Brand equity is not about companies alone. In a competitive and challenging work environment, it is important to demonstrate key traits that help you stand out and build your credibility in an organisation. Anumeha Chaturvedi takes you through the process of gaining a greater circle of influence.

1 Identify your Type
It is important to clearly identify how you wish to be perceived in the organisation, says T Muralidharan, founder and chairman of recruiting and HR services firm TMI. “It might be worthwhile to get associated with certain key words to understand how you wish to be remembered. Are you the functional guru, the networker or the team leader who mobilises people? Identify your type and work towards achieving that profile,” he says.
2 Focus on Current Deliverables In order to build a personal brand, you need a strong foundation and in this context, there is no escaping your current work. William Kofahl, VP, HR for India, Middle East and Africa at Emerson, says good companies always find and develop their best internal talent. “Ask yourself, ‘If I honestly compared myself to the people around me who do a similar job, would I really be considered the best?’ ”
3 Develop a Measurable Plan If some skill sets are missing to build a certain image, you need to develop a plan, says Kofahl. “Share your plan with your managers — let them know that you are constantly working to improve yourself. If you are really considered the best at what you do, volunteer to work on new projects or take on new and different assignments,” he says. Besides, you need to set clear, measurable outcomes to assess whether your strategies are working, adds Amit Nandkeolyar, assistant professor of organisational behaviour at ISB. “It could mean the number of professional associations that you regularly attend and contribute to, or cross-functional teams on which you were nominated to resolve some outstanding problems. The exact outcomes will depend on your job or industry,” he says.
4 Connect with your Superiors It is important to identify key professionals who can mentor you on an ongoing basis and help build your brand. This could be the boss, the boss’ boss, an HR manager or any other senior professional one trusts and respects. “One should demonstrate key attributes to these professionals as these are professionals who can propagate one’s skill sets and traits in the circles that matter,” says Muralidharan.
5 Build a Peer Network
While popularity is great for brand building, self-promotion and the attempts to gain greater visibility can also leave colleagues threatened. “It is important to find, nurture and develop a network of like-minded individuals who are passionate and are willing to back each other up. Having a social network helps prevent a social backlash from your colleagues,” says Nandkeolyar.

Source: The Economic Times
Date: 6th September 2013

CRITICISM that doesn’t HURT NOBODY LIKES TO BE TOLD THEY’RE WRONG. YASMIN TAJ DISCUSSES HOW CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM CAN BENEFIT YOU GREATLY, EVEN IF YOU DON’T WANT IT

How often have you fumed with anger over being criticized at work? How often have you felt that your shortcoming could have been pointed out to you in a better manner? We all make mistakes and want feedback; and this is where constructive criticism plays a very crucial role.
Experts through the years have remarked that constructive criticism is the secret to career improvement. According to Sucheta Shetty, vice president – HR,TAKE Solutions, “Constructive criticism is a well-meant assessment intended to help someone improve by offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about work or behaviour, usually involving both positive and negative feedback. This form of a feedback mechanism is productive as it enables the improvement of performance and also supports the individual in taking appropriate decisions.” “As HR professionals, we don’t use the term ,‘criticism’. We use the word ‘feedback’ instead because the former has a negative connotation,” asserts Sanjay Joshi, HR head, Indian Subcontinent, Intertek. “Constructive feedback is the gap analysis we do for any individual of his/her skills, job knowledge and behaviours. This distinguishes between our perception of ourselves and others’ perception of us,” he adds.
So, what is the best way to offer criticism? Sunil Goel, MD, GlobalHunt says that constructive criticism generally comes from well-wishers – those who have been able to observe your behaviour, work style and gaps within it.“Critics should take the person into confidence and identify the right way to communicate the shortcomings. Critics should keep a substantial time gap to highlight them,” he suggests.
The best form of criticism, according to Uttam Ghosh, head – HR, Centum Learning, is devoid of judgment and perceptions, thus focusing only on the core issue.“One must try to avoid any comments on one’s personal traits, which normally is not received well. Often, if the approach of inclusivity is missed in the process, it leads to dysfunctional behaviour with non-desired outcomes,” he states.
There is a very thin line between giving constructive criticism and generating negative criticism. Debasis Chatterji, CEO, Netxcell Limited maintains that constructive criticism should enable individuals to align their behaviour towards their growth and fulfillment, which in turn, reflects in the growth of the organisation. For Joshi, firstly, constructive criticism depends on the environment it is being conducted in.“The interaction should be oneon-one in nature and should not be conducted in public. The feedback should be detailed, realistic, logical, timely and the individual should be explained the ‘why’ of feedback. Let’s say someone who is attending the customers comes late; there are two ways to help the person improve.You can be direct and tell, You are always late or I have noticed that customers have to wait for you to get in. The approach needs to be right in order to be motivating rather than hurtful because at the end of the day, you want them to improve. This wouldn’t be the end of the discussion but it will start an open dialogue with the individual and help him/her grow,” he advises.
So, if criticism is given more as constructive feedback, it will certainly help an individual work towards improving himself/herself and move towards career enhancement.
THE CARDINAL PRINCIPLES OF ACCEPTING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK:

