Shyamsunder Panchavati

Shyamsunder Panchavati
Linkedin now a follower of Shyam on twitter

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Smaller social media sites are more recognitive & precognitive

I agree it is great to contribute on leading social media sites like Linkedin, Facebook,  & be recognised by fellow members, group moderators, group owners and some leading intellectuals. However it is very disheartening to find that the two above sites are too big and too inert to be participative. 

As a creative and innovative part of the human being, the inner self craves for recognition for its contributions to social media. Does it ever get it? Have you ever received a letter of recognition or appreciation from Linkedin, Facebook? Now all that can change, if you associate yourself with the upcoming social media sites like Twitter, WhatsApp, WikiHow, and some other upcoming social media sites..

The management here seamlessly merged with members and was very recognitive, precognitive and even collaborative. I will share my experience about these media in a series of articles. I would like to begin with my experience with BrightFuse the talent community which is now defunct.

BrightFuse the Talent community was started in 2008 by the Career Builder, the leading job site having distinguished presence in all the leading countries and continents. When we joined BrightFuse in 2008, it was a small community of five to six thousand members. Although small in numbers, the community had highly proactive members, innovative, creative, and even argumentative, supported by highly, indulgent, supportive participative & precognitive management. Recognition was the core preamble of the BrightFuse constitution. Based on member feed back, innovative methods of recognition & encouragement were devised by the management.

The system was that, the members rate each post as Insightful, Helpful, or Fun. Total ratings earned by a member are displayed in each group, and grand total is reflected in the individual profile. Based on these ratings BrightFuse management awarded badges to the members for their contribution and participation.

Another highlight of this community was subject specific highly interactive groups.. The groups had high quality content contributed by members, moderators and admin. During the period of severe recession in 2008-2009, these groups provided valuable information and support to jobseekers on jobs, resume and other career related topics.

Later on the the groups evolved and became diverse in content and structure. BrightFuse had a membership of 2.5 million, but the management was always as indulgent, supportive participative & precognitive as it was in the beginning. This was one social media site which gave you a sense of ownership that made you responsive and reciprocative.

Best Wishes,


Monday, May 24, 2010

Let us add value to the productivity.. How??????

How to add value to productivity?

What is productivity?

How do we define It.?

There is more than one definition for this term. An HR executive will define it as number of man hours spent on the work station. For him productivity increases with the number of man hours. For a technical head or floor manager, the productivity is the output an employee gives in his man hours. Similarly it has different meanings for the costing, supply chain and other departments exist.

Most convenient and definitive way to describe productivity is to judge the relativity of the output to bottom lines per man hour. The value of the ‘per man hour’ output depends on the physical & psychological conditions. The value of the productivity during first and second hours will be considerably higher than the value for the Thirteenth & fourteenth hour when a man is working continuously for fourteen hours.

Let us take a simple example, in an office an employee in normal case replies to 50 mails. He has to put in extra hours to send 75 mails. Theoretically his productivity has increased by 50%. But actually the quality of the content has decreased resulting in the reduction in the positive outcome out of the mails. The value of each mail has come down substantially.

Another example, A man working on a machine produces normally 50 pieces of the material. He puts in more man hours and produces 75 pieces. Here also the productivity has gone up by 50 %. But if the rate of rejection suddenly goes up, the value of his productivity per man hour has come down.  The choice for the employer is between increasing the productivity and increasing the value of the productivity.

Now you would agree that productivity per man hour is not the value for money for the employer, it is the value of productivity during the man hours.

Now how to add value to the productivity?

If you are an employer, how would you get the value out of the 100% productivity?

As an employer, it is all the more important for your hard earned investment to bring value and grow. Unfortunately the thinking of the entrepreneurs in the United States and the west is more inclined towards managing and increasing the bottomlines through unimaginable cost cutting and lay-offs. There seems to be a total cap on top line expansion. Getting more out of less seems to be the mantra. Every executive at every level seems to be using this for self survival thus increasing the man hours the existing staff has to put in.

The question is, is there any motivation for the staff to put in extra hours?

The answer is a very clear No. Only the fear of losing the job is making them to put in more hours. Now what would be the value of the man hours put in by the weary, tired, and unwilling staff? The value of the productivity is always more when the man hours come out of willing compliance & there is an alternate cycle of work and rest. For this you need to understand the body physiology. Our body has cycles of activity alternating between peak and decline. These cycles are known as Ultradian & Infradian cycles in the Human body. Understanding these cycles helps in planning man hours for maximum optimization.

