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Showing posts from 2017

13 Ways to Engage Gen Z - published by Human Capital December 2017 issue

We have for ever lived in hierarchy. We had Rajwadas, and Raja’s and Rani’s! And then the Maha Mantri, the Mantri’s and the Peshwa’s. We lived in Hierarchy. Then came the Queen from land-afar and this took the whole hierarchical bit 100 notches higher.
And then in spite of democracy for the about last 70 years, we still are deep-rooted in hierarchy.  Organisations are legal entities and yet we have similar hierarchical structures that define many aspects in an organisation from decision-making, office-cabins, cafeterias (esp. in manufacturing) and where one is allowed to Park etc. In some places even the Washrooms are hierarchical rules of entry.
Funnily, many curse these discriminations however the same people aspire promotions not for the challenge of the enhanced deliverables or for the sense of leading people, but mostly for the ‘power’ that they would enjoy in those positions.
However, as Bob Dylan professed in the 60’s in his song The Times They Are A-Changin'  especially the…

Innovating Facilitatively

Transforming from a meeting Leader to an 'Innovating Facilitator' A 2nd line Leader from a Technology company makes a subtle confession in the ‘Fostering Innovation’ workshop that I am facilitating, by putting up a Question, “What if, my team members don’t just come up with ideas! Am I then not supposed to lead innovation with my own ideas?” And my reflective googly to him was “So, what’s the enabling environment like in your meetings… are meetings being LEAD or are they FACILITATED? And therein lies the ‘tale’ of South-Asian Leaders or should I rather call it complete ‘story volumes’. (I’m sure it happens in other regions too however as my range of work primarily is in South Asia, so my context is more here). And what gets missed out is the ‘ignition’ aka the start point of an innovation environment…. Meetings! And the reflective question is, “How many of us in Leader positions really facilitateinnovation meetings?” The default drive is to “lead it”. So how does a Leader becom…

The Khaa-mat!!! of Networking

The Art of Building POWER 1st Connects in Focused Networking “Hi, I am Ajit Kamath, (in Hindi) log mujhe kehte hai Khaa... (pause) mat, lekin mera nam hai Ajit Kamath”, Translating in English - “Hi, I am Ajit Kamath, people tell me DON’T EAT! (that’s the literal Hindi translation of Khaa Mat), however my name is Ajit Kamath”. For a bit-plump-on-the-sides me, this gives a smile on the face of the person I am meeting for the first time and then our conversation moves forward.  I have been asked, why do I say this? And my answer is “Why Not?” I have had students, managers and leaders remember me and the work I do, by this humourous line of an introduction! And if there is high-recall (meaning the next time I bump into the person, they can at least recall my name) then this is a million-$ intro for me. The Art of Focused Networking requires one to connect first, and then build the relationship into a long-term mutually beneficial relationship. And the challenge for most of us, is not the bui…

Content-Neutrality of a Facilitator

When I first encountered the words ‘content neutrality’ in facilitation, my first thought was that probably it was one more new word from the stables of IPR-fixated West that comes up with new coined words just so that some author’s IPR on a particular term/word/usage isn’t infringed. Deep-dive on the practice of facilitation brought about a much higher awareness of the importance and understanding of content-neutrality and how especially for a culture that is steeped in hierarchy, it was or is so difficult. As a culture we have an opinion on one and many things. And as a Speaker, Teacher, Trainer we have wonderful ‘pedestal’ opinion. So the day we stand on a pedestal of elephant knowledge in front of others who do not have that knowledge, we love to ‘download’ our opinion on the meek ants. And probably that’s a high! Content Neutrality means so much otherwise.Why is it so difficult? Maybe because it starts very young. Since childhood (maybe since infancy), we have had people elder to…