Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why the Boom times are ahead for the Information Technology Industry ?

One of the Q&A's I was answering today on question got me thinking ! The question posed was a sarcastic one - Is the ICT industry heading for a bust ? Parallels were drawn to the Banking; Mutual Fund & equity markets bust that has seen unprecedented plunge both in valuations and trust,confidence levels. My optimistic mind see the fortunes of the ICT business otherwise.

ICT Industry has a unique role to play in the evolution of the new world order. Be it economics or geo politics , there has never been a time in our history that the nations have been more connected. We seem to orchestrate our opinions in unison on global issues such as green initiatives , ozone depletion , war on terror , freedom for oppressed nations etc thru the platform created by the information super high way.

If the Stone Age & Industrial Age lasted close to a Century , the Information age too will have a reasonable run.We still are a young industry.

I believe that we are in the mid life stage. Consider this..all this while we have be generating data , formulating systems , re implementing systems, ripping & replacing, aggregating & dis aggregating; connecting people is only now that we have a reasonable platform to move to the ultimate promise of Information be able deliver decision science a touch of ubiquity , data self service , outcomes etc.

The realm of information life cycle were info is valued differently from time of it birth to its ultimate retrial is a plausibility that has come to be only 5 years ago.The statutory mandates are ensuring that data is archived and re-provisioned on demand when it is required to be audited & predictive modelling and analytic are conjuring a future that can be more vividly than ever before.

Paradigms like BIGDATA thru DW& BI disciplines though existed for over 3 decades hv come to a promising state of reality today- Thanks largely to social media firms showing us the way & the advancement of open source powers like hadoop , mahoot , hive etc .The more information is shared the more it is valued in today's times.

The dawn of the new age of collaboration between Man& Machines have sparked imagination of dynamic societies using Intelligence Augmentation to predict or even engineer desired outcomes for the future. The machines though will need the generous helping hand of the Human ingeniousness of spotting Meaningful Adjacencies midst the ocean of information

Information is also free & relatively easy to access at least to the urban population .If we could break the cost barriers and reach the prowess of ICT to the rural masses then we could well ICT as the harbinger of a Golden Age of purposeful inclusivity & mutually coexisting Global communities. Contrary to the question - More than ever we are at a point in time best placed to leverage our information assets. Boom rather than bust is what we must brace for in times ahead!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Great Leadership

1) Great Leaders Thrive on Ambiguity. While most of us like black and white decisions, successful leaders are comfortable with what is called, “shades of gray.” Great leaders are able to hold apparent contradictions in tension. They use the tension these paradoxes produce to come up with innovative ideas.

2) Great Leaders Love Blank Sheets of Paper. Supervisors and middle managers use a framework of policies and procedures to guide them to the proper decision. They want a plan that reduces their job to filling in the blanks or what I call “following the bouncing ball.” By contrast, leaders create the blanks that managers fill in. Like some business Einstein intent on reinventing the universe, every great leader relishes the opportunity to “think things through” from scratch.

3) Great Leaders are Secure People. Successful executives thrive on differences of opinion. They surround themselves with the best people they can find: people strong enough to hold a contrary opinion and argue vociferously for it. Great leaders crave challenges, and this means hiring the most challenging people they can find with no regard for whether today’s challenger might be tomorrow’s rival.

4) Great Leaders Want Options. Long before it became fashionable,Mobley was a huge proponent of diversity. However his definition meant a diversity of opinion rather than the kind we usually associate with political correctness.A Great leader constantly demands diverse options from his team, and uses these options to produce creative decisions.

5) Great Leaders are Tough Enough to Face Facts. At heart the its is the man who values the Truth for the Truth’s sake. Successful executives face facts, and this means being open to the truth even when it is not what we want to hear. One of the most successful executives I know offers cash rewards to anyone in his company who can prove him wrong. Great leaders have a nose for B.S and abhor it.

6) Great Leaders Stick Their Necks Out. It is a natural human trait to fear being evaluated. We crave wiggle room so we can deflect blame and get off the hook when things go wrong. In business what is often passed off as a collaborative effort is actually just an attempt to avoid individual accountability. Great leaders want to be measured and evaluated. They continually look for ways to measure things that may seem immeasurable, and they cheerfully accept the blame when they are wrong or fail to deliver. The old adage that success has a 1000 fathers while failure is an orphan does not apply to great leadership.

7) Great Leaders Believe in Themselves. While great leaders crave advice, options, and strong colleagues, they all share a profound belief in themselves and their judgment. I would describe great leaders as “people stubbornly following their star who don’t know how to quit.” Holding this stubbornness in tension with a willingness to be wrong is perhaps the greatest trick that every great leader must perform.

8) Great Leaders are Deep Thinkers. Managers get things done. Executives must decide on the things worth doing in the first place. Though very difficult to quantify, great leaders are deep thinkers. They constantly dive below surface “facts” searching for new ways to knit those facts together. Great leaders are generalists not specialists driven by an omnivorous curiosity. They know that the answers they are seeking will probably emerge from outside business and from disciplines that may seem utterly unrelated.

9) Great Leaders are Ruthlessly Honest with Themselves. Self-knowledge is perhaps the most critical trait that all great leaders share. Leaders question assumptions and disrupt complacency by relentlessly asking the question: “What is the business of the business?” This exercise develops and refines the organization’s mission and purpose, and it is little more than the age old question “Who am I?” applied collectively. If you are not clear about the purpose of your own life how can you provide a sense of organizational purpose for others?

10) Great Leaders are Passionate. They may be loudly charismatic or quietly intense, but all great leaders care deeply about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Perhaps most importantly they care about people. Every business is a people business, and passionately caring about people whether they are employees, customers, vendors or stockholders is an essential leadership value.