- I am sure everyone is well familiar with ‘ Win-Lose ‘ , ‘ Win-Win ‘ scenarios and that everyone understands / enlightened on , how Win-Win is better , including in negotiations situations
- However it is likely that you may not have heard that there is something beyond ‘ Win – Win ‘ & better and in fact worth striving for – though not so easy to reach there . You are unlikely to have known this before because no one told you , what I am going to share with you .
- I do not know what to term this as , but it is a scenario which sees self win , as a subset of other’s win .
- Can you envisage your win as a part of your customer’s ( or any other party , you are dealing with ) win & not separate from it , to be counted as ‘ Win – Win ‘ — it is NOT Your Win and ‘ his ‘ Win as two ( may be interrelated , yet ) distinct happening ?
- Can you feel as happy with the other person’s win , you are dealing with ; as much as you would be ( /would have been ) happy with your win – regardless of how you define your win & regardless to whatever happens to what you defined as your win ?
- Are you willing & happy to ‘ dissolve ‘ your win into someone else’s win , like sugar into milk – so that you can single mindedly focus on achieving only One WIN , that is of the ‘ other person ‘ and feel overwhelmingly & genuinely happy about the remarkable outcome ( like sugar made the sweetened milk ) you helped create , without really bothering to count – ‘ what did you get ‘
- If you have experienced any of above or if you can relate to the scenario above ; you will understand the concept I am bring to you . Those now enlightened but skeptical about its ‘ practicality ‘ will ask me …if anyone in this world does this , except God & the kins thereof …. I would say YES , Very Much . Each Mother I know , practices that every time with her child
- I am not aware of any mother , who in any scenario , operates with her child in a ‘ Win –Win ‘ scenario , forget about ‘ Win –Lose ‘ !
- I am not aware of any mother , who has any ‘ own ‘ agenda , separate from her child’s that makes her count her ‘ win ‘ or ‘What did I get for what I did ‘ .
- I have not seen a mother who is not single mindedly focused on her child’s win – that being the only win for he in that situation . And her life is an endless Sum of all such situations
- I took ‘ Mother ‘ analogy , because it is so visible , happening in each of our lives . However practicing this concept of Win within Win ‘ is not restricted to ‘ biological ‘ mothers . It applies to each that person , who ‘ Mothers’ whatever he / she is involved in – be it person , product , process , cause , nation , entity & I have seen it being practiced
- Now I will tell you , why I am fascinated with this concept , why I consider it a higher level concept , where can it be applicable & who are well poised to practice it
- The flaw in ‘ Win – Win ‘ concept – however flaunted & promoted is that … whether ‘Win –Lose ‘ or ‘Win –Win ‘ ; both are ‘ Transactional ‘ …. It has to do with “ What do I get for what I did “ . Even if you are conscious about & calibrate to see each party gets happy , the mind set is still “ What do I get for what I did “ . “ Win within Win “ , goes much beyond to be a ‘ Relationship ‘ approach
- Other shortcoming in any transactional v/s relationship approach is that in the former ( like in Win –Win ) there are two entities , in the later ( as in Win within Win) there is only one entity . This does not only afford single minded focus of your efforts & energy – quantitatively leading to outstanding outcome ; it also attains ‘ purity of purpose ‘ & qualitatively too attains higher level
- This concept – rather a Life Approach has not only universal application in whatever you do , but more particularly potently useful in Service industry – for better customer focus . And with its purity of purpose , every step you take on this path enhances your enrichment & happiness quotient
- Having said that let me caution you that practicing Win within Win is none too easy . Win-Win itself is difficult to practice . Practicing Win within Win will take much more level of mental strength , conviction & determination . I am not sure how many can , but it is certainly very desirable – aspirational journey
- It will come easy to those who are convinced about & dedicated to creating “ Greater Good “ for the world and have deep intrinsic faith that their share of “ Greater Good “ will be Greater than the ( usual )Good , without having to separately count . It is for those people who take as their obligation to contribute to creating a better World and take themselves as inseparable constituent of the better world , than the other way round
- It is for that “ Sugar “ who unquestioningly dissolves into the Milk with deep commitment to make the World a better place with it than without – it is not for that ‘ sugar ‘ who refuses to lose its identity by dissolving & in turn makes , self & the surrounding – unfulfilled
- This piece is therefore dedicated to All Mothers & to All Those who take themselves as Mothers to Whatever they do . This World is a better place , essentially because of them !
