My Thoughts ...
Competition is a state-of-mind! Marketing is a way-of-life! Happiness is success! Problem with Strategy is that very few get it right, most use fluff! A leader is one who inspires by making a difference in the lives around! Forget about being illegal, we can't afford to be less-legal! Easy to have been born as human, then why it is so difficult to live as a human? You don't have to be rich, royal or irrational; just be a giving person! Connect at the being level, communicate to the soul! Pursue continuous improvements, but persist on innovation! Work where you are celebrated, not tolerated! Get the big picture, but deliver one that is magnanimous! Always remember the word "blame" as "boomerang" To find meaning of your life, just ask what life expects of you? Choices, inturn, create concern. Right strategy helps pick the right choice! We will be far more green, healthy and sustainable if we add 2 spoons of "contentment" to every growth-hungry diet on Wall Street!


Corporate Thought Leadership

The pandemic and moment of truth with your Cloud Strategy!

Cloud Strategy 1

The pandemic is changing the trajectory of every business and every walk of life! It is changing business models that fail to pivot toward a new normal – driven by remote work, social distancing, shorter value chains, and use of emerging technologies. Many companies still remain groping and vulnerable to being myopic with their strategic choices and investments for different potential futures.

Amid this, ‘Cloud’ stands as a catalyst for re-shaping the capabilities to deliver to the life-changing, underlying self-actualization elements of value for customers, and for mitigating risks and enhancing business value, and well, to survive and thrive in the future. Leveraging of cloud ecosystem therefore will be the dominant business logic of the future. Whether pivoting to new business models or to compete well in all three facets of the business: customer service, product innovation, and business agility (transformation and speed-to-market) that improve both customer and business value.

Leveraging of cloud ecosystem therefore will be the dominant business logic of the future. Whether pivoting to new business models or to compete well in all three facets of the business: customer service, product innovation, and business agility (transformation and speed-to-market) that improve both customer and business value.

So, re-think your strategy by pivoting to new possibilities and models via Cloud. Here are a few key dimensions of the cloud to consider when re-formulating your Cloud strategy.

Execution of Roadmap

The pandemic is causing an abrupt, existential leap. Pre-COVID roadmaps to cloud and platforming (largely encapsulated in digital transformation plans) were drawn with a view to completing at one’s own affordable pace. With the cadence of business changing so fast for ‘being online and digital‘, it will now need a definitive course-correction: adjust, revise and shrink timelines, as cloud adoption has poised from … “it must be done” – to – “it must be done, now“!

Remember, when the execution of cloud roadmap tends to be slow, it may be a sign that you are tardy with bold moves and free-up resources, and that your costs are incorrectly committed.

Customer value elements

An ‘all-digital’ lifestyle means a fundamental shift to sell outcomes as a service, rather than sell a product or a service. A more intense ecosystem where customers aspire to complete their jobs online and challenging to serve up to what customers truly value, and to the growing and varying “hierarchy of needs”. Further, it’s also imperative to observe patterns of fulfillment (sense of purpose and achievement) when customers engage in the process to be able to identify, create, and deliver incremental elements of value.

An ‘all-digital’ lifestyle means a fundamental shift to sell outcomes as a service, rather than sell a product or a service.

Cloud offers several tools to build workflows connecting individual self-service tasks (e.g. AWS Steps equivalent in Azure or Google or Cloud-agnostic workflow engines) and automation with security policies and processes. A mix of these capabilities seamlessly integrates various services to enable customers for “jobs-done” outcomes and to expand value proposition(s) – with or without tweaking product portfolio(s) and pricing.

Pivoting experiments

Cloud enables digital platform that satisfies all the prerequisites for pivoting. Essentially, it extends existing capabilities and the scope of strategic intent and has all the ingredients for success in the lockdown economy. Firms can experiment with pivoting via digital offerings within their existing portfolios, albeit within the brand promise and core values they stand for, when they do not yet know which changes might become permanent, as it may be an iterative process.

For example, auto insurance firms have pivoted to selling pay-per-mile policies after the pandemic has broken existing driving environments. So, prioritize what and how you want to pivot to include cloud-based services with winning functional and non-functional capabilities to gain a competitive edge.


Social distancing has been disrupting previous relationship-based symbiotic business models. But companies many still need intermediaries (agents, partners, distributors, resellers, etc) to participate for obvious and compelling reasons. This essentially means three strategic options: 1. build an online community with intermediaries who have always been central to the business; 2. move away from the traditional pipeline business model to an online-focused platform business model; 3. add more industry-related (including the third party) products to the portfolios to optimize cost per unit sold and serviced to improve viability and profitability for intermediaries.

