades. In the early 2000s, another crisis resulted in further deregulation and privatisation of key industries.
Here we are about ten years later and there are economic troubles again. GDP growth has slipped below 5%. Inflation peaked in double digits before marginally declining of late. The fiscal and current account deficits have widened sharply.
The government is again largely to blame for the problems. The ruling Congress Party fell into the trap of thinking that economic growth in the high single digits during 2003-2007 was perfectly natural. But it was just the result of reforms from prior governments.
In response to the 2008 crisis, the ruling party initiated a large stimulus package. This worked for a time as the economy recovered faster than most other emerging markets. But combined with large-scale subsidies to bribe rural voters, to the tune of 2.3% of GDP, inflation soon lurched out of control. A lack of reform driven by infighting in the Congress Party and a judicial crackdown on political corruption didn’t help.
Foreign investors and bond rating agencies became increasingly nervous about India. In 2012, the ratings agencies threatened to downgrade the country’s sovereign rating to junk status. Mid last-year, the rupee tanked as foreign investors grew concerned about the current account deficit following hints of QE tapering at that time.
These events were enough to spark the government into action. It’s since liberalised foreign investment in retail and airlines. It’s also started to cut back on energy and agricultural subsidies. More recently, the new central bank governor hiked interest rates to stabilise the currency and tame inflation.
Signs the economy has bottomed
There are a number of signs though that India’s economy may have bottomed and better times lay ahead:
1) The current account deficit (CAD) has eased significantly. The last quarter saw the lowest CAD number in five years due to improved exports and lower gold imports. Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecast India’s CAD will be 2% this fiscal year compared with 5% in 2013.
India CAD
2) Inflation has pulled back. Due to lower food prices, WPI inflation is at its lowest level in more than four years.
India inflation
3) The rupee has stabilised. Interest rate hikes and the declining CAD have helped.
4) Corporate earnings seem to be improving. The earnings revision ratio has been rising for the past eight months. Yes, it’s still not great but at least it’s heading in the right direction.
India earnings revision cycle
5) Nomura’s composite leading index for India suggests growth is bottoming out.
India - nomura leading indicator
The key to an economic recovery though is business investment. There are tentative signs that this may be set to turn around:
  • Business confidence, while low, has improved of late in anticipation of a new government coming into power.
  • Regulatory constraints for new projects should be eased post election. A Cabinet Committee on Investments has already started to reduce bottlenecks, but this should soon accelerate.
  • Higher interest rates are forcing Indian companies to reduce leverage by shedding assets. The process of decreasing debt, particularly among infrastructure companies, is necessary for businesses to be in a position to accelerate investment.
Asia Confidential doesn’t foresee a quick turnaround in capital expenditure given high corporate debt levels. But with the prospect of sharply declining interest rates and a new economically-friendly government soon in power, the conditions are in place for a gradual pick-up in business investment.
Modi: friend or foe?
The big question is whether the almost-certain-to-be new leader, Narendra Modi, can deliver on the inflated expectations of him. India’s stock market is certainly answering in the affirmative as it hits new highs (though it’s noteworthy that small caps have significantly lagged).
Modi’s economic track record is undoubtedly impressive. He’s been chief minister of Gujarat, a state with 60 million people, for 12 years. During that time, he’s cut red tape, built substantial infrastructure and contained corruption. Business and investment have thrived. Gujarat GDP has grown 3x under Modi’s leadership.  The state now produces 25% of Indian exports yet accounts for just 5% of the nation’s population. Most social indicators in the state have also improved under his watch.
As leader, Modi has promised to replicate his Gujarat policies of improving infrastructure, reducing regulatory hurdles for businesses and ultimately achieve higher growth rates. Granted, he’s been vague on how he’s going to finance some of his promises. Given the fiscal situation, there’s not much room for a substantial boost in spending.