Ultradiane cycle: It begins with a low performance than slowly the performance increases and finally reaches the peak and then starts to decline. This cycle lasts 100 to 120 minutes and there are many such cycles in a day. During the early hours of work, the growth side curve is steep and the decline side curve is more or less flattened. Indicating the growth in performance is phenomenal. The decline is marginal. The curve reverses in the later part of the day with the decline being more pronounced. If an employee is asked to put in extra hours then the extra hours will not yield the same value for the productivity.

Infradian Cycle: This cycle is akin to the menstrual cycle in ladies. The process is same as Ultradiane but the cycle lasts for one working week (5 days or 6 days) in employees due the work habit over the years. The productivity value is almost at the lowest by Friday. If an employee is asked to work on weekends, the value of the productivity is at the lowest and no one gets benefitted. Plus due to lack of proper rest the reverse cycle spills over to the next week.

Money is a great motivator for putting in more hours, but it cannot alter the body threshold. During the recession, people put in more hours for the fear of losing their jobs. Fear is not a motivator, and it does not add value to productivity.

Surface level compliance is often overtaken by deep level defiance resulting often in man hours producing low quality output. 

An employer should workout a schedule that gives an employee alternate periods of rest and work, In India& some Asian countries, it a practice to encourage cultural, sports, and social activities. Some organization are now providing access to social media sites to their employees, so that the employees are engaged in activities that relax the mind and give sense of fulfillment. These measures ensure that the cycle is always is on the positive side and value per man hour is at the highest.

  How can an Employee play a role in increasing the value of the man hours?

 I know the employee does not have much of a choice in deciding his work hours. He cannot lose his job. But there are ways he can contribute to add value to his man hours. And once the man hours produce the desired value for the employer, he also becomes amenable to the employee requirements.

 An employee has to add value to his productivity on two fronts, the professional front and the personal front.  Non performance on one front can negatively impact the performance on the other front. Planning personal productivity and adding value to it is, in his/her hand. He/she should do it intelligently. An employee should frankly discuss the situation, and need at his work place, freely and frankly with the family members. Once the family members understand the situations and compulsions, they will go out of the way to accommodate, contribute and ensure that the value of the professional productivity is not affected on account of personal factors.

The employees on their part should be realistic and honest about their available resources, Time, Money, & Energy to their family. This will help to scale down expectations from the family members, and consequently less of disappointments and failures will be there.


These apply to both personal and professional aspects.

It is always better to say no, then say yes and default.
A commitment should always be fulfilled even if it requires a little stretching of resources.
A person should take into account his capacity to deliver, rather than others aspiration while making commitments.       


What I have covered constitutes only a part of what could be done to add value to productivity. There is a whole lot more that can be done. I leave it to my intelligent readers to contribute on this subject.

Best wishes,

A winning resume for gunning a dream job………..

A winning resume for gunning a dream job………..

Image credit : Shyam's Imagination Library 

Added on 8th May 2017

Of late, I have noticed a welcome trend on LinkedIn, that, HR professional are coming out liberally with their views about writing resumes, about preparing and performing in the interviews. 

Previously, and almost grievously, It was not considered proper to reveal the secrets of the interviewing process. Candidates were not considered worthy of knowing it and it was considered important to retain the surprise element in the interview. The questions asked were mostly unethical or irrelevant and certainly not related with the domain, or the company work culture.

The stress was more on displaying their knowledge, rather than testing the candidates. Whenever you had a new recruit for the HR, you had to spend a long time making him unlearn things considered uncultured in the recruitment process. It was difficult  to make them give up draconian  habit of  being harsh and dominating during the interview. The culture of cooperation and  collaboration was more difficult in HR people than people from other domains.

However,  I am glad that, everything is past now. The new generation coming from the B-
Schools is very professional in both planning and conduct of interviews. Many large orgnisations including Google now send a mail to the prospective candidates about the process of the interview, the members of the panel and their domain expertise. The number of rounds, and the type of questions the candidates can expect.

This puts the candidates at total ease and makes him articulate his feelings in an uninhibited way.

It is a good Transformation, I welcome it. 