Cloud enables all the three options since you can either control or orchestrate resources to help intermediaries create value. Both your company and intermediaries can complement each other and co-evolve in harmony. For example, many large insurance firms run into such a challenge to carry their agency network that has been instrumental in building their business.

Coherent enterprise

A sense of purpose by shared values and ownership for customer success, innovation for creating and delivering incremental value are the defining tenets of a coherent enterprise. Cloud can facilitate significant autonomy and responsibility to acquired business units (M&A) both by the rules of engagement and splitting costs for the shared services. Use of extended value chain collaboration apps that tap into Data Analytics, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Process Automation, etc. in shared services (IT, HR, Legal, R&D, CRM) stack can serve enriched and actionable data whatever manner and to the scale, they may demand.

Return on agility

No matter what the ROIs, DCFs, NPVs, etc., suggest, the value of Cloud investments is only relative to the business agility for enabling new pivot(s) and operationalizing them. Thus, the strategic value of cloud investments is proportional to maintaining and increasing customer base and revenues (and perhaps market cap).

These are just a few, and I’d much appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

The Pandemic and path forward


The Carona virus pandemic has changed our lives in multiple ways. Initially, it was anxiety, then fear, and adjustment followed by adherence to guidelines, and so on. But along the way, it is also disrupting to create a ‘new normal’.

Yes. New normal. But little do we know yet what and how’s that going to be. And there isn’t an ascertained view, strategy or a roadmap yet. Notwithstanding the knowledge of changing dynamic and apparent consequences, what’s imperative is our mindset of how we perceive it now and for the future.

I share my thoughts here to help businesses heal and move forward in this crisis situation.

Acceptance: It’s hard. But businesses around the world must come to agree and reconcile to unprecedented moves – for example, consider – a balance sheet with 6 or 9 months (instead of 12) of real economic activity for the year 2020. Suppliers adjust to revised payment terms. Employees must be as fair as needed. Avoid benchmarking. Everyone does their bit.
Resilience: A fundamental need to survive and thrive. Tweak competences (not just skills and desires) with poise to develop ‘learnability and learning agility’. Learn and unlearn to follow the “Reset Switches” and adapt to swim through new business ecosystems and stay well-positioned to acquire new capabilities – both for digitally-led business models and employee mindset built on a decentralized and trusted operating models. Move on to create the next best.
Roadmap: Consider online, lateral and design thinking and out of the usual ‘adjacencies’. Bring in the renewed digital context for ‘customer intent’, content, touchpoints, and alternative routes for an inclusive roadmap.
It isn’t easy. Indeed formidable. But the mindset isn’t a boulder, perhaps a frozen block. It thaws. And the pandemic has already been doing its part. So, stay conscious of what have you, what can you and what’s possible.

Take a deep breath. Swing back. Cheer up. We can win!

Well, appreciate your thoughts to help further … … ChangeAhead TM … for employee change enablement!

#Leadership, #CrisisLeadership #Change, #Crisis, #Transformation, #Resilience #BusinessLeadership, #Pandemic, #Mindset, #Strategy #Roadmap

How Strategy Suffers

Strategy hurts puzzle


We hear this word multiple times in our daily professional lives and pretty much everywhere. We also hear experts say that strategy suffers largely owing to faulty or suboptimal ways of execution – the usual “strategy vs execution” complaint. But, I have always been surprised by how strategy suffers in so many other ways related to culture, being coveted, in construct and in commonly mistaken identities.

So, here is an attempt to chronicle some frequently occurring situations when strategy suffers.


Once upon a time, a clever trader sold a new suit to a king-making him believe it would be invisible to all those who hated him. In reality, there were no clothes. But, when the king paraded in his ‘new suit’, no one dared to say there were no robes on him for the fear of being identified as enemies. In the end, a child finally exclaimed, “Oh, King, you aren’t wearing anything!” Then, only then, some of his staff mustered the courage to tell the king the truth.

I’ve shared this childhood story a number of times during my career to encourage validation of strategy. Leaders, middle management and employees alike often choose to stay silent and seldom venture to express their opinions – despite their insights about business realities – for the fear of being isolated, reprisal or stamped as rebellious. Unfortunately, this silence is contagious even among marginalized boards and leadership teams and quite detrimental to the health of any organization.