The big blight on Modi’s track record is his hardline Hindu nationalism. In 2002, Muslims in the Gujarati town of Godhra set fire to a train carrying Hindu pilgrims back from a town in Uttar Pradesh. 59 people died on the train. After the attack, Hindu groups called for a protest. This resulted in several days of violence directed at Muslims. 1,000 died and 200,000 were displaced.
Being chief minister at the time, Modi had the option to ban the protest or call in police, but he chose not too. This was condemned at subsequent investigations. And Modi’s refusal to apologise for the incident continues to anger Muslims. The US actually revoked Modi’s visa, suggesting “he was responsible for the performance of state institutions” in the riot.
The facts of this incident are damning but must be weighed against his economic track record and leadership qualities. They must also be weighed against the ineptitude and arrogance of the governing Congress Party over the past decade and for much of the past 50 years.
What matters most though is the opinion of the Indian voter. There’s a chance that Modi could win an outright majority of votes in the general election, which would allow him to rule without coalition partners. The most probable outcome is that he’ll win a near-majority and will be able to build a coalition with a small number of partners.
By voting for Modi, Indians will be clearly saying that they’re tired of the Congress Party’s policies of protectionism, the bribes disguised as subsidies and corruption which goes along with these. They’re demanding policies to promote economic growth, development and jobs. And they want decisive leadership rather than bumbling and infighting.
It may be a stretch to suggest that voters favour market-driven solutions over government-driven ones. But the tide has certainly swing in that direction.
Ultimately, Modi is expected to be given a strong mandate for change and his business-friendly credentials bode well for the country’s economic prospects.
Broader, ignored positives
Besides a bottoming economy and new, potentially improved leadership, there are also several other positive developments which point to a brighter future. India’s much-maligned legal system and decentralised political system have proven strengths of late.
It’s the judiciary which has led the way in fighting corruption. There’s little doubt that corruption remains a huge issue in India. There are some estimates that it’s cost the country US$80 billion over the past decade. According to Transparency International, India ranks 94 of 177 countries in its global corruption perception index, behind the likes of China and Brazil, both hardly paragons of clean administrations.
The courts have been central to curbing some of the rampant corruption. The cancellation of 122 mobile phone licences and jailing of the telecommunications minister in 2012-2013 being but one example.
It’ll be up to Modi to accelerate the crackdown on corruption. It’s crucial that he does as corruption takes valuable money away from productive investments which can boost economic growth and keep inflation in check.
Undoubtedly, political decentralisation has helped the spread of corruption. But the upside from decentralisation is that India’s growth has been shared by rural areas as much as the cities (unlike in China).
In fact, rural areas in India are booming. Wages have risen by close to 15% per annum over the past ten years, compared to city wages which are down more than 2% over the same period.
Decentralisation provides part of the answer for the boom. Urbanisation – people moving from country to city – has also played a role as it’s resulted in a tightening in the rural labor force and contributed to the rise in wages and investment.
A moment in the sun
All of the above isn’t to suggest that India will displace China as Asia’s next economic giant. Far from it. With GDP per capita of just US$1,250, India still has an enormous way to go to catch up with China (GDP capita of US$6,700) and the rest of the developing world (GDP per capita of close to US$10,000).
What Asia Confidential has sought to demonstrate instead is that India has more scope to surprise than China on the economic front. Part of that is because India’s coming from such a low base.
Moreover, this author can foresee a time in the not-too-distant future when India’s economic growth matches, and likely surpasses that of China. The media may then be lauding the superiority of the Indian growth model over China’s!
AC Speed Read
-  Despite slowing, China’s economy is still growing at a much faster clip than India’s.
- But that may be about to change with signs that India’s economy has bottomed while China faces serious downside risks.
- With inflation falling in India, interest rates there are set to drop and this, combined with a new, business-friendly government, should provide the impetus for the next business investment cycle.
- For a long time, India’s decentralised economic model has been viewed as inferior to China’s authoritarian, top-down model. A reappraisal of that view may soon be in order.