# As a person , you can either choose to be a ‘Sponge ‘ or a ‘Stone ‘ .
# A sponge has a tendency to absorb liquid poured on it , a stone does not . In a way a sponge is receptive to what it receives .
A sponge does not differentiate between (quality of )liquids poured on it nor does it apply selective judgement
# Its structure follows its belief system . keenness to absorb is evident though very many pores it has on its surface – so that it can absorb as much as it possibly can
# Consequently , it has a reciprocal ability to squeeze out what it does not need . In a way , a sponge can exercise discretion to say Yes or No to whatever it receives
# These abilities of absorb & squeeze out gives a sponge an advantage to seek & choose to retain what it needs . A sponge’s life is blessed — It has a choice to enrich itself as much & as & when it wishes
# A stone on the other hand is stubborn , non receptive
# Its structure follows its belief system. It’s closeness to receive is evident in its solid structure with no pores
# Consequently a stone does not have an ability to squeeze out , what it does not need . Its nature disallows it the discretion to say Yes to what it may want
# A stone does not have a choice of seeking or retaining , what can enrich it ; never mind , a stone does not even wish to
# A stone is oblivious to & untouched by what can add value to it .
Unfortunately in real life , many of us , most of the times , act with a Stone’s attitude ; little realizing that a Sponge’s attitude gives them the power to choose what to Accept rather than Reject ( like a stone ) because of lack of ability to choose to Accept
Whether to be a Sponge or a Stone is your choice , because , after all , it is your life !
Basis of Coordinate Geometry we learnt is the set of X ( Horizontal ) & Y ( Vertical ) Axes Cartesian system , with their intersection point at (0 , 0 ) coordinates , as the ‘ Origin ‘
Here we take O as ‘ Origin ‘ and assign (0 , 0 ) as coordinates . This helps us to measure locational position of different other points ‘ from ‘ the Origin . e.g. a point P which is away from O by 3 horizontal units & 4 vertical units is designated as ( 3 , 4 ) as its coordinates – Point P’s location is identified or labelled as ( 3 , 4 )
This , as you can understand is a ‘ relative ‘ & not absolute labelling . It is not that the point can be absolutely called as ( 3 ,4 ) ,but is a measure of its distance from the designated point of origin ( 0 , 0 ) Hence labelling of point P as ( 3 ,4 ) is a function of two factors : (i) Measurement scale ( what distance forms 1 unit ) & (ii) Which point are we taking as the source or starting point . The moment these two parameters are altered , coordinates / ‘ label ‘ of point P will change
‘ Change of Origin ‘ is another familiar concept in Coordinate geometry . Under this if we change point of origin from earlier ‘ O ‘ to a new origin called ‘ M ‘ , ‘ measurement ‘ of P will change who will then have a different coordinates .
Interestingly same analogy explains , how we understand ( measure or judge ) and work with each other ; on both parameters : (i) Reference point ( Origin ) & (ii) Measurement scale . Each of us actually carries her / him own “ Co-ordinate axes “ with own “ measurement scale “
- Each of us takes self as the staring ( & ending ) point … i.e. the point from where the ‘ measurement ‘ begins
- Each of us takes self as the Absolute Truth , pure , uncontaminated / unbiased ( 0 , 0 ) . We always ‘ measure ‘ other person vis-à-vis who we are & where we are
- Therefore we always work from a position that “ I am right “ & then see who is ‘ right ‘ or ‘ wrong ‘ vis-à-vis what we believe or what our stance is . Of course those who agree with us are right & those who do not , are wrong . We dismiss or discount stance which we do not understand or one we don’t agree with .
- How good or bad a person is decided by what distance he / she stands from us . So for us , it is always a ‘ relative ‘ assessment of the other person . It is not an ‘ absolute ‘ position or assessment . And since we do rarely do our own ( absolute – since it is with self ) assessment , we are mostly ignorant that our assessment of the other person can only at best be a ‘ relative one ‘ . We take it for an Absolute assessment , since we have ( mistakenly ) taken for granted that we stand at an Absolute Zero and an absolute Truth . We forget that ours (0 ,0 ) is only an assigned notation for a starting point .