The strategy thus sans validation and suffers in the hands of competent people with the ‘culture of silence’ and consequent spiraling effects (spiral of silence theory)


A strategy is more than a statement. It may involve bold moves and be against-all-odds herculean efforts for achieving objectives and tactics to yield expected results. But, what matters is the spirit of a winning story that is central to strategy and enjoins the purpose of the company with a glimpse of the future unfolding. This may mean establishing a strategy that is closely linked to the emotional strengths of the organization that will, in turn, evolve and energize the workforce with a newfound sense of engagement and journey for achieving the goals.

In practice, most companies tend to design the strategy entirely around what they control. This may be costs and capabilities with the logic of their strategic choices for achieving the goals.


In spite of its importance, the strategy of a company remains mostly unknown and unexplained to employees in many organizations. The brief statement is so coveted that it is only privy to top executives and seldom internalized to provide the guiding spirit. As a result, most employees find it hard to access and learn about the strategy, let alone follow it.

Owing to this somewhat classified nature, strategy suffers – consider anxiety between financial and profitability goals and market position.

Many of us must have noticed this issue in the famous HBR article “Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?” (by David Collins and Michael Rukstad) where the authors say very few executives can actually articulate strategy.


Most corporates are quite myopic to the relationships between “MOST” – Mission, Objectives, Strategy, and Tactics – when developing strategy. They often ignore pivoting the company purpose for eliciting objectives; rather they create a rhetoric almost entirely on financial results. Saying what the business should target is very part of the strategy, yet corporate purpose as a pivot to strategy is equally important.

Consider this, a fundamental objective such as Shareholder Value versus Business Value will likely shift a company strategy completely.

Consider this, a fundamental objective such as Shareholder Value versus Business Value will likely shift a company strategy completely. If technology disruptions are a constraint, rather than an advantage, what kind of objectives should be considered for strategy?


Strategy loses much of its meaning at the intersection of organizational structures and “silos”. Collaborations among various functions, domains, and partnering units seldom espouse the same agenda and values that have been essential ingredients of the strategy set forth. And, often employees don’t look beyond their own work, immediate business unit, and output. The classic squabbles of Sales and Marketing, Business and IT and post-M&A integration for recently merged operating companies are examples of the factors that undermine strategy implementation.


Strategy is a singular, federated, and unique statement and “roadmap” for a firm for achieving its targeted business objectives. But, a strategy often suffers from how it is viewed, implemented and often misused. ‘Strategy’ is a convenient word people use and misuse for any level of conversations, from maintenance projects aiming at fixing daily operational problems to re-engineering operating models.

Here are a few examples of how a wrong notion, ignorance, and semantics can lead to the mistaken identity of strategy.

Those most misunderstood for strategy: Objectives, Tactics, Operational Excellence

Objectives are measurable targets that underpin the formation of strategy that describes the roadmap or the approach to achieving those targets.

Tactics are various approaches to the strategy for achieving the firm’s objectives.

Operational Excellence is operations managed to excel in every value chain activity.

Other often misused words for strategy: Plans, Goals, Budget, Tools, Solutions


Building a sense of purpose and engagement with strategy are mutually interdependent and collectively reinforcing, but significantly challenging.

Building a sense of purpose and engagement with strategy are mutually interdependent and collectively reinforcing, but significantly challenging. A strategy thus suffers in many stages including culture, creation, validation, sharing, use, and implementation. Organizations must stay alert to prescriptions for fixing and repairing such challenges as and when they surface!

Much appreciate your views and other examples of how strategy suffers!

Thank you!

The one “I”​ for Leaders

Leaders must have three qualities to lead: unwavering integrity, ability to inspire, and a profound sense of insight.

I’ve seen quite a few leaders lead with the first two, yet few pursued the third and perhaps the most relevant “I” of the three ‘I’s to help their own transformation: insight. Even if some did, their narrative stopped at no more than soliciting feedback or a cosmetic facelift that landed them at odds with their own inner image. A deficit of such pursuit has derailed those who had the other two I’s, integrity and inspiring, well ingrained.

What’s intriguing is that we all think we are intrinsically good – kind, generous, loving, and somewhat selfless. But it is when we begin our inward journey for gaining insight that we find our true authentic self, the sincerity of our intent, and directness of our empathy that can undo not-so-benign opinions, attitudes, and irrelevant barriers.

