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Sunday, January 14, 2018

An Otherwise Flat World

Sitting in the Vivekananda Hall at the Delhi School of Economics on the day of his birth anniversary while witnessing the discussions on Digital Revolution and the future ahead, I get reminded of the worldview Swami Vivekanand portrayed through his preaching and practices. The inscription in the hall reads - May I be born again and again, and suffer thousands of miseries so that I may worship the only God that exists, the only God I believe in, the sum total of all souls – and above all, my God the wicked, my God the miserable, my God the poor of all races, is the special object of my worship.

The farsightedness of his thinking and the depth in his beliefs brilliantly blended the universal conception that science and technology is trying to bring together by making the world look like a village and the flattening is proving to be a temptation for an entrepreneur and enterprise. Yes we are all beholding digital journey into the new world and as Nandan Nilekani had told Thomas Friedman sometime in the beginning of the 21st century – the playing field is being leveled, India is responding to that challenge with its demographic advantage and timely aspirations. 

More than a decade has lapsed since Thomas Friedman argued that the world is getting flatter through the ten forces that flattened the world. All these forces have their own stories of experimentation and expansion in the last decade. Though the premise of fruition by the small and middle enterprises spread across emerging economies and the expanse of opportunities it was to provide was countered by Pankaj Ghemavat through his arguments on prominence of consolidations and back and forth movement between World 2.0 and 1.0, yet when it comes to reaching out to the peripheral demographics, it is quite evident that we are getting flatter. Joseph Stiglitz, who we heard last month at the same venue, i.e., the Vivekananda Hall, Delhi School of Economics, had also argued that world is not getting flat rather with more capital flows the inequalities are rising, especially in the developing economies. Though groupings and un-groupings might vouch for deglobalisation, but whether that would hold water for long term sustainability, shall be proved only by time that is uncertain and unpredictable.

Academic arguments of Pankaj win him over Friedman but if one looks back and gets deeper into the  development paradigm that we have witnessed in India, one could believe that technological advances have made major interventions into broadening the markets and building speedy transition when it comes to supply chain at both ends. Technology is playing a key role in leveling the field and providing learning opportunities to the remotely deciphered population. It is also allowing the open mind to explore markets through the use of different platforms that are available across physical boundaries. It is the time for neo-liberals to explore, expand and experiment with an enterprising mind to develop, design and deliver in most frugal manner. The time is all for the experimenting mind, multichannel marketer, digital geek and a social media strategist to demonstrate such value proposition which can contribute to hit at meaningful engagement with customer at one end and the employee on the other end. 

The companies selling technology solutions are becoming most valuable companies much faster than the ones that operated in traditional ecosystem. Digital marketing for them has come as a boon to capitalize on available opportunity and sell satisfaction at a competitive price. There are visible signs of proliferation of markets and mediums to design and deliver better experiences and solutions not just product and services. Economies of scale and speed are in full bloom through new age enterprises. The services that are perceived to be free are able to generate and collate data to engage with the customer on one end and to customize their product and delivery on the other end. Social networking, gaming, and entertainment is being redefined and integrated with associated products and services to assure seamless experiences which is generating data at the back end to articulate demand. Retailing, banking, insurance, customer service etc is being automated to reduce cost and response time. It is posing challenge to HR as they are facing the brunt of dealing with the employees on the exit side of the bell curve. Managing and retaining talent is proving to be much more difficult a task than acquiring the right person.

In India, the interplay between public policy (politicians) and wealth maximization (profit seekers) is leading towards assuring economic growth which is putting pressure on the businessmen to abide by norms prescribed by the existing regime which is open for experimentation and taking steps that is helping deal with crony capitalism. International agencies are showing positive signs of cooperation and sounding positive signals through their ranking statistics and optimistic reporting. Drucker said – Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility. Only time would prove whether this translates into improvement in the better human well-being or not. 

It is more than a century that work-motion study and Fordism were conceptualized and practiced where human beings were considered as machine. Now we are moving towards a milieu that is going to be dominated by Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. We are transcending to a time where data is a new oil and analytics is a new refinery. We are entering a phase where more than human beings, machines are going to be respected and rewarded. Are we heading towards completing that cycle? I wish otherwise.

