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Seize The Day Christopher P. Neck

Carpe Diem, Is what I say. In other words, Seize the Day. To make it simpler, I will relay. “Gather Ye Rosebuds, While Ye May.” Consider this simple scenario, Ponder it for a while. Hopefully, it will make you think; And maybe change your style. If you were given 24 gold coins, To spend each day as you chose, But when the day is up - the ones you didn’t send, You’d completely lose. Your actions in this situation, Shouldn’t require you to stall. Of course you would reply, “I wouldn’t say any at all.” In our real lives, this actually does occur. This truly does transpire. We’re given 24 golden hours each day, To use any way we desire. But many times, we don’t use them wisely; Commonplace - is how they appear. We treat them as if we truly believe, We can save them for sometime next year. But once the day is finished, No matter your chosen endeavour, No one can ever retrieve it. An hour lost - is gone forever. The message in these basic words, Is don’t waste your coins away. Always give it all you’ve got. Carpe Diem - Seize the Day.


The Execution Edge It is essential to grow qualitatively, that is, to become better at the things we do, to grow quantitatively. For this kind of growth, the oxygen of execution is an absolute must. Indrapal Singh Editor

G&B has decided to single-mindedly pursue the growth that is profitable, predictable and sustainable. For this kind of growth, the ‘oxygen’ of execution is an absolute must. Given G&B’s resources, talent and the initiatives undertaken, it is commonly accepted that the execution could be substantially better. A few months ago, in his monthly message to employees, Anil Verma, our President, had underscored the execution gap at G&B. Taking a cue from this, and to explore what it takes to execute well, we at CHANGE decided to come out with an issue on the theme of execution. As we all know, execution is the determinant of strategic success. To adequately cover the vast topic of execution, we have decided to have it as the theme for two successive issues of CHANGE. In this issue, we share many stories of successful execution despite the heavy odds. These stories are about projects as well as operations. There are articles on the enablers of execution that could help

us. Effective business reviews lead to better execution and the tips for improvement are given. The dos and don’ts for getting things done are also written about. Also, we have reviewed a very useful book, ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen. According to him, to promote our wellbeing, it is essential to close as many ‘open loops’ at the earliest possible. The article and the book are recommended for careful reading individually, and in a group to have a shared understanding. All at G&B are encouraged to take CHANGE home and share it with their family members. Common interest articles are meant to trigger conversations that may lead to healthy changes. Reading about hobbies and activities of others may help us make new beginnings. Likewise, at the place of work too, have your colleagues read a few of the articles and have a discussion to identify the key learnings that can be applied to your situation for improved outcomes. You may invite the author of the article for more insights.


Nalini Kala

Elizabeth Bocarro

Nariman Bacha

Edit Board

Edit Board


Bipin Shringarpure Production

This small effort can also yield benefits that may pleasantly surprise you. A good way to become a business that learns. Let me thank all the authors who accepted our request to write, particularly on a theme which isn’t easy. Vrunda has always been of great help for the Marathi edition and Gillian has always pitched in smilingly. Please share with us your ideas to make CHANGE better. In case you wish to know more about any of the topics covered, please write to the editor at change@godrej.com. Let’s sharpen our execution edge!

Contents FOCUS



Execution - An Action Perspective

Success Equals 80% Planning Plus 20% Execution

Effective ways to develop and sustain superior execution.

Expert tips to help you plan for success.



To Do Or Not To Do?

Reviews That Work

Beating procrastination in the age of distractions.

Moving from criticism to critique.





08 Refining Success From Aluminium

The Perks Of Being Disciplined

The Dark Horse: Godrej Mortise Locks

How perseverance helped GMH forge long term ties in their rentals business.

Self-discipline is the key to a successful life.

The brand’s steep rise is marked by thoughtful design.




22 Automate To Boost Productivity

Building A Strategic Partnership

The Quintessential Team Player

The case of the Pinaka Rocket Assembly Line.

Co-creation defines Godrej Aerospace and Rolls Royce’s alliance.

Like in football, success in business depends on co-operation.







Learnt It All In The Kitchen

Building Bigger and Better Submarines

Script - Godrej Interio’s Premium Brand

A millennial picks up life lessons through cooking.

Britain’s Astute class submarines are the result of bold decisions.