Leaders need to reflect and work upon themselves to develop a profound sense of insight for transforming to a new level of being as an authentic self of spirituality, care, and higher purpose. For this, they need to begin their inward journey with a conscious quest for metamorphosis.

My work experiences with leaders and the pursuit of my own spiritual journey pointed to a few simple steps. I found them to be helpful for an inward journey for gaining insight to address fundamental misconceptions of oneself.

Step 1: Housekeeping the inner image

Imagine your subconscious is like a software app that was downloaded at birth. It has accumulated and updated itself with memories, beliefs, fears (like in machine learning) – which shaped your inner image over a period of time. Your intellect depends on your inner image to prepare and prompt you for all your actions, reactions, and non-actions.

Imagine your subconscious is like a Software App that was downloaded at birth. Your intellect depends on it to prepare and prompt you for all your actions, reactions, and non-actions.

The first step towards an inward transformational journey is to become aware that your thoughts and behavior are a consequence of your intellect interacting with your inner image or identity, for every moment, situation, action, and experience.

For example, you experience a pleasant or unpleasant feeling whenever you see a person. This is because you see that person based on your interaction with your inner image, and perhaps hence either as a problem or benign person. Your experience is the result of your intellect interacting with your inner image, considered for the person.

But, with this awareness, slowly and yet steadily, you can begin to filter, acknowledge and mitigate such bias, and avoid those cosmetic gestures which are highly (and perhaps erroneously) prized for getting ahead.

Step 2: Active acceptance

Acceptance sets us free, free from a lot of confusion, stress, and misery. The way we feel depends on how we see and accept most events. It takes a ‘witnessing’ like capability – to observe and accept your own feelings in a detached manner.

Begin to accommodate somewhat unpleasant, disappointing situations when you are getting frustrated or angry. Recognize the emotion and stay watching it for a few moments. This first results in inertia momentarily, but helps with witnessing your own feelings and acceptance of the same. This acknowledgment of your emotions helps you: accept situations actively (to act), passively (for non-action or timely action), or resist/retaliate (reaction).

For example, you might experience anger or frustration owing to a potential legal problem (at times imaginary threat). When you accept this situation actively, you can carry on with proper actions without becoming ensnared in a story that can be otherwise paralyzing.

Don’t minimize frustrations. Accept, act and eliminate them.

Step 3: Sublimation of ego.

Our ego can grow with our perceptions of our superiority disguised under a corporate position, past professional achievements, personal designs or desires, associated pomp, wealth, etc.

One simple way to dissolve our ego is by sublimating it into a form of untiring energy to assist others but without expectations of return favors or laurels. This propels you into being an easily accessible, trustful, and ‘giving’ person with a kind of na·ive·té to see and serve others as co-souls and equals, and to live in a state of modesty, unassuming and joyous every moment, and in daily pursuits.

Step 4: Fulfillment

Rethink your work environment to seek a sense of fulfillment in everything you do – every day, every meeting, and every conversation. Consciously replace the pursuit of rewards and recognition by common goals and higher purpose. Begin to generously express your happiness and gratitude for every progress, moment, and in every relationship. This ripens human connections and widens possibilities.

This helps you realize you are not seeking or subscribing to any type of leadership whatsoever. Your ways of life define your own style of leadership. You will be less burdened since you seek results from within and not from the outside.

Step 5: Transformation ‘Fitbit’

Your awareness of acceptance, actions, expression of joy for every fulfilling moment, and relationship prepares you to live with the profound sense of insight, set you on for your inward journey for transformation. You begin to experience the emergence of your new avatar – just the way buildings appear as the previously erected scaffoldings are removed, albeit gradually, when complete. Continue the steps and meditate to sustain this journey as much. Create a mental equivalent of ‘Fitbit’ to monitor the progress of your inner connectedness with your actions and experiences.

You begin to experience the emergence of a new avatar just the way buildings appear as the previously erected scaffoldings are removed when complete.

The new avatar, when sustained consciously over a period of time, runs deeper to help evolve a renaissance person.

Joyous Dividends

The inward journey can be long and arduous for some. But the beauty is you begin to enjoy it almost instantly as you commit to the steps and experience the evolving logic of your spiritual self, and you see that people you work with, and outside, feel rewarded, and bring you the joy you never expected.

You stop looking to the outside world for validation of your value and recognition. You can grow yourself into being an institution-like entity with permission-less celebration, act like an open platform (like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay). Invite, enable, and celebrate moments with souls around you to multiply joyous dividends.