Alexa took birth in San Francisco for tracking web traffic and doing analytics more than two decades back but the way it became a brand owned by Amazon indicates the culmination of audio, data, and analytics which might redefine the future of business. While Amazon shall celebrate a quarter of the century of its existence in coming two years, it shall perhaps surpass all its competitors which might have existed on this earth for more than a century. Like the companies, individuals and machines born in last twenty five years would become brands of the future.

Adam Smith advocated entrepreneurship for wealth maximization as a proponent of capitalist thinking; Schumpeter thought otherwise of entrepreneurship and believed that capitalism shall decay with the entrepreneurial mindset and practices. The call for conscious capitalism might be a step towards balancing business and well-being. Entrepreneurs’ role in taking the lead towards making the world flat and distributing the benefits to the masses shall certainly pave our path towards the Vedantic truth of sameness as propounded by Swami Vivekananda and as inscribed in this hall. What would be a better tribute to this great young leader on his birthday than committing to the cause of greater happiness for all beings?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

DECODING HR 3.0, ARE WE THERE YET!

Management was conceived as an art of getting things done through people. People were considered as one of the most important resource and their efforts as most important asset. Management of People or Personnel Management as traditionally followed in organizations focused on the processes of managing recruitment and training apart from maintaining labor relations. This continued till the importance of all functional areas became crucial and emphasis on responding to competing environment became a crucial challenge. Employees or the work force were considered as one of the converting force in the organizations and it was believed that one can learn all kind of generic work while on job and the organizations are obliging their employees by giving them opportunity to work for which they are compensated periodically. This later was recognized as a time which dominated traditional treatment of employees to primarily relate work or effort with compensation or salary. Now when we look back we may term that era as HR version 1.0.

As industries were growing, organizations were evolving their work culture and they started putting up labor policies in such a way that they are able to retain talent and reduce their movement to other competing firms. The business schools were providing specialized courses and were also designing programs for industry needs for better job suitability and for assurance of improved work quality. It was also realized that if organizations treat their employees better, they would treat clients and customers better and it would positively culminate in better organizational results. Training and development of employees started getting importance in organizational processes so that the quality of products and services is improved to compete with other available options in the market. Psychologists were consulted by business organizations to develop modules for employees so that their sense of belonging, commitment and satisfaction improves. Treatment of employees was not merely transactional, rather it was viewed as transformational. It was not just for establishing relation between organization, salary and product, rather it was to have everlasting relation with employees which looked into long term perspective. Work places started becoming fun places and employees did not mind spending more time at workplaces if needed.

In brief this was the result of Human Resource Management where employees were not merely considered personnel but a resource which required its effective management looking at their skill sets, requirement of the organization and efforts to bridge the gap. It could be termed as an era which in HR literature has predominantly surrounded organizational policies for better employee management and to have focus of strategy in its composition. It was during this time when a realization became quite popular that every manager is a HR manager. The organizational heads began to converse with HR managers when it came to some strategical decisions. Organizations started creating a position as Chief Human Resource Officer. At many organizations HR was brought on the table. And that is HR 2.0.

The working age that is dominating, across sectors and organizations, is of employees below the age of forty five and it is expected that in the coming decade it is going to go down further. This generation took birth around the time technology driven companies were taking birth. The time is viewed as the time when movement from industry to services and to technology driven services became prominent. The solutions became more technology driven, the practices became more machine centered, the processes became more integrated, expectations became more instant and market as such got redefined. Market spaces got created in the virtual world and resultantly it got reflected in the kinds of products and services that were offered and the opportunities available got capitalized. This marked the emergence of an era that drove organizations to think in a lean way and to effectively leverage technology to their advantage in designing the products and services. Not only this backward and forward integration with the use of technology and the business processes management (beyond just outsourcing) got explored, experimented and accepted by the corporate houses which wanted their timeless presence in the market.