Now about the Resume....

To put it simply, it is the first page whether it is the cover letter or an abstract or an executive summary, that makes the junior executive in HR, (who is the first contact for the resume) to decide whether to pass on the application for the next round of evaluation or trash it.

Your job is to convince him enough to forward your application for the next stage in just 30 seconds at the most.

I have a very simple solution for it.

Keep the job ad or notification with you when you are applying for the job.

Write down the job requirements one by one on the right side of the cover letter. Opposite each requirement, write the related attribute you have, whether it is qualification, experience, achievements, leadership qualities, crisis management. Keep it short , specific and objective driven. Even if there is 80% match between the JD and your attributes, you have good chances of getting an interview call. 

Don't Apply, if it is less than that.

The executive will instantaneously get an idea about your suitability for the job.

He will either be convinced or confused enough to not trash it. You are shortlisted. You have already overtaken some people with equal or even better attributes. More time is devoted to resume during the second evaluation.

A wining resume is the best weapon you can have in your arsenal for a successful job search.

How to craft a winning resume?

There are some extraordinary articles written by experts on this subject. This article presumes that the readers have read and are aware of the basics. This article goes beyond the basics and generics and focuses on the specifics related to job search in Asia region. If you are in west, some of the things mentioned may not be applicable.

The difference between West and Asia is, where as in west, it is recession ridden business environment where survival and staying out of the firing line is the job priority, where as in Asia which has two of the fastest growing economies, India, & China, and one of the biggest Japan The resume and job application should aim at objectives beyond getting a job.  It should make a statement that you are ideal case to be counted for succession management. It should also give an impression that you are fast in changing gears, and cope with the Positive Change Management Strategies. Positive change I have to stress, because, post recession, it has acquired a new meaning. It relates to cost cutting, managing with less resources, and all the negatives you can think off. In Asia it means growth management as has been shown by Japan, Korea, and now India & China. Indian Management style and Indian Leadership are now  much discussed topics in leading B Schools. In such a circumstance,

How can a resume, structured by the western experts, for western job, be applicable for Asia????  No, it can never be, it should be in tune with the Asian culture of recruitment and employee engagement.

There is nothing called standard resume which can be used for all job requirement. Each job has a very specific requirement, like  technical knowledge, work culture, language, loyalty metrics, behavior pattern, leadership qualities, Corporate Social Responsibilities. You need to factor your resume according to these requirements for each job. You need to craft a separate resume for each job. The resume should be short not more than two to three pages. If you need to give details of the projects handled create separate files and attach them. You can also attach a power point presentation detailing how you could impact their bottom lines positively. The advantage of this is that, during interview the discussions will center around these documents and you can confidently answer questions and   score points.

Crafting an honest and authentic resume is good, but remember the first contact for your resume is a junior executive in HR, who doesn't understand the technical vocabulary. But, he will understand, if you mention, how your attributes helped in increasing the bottom lines of the organization. Or how you managed in crisis, or when, the resources, or the machine output were less than optimum. Your ability to manage with less will impress even a junior executive at HR and make him shortlist your resume and move it forward.

An attached power point presentation, that tells all, you want to convey, will be an added asset and an attention grabbing tool at the first contact level. An executive will always prefer viewing a few slides and forming an opinion than going through the lengthy text. You can view my profile in power point presentation HERE

How to go about it?

You have to prepare a master resume (This doesn’t go to the employer.)Make it as expansive and detailed as possible. It may go up to ten, twelve, or more pages. This is ware house and from here you can draw your inputs craft customized resumes for each job.

Please keep all your appointment orders, appreciation letters, and testimonials ready. Please also jot down all details about your deliveries at various levels in different companies.

Please note your failures and how you recovered from them, learned from them, made dramatic come backs and delivered extraordinarily. Mentioning a few failures in the early part of your career make your successes in the later part of the career look more credible.

Make a hierarchical chart describing growth and the contributing factors for it. Write honest reasons for staying or not staying longer with company. Try to justify your stagnation periods.

Similarly make a monetary chart underlining growth and reasons. If you have made lateral shifts in the career, please be ready with the justifications and reasons.

If there are terminations in service, try to find honest reasons and justifications. Employers take terminations more seriously in Asia than in west.

Please gather details about community activities, social service and CSR work during your studies or employment.