Script’s ecosystems are both layered and flexible



Must-Haves For Good Execution


Augmenting The Physical With The Digital


The Mantras For Success In Execution


Of Rituals And Symbols


Reclaim Your Life

Physiotherapist Dr. Sunita Dave

transforms lives at GMH.


JGTD: Just Get Things Done

A timeless classic revisited for

getting things done in the digital age


Welcoming Defeat

Reproduced Courtesy ‘Yesterday

I was the Moon’ by Noor Unnahar.




Front Load Washing Machines New range boasts Allergy Protect Technology.

Motion Chair Range By Godrej Interio A chair designed to make you move.

Godrej Eve Home Cameras Plug and play cameras for remote viewing & auto record.



Execution An Action Perspective Effective ways to develop and sustain superior execution. Anil Verma, Executive Director and President, G&B

As you know from the tone and content of my monthly messages, our ability to meet the planned numbers, month-on-month, year-on-year is weak at best, and is something that presents a huge opportunity for improvement. Strategy without a strong process for execution is just an intent, a mere dream. Even though management processes such as resource allocation and project management have become more sophisticated and software-enabled over the years, the challenge of execution persists. In fact, after the exit of Larry Bossidy, the co-author of ‘Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done’ and one-time CEO of Allied Signal, the firm ceased to be strong at the discipline of execution. This brings us to a central question – How can our company develop and sustain a culture of superior execution so that it can give us a competitive edge? Over the last two years, I have tried to look for answers. Let me share with you what I’ve learned along the way.

The desired results are possible only when everyone works together to make them happen.

Structure and clarity without rigidity. Everyone needs to be clear on the superordinate goal of the business to which they belong. What are our business objectives? What do we need to achieve? Clarity brings alignment and helps prioritization. But clarity and focus should leave room for being nimble and flexible. There is no point in executing what was planned if it is no longer the best way to help the company achieve its superordinate goal. Flexibility to change course requires a large degree of empowerment to be built into the culture of the company.

Alignment coupled with collaboration. Alignment happens only when the strategy is translated into strategic initiatives that require the involvement and contribution of everyone in the organization. This involvement needs to be built into the performance management system so that the progress along each employee’s goals adds up to ensure progress on executing along the chosen strategic choices. However, it is also a reality that organizational output is not merely the sum of individual output. There are always dependencies – one team’s output can affect the per-

formance of several other teams. Hence, it is the ecosystem of teams within and outside the organization that need to collaborate in a coordinated manner to execute well; for example, sales can only hope to make the numbers if materials are procured on time, goods are produced and dispatched on time, product designs are best in class, communication helps differentiate the brand, and after-sales service is highly responsive. It should be clear now that the achievement of results is possible only when everyone works together to make them happen.

Leaders pay attention to details. Leadership is about developing strategy and building a detailed plan for execution. Often, leaders believe their role ends when a target is cascaded to their teams. They also believe that incentive systems are sufficient to get the organization to deliver on the plan. However, good results are sustainable only if they are driven by robust


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processes. So, leaders need to bring to the table ingenuity to be able to lead the development of superior processes and drive their continuous improvement, while ensuring that all concerned are involved. Simple delegation and incentivization can never be enough. The development of world-class processes implies an intimate knowledge of work done across various levels, and of interlinkages between functions. Such knowledge can come from the following sources: »» Through careful study of the existing processes »» Through prior experience with similar processes »» Through secondary sources such as the study of other organisations where similar work is done and/or the study of published material on the subject However, doing some or all of the above implies that leaders at all levels must be willing to get into the details of the plan. They must have a strong grip on the execution plan at least two levels below the level at

which the results will be generated. It can take time, but it will always be well worth the effort and this is how intimacy with execution gets built.

Review. Review. Review. Regularly. There is no difference between not reviewing execution and not having an execution plan. All plans must be built with explicit KPIs that comprise both lead and lag indicators. While conducting reviews, we must provide feedback, fairly, freely and constructively. Never forget to highlight the positives. Reviews are not about merely marking progress. They are about formulating the right problems that need to be solved and generating alternative solutions along with the team. When we are too permissive of sub-par performance, we must remind ourselves that we’re actually hindering the development and morale of the reviewee team…for there is no team stronger than the one that

consistently meets its plan.

