ONAM

 3e0bd3444aecc5001a824a6953ca0cba

Mr.Unnikrishnan works as a software design engineer in Techno Park. He has taken leave from work for an entire week. He claimed to spend a week with his family for the festive season of Onam. Kerala state witnessed thousands of professionals like Unnikrishnan, who became non-productive for an entire week. Such exodus from work may not impact the Gross Domestic Product of the country. Is the economist justified in the warning against holidays?

Day one of the holidays had Unnikrishnan and family choose to walk through the malls and market. Interestingly they had saved up a lot of money so as to expend in the market, during period of Onam. All the malls had tens of thousands of customers. There were long queues of people awaiting their turn to make payment to the cashier. Shopping malls with a hundred thousand square feet of shopping space, became filled with shoppers. Supermarkets that sold grocery and vegetables had to replenish their shelves at frequent intervals. Onam season certainly brought back the hustle and bustle of a good market.

Unnikrishnan and family had many relatives and friends at their house. Over thirty people were at their house for each meal. Over seven days, much was cooked for these visitors and tourists at their house. Many meals of Sadhya could be done only with total understanding of measurements, calculation of cooking time, other quantity calculations and hunger estimates. The host family, all seemed to have to go back to their learning of arithmetic and mathematics of cooking. Even the learning of storing food and timely service. Sterile area of dish washing and hygienic waste disposal was given its importance. In all, the meal called Sadhya seemed to have its own academics and curriculum. The Onathappan, also called Thrikkakara-appan had its own, fan club. They had another day of festivities. Most temples of Thikkakara town fed Sadhya to nearly ten thousand people. A major turnover in the vegetables and grocery market brought much needed relief to the shopkeepers. Many peripheral and small scale businesses that sprung up around the festive temples, gave a new meaning to the unorganized sector.

These small time businesses may not make its way into surveys, statistics and reviews. But yet such people involved in exchange of goods and services are integral contributors to employment, entrepreneurship and economy.

Unnikrishnan and family travelled in the buses. Their destination was a river bank. Over forty thousand people had gathered on the banks of the river. This day of Onam week was dedicated to Vanchie/Vallaam kalie, also called “the boat race”. All Keralites have heard about the snake boat. A long wooden boat with about 60 rowers with oars. Each boat can cost up to INR Twenty lacs. The boat owners are passionate about victory of their boats in this race. Some advertisers of products use this opportunity to expose their brand names to the on lookers. These races have all the makings for good athletes. Much competitiveness is generated as the boats race each other for the first place, to the finish line. Any misappropriation of timing or ambiguous judgment can spark confrontation among the teams.

The referees, safety personnel, judges, boat owners, and spectators are all at high alert status. Number of policemen walk amongst the crowd to ensure enforcement of rules and regulations. The police vigil assures, the spectators of protection.

The spectators are then free to express their cheer for their favorite team with all their heart. The trophy is visible to all. Even the commentator has mastered all the data, the history of tournament and other pertaining details. The commentator, who speaks in the microphone, encourages, spectators to cheer.

Returning from the boat race, children had a hearty time looking at a group of people in green, leafy and grassy costumes. These are masked people who move in groups with song and dance during Onam, and are called Kummattie. The children were excited and could not take their eyes off these Kummattie. Kummattie convey greeting and best wishes to all, in rural areas of Kerala. Certainly, Kummattie have to keep up their fun and frolic throughout the day.

Therefore their stamina and strength must have been built over many months of exercises, correct eating and other workout and fitness plans.

All the television channels had purchased hoarding spaces in the city. All the promotionary tools and advertising agencies are put to extra hours of work to promote the television programmes for Onam season. Onam specific programmes are scripted, lyricized, choreographed and produced earnestly. The entertainment fraternity is like busy bees and has no rest in Onam season. Road shows, exhibitions and circuses punctuate the activities, those that ornate the townscape. All the people who are linked to the Onam festival, who works to entertain, receive much income and bonuses. Certainly the holiday season is more productive, in market place. The number of transactions is quadrupled. The diversity of interactions and exchange of currency is increased multifold.

Onam season is also popular as a good time for weddings. Many Muhurtams are set, so that the wedding takes place in Onam week. Mehandi, Sangeeth, bachelor parties, family feasts, intense jewelry shopping and expensive wedding clothes, all spike the turnover of wealth. This peak in revenue generation is a phenomenon by itself. The Onam week seems to be an unending roller coaster of commercial activity, resource build and transactions. A good economist will think that these holidays seemed to be of much commercial value. The villages and towns were all engaged in travel, tours and social activities.

