Monday, March 8, 2010

Paper thin Organic Radical Battery (ORB)

Spotted by Anoop Kumar Gupta

You may be wondering how electronic gadgets are getting thinner and smaller each day. One of the reason is the malleability of the battery into a thin sheet which is no thicker than paper. The technology is in progress from last four years or so. Soon we will derive power from something as small as grain of wheat.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cutting Waste

Each company has a leadership and their role is to constantly ensure the highest productivity with lowest input and operational cost. Each company emphasize on saving bottom line which is needed to achieve higher margins and survival during troubled times. However, a majority of organizations tend to waste company resources. The best way of running a company is to think that you own it. This way you will ensure higher productivity for yourself and make decisions that cut on the waste.

The people on top rung are the wicked one. Let me explain how they squander company resources. During foreign visits, they get a fixed amount for their daily travel and meal expenses. The plot they weave makes them save a lot. They take one client everyday on a lunch/dinner and submit the bill to the company as business expense. This way they save on their meal amount and get more through business expense bill. During customer visit, they make a habit of entertaining customers in most expensive hotel. This way they enjoy a free meal with a customer, no matter the financial resources of company are getting corroded. The most wasteful expense is travelling to and fro to different offices for engagements that are of no value. The objective can be realized by a simple video conference which will cost pennies, though they make sure to squander at least few thousand bucks flying from one destination to another. Another trend is of management meet, where people in top management stay at some resort to discuss future direction for the company. The bill of staying at the resort and flying to the destination is enough to compensate 10 employees for a year .

Most Managers are not clear about the goals they have to achieve. They create assignments that have no lasting value for the organization. Their team indulge in completing these assignments wasting several hundred man hours. This creates frustration among the team and is a major cause of employee turnover.

The managers are an example to their subordinates who learn from them and waste company resources as when the opportunity arrives.

Employee Attrition: Do we have a solution?

You may have read score of articles on cause, effect and possible solutions to address employee attrition. And believe me, they are just hypothetical analysis by some industry stalwart who has thought the top ten reasons or so in his/her comfortable cabin. Some 8 years of working in IT industry, which is highly attrition ridden industry has made me think on real issues. I want my readers to think and elaborate on what I will mention in next few lines.

Reason 1: Business leaders are no longer trustworthy
An MBA in old world business concepts coupled with industry experience in complacent environments has made business leaders a bunch of weak ducks. They isolate themselves in conference rooms, converse with few politically aligned colleagues and just push around with conflicting agendas. The employees hardly hear from them on mail or in person which makes the situation untrustworthy. Employees feel the pinch of impending doom. So they tend to flee the place as soon as they see better opportunity

Reason 2: Culture
This is the single most reason why the ace employees leave or become frustrated. During the hiring process, HR executives hire purely on basis of project requirements and technical skills of person. The background, solution oriented approach and behavioural aspects are taken for granted. This makes entry of employees who pollute the culture of the organization. We hardly hear of attrition in companies like Apple, Google, IDEO or Disney Studios. The reason is the people who create the culture. A good employee needs good colleagues, a highly evolved mentor and intellectually challenging environment. Good employees do not need recognition certificates or team awards. They are self motivated. All they need is a highly refined and growth oriented culture.

Reason 3: Loyalty and Star performers
Rewarding star performers and introducing loyalty programs never help. These are just activities taken by senior management to justify their false mentoring attitude and probably their own salary. The star performers are soon forgotten and the business goes on. The right step is to keep an eye on the performer and mentor him to achieve excellence. There must a definite succession planning for such individuals and a great reward for long term loyalty. This could be high bonus payout on completing 5 or 10 years of service. This will actually inspire other employees to perform and show loyalty towards the company

Reason 4: Lack of honesty
Organizations are not honest with themselves. The leaders love to hear what they want to hear and ignore the hard facts that challenge them on face. They hoard the information and never let others know even if the assignment is critical. Their actions are contrary to the mission/vision/value statement they boast about in open forums. This lack of honesty trickles down to their subordinates who give similar leeway in their work. And they finally leave to do similar damage to the next organization, they are supposed to join.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Avatar Himku visits planet Pandora

Last month I had a chance to visit planet Pandora. I was called as Himko out there, as you have to change name and appearance according to the place. I am putting up my photograph clicked during the trip.

Raghava KK and his five lives

I would like the readers to specifically watch this video. It is said that you pick up an idea and follow it completely. Success is yours. Raghava KK has an inspiring story to tell about his life. His love for painting and caricature takes him to places we can hardly imagine. Lets watch the video and unpack the secret of his creativity.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

At last a January to cheer about

iPad, a much speculated product is out in the sun. The product looks great, though we can only see its launch video and features on Apple website. And the best part is the price. $499 is dead cheap. And the elite version with Wi-Fi and 3G costs $829. I am eager to buy it and I know you are in same eagerness. Here are some Pictures of iPad

Click Image to Enlarge

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Inventions that shaped the decade (2000-2010)

The power of Google – There isn’t a day when you utter the word ‘Google’. The word is synonymous with internet search and a leader in fashioning other inventions during the decade. We love Google, and the obvious reason, is relevancy of results it yields. Thanks to brain share of thousands of engineers who have written the algorithm on which Google runs. Google has some competition, but as marketers know that first entrants have an advantage is true in this case. I have tried on ’Bing’ and few other innovative search gizmos like ‘Wolfram alpha’, and they are equally amazing in the results they yield. But, Google stands like no one. The availability of open source development tools, office document management tools, Picasa, Orkut, Blogspot etc. makes Google a leader on Internet space.

The birth of social networking and knowledge sharing – I won’t explain everything about this, as you are well aware of it. The birth of Wikipedia (2001), MySpace (2003), Facebook (2004), YouTube (2005), Twitter (2006) and many other termed under the version Web 2.0 has changed the interaction pattern in the world in this decade.

The rise of Apple – The great iPod, like Google, is one of the best inventions in last 100 years. The simplistic controls, the product design and usability are remarkable. The iPod ushered an era of shift of MP3 from your computer hard disk to this little device. The Apple has done real progress in this decade. The iPod, iPhone, iMac and several variant of these products have taken some space in every household.

The game console to gesture control – At the end of the decade the game console will soon be a bygone thing. Now you will be able to play games using your hand gestures. Do read Project Natal and gesture control technology articles on this blog.