Archive for August, 2006

Funny Disclaimer at a Construction Site

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

Found this at the Vallco Fashion Park Mall in Cupertino, CA! What’s the intent?
Photo Courtesy: Moto Razr

Leadership Primer: Colin Powell style

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006
  1. “Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.”
  2. “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.”
  3. “You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.”
  4. “Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavours succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.”
  5. “Organization charts and hence titles count for next to nothing.”
  6. “Never let your ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.”
  7. “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
  8. “Powell’s Rules for Picking People”—Look for intelligence and judgment and, most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego and the drive to get things done.”
  9. “Have fun in your command. Don’t always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you’ve earned it. Spend time with your families.” Corollary: “Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.”
  10. “Keep looking below surface appearances. Don’t shrink from doing so (just) because you might not like what you find.”

Successful leadership consists of a formula rather than a two variable equation.

9/11 Cover Up Video

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Just saw the entire video. Shocking! Gasping!

Wal-Mart starts carrying Music of India

Monday, August 7th, 2006

‘was strolling around the music aisles of my local Wal-Mart, found the “Music Of India” column nicely ensconced between Hawaiian and Blues sections. Asha Bhosle, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan classics, Ravi Shankar, Anoushka and a few dance albums. Decently priced at $10.99 a pop. Notably missing were Lata, Daler Mehndi and the regular hit movie numbers (they’ll probably figure out in couple of iterations).
Picture courtesy: Moto Razr
I think it goes in line with Wal-Mart scoring big with ever growing aisle sizes of Latino Music and their Head of Sales recently announcing customization based on surrounding demographics.

Why the Hiring Process sucks and How Writable Intranet can fix it

Friday, August 4th, 2006

One of the biggest roadblocks in hiring process is (absence of) collaboration. Again, email and word documents are used for accepting resumes, screening, providing feedback and managing the queue, prioritization, etc. There are multiple parties involved for a single job opening viz. Hiring Manager, Recruiter, HR Manager, HR Specialist (the lady who schedules the interviews!), the interview team, Hiring Manager’s boss, etc.
All the parties involved use e-mail and word documents buried in e-mail to gather feedback and collect data points, which sucks big time. It’s a pain managing the approval process, why a candidate is good on resume, who was phone-screened and rejected/approved. This whole workflow is a mess in most large and small companies. There are vendors however who have software/services for automating this; some are focused on resume management, others are geared towards candidate management, while others specialize in managing the job descriptions. A good software costs at least $200K-$500K in TCO, including license fees, software costs, hardware costs, people costs, training, etc. On top of that, in my experience, HR is last in the queue to get IT support to create an infrastructure to manage the workflow.
What’s needed bare minimum is a collaboration tool for the Hiring Managers where they can track resumes, annotate them as needed and capture feedback from the interview team. I think the Writable Intranet in the form of Wikis could be a great platform. Here are some ideas:

  1. Create a centralized Wiki run/managed by the HR department.
  2. Each page on the Wiki corresponds to a an open position within an organization. As the pool of resumes comes in, the resumes are attached as a file and an entry is made as a section for each candidate. The interview team provides individual feedback by entering their feedback directly into the Wiki under the candidate’s section. Thus all the data gets collected in one single place and is visible to everybody
  3. Security issues? The major thing is reducing visibilty to other people who are not part of the hiring process for a job; depends on the policy as well. Turning off “special pages” and features like “Random Pages” would prevent people from accidentally jumping onto a page.


2 Pizza Team Leads: Amazon’s Funny Job Title

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

Found this interesting job title for Amazon India. 2 Pizza Team Leads!