Unnikrishnan and wife had forty eight hours, before they had to report to work on Monday. It was time to reflect on the severe indulgences in Onam festivities. Their routines had been mutated. Their wardrobe was in chaos. Over eating and least exercise had brought about laziness in body and in mental attitude. Almost unending shopping had brought some drain on their finances. But nobody seemed to be complaining. They all felt that this disruption of their work, job and even domain expertise is not a waste. The revellers have now to take stock of the situation and tie up loose ends. Celebrations, festivities and expenditures on purchases must not become converted to voyeurisms.

Unnikrishnan and family had to be cautioned of the next day. This night the roads were all lit up extra-ordinarily. Every two kilometers had a pandhal on the roadside. Young men were busy constructing framework for the tableaus. Next morning, these tableaus would be paraded on the roads. They will have hundreds of youths drowned in body paints. Bodies will all be painted as stripes and spots. This is the day of Pulie-kalie. These people are representing the wild tigers that used to roam the forests. They will dance to a specific pulie-kalie thaalam. This is the last day and the culmination of Onam week.

The economists are happy. The district collector has ensured that all the folklore and traditions were rendered peacefully. The police are happy for absence of any outward incidents. The business class has again endorsed such cultural events. The industry flourishes and thrives when the people are happy and spending.

Even the rains did not dampen the spirit of Onam in year 2015. All award functions and reward ceremonies can now make the assessment for this year too. There is one who deserves the crowning glory. It is the people’s ‘festival of pookalaam’. It is from the heart of people of Kerala that Onam festival has once again deserved the highest honor and award.

Advertisements

CONVERSATION

listening3

This couple is married for the past three years. But the fault lines are getting louder and more visible. A close investigation will reveal that there are no serious reasons for dissent. If only this couple knew, how to hold a healthy conversation. Many disappointments are due to misunderstandings. It is imperative that all people must learn to have healthy conversations. One must practice to converse so as to bring consensus and agreements. By conversation as a means of speech, we intend to exchange ideas or feelings. This is conversation.

We can decide to make conversation into a tool for precise communication. Let’s call it precise conversation. The objective is to pass on an information. An informal theoretic point of view, of people. It’s a conversation only if you are able to engage another people into it. Reciprocity is an integral part of a conversation. The participation can be made equal when there is interest in listening to other people and then to represent your case in a logical manner.

Gossip
Identify the slack instance when the conversation is becoming trivialised by a specific participant. Here is the danger of a healthy conversation, converting itself into a flippant and frivolous occasion. Decide to sanitize your talk from word pollution. Keep the talk clean. If it becomes too casual and idle then it is a platform for scandals. Avoid exaggerations or fabrication of malicious stories. Be cautious that you are not revealing personal and sensational facts about somebody who is absent at the time. It is in bad taste to demean or tarnish or even slander other people’s reputation while inside a conversation.

Discussion
It is nice to talk so as to reach a decision. Then the topic is specific. The discussion is in detail of the topic. The topic is broken down to its smaller elements, so as to get clarity on the subject. Multiple opinions about the particular subject are considered. All the people contribute by a variety of ideas about the single topic in discussion. It may take some duration to explore solutions. Discussion must not get corrupted. If it is intervened by deceit, then it may graduate into dispute. The objective of discussion is to end arguments. Ensure that discussion does not escalate into debates which are louder than necessary.

Rumours
Stray clear from stories which have no surety. Put a stop by yourself to dialogue, which are full of doubts and confusion. The higher likelihood is that unfounded talks are falsehoods. Most propagandas with no numerical evidence and factual verification may be classified as rumours. Rumours about objects, or issues of public concern or even some events, can be misleading to the listeners. It will be a healthy discussion, if the conversation is laced with investigated evidences. Some expert advice along with documents can bring credibility. A report on analysis and scrutiny can further enhance the legitimacy quotient. Access to firm evidence that is registered with legal institutions can make your conversations enriching and binding.
A conversation is a healthy entity to talk about outlook, attitude and other mental position that people have about their situations. The way that you have assessed the specific incident is different from that of others. Therefore it is imperative that we familiarize ourselves on conversational attributes.