Language and demographics:  It helps to know more languages as the interactions with the workers are generally in the native local language. Knowledge about demographics gives you inkling about their behavior patterns and helps you to handle workers better. And also gives the prospective employer the confidence that you would be able to handle the manpower diligently and intelligently.

Mention how you managed emotional conflicts among your team members, or with your immediate manager. If you are fresh out of the college, you can mention how you tackled crisis situation with your colleagues or the teaching staff.

Next you should mention personal & family details, your education, your achievements, and accomplishments in sports, cultural,& social activities.

Now that your master resume is ready, you need to research and analyze each of your prospective employers. Whether it s family organization or professionally managed organization what are the values they are looking for, if you know what they are looking for, you can craft your resume to detail the attribute they are looking for  and just mention the other ones.

Some organization will look for family values, environment where you have grown. How long you stick with your jobs. How much your performance has encouraged retention rather than attrition in your jobs.  How you have worked for the developing and encouraging leadership and entrepreneurial qualities in the people reporting to you. W Mention the situations where you have allowed diligence, controlled discretion, and your ability to manage crisis & resolve problems.

Some organization will concentrate on professional deliverables. They will not mind a little attrition for achieving high growth curve. They will see how fast you have grown in your profession. They will also be interested in your money curve. For such organizations concentrate  on3deliveries and professional aspects only.

Your technical attributes have to match the requirements of the prospective organization. Your expertise in a programme they are not using is of no consequence; instead give detailed information about the small knowledge you have about the programmes or software they are using. However you can detail points which show you as a fast learner with high degree of adaptability.

Once you know what an organization requires or what is relevant for them, take it from your master and include it in your crafted resume.

Include some discussion buttons in the form of bullet points.  This will include information about your work attributes and achievements and would create curiosity and trigger discussion during interview. It would give an opportunity for you to give more information, and convince them better. Each button should not be more than one line.


Your resume should be strictly need based and should have information related to job and organization requirements.

 It is always better to be honest with your information. That will allow you to be relaxed in the interview as honesty doe not need any depending.  
If your attributes do not match job requirements, it is better not to send your job application. There is no point piling up rejections .rejections result in dejection and may negatively impact you preparation for other job where you have better chances.     

If you are not satisfied with the position, pay and perks offered, do not apply for the job. It would   result in permanently shutting a door on you, and may influence other doors also.    


Finally I would like to state that resume only helps to mirror your abilities, it cannot create them. Your high aspirations should be always be backed by past performance. In case you are able to secure a job with structure of resume, do write to me. So that it would be an encouragement to others.

Please do not send the resume to me, I do not have the time to critique and evaluate individual resume.  

In case you already have a winning resume, that has successfully got you jobs stick with it. You don’t need to change. In case your organization or education institution  wants me to conduct a workshop on this subject, As per my availability I can travel anywhere in India and conduct workshops on this subject.

Best wishes, for your next job,


Shyamsunder Panchavati    

Please also read Shyam's related article..........

You can Ace a job Interview in India with a Balanced Quotient Factor. Yes definitely you can…..

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How to Craft a Winning Resume for Jobs in Asia - wikiHow

How to Craft a Winning Resume for Jobs in Asia - wikiHow

There are some extraordinary articles written by experts on this subject. This article presumes that the readers have read and are aware of the basics. This article goes beyond the basics and focuses on the specifics as related to Asiatic region. Asia comprises more than 55% of world’s population, and has its own culture & values in relation to job requirement.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Volunteer for Charity Work - wikiHow

How to Volunteer for Charity Work - wikiHow

To help others is a habit for some,passion for some,addiction for some, and spare time avocation for some others. Any one can do social work individually or in small groups.No specialised education is needed.Nothing except a will to help others is needed.If you have that, there are many ways you can do voluntary work.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nail Jelly to the wall, and then.......

Nail the jelly to the Wall, and then try to define Indian Political System.