All the levers involved in the process of the value chain were energized and were warned of their bleak future if they did not respond to the call of time. For employees in the organizations at different levels of management, this was a clarion call to imbibe change and to respond to the use of technology in the processes that affected their performance. The top management oriented their employees on use of technology and the advantages it offered at all levels of the value chain, starting with back-end support to the delivery to the end user. HR practices starting from man-power planning till after severance services got integrated using appropriate technology services for better decision making.

As corporate houses got busier with valuations than profitability, HR got more performance oriented than process oriented. The solutions of all kinds using artificial intelligence had results on the click of the mouse. The job of HR became more challenging and treatment of employees became more transparent and technology driven. Performance of employees got measured on real time basis and HR started facing the brunt. Employees were on the front and customers became secondary. This got termed as emergence of HR 3.0 version. It is only the time which shall vouch whether this transformation and paradigm shift in thinking and practice shall sustain its existence and how far it is going to last.

Technology is no doubt a big disruptor in all kinds of organizational functions. But can it replace humans that is a big question. Objectivity is good and helps decision making better, but can it be allowed to dominate over all kinds of decisions when one is dealing with humans and their intangible emotions.

HP way, J&J credo, GE’s remarkable transformation, Infosys’s rise, Google’s innovative practices, IBM’s future plan, TATA’s mass appeal, and many other such visionary organizations would prove through their actions and practices whether HR 3.0 has really arrived. We shall wait and watch as today become history tomorrow.

[Jigyasa 2017 – HR in 4th Industrial Revolution, MBA (HRD) Deptt of Commerce, DSE, Univ of Delhi, p 38-39]

Sunday, August 27, 2017

On Doctorates and Research

Recently, the Global Network of Doctorates organized its 5th International Conference on Issues and Challenges in Doctoral Research to mark its 5th anniversary on 25th August 2017 at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. This network celebrates 25th August as World Doctorates Day as informed by its founder, Prof KK Dwivedi, Vice Chancellor, ITM University, Gwalior. It was a great opportunity attending its inaugural session and listening to Dr BB Kumar (Chairman, ICSSR), Prof Ashutosh Sharma (Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India), and Prof Jagadish Kumar (Vice Chancellor, JNU). The whole conception of this annual event is to brainstorm on the issues related to doctoral research and work towards developing ways through which the quality of research can be improved. The network has more than 4,200 members from across 60 nations. It has developed strong discussion forums to deliberate on the issues concerning research quality and doctoral programs using LinkedIn platform.

There is no second thought that when we talk of higher education and weigh India’s relative position as compared to other domains, the condition is gloomy. The quality of doctoral work is deteriorating and is not able to cope with the pace with other countries. It is learnt during the conference that India produces somewhere around 24,000 doctorates annually as against around 52,000 that China produces. Doctoral program is roughly around a century old in India whereas for China it is half a century old. Prof Sharma was of the view that we do not really need to focus on quantity rather our focus should be on improving quality. I too feel that even if the size of doctorates that we produce is maintained at this level, if we are able to work on quality it would be produce better results. At a time when Ph Ds are for sale, improving quality is a greater challenge. The number of doctorates that we produce a year are more than enough if they culminate into real research which is good for society and which can be translated into real products, policies and services.

Public money gets spent on research projects yet the degree of accountability is almost absent. Mafias of education are hand in gloves with teachers, scholars and publishers to make money and provide short term returns. The whole culture of research and the motivation is weak. Students want to pursue research because they think it is much easier than qualifying UGC net exam. It is general perception of doctoral students that after doctorate their employability becomes better. But they forget that in the state of UP for the post of peon 255 doctorates applied two years back. More than obtaining the degree, holding the degree is important.

When it comes to support from the government to pursue research there are excellent schemes and enough provisions, scholarships and fellowships which facilitate their subsistence. If we leave aside top class institutions (IITs, IIMs, IISc, TIFR, Central Universities etc) primarily focus of doing research is to get a teaching job in an undergraduate college. In most cases there is lack of awareness regarding research potential and opportunities especially in the off urban campuses. It is more a problem of a mentor than of a mentee. The teachers of today have not exposed themselves to the new methods of research and they are ill informed, complacent and laid back type in most of the colleges and universities.