- However good part of this is that we can use this predicament to do a good “ comparative “ assessment , even if it may be wrong to take this as ‘ absolute ‘ opinion on that person . Even if we retain this awareness in how we assess people , it will be practical . It is important to have this bearing , because often What we do , is a function of How we see
- You can see this principle in practice , when we are called upon to evaluate Option A v/s Option B . Here though we may be conditioned to evaluate each individually v/s the reference point ( self – Origin ) , when you compare assessments of A & B for a comparative view ; since both had a common reference point ( which is you ) it provides most authentic comparative view
- Another contaminator in assessment process , apart from the (self ) starting point is the measurement scale . We have our own view on what forms 1 unit of measurement . It may be very different from what the other person sees as measure of 1 unit . What we say as Very God , may just be Average from the other person’s perspective & vice versa.
- If we desire a journey towards developing a more dispassionate , a more objective viewpoint ; we need to help ourselves along following steps
- Develop an awareness of our “ Cartesian System “ — awareness that we are actually carrying with us our own system or simply a ‘ Frame of reference ‘ or a ‘ coloured pair of glasses ‘ . This will help us in being more conscious of the process , than being ignorant
- Take a more comparative view than an absolute opinion
- Try and regularly do “ change of origin “ . Remember you are not an absolute (0 , 0 ) ; keep shifting and adjusting your position to different locations & see how you see the world differently . Better still , see if you can take some on else as (0 , 0 ) & measure yourself vis-à-vis that origin ; or you can do “ swap “ of origin with that person & see the view both ways to perfect your perspective .
- Try & calibrate your ‘ Measurement Scale “ by learning about , ‘ alternative scales ‘ & settle to an acceptable scale by a larger audience
If you do this , you will realise that not just how complete / comprehensive your view becomes , but you will also amazingly discover how Universal it becomes
I found that approaches / outlook different people hold for work or even life can be categorized into two distinct buckets : Trader mentality or Businessman mentality . The way I am using this terminology here ; the words : Trader , Businessman , do not denote actual professions they represent , but to describe ‘ mentality ‘ or ‘ approach ‘ with different people
Since I believe ; ‘ What you do ‘ is a function of ‘ How you see ‘ ; people with these two mentalities have two distinct , different pattern of behavior , let’s see how
- Revenue / money drive :
- TRADER : is focused on how much money he is making … not necessarily from where it is coming or if this has any consistent direction . He should be happy , as long as xx number of transaction giving yyy revenue is clocked every day . As a result , a Trader may not develop or may not be known for any skill ( e.g. a Fruit seller , but not as Mango Expert or Orange expert ) As a generalist , trader will neither command a Brand , nor a premium – will be moneyed , but he is faceless to his customers & customers are faceless to him
- BUSINESSMAN : is focused on a ‘ Line of Business ‘ … has a sense of purpose & direction & getting deeper into it , will eventually develop that skill in the desired field & will be known for his expertise . Premium comes from being a specialist
- Transactional :
- TRADER : As long as he is meeting the revenue target it does not matter if the same source / customer is coming again & again . It could be a completely different set of customers every day , as long as the revenue output is met . Way of dealing is transactional
- BUSINESSMAN : Repeat sales is very important for the Businessman . It is important for him to have many of same customers to come again & again . Way of dealing is transactional
- Profit outlook :
- TRADER : Has to maximize profit in EVERY transaction …. Since business for him is a Sum of individual transactions . That is why a ‘ Trader ‘ says ; “ Goods once sold will not be taken back “
- BUSINESSMAN : Optimises profit for the business over a period ; not for each transaction , every day . Hence a businessman may not mind taking one step back to go two steps forward
- Focus :
- TRADER : Focus is clearly on self . Likely to be rude / arrogant & ego driven
- BUSINESSMAN : Focus is customer . Likely to be polite , accommodative,not ego driven
- Now if you understand the two approaches clearly , just think : not just in business / work ; but also in our personal life , don’t we see people using these two different approaches in handling people & relationships
The more I have work on Strategies , more I traverse through the landscape with Successes & Failures & the more I learn about Business , the more & more I am convinced that — Strategy / no strategy , Technology / no technology ; the most fundamental factor for sustained business success is RIGHT people . Right human resource is a multiplier & wrong resource is a divider
