Tuesday, February 16, 2010

American, British and Canadian ENGLISH?

I was in a meeting the other day and I was displaying to my team an Audio Video Presentation for the magazine and one of my team members said she had found some grammatical error in it. I asked her to point it out to me and she showed me the word "Focussed" and said it was spelt wrong. 

She's from Austria and seems to have been brought up with the American method of spelling. Now which one of these are correct? I've been brought up in India where we have been taught the British way of spelling and many of my words now may appear to be spelt wrong with the Americans. The more and more we deal with Americans and Microsoft Office for that matter - the more and more words we come across that are no more spelt the way we always spelt them. So do I draft a different letter for the Americans, a different one for the British and yet another one for the Canadians?

I take this opportunity to blame the Americans for this one. They find a spelling difficult and they just change the way its spelt to suit their purposes. I guess they run away from the "Spelling Bee" competitions and go away to create their own rules so that they can win the game!

However, since we're dealing with so many American people in our lives, we still have to abide by their rules. But this is not for long. A friend of mine said to me a few months ago, "In a decade, one person out of five would be Indian and 2.5 on 5 would be Chinese". Here comes Asian domination. Our economy is growing stronger while theirs only seems to be looking at new problems arising as a result of trying to correct old ones. I wonder where this is heading and when we would see a shift in the way we think... and perhaps SPELL?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Life as a Manager - What kind?

I've always had the opportunity to work with large teams - either in the capacity of a facilitator or as a participant but now after my MBA, I'm actually managing a team of close to 5 people. And as the days go by, I realize a few things....

One, that all the issues that come across in an organization don't seem to be because of anything other than people to people communication! Of course, we do put processes in place to try and offset this issue.... but all the same at the end of the day, when we try to take stock of the concerns and issues that we are plagued with... it all boils down to people. My entire office encompasses about 15 people. And in this small setup, I have been watching all of the problems that people are having. With small sub groups being formed and little silos being created. And if things can be like this in such a small setup, how about companies with thousands of employees! No wonder, most of what we learn during an MBA is about Corporate Culture! Most MBA students would throw up hearing the word "Culture"! But then that seems to be what's out there in the business world....

Now in the midst of all this, as I am now managing people, I wonder what kind of manager should I be. I see others in my organization who prefer to maintain a distance from their team and are usually strict - The stereotypical manager! But, I have over the past preferred to be close to my team and actually work more as a friend than anything. Of course, there is a flip side to this whole arrangement. Sometimes, people do take you for granted and even go to the extent of laughing of anything you say! Those are the times I wonder if I made the right move to manage people in this fashion. But then, at times I am learning to be able to deal with difficult situations. I am also learning how to control my anger in certain situations and look seemingly cool and composed!

The next year in my life is the most crucial... or atleast that's what I think.. As it's going to mould the kind of person I am... especially in an Entrepreneurial frame of reference. I have been lucky to be in the organization I am... where every business unit functions as a separate entity and I have almost autonomous powers in my BU and get to manage with the least amount of interference! People trust me and value my opinion. I am learning at such a quick pace and now know most of my short-comings in a business setup and am working hard to correct those issues!

Just some random musings from my side.... But remember one thing! Managing an organization is managing people. If you get that formula right, any workplace would become about 5 times more productive!