• EMBRACE THE ENVIRONMENT WITH AN OPEN MIND;

• LISTEN ATTENTIVELY AND RESPECTFULLY;

• DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY;

• CONSIDER IT AS AN AREA OF IMPROVEMENT AND PRACTICE;

• REQUEST TIME TO FOLLOW UP;

• ACKNOWLEDGE THE EFFORT OF THE PERSON WHO DELIVERED IT.

Source:Ascent
Date:4th September 2013

‘India should speed up insurance sector reforms’

A global body of insurers today said India should speed up reforms in insurance sector, which would help in attracting more foreign funds. “Coalition of global insurers with substantial investments in India has made a strong plea to the Parliament and India’s leadership to pass the Insurance Amendment Bill before this Parliament session ends,” Washington based Albright Stonebridge Group said in a statement. Recent reports that the much-delayed Insurance Bill is unlikely to be passed by the Indian Parliament in its current session should be a cause of great concern to everybody, it said. 
“If the Insurance Bill does not pass through the Parliament in the current session, the global investment community may read it as a lack of interest on part of its policy makers to do what needs to be done to avert a bigger crisis,” Frank Wisner, former US Ambassador to India, was quoted as saying in the statement. He has been leading this coalition of global insurers advocating for increased FDI in insurance, it added. The Insurance Amendment Bill to raise FDI cap in the insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent has been pending in the Rajya Sabha since 2008. 
“It is imperative that the proposed Bill…is accepted since it is widely seen by the foreign investment community and governments as a key reinforcement of India’s commitment to financial and economic reforms,” the release said. 
Former Country Head and CEO of AIG India Sunil Mehta said that any further delay in pushing insurance reforms will exacerbate the risk of losing this capital to other competitive markets. 
For a country with a GDP that is about to touch USD 2 trillion, India has woefully inadequate insurance coverage, the statement said, adding, only 6 per cent of the 1.25 billion Indians have life insurance and only 5 per cent of has health cover. 
It further said India’s insurance industry needs around USD 12 billion in capital up to 2020 and opening up the insurance sector to higher FDI will greatly enhance the industry’s reach to semi-urban and rural markets. 
“We urge India’s political parties to join hands in the interest of the nation, its economy and its people and push the bill through Parliament in the current session,” Wisner added. Albright Stonebridge Group is the premier global commercial diplomacy firm.

Source: The Economic Times

Date: 3rd September 2013

Irda gives license to 5 insurance repositories Policyholders have an option to choose to either digitise their policy or to have it in existing format

Five companies have been given the status of insurance repositories by the insurance regulator. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) has given a license which will be valid till July 31, 2014.The five companies include NSDL Database Management Limited, Central Insurance Repository Limited, CAMS Repository Services Limited, SHCIL Projects Limited and Karvy Insurance Repository Limited.
Irda has recently clarified in its regulation on insurance repositories and said that insurers can enter into agreements with one or more repositories. The objective of creating an insurance repository is to provide policyholders a facility to keep insurance policies in electronic form and to undertake changes, modifications and revisions in the insurance policy with speed and accuracy in order to bring about efficiency, transparency and cost reduction in the issuance and maintenance of insurance policies. Policyholders have an option to choose to either digitise their policy or to have it in the existing format. These repositories are required to maintain records of e-insurance accounts with an unique number, records of e-insurance policies issued and records of e-insurance policies converted back into physical form, index of policyholders and their nominees / assignees / beneficiaries in the respective life insurance policies, among others. Further, they also have to maintain history of claim data.

