Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MakeFinSense - A Financial Spa

MakeFinSense is the new initiative of mine. Its a Financial Spa.The Spa meant for rejuvenating,provoking and producing the financial senses.


To start with, I have added a simple and pretty useful excel based utility called FinHealthMonitor. A simple and elegant utility to track Investments and liabilities for a period of 24 months. The rationale behind developing this utility is that better planning leads to better Finance Management. This utility should help folks during the Planning phase. In simple words, this tool takes your investments and liabilities as input and generates a report on a month on month basis. Please check the dedicated page of FinHealthMonitor

The basic thought process at the core of the tool is to facilitate better planning of the finances by being aware of the outgo and incoming of mullah for a given month.

An individual who is earning will have queries related to finances. MakeFinSense has got a collection of resources to help people in getting the right resources as soon as possible. Have a look at this here

Have a great time making Financial Sense folks...


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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Innovation makes Communication Effective…

The last post  concentrated on emphasizing on and thus stops a Leader from being a Effective Leader. This post is extension to it. I present another practical example to showcase the impact of Effective communication technique on overall business. The business under consideration is the competitive TV channels paradigm. The technique used is pretty simple and straight but for sure innovative and so effective.

The Innovative Counter

If you guys have carefully noticed a few TV channels, they have started displaying a counter that shows the time before the program be a serial or the film will resume. Usually its 1 minute. The counter typically read “Will be back in” or “Will resume in“ . This is the Innovative idea to which this post is dedicated.
I feel displaying the counter is an awesome idea. Lets analyze how…I feel this counter address a major pain points of any TV channel.

Counter Effect

Firstly, Most of the People don’t want to see ads and so as soon as ads appear, they start surfing the TV.  At times by the time they are back, the program has resumed and the viewer feels irritated as he/she has missed a portion of the program/film.By displaying the counter, The TV channel have bang on in setting the right expectation. The viewers now have an estimate of how much time is left before there program resumes. I noticed it on UTV Action and UTV Movies for the first time and so for me they are the pioneers of this innovative idea.
Effective communication
Secondly because the counter start tickling, the viewers are forced to stop surfing and as its just a matter of a minute, they don’t mind viewing the ads. So effectively, thanks to the counter, the probability of people viewing the ads has increased. Its obvious, that TV channels would en cash this increased probability and charge a premium for the last 1 minute Ad slot.
The leader has used a innovative means of communication to get what he is supposed to do. Get the viewers hooked to the channel and use the ad slots to generate ad revenue to the fullest.

Innovation makes Communication Effective

To summarize, effective communication doesn’t require multiple million dollar investment. The only criteria is that it should go and get resonating with what customer expects, it should get the resources aligned to achieve the goal. It could as simple as a time counter as we realized in this post. This reminds me of one of my earlier posts titled . For the cash registers to start ringing, for the projects to get delivered on time, within budget and with adequate quality, for the goals to be achieved; have effective communication that resonates with the audience.
But as blogged in , this innovative idea will also get commoditized and so will lose its impact. That’s why they say “Keep Walking”

Feel free to share your thoughts about this in the comments sections…

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Effective Communication makes Effective Leader

In the last 3 posts of the series about leadership. I shared my views on significance of leadership by taking an example of airport operations, then to understand what makes him the youth icon of India at 74. The post how leaders achieve goals was used to talk about importance of processes. This post is to talk about the significance of yet another important tool a effective leadership has to use well. And its Communication.
As usual, I will take an example to emphasis on the significance of effective Communication.
I was waiting for my train and a couple in the early 50s reached me asking for the coach B1. They have been on search for their coach for sometime and probably decided to ask some body and that was me.I was standing at the end of platform where my coach was supposed to arrive.I checked their ticket and realized their coach was at the very entrance of the platform. The couple has travelled the entire platform unnecessarily.
The scenario of running the length of the platform to find your coach was India till last few years. There was no way of knowing in advance where the coach would come. A lady would announce a few minutes before the train arrives on the speakers but you need special hearing capabilities to decipher what she said Smile. The best bet was the local coolie.
But these days the scenario is changed. Indian rail has modernized and now the coach number is displayed on LED display well in time before the train arrives. People have ample time to get aligned to the place where the coach is expected to come.
The couple didn’t realize that the coach location is displayed on the LED display overhead and they just kept on walking and searching. This was probably very much in sync with what they have experienced since their younger days. So the thought of a LED display didn’t strike them probably. Or may be even if they saw it, they didn’t believe it somehow.

 Effective Communication

The point I am trying to make is that effective communication to the couple would have saved their energy burnt in travelling a few meters of platform. A one-liner on the ticket itself would have made their day. An SMS on their mobile would have been the best thing to do. May be I am expecting too much from Indian Rail.
In short, India rail has been quite customer friendly and innovative in getting the Coach number displayed. This awesome piece of work would have been much more effective, would have achieved its purpose of easing travellers journey pleasant to a great extent, would have held the spirit of the act way too high if it communicated well.
For an effective leader, its very essential to have effective communication skills to broadcast his vision for the organization, to get the workforce inspired and aligned to the goals, to propagate the ideas and techniques he intends to use to make the vision a reality.

What you say guys….

Let your communication to me flow in the comments section….


Saturday, September 3, 2011

How leaders achieve the goals.

In the post Leadership Matters, of this series about Leadership, I blogged about the importance of having an effective leader and then analyzed Anna Hazare, the 74 year old youth icon of India and obviously and effective leader.
The gist of this post would be understand how a effective leader puts his vision into practice, gets his vision transformed into reality, aligns the available resources to achieve the set goal .
An effective leader chalks out a framework for the organization such that everybody gets aligned to the organization goals. One of the key components of the framework is Operations. And for the operations to be smooth, we need Processes.
When I say processes, I am not talking about the bureaucracy. For me processes are all about creating an organizational environment so that the workforce can carry out their duties in the most efficient way.

An Example of Operational Excellence
I happened to witness the most apt example to emphasis on Operational Processes when my flight from Bangalore landed at Pune airport. Within no time, the staircase was in place, the baggage carrier was doing its job and by the time I reached the Baggage collection counter the bags have started their journey on the conveyor belt. The maintenance team had started their work on the flight to make it ready for the next destination. Everything was happening so smoothly and so effectively. People involved were very much aware of what is expected from them. The very small portion of the Airport Operations I analyzed concreted my thoughts about importance of effective operational Processes to ensure things are done and done right...The way a leadership envisioned. 

Another example
Its about a doctor named Atul Gawanade who implemented the process of sterilizing hands before entering the operation theatre. Stunningly, the infection rate came down
Atul Gawande has penned down the experience in "The Checklist Manifesto" .The significance of having essential and effective processes was reinforced in my mind after reading this masterpiece.

Why introduce Processes?
My job involves handling operations and I don’t have such smooth rolling so I thought what is the one thing that is making the difference in case of Airport Operations. I feel it’s the Process. Apart from very clearly knowing what is expected from them, the Airport staff was very clear about how to conduct their duty so that whatever is expected is achieved. There was a crystal clear process defined for the Baggage carrier. There was a clear process for the Staircase carrier as to what needs to be done once the flights land. The baggage carrier will not interfere and will not come in way of the staircase carrier because the process has been set such that they have their independent paths and duties. It’s the clarity of the duty and the clarity of conduct that made the difference.

The sour point...
Many people feel processes are a way of implementing bureaucracy and I don’t deny this. And that’s where again the leadership matters. An effective leadership what processes will improve the operational efficiency and what will dampen efficiency. For me, a process is way of following what is best to achieve the target.

You are welcome to speak out your mind in the comments section...