Friday, 18 September 2015

Are we really facing a talent shortage?

Read the full article as Published in the HR Katha

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Does Spot Running make you run a Distance?

Once again yesterday I was confronted by an employee who inquired about his not getting growth despite his doing wonderful job since so many years. This confrontation again brought to me back the same old query – Does spot running make you run a distance?

Interestingly, since the day of my joining the corporate,I am hearing and is generally advised that it is the soft skills which are more responsible to succeed in career then functional & technical skills; still people do connive with and do not want to understand it. People however, in private discussions, accept and vouch for the behaviour’s importance in success.

I see two reasons of this immature behaviour of people - Education system & Culture in corporate - responsible for giving growth to employees based on their technical/functional skills.

At Education level, primarily focus is on imparting technical knowledge and to some extent in whatever way, providing opportunity to students that can make them acquire skill that is again technical in nature. Look at the course curriculum, its out & out very technical in nature. Soft development is missing entirely. Nowhere, the need is felt providing knowledge, irrespective of course one is pursuing, in soft subjects like psychology, basic neuroscience and anthropology. Mistake lies at the end of policy makers not to include such subjects in pure technical programs like engineering, medicine and technology. Yes, when I see some students of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, opting for psychology as a secondary subject, a find a sense of relief in me, but it doesn't give me full satisfaction as still such subjects are optional and  not compulsory to pursue. 

The corporate level, on one hand keep beating its chest of not having sufficient talent and on other, keep repeating the same mistake by promoting people based on their technical skills. That’s why, people with technical knowledge entering corporate remain focussed on their technical skills only.  The realisation that it is not only technical but more of behavioural skills required to be successful, it was already too late for them to correct the mistake. And then we face such questions from employees about their not getting growth. They think they can be successful by doing more of what they were doing before and telling others to do the same. But I find it running on a sport, dreaming to cover a distance.

It’s high time to introspect to correct our ways to make people more human and not robot. Perhaps, it will help people to get growth in their respective working domains and also in making a better society at large.

Growth is a function of behaviour with technical knowledge to create the base for it.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Experience & biases attached to it

In one of my earlier blogs, talked about undue importance being given to ‘Experience’ while ascertaining relevance of a person to a job. It is being proved time & again by youngsters today who are yet to graduate out of their colleges that it is not experience but certain mettle which counts more. Some, at this point may get into arguments with some numbers about a large number of start-ups failing to prove that experience is more important, but so is the case with ‘experienced CEOs'.  Count, how many CEOs do give back to their shareholders continuous better than average returns. At the same time, even I go to the extent of not denying peeved impact of experience on many decisions, where we feel, right decision are taken due to having some experience. But experience alone is not what makes one successful. 

Observations around and top of that research in the field of Neuroscience has made considerably clear that experience has its own biases which effect decisions as equally bad as taken by a novice. Although, further research may give us some more insight about our brain functioning and decision-making ability in near future.

Research studies, so far had proved that experience has much little importance to play in our decision making ability, again due to human biases. Errors & judgements prima-facie effect our decision making. This happens due to two hard-wire processes for decision making. One, where brain assesses what’s going on using PATTERN RECOGNITION and how does a person react or ignore to that pattern/ information. Other is EMOTIONAL TAGGING that reveals that decision making takes effect due to emotional tags that are stored in our memories. Biases of what you did last, effect decision today.

Both these processes are very important for human beings to take decisions but due to inherent challenges, these processes mislead us. For example pattern recognition misleads a person while dealing seemingly with familiar situations where brain assumes being taken right decisions, but that is not the fact. So, is the case with Emotional Tagging, whereby people taking decisions, do give un-due importance to their experience or emotional tags.

It can be merit out of the fact that an issue arising at different times, needs different solutions, keeping in view circumstances & facts; and not simply copy-past of someone’s success on the issue in the past. Many times, you see professionals failing due to their emotional tags or pattern of the past being pasted in current work-related challenges. Try relieving one's own past and looking at the situation in right & new perspective is what is more desirable.