Prof Jagdish Kumar shared his own story of getting selected for doctorate at IISc and for masters at IIT Madras. Initially he chose to pursue doctorate from IISc Bangalore. When he went there and met his prospective research guide, he was disheartened as this professor was hostile, egotistical and arrogant. Prof Kumar says that since he came from a rural background, he was skeptical as to how would he gel with such a person in his pursuit for Ph D. Instead, he went to IIT Madras where he met a professor who was polite, humble and down to earth. He tried to first make him comfortable by asking about his family, village and other concerning issues. This is how he preferred masters at IIT Madras over doctoral program at IISc. His masters professor later became his research supervisor and mentored him which helped him reach at the place he is today.

So the personality, attitude and behavior of mentor plays very important role in shaping research aptitude in the mentee. As Abdul Kalam said – Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor for me. Teachers as supervisors have to provide wings to the scholars and not to use them as their personal slaves. There are many cases where scholars report of misbehavior on the part of the research guide. This is also one of the reasons why the image of teachers in the eyes of society has deteriorated. At times students face humiliation and mental torture by their supervisors and still continue as they are left with no choice.

Proper guidance and serious mentorship does not necessarily require excellent academic but a good human being. Discussions on multidisciplinary approach of research and use for common people should form base between mentor and mentee. Many times it is observed that the thesis just occupies space in the library. Many times it is seen that the thesis has good potential of publication but because of lack of awareness and understanding it does not find a place in good quality journal. The whole work comes to a standstill after the award of degree. In the present times with the mandatory requirement of API for promotion, teachers get to publish papers in the journals which are much faster in their response and many a times they fall prey for predatory publishing.

When it comes to the field of science and technology, research publications from India we stand at 5th position in quantity of publications whereas when it comes to the quality of publications, it is somewhere 12-13th position, informs Prof Sharma. This gap has to be reduced and all the guns should target to hit that point. Quality has to be emphasized by inculcating a sense of quality publishing culture. He also informs that the government is aiming to improve its position from 5th to 3rd in coming 5 years which should ideally culminate into 6th or 7th position when it comes to quality.

Condition in social science and humanity domain is in a shape where less is said better it is. It is not that good quality research is not happening but the issue is that the motivation to do research is very different. Publishing in good quality journals is not targeted by the scholars and many a times research supervisors are not aware of quality outlets available for their work. We need to develop a culture of doing serious research culminating in creation of new knowledge and communicating it to the stakeholders. I know many researches in the domain which are excellent in rigor, methodology and contribution, yet they are not communicated with good quality journals. Much of what gets published is because of the force for career advancement and the kind of API system UGC has at present. What I have observed over the years that there is strong need of improving expression ability among youth. Their ability to express both orally as well as in written form is weak.

So after listening to the speakers and getting into some thinking I feel it would be more important for us to make teaching and research for young graduates a priority over other professions, especially for those who are full of energy, enthusiasm and passion to do something unique. Avenues are aplenty for them but getting a good mentor is a challenge. Hence we need to own up our responsibility to commit ourselves and make good teachers, researchers and scholars for the next generation. Otherwise generations would not mind cursing us for not showing them the right path. It is not students of today who need to be blamed, but it is the teachers of today who need to commit themselves with introspection, intellect and humility for the cause of improving the quality of doctorates.

It would be a real tribute on this World Doctorates Day if the doctorates of today pledge that come what may they would keep holding their degree with pride by not getting involved in compromising the quality.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Digital Disruption and Human Well-being - a step towards positive politics


Technology is a big disruptor. For not just businesses but for state as well. The governments have learnt lessons from businesses and have started using technology to devise policies and to deliver them efficiently to the end users. Digital disruption is one such initiative and Digital India is one such mission which is targeted to provide seamless services in an open environment assuring transparency, security and speed. Public policy is an area which needs to embrace technology to strategize and develop appropriate policies to improve quality of life of people viz a viz their well-being.