The insight of your authentic self, the experiences form your inward journey, together with integrity and the ability to inspire, you have all the elements you need to become a leader by your own definition.

Disclaimer: This is not a prescription for self-transformation. But a few useful ways of self-help I found valuable to share. Thanks for reading, and I’d appreciate your thoughts.

Originally published on my blog: Business and Bliss!

www.trainedarrow.comChangeAhead TM … for employee change enablement!

#transformation #transformationalleadership #innerjourney #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #ChangeAhead #TrainedArrow # Change #businessgrowth #inwardjourney #OrganizationalDevelopment #OrganizationalChange.

Resources you need in the Cloud to be the game changer!

Cloud – the opportunity and the challenge!

A short and fun read …

There is a new type of car in the market – call it CLOUD, modern with state-of-the-art technology capabilities. It is designed as a racing car too. And businesses have been told that they need to get in the car for their journey of serving their customers. And the best thing is they don’t have to pay for the car upfront. They only pay for the distance they drive.

This meant that they need to leave their old Sedan and start driving this new racing car. And the speed limits have been removed when in the new car. So, expect competitors who can race better will beat them in a split second. How to stay in the race? Little choice. This has been so stressful. Hasn’t it been?

Some got in the car enthusiastically. Learned hard way to drive. Paid some traffic tickets initially for mistakes, but ‘somehow’ managed to drive along and to stay in the race – got used to it and doing well. A few got some additional help from trainers (third party system integrators and implementation partners), for the shift and driving along okay. But a few got bewildered with the new vehicle and the ecosystem, rules, and demands, and moved back as they thought their businesses can still afford the old Sedan driving through the backyard and the local lanes. Quite a few are struggling with how to make the shift and counting what all to take or leave.

In all this, the new car makers continue to be very adaptive, and being redesigned to give more joy of driving to a point of nirvana! Add more capabilities – including ultra-sensitive traffic sensors (analytics), high maneuverability (process innovation, automation, and connectivity with other like-minded travelers/partners), deep security, and more, every day.

Now the name of the game is not getting in the car, nor the ability to drive safely, but how to be in the race. Win or Win-win!

This requires new resources. Business-specific capability designers, data insights translators, navigators for adoption, and business value enhancers for growth. Without having such resources, businesses will still face a rough driving experience and traffic along. No. I don’t want to mention roadside troubles, delays, and … huh, the sighs!

Make every employee a Change enabler!

Employee as Change Enabler!

A few years ago, I read this profound saying: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men and women to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This advice made me think how boat building isn’t actually about the hull, mast or the oars, but rather about a way to enjoy a shared appreciation for the sea and sailing. This is certainly a more invigorating, creative and non-myopic approach to ascend employees to a higher level of engagement.

Employers worldwide want their employees to be fully engaged in building the business, face and outplay disruptions while continuing to create great customer value. In other words, engage and enjoy the boat building and rides, while maneuvering through turbulent waters and gales!

During the years of my work helping businesses to transform, I have interacted with hundreds of professionals who were skilled in their respective fields and functions, yet struggled to understand, engage and evolve to create value, both to themselves and their employers. Most remained limited to their specific ‘jobs’ – and seldom were prepared for transformation or change … they were gathering woods, nuts, and bolts, carefully following instructions to build the boat!

Why does this happen?

It happens because most employers focus their Learning & Development (L&D) programs on traditional ‘skill development’ that results in employees being more transactional and routinized, at the cost of being less self-reliant and self-directed. With such learning, it’s no surprise that employees revert to tool-bound routine work to get the prescribed output driven by performance benchmarks. They often hold back from the big picture and the opportunity to connect the trends and changing dimensions of value with their own work. They also tend to miss the joy of exploring creativity and being futuristic!


Rethink the approach to human capital development.

Organizations will need to let their workforce to evolve from a routinized mindset to a resourceful and adaptable mindset; understand business and technology compulsions, market trends and the readiness the company will need in the medium and long-term. This is more so imperative to survive,near-constant disruptions and technology impact today.

Prepare employees with Learnability, Learning Agility and Change Awareness.

•     Learnability – preparedness afforded by foundational knowledge to understand changing business and technology environments and to be trainable.

•     Learning Agility – readiness to acquire new knowledge and skills, adapt and reinvent at work in the face of changes, challenges, and disruptions

•     Change Awareness – knowledge of why organizations change, re-org, how to cope with transitions and support change and transformation

But to do so, employers must go beyond usual prescribed skill development and controls. That means every employee must be imparted to help evolve to adapt and engage with changing business challenges and stay motivated with a sense of leadership.