Source: Business Standard
Date:3rd September 2013

A Lateral Lift…!!!

Growth doesn’t always have to be upwards. We explore the horizontal growth paradigm.

In the corporate world, ambition is often symbolised by the boss’ job. But what if you don’t want your boss’ job? What if you’d rather grow horizontally rather than vertically? Growth comes in many shapes and sizes and not all of it is synonymous with leadership or management.

In today’s environment, do we have the space for people who genuinely do not want to manage/lead – who want to simply explore their own repertoire of skills? “A successful organisation is an amalgamation of different people with different skill-sets weaved together to achieve organisational goals. It’s quite natural in today’s dynamic business environment that we have a motley of people who have different working styles. Someone could be a fantastic team player while another could be more focused on his/her vertical/domain and may not want to actively assume a lead role,” opines Eberhard Kern, managing director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India. “We have moved people from sales to marketing and vice versa, purely to give them the exposure and skills that their current role couldn’t provide. When moving from marketing to sales, a person develops real-time customer and consumer insights, learns empathy and sharpens negotiation skills for instance. Vice-versa, a sales person develops clear marketing insights, drivers to pricing and margins, creative thinking, etc,” shares Asha Gupta, managing director, Indian Subcontinent, Tupperware.

Many of us work in smaller teams and sometimes, we may not want our boss’ job. In such cases, growth may mean taking on a role that is parallel but challenging in a different way. “Many a times, vertical growth happens only after a horizontal one and this is the phenomenon that people have to accept. It would be important for people to understand that many jobs at the top require multifarious personalities and capabilities gained by performing different jobs at a parallel level and after some time, these are the people who move to a senior (vertical) role,” reveals Prince Augustin, executive VP, group human capital & leadership development, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. “Developmental experiences can result from horizontal transitions to another function, line of business, organisation, industry sector or region. A horizontal move is not a promotion, but calls for new expertise. It enables managers to experience a different work culture, a different nature and purpose of work, and different systems and processes. Increasingly, organisations are beginning to understand the merit of a horizontal movement as a key developmental tool at their disposal,” explains Stephen Remedios, faculty APAC, The Center for Creative Leadership.

Are organisations open to individuals who have moved horizontally in their career rather than vertically? “To ensure your employees feel connected with the organisation and contribute towards its success rather than seeing it as a nine to six job, it is extremely important for a company to discover the strengths of its employees and where their passions lie. If given an opportunity, they can create great products, new breakthrough solutions or can go on to become great customer relationship managers or fantastic sales executives,” avers Vikram Goel, manager – strategic initiatives, Tech Mahindra. “In Singapore’s public service sector, emerging leaders are intentionally rotated among statutory boards, agencies and ministries to prepare them to handle a diversity of governmental operations and to broaden their strategic perspective,” says Remedios. Thus, horizontal growth can be as fruitful as vertical growth.

Source:Ascent
Date:28th August 2013

Babus, PSU Chiefs Learn the B-School Way of Steering Ship PSUs & govt departments investing heavily on leadership development to adopt new models & brace up for challenges