For state to visualise better growth and development there are two approaches which are visible. First is to push the policies whereby driving people to learn and develop an attitude of adapting to change. This pushes the people to change without much choice. By some it is viewed as an imposition whereas some consider it to be the need of time. Whatever be the case broadly it is considered as an approach which may lead to better tomorrow. Second is to empower citizens through providing good education so that they can make better choices and take wise decisions. This approach also focuses on building better social infrastructure in order to assure better future in the long term. In this approach the citizens feel free and are driven from within to take initiatives, to develop the state and to contribute positively for better well-being of people. First approach gives short term result whereas the second approach provides long term returns.

As a state one has to have a mix of these two approaches so that balanced growth takes place with political compulsions and aspirations. And to that the present government deserves lot of appreciation for its policy push to create an environment of forced learning and to drive people to get into digital literacy. There are many schemes to make India digital literate and develop skills to do transactions with convenience and care.

Few months back I attended 10th International conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance hosted by the National E-governance Division under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India and United Nations University in collaboration with UNESCO. The keynote speaker for the inaugural session was Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology. He articulated the link between rich Indian Ethos and Transparency and Tolerance. The larger vision of the Government and the initiatives taken up in order to reach out to all citizens of the country for digitalisation and transparent government were nicely placed before the audience which had participants from around 60 countries. The success stories of people involved in the delivery and dissemination were applauded and an apt case of women empowerment was made as all top bureaucrats involved in the making of the conference from India were primarily women.

Digital disruption has opened opportunities of all kinds for business and with that new employment platforms are generated. ICT has played key role in empowering people whereby committing resources for improving human well being. Digital divide is getting improved and converted into Digital dividend and resultantly is driving digital disruption to leverage excellent new technology to connect with the stakeholders in more efficient manner. It is certainly heading towards building rich knowledge society and as stipulated would help human well-being through digital empowerment.

The state collects revenue and tax and uses digital technology for speed, scale and adherence. It further uses technology tools to know the defaulters and to get them the notifications of that effect. It is excellently done and followed however what is lacking is that there is no tool available for the citizens who would like to know about the use of the tax revenue. Technology needs to facilitate this process which would help the governments to transform themselves into good governments and that would certainly fall within the premise of positive politics. Surprisingly in no country such a mechanism is developed which somewhere reflects poor on their intention.

Bhutan has successfully concentrated on using eGovernance platforms to develop and deliver services to its citizens. This small yet important nation which follows development philosophy termed GNH has shown its commitment for the cause of human well-being and has responded to it with appropriate initiatives using technology and digitalisation for assuring transparency at all levels. Internet penetration and mobile use is remarkable, education and health parameters are improving; physical infrastructure is improving leaps and bounds. This nation is spearheading the movement demanding an alternative measure to gauge and compare human progress which is posed against well accepted and preached term – GDP.

While improving digital penetration and realizing the dream for digital India, we need to follow certain cautions so that it does not boomerang. Digital distraction has to be handled with care and digital wellness has to be assured. Overdose of provisioning digital platforms in a country like India, where education standards are low would be a much greater challenge for all the people involved in designing and delivering digital products and services. It also needs to be taken care that such a move does not negatively affect basic social fabric of the nation. We need to strengthen execution and effective implementation which would be possible only when digital literacy reaches to the nooks and corners of the country.

Nations have to commit themselves for improving quality of life of its people and has to look beyond economic measures. Use of technology should be to provide better and faster solutions which would help citizens to built trust in their elected Governments. India is on a path towards better days in all domains of human well-being and Digital Disruption is playing a key role which is expected to guarantee equity and equality as human intervention is minimized in this kind of thought of eco-system.

[published in SME World, Sept 2017 issue]

Monday, July 03, 2017

Basics to Lead in Any Career: 4 Cs Model

[picture credit: https://d3ttu1mwmobba5(dot)cloudfront(dot)net/content/uploads/2015/01/Question-Marks-Confusion-puzzle(dot)jpg]

Many of my students keep asking me - 'How can we improve ourselves; how can we lead in our career; how can we communicate better'. I have grown with similar such questions and found the answer from within. I am sure many of the students pursuing studies and looking for opportunities, many of them in the first phase of their employment and many who toil hard to grow with the organization, might be facing similar such questions. For all of them this small piece might be helpful.