Deliberations
Conversations can be enabled so that, long and careful considerations go into the selected topic. This is called deliberations. Deliberation is a process where a team of people have commissioned themselves to understand a condition or a circumstance. They may open it up threadbare, to intelligently weigh the options. Deliberations allow very little room for creativity or dialogue. It is more routed in theories of logic and analysis. Developing alternatives and arbitrations, by careful examinations are the skills involved in deliberations.

Conversation can become formalised so as to arrive at collaborations among many people. A consultant can provide expert advice on a project or a work that must be done. Then this conversation is behaving like a consulting session. The group of people can seek advice and gain operational information. The opinions are written down and documented for reference in future.

The married couple and all members of the family must apportion a family time – a time when all cell phones and devices are banned from being used. All families must have a practice session in good conversation. Almost like a conversation workshop. They must intentionally sit together, only so as to converse, share and exchange views and ideas. We must have a flexible attitude to ensure that human sentiments and feelings get its due respect.

Articulation and vocabulary learning will make enriching conversations. Suppositions and hypothesizing and other speculations make risky conversations. Assumptions without evidence must be avoided. It is nice if somebody will moderate a conversation. Though there are people with shared interests, yet they may need a moderator to direct the conversation, to a specific inference. How else will the conversation get the value when being concluded. The closure of a conversation needs precious attention so that, new imaginations are captured, any innovations are incorporated and much wisdom is shared, before its advent. The moderator can connect the most interesting parts in the diverse renderings and yet make the conversation into a whole story.

So let us understand the benefits of good conversation. Then we can come together on a common purpose. The entire family can collaborate on a specific project. They can get serenity into their intra family transactions. Prosperity in the family will come when we establish harmony. We must merge the interests and blend the efforts into one big alliance. The solution is to have effective conversation – closely and neatly packed ideas with workable concepts. Relationships can be founded on a combination of behaviour and different styles of speaking. Let us respect the multiple methods that people have, to communicate with each other. All conversations must converge into one single entity. An entity called the progressive family.

SOCIAL SOUL

Business-traveler-featured-shutterstock-175629032

Mr.Solemon grew up with his parents, sisters, neighbors, friends and other relatives. Till he turned twenty five years old, he was not a stranger. His face was familiar to all and intimate to many. Mr.Solemon has now grown into an independent entrepreneur. His language now has a new vocabulary such as KRA, KPI, rates and other indicators. Mr.Solemon has now graduated from an upumavu breakfast, into a sandwich and French fries food style. Omlette, orange juice, sandwich, baked beans, and sautéed vegetables have become his normal tastes. He is interested in fiscal details, global market, database, corporate regulations and interpretations. Economy, cyber security, repayments, defaults and industry are new topics. His understanding about profits in each vertical and net revenue in each quarter is good. He has moved away from his family conversations of monsoon, agriculture, farmers and food inflation. His interests are moving to geopolitical issues and crude oil prices.

Mr.Solemon is now a traveler. A regular traveler. Mr.Solemon has to create revenue consistently. Every time he sits down to have lunch or dinner, it is a working lunch or dinner. His people are all from the business community.

Mobile phones, devices, gadgets, laptops are his new purchases. But he is stressed when all those equipment becomes quickly outdated. Mr.Solemon has dived too deep into technical industry. He has to be in five different cities every month. Much time, Mr.Solemon is compelled to be inside aircrafts. His nights are in business hotels, and is limited to the life of a business man. He has matured through the last five years, into living an intense business life style.

You too may have met many people like Mr.Solemon. Young or middle aged, their focus is much on physical fitness, each muscle tones, workout and marathon. You will now see him as an expert in communication devices, handsets and full-on applications.

Haven’t you seen such young businessmen, operating almost all dimensions of their daily living from applications inside their handset? These people do not want anything for free. They are willing to pay for all services. But yet, they are expert in collecting coupons that can be redeemed for upgrades of hotel rooms and business class seats, in international airlines. They accumulate accrued points by using the Frequent Flyer membership cards.

Even calling for a bus, or booking a taxi service is done through a mobile phone application. Their eyes are mostly fixed on an interface in the screen of a computer monitor. These business travelers are oblivious to all other personal interaction. They may be very shy of sensitivity to human interaction. Many business travellers narrow their perception about social living to a small segment of boardrooms and banquet halls.

