Build talent & trust, lead with tenacity

The 3 Ts Are Vital Tools To Ensure Survival Of Cos In Today’s Unpredictable World

As the world goes through its tumultuous cycles, startups are no longer all successful; the older multigenerational ones are not invincible anymore. It is now even more about the 3Ts: Talent, Tenacity andTrust.


Every organisation needs to take a brutally honest view of its talent bench. Does it have the breadth and the depth it needs for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow?
This is where most leadership teams fail. The misplaced belief, that what worked thus far will remain the secret algorithm, is suicidal.

More than ignorance, it is often arrogance that fails leadership. Leaders low on talent mindset are conservative in defining their emergent talent needs and lazy to even secure it. They often hire and promote followers, not challengers. Short on their own brand pull,they don’t hire people better than themselves -in pedigree, experience or potential. Even if they deliver the demands of today , such leaders then must become the first warning signs for firms to address.

It is not just about hiring a fresh crop or weeding. Every talent, who secures the future, needs to be tended to. An nual increments and bonuses are no longer enough. Time to have meaningful conversations, understand their teams beyond tasks, emotionally blend with skip levels and in the process move from being a boss to a coach is what keeps great talent. Leaders cannot be so busy that these remain a low-order check box item. The risk to the enterprise can be deadly! Talent must be spotted early . The best must be allowed to progress much faster, in a variety of roles and with different leaders. They must be put in the most value-impacting roles. Theymust be given visibility to the senior leadership. Talent has a capitalistic bias; socialism can destroy it.


Building teams and corporations today is even more a call for tenacity. Not eve ry business model will click; notevery top talent will deliver always. Not every growing firm will stay clear of its share of swamps and deserts. One of the big virtues of leadership in the VUCA reality of today is tenacity of purpose and effort.

It finally comes down to the culture that one creates for the institution. Contrary to myths, culture is not a static set of moral science principles. Culture flows from business imperatives and sup ports the organisation’s business landscape. Culture seems a soft fuzzy thing that can always be done by HR later. This is the mistake of most left-brained leadership teams. Just because it is difficult to quantify, they make the mistake of leaving it diffused. Hence, a small hiccup can bring the firm crashing badly .

Defining a firm’s belief system, ensuring all organisational sub-systems are aligned to ensure every stakeholder understands and behaves consistently is key to building organisational tenacity . The exercise is one of making choices. This must be done with due deliberation but reinforced substantively . Companies often drift along, and each person then interprets and resolves to behave as one chooses. This may be in good faith but it creates fissiparous tendencies within the system, sharpening fault lines and impacting organisational tenacity .

At the same time, it is important to step back and reflect whether an espoused culture and belief system has outlived its relevance. Even if it seems heretic, organisations must never atrophy to become a prisoner of its past when the future is so different. Cultures must get revisited, refined and, if needed, repudiated. The old order must give way to the new, irrespective of political sensitivities and emotional outpourings. This itself then becomes a strong cultural pillar of a corporation. It builds, protects and sustains, beyond perso nalities and business cycles.


Every business or institution survives and thrives when it secures and retains the trust of its various stakeholders. Does it deliver its promise as perceived by the different constituencies? Does it evolve its value proposition over time? Does it read changes in the environment to still deliver an experience of trust and goodwill?
Some corporations have invested in years of delivering a promise that makesthem more trustworthy .Others may have been successful but still struggle to be trusted. In many ways, trust is a bigger sustainable success than profits. How do leadership teams ensure their firms do the right thing to enhance their Trust Quotient?
One of the principle jobs of leadership is to ensure trust in their outfits. They must communicate proactively to the various stakeholder groups. They must respond to questions, honestly allay misgivings and humbly admit errors of judgment. No one expects a leader to always have all the answers. Unfortunately, positional leaders struggle to express their vulnerability .To seek help and not seem allknowing are commonplace leadership traps. This is a recipe for trust disruption one day .

Whether it is with internal teams or with external groups, great leaders of today ensure their circle of influence is strong and credible. In the world of social media, they have reinvented themselves to connect, communicate and clarify . There can be no power distance from anyone today . It is about influence, not command. It is about relevance, not experience. Those who understand this and work at it are better placed to create relationships of trust, not handcuffs of business might or hierarchical prowess.

The world seems more complex today . But the leadership mantras for survival and success do not need complex algorithms or obtuse models. Get your 3 Ts -Talent, Tenacity and Trust -right first. The tumult will pass and you will be stronger the morning after the storm.


Source:-The Times of India

Date:-5th July,2017


Axis Move to Sell Tata AIA Policies may Rock Max Life’s Merger Plan

HDFC Life may pitch for a revaluation for merger as Axis accounts for 60% of Maxsales

The proposed merger between life insurers HDFC Life and Max Life, which has hit a regulatory roadblock, may face yet another headache, this time over valuation.

Axis Bank, which accounts for 60% of New Delhi-based Max Life’s sales, is in talks with Tata AIA Life Insurance to sell the latter’s products, a person aware of the development said. Axis Bank currently sells insurance policies of only Max Life and market leader Life Insurance Corporation of India.