I keep telling the students – ‘You need to concentrate on 4 Cs, viz., Communication, Content, Clarity and Confidence.’ And then we get into some conversation about all these 4 Cs in detail. I have experimented with many of my students over the years. In around three decades of my career and around a decade of growing in school, college and university, I have lived with these 4 Cs and expanded them for the benefit of larger and specific audience as the case may be - for business leaders, teachers and students, entrepreneurs, government officers and civil servants.

First C is Communication. Communication is becoming more and more important these days as workplaces are getting transformed and work behavior is fast changing. Competition is driving expectations and so are the competency challenges. Indira Neoyi of PepsiCo believes in strong power of communication and says that in order to lead a successful life one needs to learn how to communicate well.

It is very important that one is able to communicate what one knows. It is of no use if one is not able to tell others or share one's understanding of issues with others. It is not necessary that one has to be great in verbal communication, one could choose to develop oneself in writing and share what one feels about issues. But it is an advantage if one is good in oral communication as well. Command over language, diction and delivery makes communication effective. Not necessarily that one has to know many languages, but what is important is command of at least one language in which expression is smooth, clear and convincing. People need to love listening to you. Your sense of articulation and comprehension in the best known language must be able to communicate the message that you intent to send to the other person.

Whatever be the case outlet is important, expression is important and that cannot happen until one is good in communication. There are many ways that one can develop good communication skill.
Speaking can never happen in isolation of listening. So the first important step is to lend an ear to others. Listen to people to whom you like listening. Start reading aloud for at least 15 minutes a day. Record what you speak and then play the recording and try finding gaps for improvement. If possible speak in front of a mirror. These are few ways that one can follow to develop better communication skill but it cannot happen in isolation of Content. That is second C.

So in order to communicate well as well as to focus on one's career and life goals, one has to have content. And for having content, one has to invest in the habit of reading, thinking and retaining. As Virginia Wolf correctly said - read thousand books and see the words would flow like river.

Content is primarily knowledge about what one intends, what one has employed oneself in, what one wants to communicate. As Francis Bacon wrote – knowledge is power, one has to develop interest in knowing more and thinking about it and may be if required to make proper notes about it so that one is able to retain what one has learnt. One has to enjoy the power of knowledge by rich and relevant content. I keep telling my young friends that you must develop good friendships so that you can share what you read. By sharing you would be able to retain what you have read. It would hit your cognitive space and get saved in your hard disc with proper encoding. By sharing you make several copies of the message and whenever you need it, it comes handy, your memory drive gets prompted and feeds you.

Content also can come through experiences and notes, discussions and discourses. Make a proper reading list and keep preparing handy notes in order to provide you ready feed. Rich content can be developed through getting little deeper into the issue through research that one is trying to get to know about.

Better content leads you to enjoy confidence and clarity which is must in order to get the message communicated effectively as well as to lead better in career. It is observed at many workplaces that when a particular issue comes, one is referred to a specific person in the organization. It is because of his communication and articulation about his knowledge related to that particular issue in which he/she specializes, in which he/she has developed overtime by acquiring related knowledge and expertise. Can we at least develop ourselves in one such domain that we have edge over others, so that whenever any issue concerning that particular domain comes forward for resolve, all eyes of expectations are directed towards you. It is important as it provides a sense of positivity and being helpful to others.

No career can push you up until you possess good content which could be based on knowledge or skill. One needs to keep working on learning new skills as well as to keep acquiring new knowledge. It is also expected of people to develop new knowledge. I get reminded of what Gary Hamel mentioned in his book entitled - The Leading Revolution, he wrote - you cannot find a new place on an old map. So we need to keep creating new places on the map. We need to create new knowledge for tomorrow.
 
Organizations always prefer people who have strong sense of learning and are new to new knowledge. Satya Nadella of Microsoft says that he has learned many new things as well as developed better perspectives through attending Coursera. There are companies which ask - what have you learnt in last six months. So having learning attitude and developing content is very important in order to excel in career vis-à-vis life.

