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Among all matter, gases have the highest entropy, they don't have a particular shape and so is the mind of individuals who demonstrate unique thought leadership coupled with execution. On the other hand, ego is like a nutron star, its too condensed.
Our brain needs to be trained to have a high degree of entropy, to have boundary less thinking beyond ego, which creates the boundaries of bureaucracy. The path to self respect should rather be a reflection than something imposed upon just to address our ego-needs.
- What?: An attitude of confirmance within my team members: I am tired of not being questioned on my planning, actions and execution by my directs and thier directs and so forth till the last level of analysts.
- Why?: It is not a good sign, absence of internal and artificial challenge would lead to planning, actions and executions which are not tested internally. This may impact the greater good of organizational growth and development that everyone is working for.
- What?: My directs and their directs would not take decisions(even the smallest ones without my approval). They are not using their thinking ability coupled with education and experience to tackle even the minute issues. It could be lack of confidence but they are experienced, educated and have been handpicked. My guess is that that they have fallen prey to the supply chain based education system and some of the experienced lot has reinforced bureaucracy from their earlier experience (where they earlier worked)
- Why?: We are based out of India. Culturally, we were marred with bureaucracy throughout the colonial era (pre-independence) which is still rampant in governments and private organizations. People are great at following orders and are used to heirarchies which give them psychological security but diminishes creative thinking and group think.
I see a common root to the problem and beleive that one word which can describe above mentioned problem statements together is simply:"bureaucracy".
Back to the Classroom and Learning “Together and Differently”
We watched these shows together: To get a 3rd angle view of how things look from outside (if you were to see yourself in any of those personalities or situations)
- Band of Brothers: HBO Mini Series, episode 1: Currahee
- The Character of Winters, a non charismatic people’s person: A non-bureaucratic leadership style, still extremely effective. Although it’s a military unit, but members still have an open dialogue
- Some other outcomes:
- Each member is important
- Being best requires the preparation for the worst – focus on training
- Best relationships are made under common crisis situations – at least something good about “crisis”
- We saw Winter’s personality growing gradually as a leader – He is a non charismatic people’s person
- Discipline and penalties
- Ego clashes across ranks
- Self ego to Group ego
- Leader’s actions leading to overall motivation
- How humor helps
- Training is indeed a “very tough job”
- Developing your right hand
- Staying informed beyond obvious
- Rigorous training in the beginning – also helps set expectations for future workloads
- Alternate plans, staying calm, assessing the situation with a clear mind vs. risk
- Prepare, prepare and prepare
- Apprentice Season 1episode 1: The Management Reality Show
Oma Rosa’s personality: Highly overbearing
As a project manager and a team member: work for the organizational goal and don’t be individualistic
- Location vs. people/team/effort
- Diversification in team?
- Brainstorming and planning
- Sacrificing your own idea
- Situations of conflict and chaos – managing through it
- Decision making
- Communication breakdown – how it adds to chaos and irrational thinking
- Being horribly stupid
- Listening skills
- Overbearing personality types
- Few other leadership styles
- Meetings are strictly: Episode length + 20 minute discussion so that we don't overkill it. Rest of the discussions are happening over coffee breaks, smoke breaks etc.
- Meetings are held once every 2 weeks and that too on a Friday.
- No discussion during the show, all discussions are done once the show ends.
- No matter whether people have either seen it or if they have it, we all have decided to watch it together - to have the same state of thought before we start our discussions
- Before each meeting we ask members to: not attend if they have important work/deliverable or they find it not helpful
Band of Brothers: HBO Mini Series
Band of Brothers: HBO Mini Series
- I was able to combine entertainment with learning: Team members became more responsive to each issue and started understanding the gravity of situation
- We were brainstorming together and started applying our own experiences within current organization to the situations that these shows depicted: Like Bastogn - where Easy company is waiting for re-inforcements, an example of open dialogue in a situation which is chaotic, worse and they have not recieved re-inforcements. We had a similar situation where we were told constantly that we are hiring more to address the increased demand but everything was on hold due to cost pressures.
- Members started healthy arguments, keeping their egos aside. We are in the process of turning in 2 key projects to higher management.
- Members are thinking together as teams, no one is afraid of losing a credit. Trust factor grew multifold, which also came up during my one on ones and skip levels.
- Me and my directs are now being questioned, we are recieving suggestions, there is this buzz on the floor all the time. We are more tied together now.
Surprisingly, on a Friday, when people are ready to leave office at 5, i have started realizing that each member is taking extra effort to not to miss it. Still they can watch these shows at home - but they have started enjoying the discussions and the learnings that they are picking conciously and subconciously.
We are constantly recieving feedback now that how effective these meetings have been. I already have demand from other teams to conduct the same exercise for them.
The above mentioned observations are only from the two sessions that we have had. I as their leader send out minutes after each meeting which combine all the thoughts. It's amazing how much of learning we have gathered from the entire series - we have not fully changed but we are definitely trending well towards eliminating boundaries.
Hence, "affirmation without implementation is self-delusional": We don't get the right picture always, we never do the "real implementation" and keep validating that things are fine. We need to take a 3rd angle view of ourselves as individuals, as a team and as an organization and really assess whether the trainings or the actions that we are implementing are just to affirm ourselves or has there been any real delta or complete change?
I plan to generate a "viral campaign" and generate demand across business units.
Hence, a simple, resource less and effective campaign. The only constraint is time - but I am fine with it as I want rest of the departments to rather have a "geniune interest".
- My father who has been a great leader throughout, he has always been an inspiration.
- My ex bosses, colleagues and team members who have always supported me.
- My current boss, Sachin and Sejal who always allowed me to do things differently
- My New York partners