The development is likely to prompt HDFC Life to reconsider Max Life’s valuation for the proposed merger, said a person familiar with the merger negotiations.

The two parties are currently restructuring the merger deal after Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irda) rejected the original proposal.

After the announcement of the merger between Max Life and HDFC Life, Axis Bank had tied up with LIC.

Axis Bank holds a small stake in Max Life Insurance. It would hold a lower percentage in the merged entity as per the proposed structure. The bank’s tie-up with LIC to sell the latter’s products, too, was finalised after Max Life and HDFC Life announced their merger plan.

“We are allowed to tie up with three companies,“ said Rajiv Anand, executive director at Axis Bank. “We are in talks with several companies for a tie-up in li fe insurance.“

Tata AIA at present sells its products through IndusInd Bank, Citibank and HDFC Bank. Tata Sons owns 51% in the company and AIA holds 49% through AIA International Ltd.

As per the present agreement, Axis Bank will sell products of Max Life till 2021.

The bank earned `997 crore in mutual fund and insurance distribution fees in the year ended March 2017, 18% growth from `889 crore earned a year ago.

The bank sees a huge potential for its business of selling life insurance.

Tata AIA Life Insurance has 3.7% market share in individual business income adjusted for single premium. It recently tied up with HDFC Bank for distributing its products through its branches. It is the sixth-largest life insurance company. It has gained around 100 bps market share in the last one year.


Source:-The Economic Times

Date:-5th July,2017

“Employee Handbook: Do’s and Don’ts”

Often, the employee handbook is amongst the first handbooks that HR sets up as a part of workplace documentation. It is considered to be the guiding light for employees, outlining processes, rules, norms, workplace behaviors, standard operating procedures for people and so on. Having all these in writing in a ready reckoner minimizes the need to “push” information to the employee, since the document acts as a “self service” instrument that empowers the employee. However, the mistake is that most HR employees design, develop and distribute the employee handbook, only to forget about its existence. It is not sufficient to introduce the handbook; a “pull” effect must be created wherein employees are eager to turn to it when they have any doubt. On the other hand, HR professionals must take extra efforts to orient their people to the handbook, and also update it on a periodic basis, to keep it relevant to the current times. There are legal implication to this too. Recently the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) took to scrutinizing employee handbooks, to check whether employers had put down unlawful employee restrictions on employees.

Here are the important do’s and don’ts when it comes to making and managing an employee handbook.


  • Handbooks should provide a view of what the employees are entitled to, as well as what is expected of them from the organization. For example, provide notice of job duties and responsibilities, at the same time make sure to include the employee rights and benefits. This will help outline both the “give” and “take” element of the employer-employee contract.
  • Outline expectations from employees in terms of the following: behavior and conduct, performance requirements, attendance and time off, discipline etc.
  • A handbook is an effective tool to propagate the employee culture. Have the handbook talk about the organizational cultural elements i.e. vision and mission, history, purpose, values, business and functional goals. Note that the goals may change every year and hence the handbook must be updated.
  • The handbook is a powerful tool to minimize legal implications in case of a dispute or legal allegation. Include policies that minimize the potential for liability. The content and wordings should show that you comply with the law.
  • It is important to keep the handbook glocal—i.e. an overall umbrella organization-level content, interspersed with locally relevant content. For example, keep in mind the language that employees understand better, and have a handbook in that language too. Also, avail the services of a local lawyer to incorporate local laws and rules.
  • A handbook is not just about employee labor laws. Make sure you consult your IT and technology department to incorporate the tech angle—how to handle social media interactions and content, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and other tech policies.
  • Make sure you include external-facing situations related to employee recruitment and exit. For example, outline the confidentiality agreements and non-compete agreements that employees are expected to adhere to.
  • Be sure to do your initial research on legal requirements and trends, particularly on new and emerging areas.


  • Do not have a single standard version of the employee handbook. Often different employee categories (corporate, factory, sales etc. ) will have different entitlements and rules as per law. Make sure you incorporate those.
  • Do not release a handbook without checking whether it is legally valid, compliant and complete.
  • Refrain from the temptation of using another company’s employee handbook as a starting point to draft your own. No two employers are alike, and needs and legalities differ.
  • Do not overlook differences in federal, state and local law. Local relevance is of prime importance.
  • Do not be too rigid in defining employee conduct and disciplinary requirements. Leave room for discretion based on case to case requirements, at the same time retain the ability to discipline employees when warranted.

Over and above these, it is important that the handbook be user-friendly i.e. readable and well understood by the employees and employers. Organize it in a manner that is easy to access; host it on the company intranet. Also, communicate its contents from time to time, as a part of the communication strategy of HR. Review the policies from time to time to keep them up to date. A well designed and communicated employee handbook can shift the onus of behavior and performance to the employee to a large extent, freeing up HR’s bandwidth for more strategic interventions.


Source: HR Technologist

Date: 3rd July, 2017