Next C is Clarity. Clarity is a very important component for leading better career goals. At times we are faced with a situation when we have lot of information and knowledge but we are not able to package it perfectly. We are full of content but we lack the art of organizing that knowledge or information and do not possess the art of condensing it for a particular use. That is a real challenge.
Packaging is a skill not many concentrate on. But it is very important as it makes the audience or receivers develop interest in what one is intending to share or communicate. Packaging the content is such a way that it connects with the audience and convinces them. It works as a link between content and intent. As mentioned earlier it is not important to know everything, what is important it to be able to communicate what one knows. That is where clarity helps.

Organizing the thoughts with appropriate choice of content makes you a confident communicator. In order to have clarity one has to plan what one is going to speak or write about. It is always better to look and relook at the intent of communication, the nature and background of audience, and the message that needs to be communicated. This planning shall help one to get organized better and to have clarity of thought. Many a times we come across people having lot of data and information but they fail to communicate what they intent because of lack of clarity in intent and expected outcome. So apart from getting clear idea as to what is the emphasis of message, one has to also comprehend expected outcome at the end of the expression which would further strengthen clarity and boost the confidence of communicator.

When one is planning one’s career, one has to have fair idea of what one intends to pursue. One has to look at one’s long term life goal and accordingly has to plan course of action accordingly. Clarity helps in marrying career goal with life goal. Clarity of purpose combined with the meaningfulness of efforts has to move together in order to drive the process further. Many a times the nature of work and physical stress builds pressure and results in creating confusion which disturbs clarity; many a time unnecessary interventions and external engagements distract focus. This is where one has to have some system of getting prompted through warning signal so that conscious decision may be taken to build clarity and dust out confusion. Taking a pause from work and spending time with near and dear ones might provide freshness. Spending time with oneself, may be through some small meditation sessions might help build clarity better.

After one is able to know the language in which one shall express oneself, the concentration would be on content and clarity as mentioned above. But the communication shall not be effective if it is not put forth confidently. Also it is important to be confident about oneself, about what one speaks, what one does and what one aspires. So the next and the forth C which needs to be concentrated is Confidence.

One builds confidence through language command, proper backup of content and clarity of message and intent. However it is also seen many a times that one lacks confidence when it comes to body language and the way one carries oneself. It is much to do with the comfort level of the person. Just one small spot in your dress that only you are aware of, shall pull you down when it comes to interacting with others. So wear the best suitable and comfortable dress that you possess, carry yourself in a very easy and composed way. It does not matter whether you are wearing the costliest and most fashionable brand or a local brand, what is important is how comfortable you feel in what way you are carrying yourself.

The way you walk, the way you talk, the way you smile, the way you laugh, the way you respond, the way you articulate, everything contributes to your communication of confidence. You should be confident about yourself and about the content that you are going to get across to others. Your comfort level with audience shall also determine your confidence level. Your knowledge about audience and their knowledge about you shall help you build a connection with them. Talking eye to eye is considered best when talking one on one but when the size of audience is larger it is equally important that one is able to involve through the movement of the eyeballs with people sitting at different places. It portrays your confidence about what you are communicating.

Confidence is the key for building one's career and achieving greater heights. Content is the prime driver of confidence and your personality is the secondary factor to build confidence. As they say - personality is the sum total of habits. One needs to work on developing good habits which provide you positive energy and help you build confidence. It is better to spend time on nurturing at least a hobby which provides positivity and helps in building confidence. In order to be confident one has to practice, rehearse and do mock tests. One must avoid interacting with negative people and should develop art of controlling emotions. At times it so happens that by just one small intervention, one loses confidence and spoils the whole show. One has to be very careful about it. That is where it becomes important that one is thorough with the content and has fair idea about the action that he/she is going to take. One has to believe that there is no shortcut and opportunities do not knock always. It is the practice which makes the man perfect.
 
So young friends next time when you are faced with trouble in dealing with yourself, look around and see whether you are able to communicate better. Work on these 4 Cs and experiment for some time and see whether you are able to move ahead in life and career or not.