Dear Rajdeep,
Let me re-write your article from another perspective. Can I?
Shashi Tharoor is home bred professional who has been in the metro India most part of his life.
He knows everything about India, & Indian political system ( or lack of it.).He cannot feign ignorance about the Indian political system.  As a global diplomat accepting a minister of state position in MEA is a great climb down for him. I do not think any of the previous foreign ministers had experience as Deputy Secretary General. He could have refused the parliament ticket and instead accepted advisory role to the PM.  (Something   Montek Singh Ahluwalia has done successfully) or spent sometime getting the feel of the political environment as a MOS.  He had a great opportunity to do that as an understudy of the great statesman S M Krishna, which he failed to utilize.
Indian political system has always been like this, it will not change in future also. You need to gel with it to survive. Defining the political system in India is like nailing  jelly to wall. I do agree with you that, had he survived, in the course of time, he would have definitely risen to become one of the best foreign ministers India has ever produced on lines  of people like  Sardar Swaran Singh, Dr. Karan Singh, Raja Dinesh Singh, Jaswant Singh, Vajpayee and others. In fact Vajpayee was very honest, when he in his maiden speech as foreign minister in 1977 praised all his predecessors.
Probably Shashi Tharoor took a little longer time to transit from the American system of open expression to the Tight Upper Lip System we inherited from the British. Shashi Tharoor is a great resource for the country.  He will very soon make a come back and contribute  valuably to the country’s foreign policy.
Regarding Jairam Ramesh, he has been silently doing organizational work for congress for almost a decade in strategy planning. His contribution as environment minister is exemplary. This is just one off discretion which the prime minister has decided to condone. It would not be out of place to mention here the contribution of another young minister Sachin Pilot. The Wharton alumnus is contributing tremendously in building a robust rural telecom infrastructure. Due to the nature of his ministry, his work is going unnoticed.
Rajdeep, I can tell you, these minister have the strength of knowledge, attitude, honesty, & pedigree. They will continue to contribute inspite of the caste factor.
 I am sure, Next time when we write about them, it will be about their contribution to the Indian polity.

Best wishes,
Shyamsunder Panchavati

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Create an Opportunity out of Adversity

Adversity brings the best in human beings. We have seen that happening at many organizations. With less manpower, and reduced financial inputs, leaders are delivering, and accomplishing the set goals. It is quite clear that adversity has converted itself into an opportunity for excellence. Not knowing what we do not know has often been the bane of many a leader. and has resulted in precious man hours being wasted in the pursuits with no logical conclusions, depriving the knowledge area of the precious time for task accomplishment.

How To Be At Your Best When Life Is At Its Worst, 

“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.” And more often than not , we do it. This most unwelcome character trait is very common to most of us.

By chance we get into a difficult situation, and by choice we create an adversity out of it. Getting panicky, loosing faith in our abilities can often make us perform at levels much lower than our potential.

As Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch  very aptly put it. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”  Bad cards here are the adversities, 'the play' is how you handle the situation. 

Successful leaders look at challenges as valuable teaching moments.

They even convert pain into personal value?

It is important to understand that pain is always a temporary condition and an opportunity to learn. You need to analyse, you need to ask questions like,

“How did I get here?” and “What caused this to happen?"  Curiosity is a better option over self-pity or anger.

Remember overcoming adversities also gives you a great learning experience and this experience can be shared with people in need and friends. 

The next time you’re faced with a particularly brutal challenge, ask yourself what you may learn from it.

Choice is the enemy of fear. When you have choices, you don’t feel trapped by your circumstances. We all have plenty of choices, but the most resilient leaders are masters at reminding themselves of this fact in the face of adversity.

When you are faced with a seemingly horrible situation, start by answering these questions:
What is the outcome I most want?

What other outcomes would be good as well?

What stands in my way from making these outcomes happen?

Who do I know that has overcome similar obstacles to those that stand in my way?

“Some people see the glass as half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.” —George Carlin

Important things to know and act accordingly....

Know that you must execute
Know what you cannot do
Know what you can do


Avoid panic in panicky situations.

Ones you cross the stage of saving jobs & graduate to the stage of significant contributor to the bottom lines. you have to evaluate your ROI returns on the efforts put in.

Has the organisation acknowledged your contribution and rewarded you by way of money, position, or higher responsibilities.

Finally after having performed well during adversity. you now have a new attribute of managing well during difficult times.

Many organisations are looking out for people with these talents. At least for self evaluation, have a look around to see if you are being properly rewarded.

Make your organisation aware of your real value through subtle and discreet methods.

Finally remember that professional careers are getting tough and short by the day. You have to carve out a life time earnings and savings out of it.

Best Wishes,