Friday, March 09, 2012

There won’t be any other honest cricketer like Rahul Dravid any more.. End of an Era

So aptly said on CRICINFO website by a fan “Indian bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down.. Indian bridge was falling down in olden days!! DRAVID-Build it up with iron and steel, Iron and steel, iron and steel, Build it up with iron and steel, THE WALL OF CRICKET!!

The last of the few gentleman left in cricket. I doubt if there'll ever be another like him. World cricket will be poorer with his exit, good luck to him and thanks for the memories. Game with its increasing penchant for entertainment and gimmickry will be hard pressed to produce cricketers of his immense quality.

RSD symbolized greatness with simplicity which is tough to see today. He is not just an idol for cricket fans but for anyone who wants to aspire higher things keeping firm feet on the ground . He epitomized Indian middleclass better than anybody in any profession. His work ethic showed us what it was like to be the consummate professional, his selfless choice to open or keep wickets just to help the team out, taught us about humility and sacrificial giving, his adaptability to the shorter forms showed how an old dog can indeed excel at new tricks and finally his tender portrayal of our great nation in delivering the Bradman oration revealed the depth of his love towards the country.

"There is no more comforting sight in test cricket than Rahul walking to the crease to take guard". When McGrath-Lee, Donald-Pollock, Akram-Akhtar were rewriting the bowler-batsman equation in cricket, many batsmen have played spin bowling better then Rahul, but the last 30 years has not seen a better batsman to the fast, swinging ball. In 1999, when India was summarized by Australia, a commentator saw the sweat on Dravid's brows when facing Mcgrath and quipped that 'it seems hotter out there for the batsmen'. That sight was testament to all that Dravid is about - mental concentration and visibly painful but breathtaking adherence to technique. It is easy to throw your bat and ride a lucky streak a la Hyden, Sehwag &  many others to become great by being aggressive. But that’s not test cricket. Kudos to the Dravid family for this colossus, this unique servant of the game who bows out serving as a master class in mental toughness

As a man himself many times in the past has said, he is OK to be the second best in an era when GOD played alongside. If he were to be born at any other time he could have been the best of that time (not that he is not now).

You deserved to retire at home to a standing ovation, but knowing you nothing matters more than Team’s cause. THANK YOU LEGEND

Friday, January 27, 2012

How can HR Lead Change

During my interactions with many HR Leaders, I found out that seldom they involve in major organization wide changes, the lack of participation can be attributed to varieties of reasons like inclination to change, business knowledge, being in the comfort and not willing to take things head on.
Though it's rare, here's an indicator of what is possible. One of the HR Leaders working in Health Care sector whom I spoke to : learned that the senior team was wanting to launch  "relationship-based care," a comprehensive cultural change program to focus doctors' and nurses' attention on patients and their families. He offered to have HR involved to address the people aspects. He showed them how HR could weave relationship-based care and continuous improvement into the fabric of this community hospital in central New York, for example by hiring and promoting the right people. He was at the table with them as they planned training and communications, and as they decided how to reward people who took on improvement projects.
When I talk with leaders of process improvement activities about the role of HR in change, however, I generally hear that HR is bureaucratic and a brake on innovation. Others say that HR is under-utilized. In most organizations talent management is left to direct supervisors.

Dave Ulrich, a professor at the University of Michigan, has identified three human resource processes that are critical for embedding a culture such as continuous improvement: (1) talent flow, (2) rewards, and (3) training and development. Changing any of these to support continuous improvement presents challenges to HR:
  • Talent Flow: By recruiting & career advancing the people based on their fitment with the organizations vision of growth (mindset & behaviors)— and letting go those who don't —People see what is happening and adapt their behaviors accordingly. The problem for continuous improvement is that managers tend to hire for expertise, not for behaviors such as improvement. One of the HR Leader, told me, "We hire what the manager wants. We hire a Solutions Architect, who is great at working with Technology. We have seldom challenge managers to look more broadly. We introduced HR business partners twelve months ago and asked them to advocate HR policies. They struggled. They kept getting mired down in minute details, e.g., manpower request forms."
  • Rewards: Reward systems can change and reinforce behavior. The aim of a reward system is to turn goals into measures of behavior and outcomes, then allocate rewards based how employees perform against the measures. Continuous improvement demands that people not only carry out their jobs, but improve their work too. HR people typically don't have the operational experience, expectation, or permission to engage line managers in changing rewards to encourage operational improvement. For example, One of the Leader tells me that his hospital needs to reward process improvement to accommodate healthcare reform, but that HR can't initiate the changes from its position; modifications to rewards have to be made by senior leaders.
  • Training and Development: Training courses and development investments send messages about what matters. At the same time, they offer leaders skills and tools to act on those messages. To support continuous improvement, these investments have to focus on making work better. Few HR organizations will promote improvement training unless it's driven by senior leadership, even though they may recognize it as what the organization needs.
What are the root causes which one needs to overcome for HR leading change? I see three:
  • Politics: To sustain improvement activities, HR should use its power and influence to help leaders focus on customers, long-term business results, and building capabilities in their people — not a personal or HR agenda. Yet if HR gets out in front of improvement activities.
  • A Support Relationship: As described above HR should be at the table with senior leaders to weave HR into improvement programs. Before HR can offer advice to the organization, it needs to be a partner — not just support. The CEO and executive team often view HR as an expense with a transaction focus, rather than adding value with a strategic focus. HR has to operate as a partner that adds value to make the case for their role as a partner.
Look beyond ‘Being Inbred’: HR hires HR experience, and HR has historically been mainly engaged in personnel, compliance, and transactions. HR professionals without operational experience have less credibility and aren't comfortable giving operational advice. "HR doesn't think like the business. HR professionals don't know which knife, fork, or spoon to use when they're at the table."