SOLO-MAN

How much longer can Mr.Solemon sustain the living of a Business traveler? He has no place to go, to learn about a way forward. Socially he has begun to convert into a “Solo-man”. He is almost looking lonely, at all times, indulgent with people, who are only of business interests.

Such people are evident with an attire of pin striped business suits and high end traveler kits. Gizmos are the only friends of Solo-man and Solo-women. Are they the new profile of people called “Business Travellers”?

Infrastructure developers and job creators are doing house hunting in electronic city, techno Park, smart city and other areas where there is access to digital world and digital people. The environment of Solo-men and Solo-women are in food courts, cycling tracks, shopping malls and multiplexes. So, how equipped are these solo-people to be able to re-integrate into the diverse social circles?

Pilgrimage travelers, Tourism, Journalists and reporter travelers, environment and cultural travelers seem to have different needs and requirements. But business hotels must study the unique views of business traveler. They have created an aspirational business class. This is the evidence of success, of the solo-people.

Why not integrate, to the diversity of relationship and other social classes? Then, will the business class and business traveler lose out on some perks and comforts? Even the access to a business longue and executive conveniences are evidence of the ability of the solo people to create revenue and wealth.

But then, integration to other economic classes must be encouraged. This will enhance the possibility of more trade and opportunities. This opening up of a fortification around the elite business class, is a good learning to the business class travelers. The luxury of spa and massages, dinner by the pool side, executive lunch packs, and power workouts to acquire six pack abdomens can all be trophies for business lifestyle. But where is happiness?

SOUL FACTOR

The ambition to purchase the high rise apartment and the penthouse near the golf course may also be noble. But any award, reward or even trophies are validated, only if they are full of soul factor.

Mr.Solemon moved along to the club of Solo-men, and through the cartels of Solo-people. Now he has matured and looks forward to earthiness, real and even rustic. Is arrival at soulfulness, the aspirational solution?

Fortunately, the more we travel, the more we get the skills to social integration inside the travel system. Keep traveling and discover the soul inside this system. Then all is merged into the Soul people. The business traveller need not stand-alone.

Can the business traveller establish on diverse people sentiments? He can integrate to be part of the common social soul.

HEART METRICS

 

Good bye to Attrition

Good bye to Attrition

Attrition (or leaving a job) is not intimate to the employee. The employee wishes to continue in his familiar establishment. Just like being organized is more comfortable, similarly the current organization that he works for is favorable. People resist change, so, worker feels secure and safe, where there is an experience of certainty and security. Then, why does, company lose its labor to attrition?

It is actually, a deception that livelihood is linked only to salary, and compensation from company. Many companies have compensation policies, founded on insecurities in the workers. Instead, the compensation policy must consider market realities. The company must learn the practicality of social living of its workers. The organization must learn to compensate the emotions of the workers. Even, advanced psychometry has failed to calibrate the heart felt labor, that the worker puts into his output.

Wholehearted rendering of service is not limited to domain expertise. Many policy makers have mapped output, as their objective. Productivity and performance alone cannot calibrate sincerity. The establishment has to open its eyes to subjective decisions, that is made by the employee. The ability to corporatize is certainly a skill. The administrative talent of process and procedures are incomplete without incorporating the heart metrics.Here, it is evident of the subordination of psychometrics to a superior heart metrics.

Consider the guest in the hotel – A regular guest who stayed one week, in every month, in a hotel. His complimentary breakfast would begin at 7am (seven in the morning). In the day, when his business began, much earlier, he was compelled to exit at six am, at which time he took two toasts in the restaurant. The guest needed an emergency treat of a couple of toasts with butter. But the waiter protested and said that the entitled breakfast will begin only at seven am. At six am the guest could get a full package of “Cold breakfast”.

And cold breakfast will be given only for urgent checkout guests. This is certainly a corporatization without common sense. Courtesies cannot be rejected while building the corporatized infrastructure. It is easy to integrate an affordable margin for human values. Such inclusion of care to customers can, and also must become justified.

But your employees in your company are also persons and people. As such, they are justified to be driven by emotions at specific intervals.

But a dry corporate culture which has absence of emotions and hearty gestures may have to yield to pressure of attritions. Persons and people cannot all be, converted to function like machines.

People will work to generate revenue for themselves. Persons will identify if their transaction with the company is profitable for the employee. The workers have all right to protect their resources. Their emotions will seek some leisure, relaxation and entertainment.

