Thursday, July 12, 2012

Power of Failure

Working in a firm like mine has quiet a few fringe benefits. One of the initiatives called Leadership Talk Series (LTS) is where successful people from different walks of life are invited to share their experience and help the employees get inspired. Today as a part of the series we had Anupam Kher (who needs no introduction) visiting our campus.

The moment I reached the venue of the talk I could see the enthusiasm of the colleagues as the hall was jam packed with hardly a place to stand. Apart from the awe of superstar/celebrity what surprised me was the humility which was evident as soon as Mr Kher started to interact. I had my doubts if would be able to stick with the agenda behind this series when the interaction began. But within moments all my skepticism disappeared in thin air and I regretted not having a pen and paper to scribble the wonderful lessons he shared from his personal experience.

There were numerous takeaways from the session and I would jot down the ones which I can recall. The human memory has a short attention span & we need to be reminded and that is what this session helped me. I am sure we would have had come across these learning at some point of time or other. But when you hear it along with an incident and that to from a person who has done it himself its much more impactful.

  • Dreamer are achievers and things do not happen automatically, you need to work to achieve them.
  • Happiness is state of mind and we decide if we want to be happy.
  • Optimism is a trait we need to inculcate.
  • You never lose till you stop trying. 
  • Power of failure and you need to celebrate failure as well.
Well to say the entire session was laced with humor or rather filled with it would be an understatement. It was laugh riot to be precise and best part was that the essence of LTS was intact. Most of the anecdotes he shared came from staying with his parents/grand-parents. All I can say is Thank you Mr. Kher for sharing your experience and making our lives richer.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Another milestone

Well as I sit on the eve of another milestone of my journey of life I wonder. The questions which haunt me every year are still in front of me and I do not have answers for them. I am nearing the half way mark of the typical human life and am still looking for a purpose. Which makes me wonder if I haven't found a purpose till date when do I get time to start working on it.

There are things which am not happy about, but I guess it just like you do not want to fix things unless they are broken. Probably for the same reason I am not making enough efforts to mend/fix it up as well. One of my best pals yesterday made me realize the importance of dialogue. There are things which one can ponder over without reaching to any conclusions but if you open up you might get a perspective which you were totally missing.

Another interesting fact which I realized was things which are new to us make us feel uncomfortable. And even before any attempt to change or try out we have already developed a resistance against it. Unless we take the first step we will never be able evaluate whether it was good/bad for us. As I continue to march towards another year I look forward to new set of events, learning and hope that I might stumble across the answers which I have been looking for. Now as I look back I see that I haven't been exploring places which I consider essential element in learning. With a wish that I get to explore the world before the free spirit in me gets tied down with the usual responsibilities.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Customer Delight

Well the firm I work for constantly keeps on talking about customer satisfaction and since that's where the money comes from (to put it bluntly that how we are paid our salaries). I cannot authenticate the claim which the ads make like 60% of world business transactions run through our system, but I do tend to believe since we make a fairly large revenue and it wouldn't be possible if that was not the case.

BTW every B-school student goes through some course of other which talk about how important our customers are and what all should be done to retain them. Now Customer Satisfaction and Delight are 2 completely different topics. How many times we would have picked our phone to log a complain about a particular service not been provided or irregularity some where in the process. Most common examples would be for banking, mobile, electricity billing etc. where we are put through a mundane IVRS which asks us to punch all useless numbers to identify us and then proceed and finally to be directed to some customer care executive in some corner of the world who would again make us go through the same process again.

This post started because I underwent a paradigm shift during odd 20-30 mins for a service which I used as a part of my job and made me realize how fast can things be turned around. How fickle human emotions are and with just a slight effort it can set to normal. Ok now the real story or the experience. I dialled up international toll-free number to get my issue resolved and I was treated with IVRS system as usual. Had to do the necessary number punching to get myself through and it took ages before I could be transferred. I ended up loosing my cool and dropping off the call. Better sense prevailed and I retried and damn the phone networks I couldn't even get through for next 5-6 times. Now you can understand with no fault of the service provider I was cursing them though the issue was with telephone networks instead.

After repeated attempts I was able to make it through and had to go through the routine process. Finally I get to interact with customer care guy who had a strong British accent and listens to all my complain patiently and after the usual verification. He tells me that he isn't the right guy and would transfer me to the right department and I thought oh so here it goes again. Sounds just the regular stuff isn't it ? But I was in for a surprise. Less than 30 seconds I got transferred to right department and before I could reply to the hello from the lady(had Irish tone later confirmed from the ISD code of the call) the call got dropped off. I made last valiant effort but phone network gods were not on my side.

So obviously I was not in the best possible spirit and thought lets handle it later. Now these guys did have all the info including the firm I work and probably access to corporate address book as well since they provide services to us. Another 10 mins I got a call from the same lady on my desk number(from Irish number) stating that she is looking into the issue and I need to be on hold. After some clarifications she told me they are working on the complaint and would get back to me by sending me necessary info through mails without being asked for.

Did I have a grouse against them ? Oh YAH :-) but after the effort(I don't know how little or extra) they made in less than 30 mins I was more than happy or have moved from one end of the spectrum to another. (the complaint is still not resolved).