At, we have developed ChangeAhead™ – an employee-enablement online L&D course to address this need.

This quick and easy animated self-paced learning helps employees prepare to:

•     Engage and lead change and business transformational endeavors

•     Participate in problem-solving and value creation

•     Cope with transitions in the face of reorganizations and disruptions

Try ChangeAhead™ at …

Visit:  … foundations for winning!

How to boost career resilience in graduates


Research consistently shows a gap between what students learn in college and what employers seek in their employees for today’s global economy. Whatever the reasons for this lacuna, graduates should be sufficiently prepared to enter the workplace with appropriate knowledge and adapt to an ever-evolving marketplace.

Filling this gap between college and career will not come easily or quickly, but here are a few workable ideas to help graduates adapt, become a valuable and sought-after talent to lead with career resilience.

‘Parasitic’ Career Journey

Quite a few graduates succumb to the temptation of becoming what I call “Tool Talent”, i.e., they learn a software product to find short-term employment. Logical as this approach may be, it may inadvertently usher them into a “Parasitic career journey” wherein their current and future job prospects, growth, and career fortunes get tied up with that of the market opportunities of the software product.

Over time, this has not only the potential to lower one’s self-esteem, since they begin to feel only as valuable as the product in the market rather than a competent viable product themselves. It can also lead to being made redundant as automation takes over the job tasks. What then? Another certification? Perhaps. But it helps to first address ways to not only value oneself but to understand if their skill-set is constantly aligned (or misaligned as the case may be) with the needs of the market.


Millennials today live in a work world quite different from earlier generations. They will not experience a ‘one job – one career’ path; most will hold myriad of jobs and more than one or two career paths over the decades. For most, this shifting environment can help them realize their potential to survive and grow with multiple capabilities, in multiple environments, resulting in a new kind of “professional versatility” and career resilience.

Such “Multipotentialities” (as Emilie Wapnick mentions the term in her Ted talk ( belong to those who can move out of their comfort zones and continuously reinvent themselves with incremental skills and expertise to grow, develop new opportunities in the ever-changing job markets.

Growth Mindset

Graduates need a growth mindset to develop career resilience. That means they begin to see temporary setbacks as lessons and growing pains and learn to bounce back so that they can pursue the next level of personal and professional growth.

It is common knowledge that the failures we experience over time are the lessons that can support success in the future. Being able to incorporate learning from these failures and moving on is essential to achieving success. Maintaining this positive and constructive mindset breeds resilience helps one to approach challenges with excitement, enables continuous learning and reinforces resilience.

Existential Necessity

Most graduates leave college without critical foundational knowledge for understanding what they must do to be employable. At best, they may take some personality development training. But, these graduates need additional coaching in order to understand the employer’s business, how the firm makes money, and what and how disruptions may impact the business, and where their work fits in the firm’s value chain. Developing this knowledge is an existential necessity to help them face challenges they’ve never encountered before, as well as to comprehend the competitive career path to grow up the value chain.

One way to support graduates for this existential necessity may be through courses that prepare them to face the changing realities of disruptive workplace and shape their career resilience.

Being consistently employable means continuously acquiring knowledge and competitive skills for current and future jobs. One way to support graduates for this existential necessity may be through courses that prepare them to face the changing realities of the disruptive workplace and shape their career resilience.

Higher Purpose

The race to find jobs and do well (by whatever benchmarks) in one’s career has resulted in forgetting that a higher purpose or mission is the reason why we exist. A higher purpose may be simply following one’s passion or making a positive difference in the lives around us or creating a legacy.

Conscious pursuit of a higher purpose for life bestows phenomenal career resilience since it might enable the experience of the union with one’s life’s “mission.” In other words, you become the purpose that you live for. Such pursuit also fosters enormous drive and energy to overcome temporary setbacks and stay the course to attain goals, whether these goals are altruistic or not.

At, we have developed LearnAhead™ – a holistic online L&D course to prepare graduates for employability, workplace contextual acumen, and career resilience.

This quick and easy animated self-paced learning helps graduates prepare to:

  • Identify and prepare to win job opportunities
  • Lead at work, meet employer expectations
  • Create and succeed in new career pathways
  • Think big, think different and evolve as entrepreneurs
  • Develop a career with fulfillment and a higher purpose for life!

Learn more and Sign up to LearnAhead™ at … … foundations for winning!