Therefore Right Selection is a fundamental business process for an Organisation — it’s first level Quality Control . Great organisations like Google place overwhelming emphasis on employee selection , to an extent that they advocate even cutting $ from Training budget & putting into Selection budget . Selection process in best of organisations are therefore more elaborate , intensive , rigorous & with involvement from the highest level ( not outsourced or abdicated )
While each organisation will & should evolve its own selection process , here are some observations & learning which can help most :
# Do not hire or pay for what you can ; pay for what you can’t : Historically most make the mistake of interviewing candidate based on his CV & select based on Academics , Knowledge / Skills , Experience . To me this is belief has outlived its expiry date . These are not selection parameters , but rejection parameters . ( It is like Power steering / Power window for a new car — this is no more a decision parameter ) You should not even ask anyone for interview if he / she does not qualify on these parameters . But once shortlisted , don’t waste your time on checking knowledge / skills , academics . Knowledge & skills is what you can impart & hence if your , otherwise Right candidate is short on these , they can always be imparted — then why pay for what you can do . You must hire & pay what a candidate brings , but you can’t impart . This is what I call as ” Constitution ” of a candidate . Constitution is what makes a Horse ,a horse & a Donkey , a donkey — you can do nothing to change & hence look for & insist on while hiring . A constitution is how a candidate , as an individual is ; his / her attitude , application , perspective to work , beliefs , etc …. these are the elements define what he is & significantly impact what he can do in the job
# Do not be under illusion ; we are not in transformation business : We need to understand that we do not have the wherewithal , nor the mandate nor the time to transform anyone against his / her wishes . We can not turn a Mango into an Orange & vice versa . Do not be under the naive impression that we have the tools to do it . Training can only make a donkey into a better donkey ; but never into a horse . It is like a Fertile land v/s a Barren land . This choice has to be made at the point of selection ; not after
# What is a RIGHT constitution : I guess , a large portion of profile of a RIGHT candidate is likely to be Universal ; though some portion will always be contextual to the Industry , Business environment , Stage of evolution of your organisation & its Value system . I can share what I have distilled as a set of 5 parameters – what constitutes a RIGHT person for us in our current business context : (i) Independent thinking , (ii) Ownership , (iii) Self management , (iv) Learning ability , (v) Problem – Solution ability . I have elaborated on these 5 attributes in my last posting in December …. for any more clarity you can always reach me at email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
# Right selection is a skill , we need to train our interviewers on : Although right selection is so fundamental to business success , ironically , practically none of us , the world over , has even been formally trained in ” Quality Interviewing ” , nor are the interviewers are ever measured on their ‘ performance ‘ — with the exception of a few organisations ( again like Google ) . From my experience I can certainly tell you that right interviewing does require Training , Practice and Measurement & feedback
‘ Right person ‘ profile
To me , selection of a ( right )team member is a fundamental process for Business Success — it is actually not a recruitment , but a Quality Control process . To me ‘ Right ‘ person is by his / her Constitution and not by education or knowledge / skills . Essence of my experiential learning in this subject has helped me distill 5 distinct attributes of a ‘ RIGHT ‘ person in our business context :
– Independent thinking
– Self management
– Learning ability
– Problem solving ability
While entire thought process behind ‘ Right selection ‘ ( including knowing Horses from Donkeys ) deserves to be a separate topic & on which I promise to share with you my enlightenment next month , special purpose behind this note is to awaken you to the distinct difference between Ownership & Sincerity .
Many take these two words / attributes ( Sincerity , Ownership ) as interchangeable — they do not know / understand the difference . Many of the rest of us probably subliminally know some difference but are either confused or can not articulate well , the way I will now lay out for you
It started with , when I asked my team members to self rate on the 5 ‘ Right ‘ person attributes I listed above . I saw many of my team members rating themselves 4 out of 5 on Ownership , which got me thinking …. It was clear to me that they were no where even 3 on this … yet as individuals , they have been dedicated , sincere , intelligent & interested — then where is this ( my ) perceived discordance coming from … when I reflected deeper , I realised that they were probably rating themselves on ‘ Sincerity ‘ , when thinking of ‘ Ownership ‘ ( I could understand & agree if they rated themselves 4/5 on Sincerity ) , when I interacted with them on my dilemma my understanding was confirmed . That prompted me to give them clarity on the difference between the two concepts , I hope it will help you too .
