Monday, 19 October 2015

From “Apps to Gyan”.... The Mantra of Winners

To be a Winner, you need to have “Relevant Knowledge”

Equally or more important, you need to know How to Apply this Knowledge, Quickly, Efficiently, Accurately!

Theory is culled from books/media, from what your teacher tells you and from what you learn from the experiences shared by others.

Practical wisdom emanates from your personal application of this theory.

Theory could be boring, drawn out over pages and pages of material, often taught by people who have not lived though those experiences.

 But, theory you must acquire …when? At which stage of the learning process?

Many years back, I conducted an experiment wherein I devised Application Tools in M.S Excel for learning advanced spreadsheet formulae and also understanding Financial Ratios. I devised exercises with easy to refer solutions and asked the students to try and solve the exercises, and if they were stuck for some reason, to refer to the solutions and use logical implication to arrive at the correct answer. I asked them to repeat the process of solving the problems over a number of days and soon they had gained the confidence of solving it without referring to the solutions. At the same time, I asked them to read the theory to try to correlate with it their solving of exercises. I had initiated a paradigm shift. A bottom-up approach from the practicality of it to the theory – building an empirical connect leading to a  correlated learning which got firmly etched on their minds because the links between practice → theory & theory→ practice were so visible and relevant.  So, I had 40 examples of solved advanced Excel formulae and functions, many statements of ratio analysis on Excel which the user just had to solve on the lines of solutions provided. As mentioned, this involved repeatedly referring to solutions for easy guidance. Slowly and surely, when the exercises were repeated, the need to refer to the solutions dwindled till the dependency had become non-existent.  Soon, the ability to deploy the formulae and compute the financial ratios was clearly evident with both the theoretical and practical dimensions standing out in the student.

Over the years I have devised many such exercises using the same modus whereby I start with the Application Format and then integrate it with the Theory Format. The student, through a mechanical process of repeating the exercise “discovers” the connect with theory (which gains on him/her) and soon the empirical relevance sets in. A learning that stays with the student and empowers him/her in time to come.

The above modus can be applied across different streams of knowledge for substantial benefit. This forms the core of my “Riyaaz” – the daily practice for empowerment which is the backbone of my “TRP” skills. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


To be a “Winning Manager”, you need to be a “Complete Manager”- replete with all skills required to Translate your Resources in to Performance. Else, like many of the otherwise Educated, Intelligent and Sharp Employees you could be languishing at 50% or below of your potential. TRP Skills enable you to perform even beyond your potential at the ground level which is where the delivery happens. While “Knowledge” is the foundation, the “Ability to Apply” is what ails most Performers. Spend atleast 30-45 minutes a day practicing these TRP Skills and soon you could catapult yourself onto another orbit in the Corporate World.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Was recently moderating a discussion on the linkages between Academia and Industry. I recalled reading a research article wherein it was mentioned that only 5% of graduates in our country are considered employable, yes a shocking 5%.  Indeed, a feeling of helplessness pervaded all over. Why is it that people of a nation considered to be an intelligent race languishes so much in the depths when its graduates seek employment? While Academia needs to impart the knowledge to build the foundation, its time that it also started to impart practical skills which make them employment ready for a beginner’s job. That much we owe to our young aspirants. The syllabus needs to be expanded, changed to include practical skills that cover meeting dynamics, numbers orientation, personality development, official communication – spoken and written etc. Industry veterans need to be involved in bridging the gap, or is it the “gulf” between theory and practice. A partnership on these lines between Academia and Industry is the crying need of the hour.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


I read an article which shockingly revealed that only 5% of graduates and 19% of Engineers who qualify from India each year are considered employable. When I correlate this statistic with my experience as a professional, teacher and interviewer, I can easily perceive the grain of truth that lurks beneath. There is not a gap, but a gulf between Academia and Industry – as the graduate discovers when he ventures out in to the “real” world. It is time that Academia and Industry collaborate to usher in a learning environment wherein the student is oriented to translate the “gyan” into “usable applications” at least to a point wherein he can be considered employment worthy – enough to gain an entry into the corporate world. It is a systemic change that is critical for the growth of human capital at its very foundation. The imparting of practical skills coupled with the essential knowledge is imperative. I am sure some of the TRP Skills can be drafted into the curriculum for a student to get that desired orientation. 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Complete Manager

What does it take to be “The “Complete Manager”, a "Performer Extraordinaire”? He needs to have the core knowledge and the 15+ TRP Skills which enable him to seamlessly translate his/her Core Knowledge into Extraordinary Performance on a consistent basis. The “Complete Manager” should have a repertoire of skills which he can draw upon and instantly deploy. I believe that the sustained pursuit of “Riyaaz” ensures that the skills are practiced on a regular basis and honed up for operational readiness. Lack of TRP Skills makes a Manager’s performance severely compromised. The spectrum of TRP Skills covering select technical, communication, retention, recall and personality development skills ensure that the Manager has an all round capability to deliver – rapidly and confidently.