Employee Development for Transformation

People Devp

Organizations commit to transformation and some also claim they have an “employee-first” policy. Yet, the real development to transform the workforce is a far cry.



Most organizations map their headcount to a number of future skills for re-training and certifications and conveniently view it as employee development. The emphasis usually is on tools for transformation rather than on employees, while the firm should focus employees first (as claimed) and then tools for the medium-term.

They need to rethink their employee development plan to be inclusive of the following tenets.


Retraining has roots in the industrial mindset to give the ability of ‘doing things’ – either new things or old things in a new way, and to improving output per employee. This helps in the short term as employees focus on mastering the new skills to ‘keep their jobs’. But today, by the time a new skill is mastered, another skill is already in the asking.

Lack of ‘resilience’ as strategic intent can be myopic for the development of employees. The key attribute employees need is to be resilient in the face of setbacks and disruptions – cope with change, adapt and become a force to generate profound outcomes.

Organizations that have imparted learning agility to build resilience have demonstrated high earning per employee!

Common foundation

Education isn’t mapped to shifting job markets, and employees come with varying educational backgrounds and age(s). Training or certifications in a particular skill may only theoretically be equal to enabling job-readiness, but not change-ready.

New skills or tools alone will not prepare employees to move out of comfort zone or reinvent to become change-enablers. They need a shift from … ‘following’ to ‘leading’ … and then the ripple continues.

Consider imparting broad-based foundational awareness of contemporary business and technologies irrespective of roles, age, and backgrounds. Neither training nor rigid certification, but knowledge and awareness, that which propel employees to get a holistic view of the business, the way they should see, stay update, communicate and act on shifting business and operating models, emerging technologies and dynamic capabilities – to be able to evolve with changing times and roles during Reorgs.

Capability delivery

Technology is changing the way work gets done, and often faster than training can keep up. What matters is plugging capability shortfalls and learning to deliver anticipated results. Different results need different capabilities.

It is important to see capabilities through the end in sight – to understand and enable solutions for customer value. Impart how to leverage new/digital tools with functional adjacencies in the context of evolving work and customer value. It pays as employees unlock opportunities to be progressive in their own careers and the businesses they support.

Seeking culture

Learning gives new ideas which can prosper only when the culture is immunized for the fear of differing and distancing, and questioning the status quo.

A seeking ecosystem, that is empowering with the best and highest value enhances the connection of work with a sense of purpose – helping employees to relate to what they do why they do – to create proposed change with care and professionalism. This will be key to engagement after training.

Culture and systems must promote learning and seeking, not to conform and consume instead. It also rewards the curiosity and jubilance associated with such innate endeavors, notwithstanding results.

Evolving minds

As they say, “… a TEACHER sends you on the road to success, whereas a GURU sends you on the road to freedom.”

What employees need is the freedom to turn each moment of their work into an opportunity for excitement and also a step in their journey for growth. Know who they are, and start exploring to embrace change – change from within to feel more fulfilled in both their professional and personal lives.

Self-awareness in the learning curriculum will help with much-needed dimensions: one, being true to oneself (self-directed); two, what you say you are to others – (others-directed). A third dimension of being able to consciously learn, unlearn and enrich life, and evolve with a higher purpose for life.


In essence, employers should not only prepare their employees for ‘another job,’ but also start building them for a career well-crafted with resilience and a life well-lived with a higher purpose. This is so true to Corporate Social Responsibility, as well.

In essence, employers should not only prepare their employees for ‘another job’ but also start building them for a career well-crafted with resilience and a life well-lived with a higher purpose.

Much appreciate your thoughts …

ChangeAhead TM … for employee change enablement!

Focused but closed to life?

A few years ago, I had sent an email to a friend of mine, called up and left a voicemail, which contained a request to chat.  If everything worked out well, I had an offer for him to invest in or join up forces with a start-up. The guy never responded.  He ignored my attempts to reach him. Much later he did send a text message, which said he was busy, and he would call…which he never did. That start-up firm scaled up well and got sold many times its EBITDA a couple years later. My friend regretted so much for not being responsive to my efforts to connect with him. But, the reason: He was ‘busy and focused’, doing well and doing very well in his career, and thought I was calling him to ask or a favor. So, he ignored my attempts to reach him and was, perhaps, even discourteous.