The learning they get at the company is paramount. So we need a course correction. The employee must be conferred a company social status. The worker can be treated as if he is valuable, guest or customer within your payroll. Then the equation is favorable to the employee. The compensation package must express that it has relented. Consider the employee as a high net worth person.

The employee is exposed to multiple talent hunts in the society. He has diverse means to exhibit other personal talents. Sometimes the company must study the deterrents. In society there are mechanisms to poach your trained workers. It is certainly a valuable investment, if the organizations can open doors and windows for a social integration of employee talents, within the purview of the company.

Your employees want to gravitate towards leadership. This urge must become encouraged and compensated. If the route to leadership has bottlenecks, then the employee will be compelled to seek the leadership opportunity, elsewhere.

Collectively, can your company convey the respect that it gets from the market? Does your company enjoy the award winning status? The, worker identifies with the reputation of this company, to get social status. He will then have reasons to reject other ambitions. The corporate must have a wider range of tools to align all its employees and workers to its capital. The workers confidence will then be directed to be an integral part to develop and grow their establishment.

Every worker is seeking opportunity to innovate. Is the company hearing what the worker is expressing? Then the company can make it visible. The worker’s idea is incorporated. A communication to this effect also holds loyalty from employee

Incentive, compensation, learning, innovation, work culture and leadership are the values that neutralizes attrition.

The concept of corporatizing must be enriched with a new element – A transition from narrow profit alone to wider human emotions. A heart felt transactions with people, can empower the dignity of your establishment. All harvest of talent and skills can then bring the needed profits. All the stake holders will then help in working together. Say goodbye to Attrition.

EXTRA

happiness2

Many people use words liberally. One of such word is excitement. It is only in the last two years, the word excitement has found place in every day use. Now, people seem to use the word ‘excite’ every half a day, or even every hour. People say, “ I am excited to have this lunch”. Haven’t you heard people say, that they are excited to take a bus ride or even go shopping? You will agree that your parents or grandparents rarely used the word excitement in their discourses. So it is not rocket science to know that what has changed. Lack of stamina and depth in interest, are the symptoms. Take example of purchasing a new shirt, trouser or shoes. It is a very simple thing to do, procuring few costume essentials. There is an element of happiness in being able to put some clothes on your body and shoes on your feet. They are basic necessities. In every purchase of a basic amenity, should your mind be tipped off to be excited? Then it is shallow and limited to the visible. If the basic purchase of clothes and shoes circumvents the experience of satisfaction and arrives at happiness, then where is the capacity to probe deeper? Happiness is certainly deeper than satisfaction. Where does excitement fit in? Is it on the circumference or in the centre?

It would be a difficult world if all people at all times remain excited about all the basic consumptions. Human race seemed to have trivialized the superlatives. In the past, these superlatives would almost have been revered. The superlatives were used only when achievements were supported with real hard work and toil. In effect, not all satisfactions can be pronounced as excitements.

The same shop from where you were excited to purchase your shoes and costumes has a training program for its staff. The training program is called ‘customer delight’. I would like to think, de- burdening one’s mind and arriving at an experience of lightness, would be delightful. Heaviness of new purchases in your hand, an exhausted and light wallet and having to increase storage space for new possessions cannot give a result of delight. Whereas, the shop owner is starting to target customer delight. Perhaps the superlatives of excitements in consumer and delight in purchaser can be categorized as misnomers.

These are not without consequences. This dependence on trivializing of nomenclature, limits our minds to the very surface levels. It inhibits our interest to probe the depth. Let us exert ourselves to discover the meaning for our routine, a method to achieve the targets and to set a noble goal for ourselves. We need stamina and intelligence to be able to articulate all of the above. We need wisdom to bring into an understandable measure, the purpose of our living. Delight and excitement should become a discovery when we have sharpened our drill and arrived into the depths of the mind.

There are indicators of an incisive journey into the mind. You have seen people from whom there is gushing out of fun, humour and playfulness. People, who make spontaneous decisions, which gives progressive directions. People, by their very presence   seem to embrace you with the warmth of their hearts.

There is a definition to the word personality. It is not in the superficiality of excitement or in the frivilousity of delight. Your personality is evident only when your expression is a proof of the warmth in you heart. And this warmth in your heart is very natural, simple and ordinary. There is nothing extra about this. Is it alright to be of a small name? Is it okay to have a tiny cause? What is the nobility of the objective? To discover and nurture the warm hearts.