# Sincerity is an attribute ( inside )of a person , Ownership exhibits ( externally ) in outcome . Sincerity is about what you are ; Ownership is about what you achieve
# Sincerity is to do with Efforts ; Ownership is about Result
# Effectively , Maids are Sincere ; Mothers are Owners !
” Maid to Mother ” is yet another of my proprietary , IP registered program about Organisational Transformation ….. but about that , some other time … In the meanwhile & till I connect back with you next month with more on Right person selection ; please share your views / perspectives on if & how different you feel is Ownership from Sincerity .
- Success of Democracy is in knowing where it ends
- I do not know whether people who swear by Democracy , understand what it means . Let’s see how
- For most it is unidirectional
- They understand it only in one way … from ‘ me to you ‘ & not from ‘ you to me ‘ . What it means is that I have full freedom to say & do what I like . You accepting my freedom is incumbent on you ( you don’t have a choice ) . If you don’t , you are intolerant . However the reverse is not true ; Under your ‘ freedom of expression ‘ you can not say anything that ‘hurts ‘ me . Interestingly in today’s context with growing impatience & politically nurtured ‘ sensitivities ‘ … there is practically very little that you can say (except praising me ) that does not have a chance to hurt me . Hence it is not pure democracy …. It is “ My Democracy “ v/s “ Your Democracy “ which I propose to promote and protect
- For most it is unilateral
- Me declaring or claiming my freedom is the only perquisite for me to exercise it . It does not require your consent , let alone comfort . My freedom is about how I feel , not about how you feel .
- The problem is that this is possible only if each individual is living on isolated islands ( in their own world ) where there is no interdependence . However in today’s ‘ connected’ world where , what I do or do not do , impacts you ; it is not possible to unilaterally ‘ declare ‘ or exercise my freedom , without thinking of the repercussions of this on my ecosystem . It is like if I have a sick person at home , I may not exercise my freedom of playing out music loud . Then it is not an academic debate whether I have the right , more important is me choosing not to exercise my right if it encroaches on someone else’s right to peace .
- For most it is Absolute & unlimited
- Democracy or freedom is not absolute … anywhere . Each country , each community has rules , code of conduct and there is a rule of law . There are legally enforceable & morally acceptable restrictions ; e.g. I can not have a freedom to kill some one , even if I want to … the law prohibits that . So is the case of a Code of conduct or Rules or Policies … on one hand they restrict individual freedom ; but they are created with a larger purpose ; it overall optimizes harmony & advantage for everyone .
- This is necessary , because my freedom need not constrain someone else’s freedom . Traffic signal is a great example . Should a free individual not have freedom to walk or drive vehicle in any part of a free country … off course one should . But just imagine chaos & damage / loss such unrestricted freedom will cause at a traffic junction . Putting traffic signal there is constriction of my right to move freely ; but I must understand that this restriction maximizes advantage for all , on a larger scale .
- Hence freedom is never absolute , it comes with a framework , rules dos/donts . For best exercising freedom , it needs to be channelized . Exactly as channelizing flow of a forceful river to convert it into positive energy …. Unrestricted river force will cause devastation
- For most it is Subjective
- Once we set a framework to freedom , everyone should have equal & transparent access to exercising it . Then there should not be ifs & buts . And there can not be two / different ways for two people to exercise the freedom . There can’t be different interpretations , based on convenience … there cant be different rules for different individuals . Restrictions are not harmful as is the discrimination .
- Here is where most make mistake ; some knowingly ( exploitation ) & some unknowingly ( lack of awareness ) . Each ‘ interprets ‘ the way it suits her/him & then ‘ explain ‘ how that is the right way . This is not freedom / democracy . This is hypocrisy & chaos .
- For most it is unidirectional
- Democracy or freedom is not absolute – exercising it has rules / regulations , framework , it has restrictions in larger interest . Hence it is not easy . It is a responsibility as much as it is a privilege . It involves pain & patience in the short term for a long term enduring advantage . And it is not in isolation … it is my freedom in the context of equal freedom for my fellow citizens . In fact the test of maturity for Democracy lies in me being more sensitive and protective of your right to freedom & in turn you doing the same for me . Evolving to that level is what makes democracy strong & enduring . Today everybody is zealously self guarding in the garb of upholding democracy . That is not democracy , that is being pure selfish …. Democracy does not require aggressiveness to drive ; it requires selflessness to thrive .
- I do not know whether people who swear by Democracy , understand what it means . Let’s see how