Premier business schools of the country such as Indian Institutes of Management and Indian School of Business have a new set of visitors coming to sharpen their leadership skills —toprung officials of public sector companies and government departments.
From Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to Indian Police Service and Indian Foreign Service, government sector organisations are investing heavily on leadership development to prepare themselves for future challenges in a fast changing economic and market environment.
This May, for example, 30 executive directors of public sector banks gathered at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, (IIM-K) for a three-day workshop where they looked into economic, social and political changes, and discussed performance issues, resilience and growth possibilities, among other things.
“The workshop discussed a lot about leadership in a tough environment which is what the current economic scenario is. It taught us about how leaders can see opportunities even in trying times like these,” says Usha Ananthasubramanian, executive director at Punjab National Bank, who will head the new all-women’s bank, Bharatiya Mahila Bank.
“A three-day workshop does not transform one, but gives the right kind of inputs to implement, experiment and mould oneself, which has become necessary for strategic leadership,” she says.
Debashish Chatterjee, director at IIM-K, who conducted the workshop, says the objective of the leadership clinic was to enable these bankers with alternative dimensions of leadership.
“Till now, most nationalised banks have grown phenomenally but the next phase of growth will be different. There are new players coming in, banks will also face a paradox of local and global expansion and pressure on margins,” he says. It’s not just bankers. Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India, Life Insurance Corporation of India, NTPC and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation have all been sending their officials to B-schools.
IIM-Bangalore held 23 programmes for government and public sector officials in 2012-13, up from 17 in the previous year and its revenues from these events almost doubled to Rs 10.77 crore from . 5.77 crore. At IIM-K, the number of programmes grew 60% in 2012-13 while revenues increased 50%. ISB’s revenues from such programmes have increased to 20% from 12% in the last three years.
Deepak Chandra, deputy dean at ISB, says that in the government sector there is an increased focus on leadership development in a deregulated and fast evolving environment. “Hence the leadership lessons deal with issues in a more competitive, deregulated and complex environment in the context of a slowing economy — issues that leaders of government organisations face while running their businesses,” he says.
ISB held a 47-day programme for ONGC for last several years to help the oil and gas behemoth’s former CMD Subir Raha to choose his future board members. The programme looked into how global oil and gas companies operated in a deregulated environment among other things. State organisations clearly see a deeper need to give their top leaders a glimpse of the changing world, to help them act quickly, ensure growth and contain losses in a dynamic business scenario. HAL, which is currently conducting a year long programme for 30 leaders at IIM-Ahmedabad, began reaching out to B-schools since 2008 and has so far organised 55 customised leadership development programmes for its senior leaders across different IIMs, spending . 11.7 crore.
Its latest one-year leadership development programme aims to groom high performing senior executives for higher roles, a top HAL official said. “Succession is one of the biggest challenges, and developing the potential of senior executives, while planning for the future, is critical for our success in the competitive business scenario that has emerged in aerospace and defence sectors,” the official says.
HD Gujrati, director at Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL)— a special purpose vehicle the ministry of railways set up in 2007 with an investment of . 90,000 crore to construct dedicated freight corridors across the country — says it is important for the organisation to train its leaders to perform in a changing environment. “In a huge infrastructure project like ours, processes are different and any delay costs huge sums of money,” he says.
DFCCIL will plan, develop, mobilise financial resources and construct, maintain and operate dedicated freight corridors. It will employ the latest global technology in heavy haul.
In 2011, the firm constituted a training cell to plan trainings for its officials. The training plan finalised for 2012-13 included a special component of strategic management course for top leadership.
Following this, ISB conducted a diagnostic study by interacting with top-level DFCCIL officials to know the strength and weaknesses and the actual requirements. This concluded with a two-day programme for 37 assistant general managers and above officials including the managing director and directors at the schools campus. DFCCIL sent its second batch this year. Keyoor Purani, chairperson of management development programmes at IIM-K, says government sector organisations realise that there are significant changes in business environment that demands newer perspectives and mindset.
“Earlier, government and PSUs did internal training and most of the time depended on government academies established for sectorspecific training inputs, but now, increasingly, they are looking at fresh perspectives from business schools as they feel that public sector enterprises can significantly borrow from models and practices that work for private and multinational enterprises,” he says.
Even organisations such as Electronics Corporation of India, under the department of atomic energy, which hardly sent their executives to management school in their long history, have started doing it now, Purani says.
IIM-K has conducted programmes ranging anywhere from three days to 45 days for Indian Army, DRDO, National Academy of Defence Production, Indian Ordnance Factory, Bharat Electronics, NTPC, NHPC, Power Grid Corporation, and the Department of Atomic Energy among others.

Source: The Economic Times
Date: 3rd September 2013