My effort was clearly intended to involve him in an opportunity to create wealth and clearly I was thinking about the potential for making life more enchanting. We all reach out to our friends, acquaintances, and contacts for various things, such as a coffee chat to catch-up, knowledge about job opportunities, projects, and introductions. Contacting friends can entail needing help and offering to help! But, we find people, to some degree of surprise, unresponsive most of the time, thereby causing me to wonder if these people were ever open to life!

Self-imposed Limitedness?

I suppose, many of us live with ‘self-imposed limits’; that is, life limited to working, paying bills and well, just caring for our immediate families. Thus, nothing beyond these areas of focus and nothing else matters. Yes, we all should focus on and defend our priorities. This is prudent and important. But, on the other hand, ignoring other opportunities is shrinking from within as we measure life through this closed framework of ‘limited-ness’ and can actually be a self-centered and perhaps, a selfish outlook. We never treat anything beyond these priority areas as worth our time. We hold a ‘why bother’ attitude, and even at the extreme, we are convinced and believe we’re clever to stay away from those “aliens”!

Closed as we are with this career orientation of being busy, focused, professional, etc. – WE OFTEN SUFFER FROM POVERTY OF PURPOSE FOR LIFE! 

We actually lack “inclusiveness and being open to life!”

We must remember, life is an exploratory journey, which is inclusive of all the people and situations, to make ourselves available for compassionate listening, sharing and giving. And, we must realize that networking isn’t only for people in transition.

So, despite our busy lives, we should stay open to contacts and calls outside of our daily routines. We should be curious about learning and enjoying by meeting people who may be catalysts in our own business or career today or someday in the future. We all can gain through this more open approach in a somewhat structured way by:

Meeting new people

  • Being open to meeting and exchanging ideas – a quick chat in person or over the phone!

Considering new possibilities and horizons

  • Being enthusiastic about peoples’ endeavors – finding a new purpose for life!

Listening to interesting life stories

  • Learning about the life experiences of others – broadening your perspectives!

Sharing what you can afford

  • Sharing knowledge, articles, useful research, contacts, direction, etc. – being a giving person in your own way!

Standing up for a cause

  • Being a catalyst for a much-wanted change – supporting the righteous!

Mentoring and Advising

  • Sharing job references, career or business advice, etc. – making a small difference in their lives!

Try new stuff

  • Staying open to trying new things, even if these activities look crazy – exploring your life as a journey!






These occasions can occur frequently. As such, I am unable to list all of them as part of this blog. But obviously, I wanted to reflect on and point the perils of getting dehumanized along the way.

Well, appreciate your thoughts.

Words of assurance to abhor and beware!

meditate when somebody says something

I WILL LOOK INTO IT… OK… You have heard this line time and again.

I have always wondered how much committed is a person when somebody said “I’ll look into it” and what and when to expect of any results based on such an assurance? Over the years, I have heard quite a few say this either conveying that they care or trying to be so, at the least. But there is NO assurance of you have been ‘heard’ and that there is a definitive action to take care of what you have been hoping for.

However, I wouldn’t doubt the person’s character or personality but just beware of the obvious, and manage my own expectations with magnanimity avoiding frustration.

Nevertheless, as I continued to learn the real intent of such assurances, many a occasion, I have begun to abhor them, and decided to never use them even if I can’t find better alternatives.

Some examples here below:

I SEE: Mostly in the air! One is saying nothing, other than acknowledging that the other person heard you something of what of you have said, and little in real terms.

I WILL UPDATE YOU: No commitment to any result or response time-frame or any definitive action.

I WILL COME BACK ON THIS: This too is vague and leaves no clue for when and how.

I THINK THAT’S POSSIBLE: This is still a ‘maybe’ … and at the thought level, and may or may not be considered, no promise yet to act upon yet.

I WILL ADDRESS THAT: Hmmm… diplomatic and high level without any commitment to any committed action or expected result, except that of willingness to be a party to the situation, and get involved.

WE WILL PAY IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS: Take it just as willingness of the party to pay. Usually expect the payment to take more 3 weeks even if they sincerely attempt to making a payment. Yet this is still a rough time estimate as it doesn’t give any sure day/date to expect the payment.

WILL KEEP MY EYES AND EARS OPEN: People generally say this when you reach out or express your situation, mostly when you are looking for a job or additional work/business development. Expect little or no assistance, at least in the near future.

NOTE: As I said above, and I REPEAT here again… I wouldn’t go to the extent of doubting the person’s character or personality who use these words but beware of the obvious, and manage my own expectations with magnanimity avoiding frustration.

Please add more to this that you know of, and educate all of us.