What do you make of EQ in the online world?

Over the last decade, email has become the cornerstone of business communication across industries & geographies. They are good at handling the transactional communication that most of our business roles involve. But they suck in communicating emotions or feelings. I routinely check myself against reading the emotions of the email sender and actively profess against it to anyone who cares to listen.

Over the same period, Emotional Quotient as a business competence has grown in stature & importance. Reading any content about EQ, you find out that that the ability to actively respond to others feelings & emotions in our interactions (business or otherwise) is a key requirement.

So if emails are bad in communicating emotions & EQ is critical to building positive relationships, where has the email era left us wrt positive relationships in business?

Taking this further, if email-like communication is taking over our personal lives too (via social networking sites), what is in store for personal relationships?

Thankfully, Facebook is already thinking on these lines & is taking steps to address such needs. Read more about this initiative here.

[Picture courtesy: flickr | aaipodpics]

Aakash Tablet – More Than Just the $35 Price Tag


It was a revelation for me to read the background story about Aakash ($35 tablet) in this FastCompany write-up.

Firstly, its impressive to know that the design for this potential-commercial-success is coming from an academic campus (IIT). The design is then sold to a commercial manufacturer (DataWind) with a challenging price target to meet. The challenge for the manufacturer is sweetened with access to a large protected market (subsidized purchases by the government).  This sounds like a good example of the value chain making the best of the strengths of the individual players (IIT / design – DataWind / commercial manufacturing – Indian government / distribution with a cause). The understanding of this definitely increases the credibility of the project for me.

Secondly, the fact that the IIT students (& professors) are getting involved in a live product development experience is amazing. And that too a ground breaking product (price point) of a worthy impact (distribution across government schools). Kudos to the people involved.

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Top Ideas From 2011’s Best Employers


Going through Fortune’s 25 Best Global Companies to Work For feature, some practices of these organization caught my attention. Below is a collation of some of these that might be useful for anyone.

  • Catch Them Doing The Right Stuff   Top executives spend 3 hours each week making personal calls to thank employees for specific positive behaviour. 
  • Horizontal Growth If your employee has doubts about having made a wrong career choice, let them try out jobs in different areas of the company through formal job rotation.
  • Work – Life Balance To help maintain work – life balance, make a rule that senior executives cannot call meetings before 9:30 in the morning and cannot hold a meeting after 5:00 in the afternoon. 
  • Transparency  Hold Know Your Compensation (KYC) sessions, where employees learn where their compensation is compared to their colleagues & also the salary ranges in their organization.
  • Diversity  Maintain a healthy male to female ratio at the executive/senior management level with as much as 50% the positions filled by women.
  • Positive Networking  Allow promoted employees to name colleagues who helped them along the way; those colleagues are reached out to with personal thank-you emails from company leaders. 
  • Societal Contribution  Allow employees to contribute to a social cause of their liking at the company’s cost to address both the individual & organizations’ social responsibilities.
  • Networked Organization  Senior leaders spend a large amount of time with employees via skip level meetings, birthday get-together, personal thank-you sessions, coffee with high performers, etc.

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What are the right motivators to keep employees engaged?

www.fastcompany.com screen capture 2011-8-16-11-26-17

This blog post talks about the right motivators that managers & leaders should deploy for effectiveness & longevity of top talent within organizations.

  • More often than not, individuals don’t realize themselves what their primary motivators are.
  • The challenge for leaders / managers / organizations is to align individual’s personal strengths / goals towards organizations goals. While this is easier said than done, it could be a very effective talent management strategy.
  • I’m sure many of you come across this animation by Dan Pink about Drive. If not, its a highly recommended watch.