Friday, 23 October 2009

What does it take to get to the board?

Narayan has an interesting view, on what it would take to get into the board. Whilst Narayan specifically focuses on how the HR function can make it , i thought i would perhaps explore more generically what it takes to get to the board.

in my opinion, the functions that are closest to the money trail, have the natural advantage when it comes to being chosen to leadership roles in the company- typically money trail functions are Revenue generators (Sales or consulting), Revenue fulfillers (delivery/ production) and Finance. which is reflected in the fact that most CEOs are from these functions.

Other functions have had their successes- for instance, typical B2C marketing led companies (eg Colgate Palmolive/ Unilever) have a tendency to be marketing led in leadership- but this is because the marketing function typically owns the p&l - for example a brand manager at the age of 24, get to own the p&l of their brands (i was one) - hence get close to the money trail.

Finally, i hardly think HR has to lose hope- look at the following list of HR people who became global CEOs of F-500 companies :

-Tim Solso of Cummins
-Nigel Travis of Dunkin Donuts.
-Stan Askren, CEO of HON, HNI Corp (office furniture manufacturer in Iowa)
-Lisa Weber, HR Exec who became President of MetLife’s Individual Business unit
-Bill Stevens, the CEO of Motion Industries ($3B division of Genuine Parts)
-John Hofmeister, was EVP of Global HR for Shell Oil before President of Shell Oil (currently retired)
-Howard Stoeckel, CEO of Wawa ($5B convenience store company)
-Joe Frick, CEO, Independence Blue Cross ($10B insurance)
-Colleen Barrett, former President of Southwest Airlines

in reference to-- Talk » Blog Archive » HR and the Board (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, 16 October 2009

Mobile Applications- The Next Frontier

There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful about mobile applications . I for one, am particularly excited about the implications of the emerging trend of integrating information already available on the phone into the application- ref this article from Daniel Terdiman @ Cnet

My contention is that In nations such as India ,which, alongside China is amongst the worlds largest mobile phone markets, this trend will really be game-changing.

The 2012 Gaming app on the iphone, breaks new frontiers in terms of integrating information already on the phone into the gaming experience- with features like the ability to call 3 contacts for your "lifelines", a la Who Wants to be a Millionaire!

In my opinion, the integration of GPS, the contacts list, the Camera, and other data on the phone alongside the internet is already game changing in terms of where the future value in the mobile device can be unlocked, and gives rise to an entire new "aware" engagement in social situations- something that will explode in societies that are very socially active and mobile focused- and where data and voice access price-points are ridiculously cheap, eg India.

All, in all, a Trend to Watch!

in reference to:

"The future of iPhone games"
- The future of iPhone games | Geek Gestalt - CNET News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, 5 October 2009

How to Brand Yourself Without Alienating Your Company

Good issue this- how to Brand yourself without Alienating your company.

I would perhaps like to separate two things- 1)your ability to create a profile of yourself on the web (using Linkedin for instance) and 2)your urge to comment or otherwise articulate your opinion (blogging, tweeting and commenting)

Whilst Linkedin and building up your profile, getting recommendations and connecting with a wide variety of people is fine, and is good branding, there is a challenge If you are articulating your opinion.

Apart from the lucky ones who "are" the company, it is rather difficult to get around the conflict between the personal brand and the organisation- this is true regardless of how much of an overlap there is between what you want to opine about and its direct relevance to the company you work for.

So, unless you use a pseudonym (which sort of defeats the purpose ), despite all your protestations about your view being yours only -the brand police will come after you. And larger the organisation, the more the difficulty

Hence, if you work with a large organisation, unless you have prior permission, and trust yourself not to make any boo-boos every time you blog, tweet or comment, i would suggest you prudently abstain, unless of course you want to give your competition an excuse to alert the brand police...

Of course, you always have the option of being your own boss, and opining all you want...

in reference to: How to Brand Yourself Without Alienating Your Company (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Has Obama dropped the ball on Social Media?

I like the central idea of debate in this post, about whether Obama, who is seen as the most written about "success" in leveraging social media, is continuing to leverage it as well in presidency as he did getting to it...

Contrary to what this article articulates, i am not sure if he has entirely dropped the ball- there are many campaigns Obama continues to do on the social media side- there is plenty of action on that front and afterall, as the other comment from Jen points out- he is still #5 on the top social media brands- (

My take- the key issues Obama faces (healthcare, bailouts, financial markets, dealing with terrorism) are emotive issues with intense, entrenched and conflicting views- it would be very difficult to see "success" easily-which i define as everyone rallying around one perspective-i,e the magnitude of task is much bigger, social media or not...

that said, i think he can still do a lot more on getting the citizen to contribute to the viewpoint, on the "creation" side, rather than just on the "evangelisation" side where he has clearly seen more success...

in reference to: How Obama Dropped the Ball on His Social Media Strategy (view on Google Sidewiki)

Hardware acquires Services? tech industry shift!

In the Tech world, the hardware "box" manufacturers , who were thought to be squeezed between the chip makers (Intel) and the software folks (Msft, Oracle, etc) are getting their own back, with EDS (acquired by HP) and Perot (acquired by Dell), the hardware players are clearly moving into the "higher value added" services space... interesting dynamic for the industry...

in reference to: EDS brand is no more « Professor Sadagopan’s Weblog (view on Google Sidewiki)