Thursday, April 8, 2010

Some of the commonly used and often irritating (due to overuse or use out of context) phrases in daily business lingo. Such annoyingly over-used expressions often begin as office lingo, such as "24/7", "holistic" and "synergy". Other phrases to irritate people are "literally" and "ironically", when they are used out of context.

Some of the worst offenders are:

01. At the end of the day
02. Fairly unique
03. I personally ..
04. At this moment in time
05. With all due respect
06. Absolutely
07. It’s a nightmare
08. Think outside the box
09. 24/7
10. It’s not rocket science
11. All things being equal…
12. Keep me in the loop
13. All sports phrases (if you’re not working at a sports organization)
14. My two cents, for what it’s worth
15. I’ve got a lot on my plate
16. Going forward ..

(Due credit to Jeremy Butterfield for pointing some of these out in his book - "Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare"

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

20+ Rules of Success

Some of the best advice you can get about your job. (Will add more later...)

1. Rule 1. - The Boss is always right.

2. Rule 2. - If the Boss is wrong, see rule 1 .

3. Those who work get more work. Others get pay, perks, and promotions.

4. Ph.D. Stands for "Pull Him Down". The more intelligent a person, the more hardworking a person, the more committed a person; the more number of persons are engaged in pulling that person down.

5. If you are good, you will get all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.

6. When the Bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.

7. It doesn't matter what you do, it only matters what you say you've done and what you are going to do.

8. A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the butt.

9. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

10. The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get.

11. If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.

12. When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

13. Following the rules will not get the job done.

14. If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done.

15. Everything can be filed under "Miscellaneous".

16. No matter how much you do, you never do enough.

17. You can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work you are supposed to be doing.

18. In order to get a promotion, you need not necessarily know your job.

19. In order to get a promotion, you only need to pretend that you know your job.

20. The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong


21. The biggest mistake is not making any. The biggest risk is not taking any.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

3D2 Approach to Team Management

As budding managers in a premier B-School like Indian Institute of Management - Kozhikode, everyone is expected to work in a team. I'm not too sure of the rationale; my guess is this because we are expected to work in teams throughout our corporate lives so better learn it now. I suspect another reason is that it would be quite a pain to really evaluate a good 200 odd reports were it not for teams of 4 or 5.

I have a love-hate relationship with the team concept. Freeriders of course love it. I love teamwork because of its obvious advantages - fresh ideas, somebody to bounce ideas with, critical review, division of work! A lot of us would snigger at the last bit - 'division of work', which brings me to the hate part of it. The contribution of every team member is hardly ever equal.

I have always wondered as to whether the free-riders think they are smarter than the lot who do honest and earnest work? Where should one draw the line between tolerance and good naturedness and being 'rude' enough to tell the bugger on face that they are not contributing.

Well to tackle this I have come up with what I call the '3D2 Approach to Team Management'

3D(i) : Define > Discuss > Decide
3D(ii): Delegation > Deliverables > Deadlines

The two flows happen independent of each other depending on how directive or inclusive the Team Management is.

It is a concept that I have put to use often and seen it work. Nothing is more important in getting an timely and quality output than the team members knowing what is expected of them and what they are expected to do.

I personally prefer Taskforces to Teams. A Taskforce exists for a definite purpose. The member selection by its very nature is functionality based. Hence, their is no role ambiguity. People with particular skill sets group together for the execution of their task. Since they do not vie for the position of the Boss, one commander keeps the taskforce together and takes strategic decisions. The individuals are empowered to take decisions in their area of expertise.

It is a objective oriented approach. The idea is to get work done. That is most important. Great ideas fail because of the 'democratic' nature of a team.

I am in process of developing this idea further. Maybe someday I will write a Paper on this.