Drive for closure, relentlessly. The final learning here is to push for closure. We must learn to be tenacious and follow up on commitments made, relentlessly. Given the fact that time and energy are finite, it’s very important to get your teams focused on the right priorities with the right level of energy so that at the end of every review stage, there are more tasks completed and lead metrics achieved. None of the above is rocket science. All of it sounds eminently doable…and that is the point. If we exercise rigour in planning the execution of our strategy, and go about it with enthusiasm and tenacity while staying rooted in our values, then success is assured. The discipline of execution, when nurtured and institutionalized, will ensure that our growth is predictable, profitable and sustainable.



Refining Success From Aluminium How perseverance helped GMH forge long term ties in their rentals business. Gunjan Bhargava, Godrej Material Handling


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Execution is all about getting things done by people. Therefore, it is of prime importance how people are treated by their seniors and the way they treat each other. We have to accept the fact that the days of control and command are over. We can’t afford to push people against their will nor can we incentivise them enough to work together.

Winning of the contract was just the beginning; the real challenges were to surface thereafter.



Our search for new industry segments that may help us to grow led us to take a closer look at the aluminum industry. The preliminary analysis showed that it was attractive for Godrej Material Handling (GMH) as it could absorb our products and services in a significant way. Also, as the operations management in the aluminium industry views materials handling as critical, it could be an opportunity to work collaboratively and find new solutions. A simple pareto of the aluminum industry players made it clear that we should strive and work with Vedanta Aluminium (VAL), as it was an industry leader in the making. As of today, VAL is the largest producer of aluminium in India, having a 40% share of the market. It is vertically integrated and produces ingots, billets and wire rods which are sold both in India and abroad. Up to 2009, the industry was growing rapidly. VAL decided to take advantage of the favorable conditions to embark upon a rapid expansion program to realize the vision of its founder of having the world’s largest aluminum smelter in India. The expansion was progressing well, but due to a sudden and major shift in the industry conditions, a healthy industry outlook turned to a depressing one in a short span of time with virtually zero growth for the next four years – until 2013. These years were extremely difficult and VAL’s survival itself was at stake both on account of industry conditions and the social unrest surrounding it. The challenge was to find the ways to ride out the slump. To remain viable, it was then decided by VAL’s management to maintain the level of production with minimum possible staffing and aim for a huge reduction in operating costs. VAL decided to substantially reduce its asset base and the operating headcount. Flowing from this policy, a decision came to eliminate the ownership of all enabling equipment and the related manpower. The mandate came that all material handling operations, including the manpower, were to be outsourced with the full onus of maintaining the fleet onto a third party. In this time frame, GMH had already chosen to enter into the equipment rentals business as it not only provided a steady stream of revenue but also captive sales of spare parts and services. It was also an opportuni-


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It is only in the difficult times that the entire team rises to the challenge of revamping the operating system sufficiently enough to create a differentiated offering. ty to develop various processes to keep the equipment at high-assured uptimes. VAL’s decision of outsourcing was seen by the rentals business team as a major opportunity to prove their prowess. The rentals team decided to study the site in depth before pursuing the opportunity. The study helped them conclude that they needed equipment that was to be manufactured specially for VAL and that the manpower had to be sourced from a partner who was familiar with working in similar conditions. The men at site had to be willing to work longer hours and had to be in robust health to withstand the vagaries of the locale and the work cycles. So here is the story of how the GMH rental team won the contract and succeeded in forging a long-term relationship with VAL. Though its beginnings were very tough, but over a period of time the relationship became mutually beneficial. This business opportunity was not an easy one. To begin with, VAL is located at Jharsuguda, Odisha, a locale which is not only difficult to reach, but is out in the wilderness, with no infrastructure of any kind. VAL is close to the mines of alumina and has conditions that border on the extreme. The temperatures hover around 900 degrees Celsius and the ambient furnace temperature soars up to 50 degrees Celsius. The monsoon is heavy, with widespread flooding that can remain for weeks. The contaminated water creates unhealthy living conditions for months. The air is laden with alumina powder, causing respiratory diseases. The site area is about 1000 acres and for reasons of safety, walking or the use of two-wheelers is prohibited, which makes commuting costly as only four-wheelers have to be used. Alumina powder in the air makes the maintenance of the equipment and vehicles frequent and costly. The business opportunity required us to function in these harsh, unhealthy and demanding conditions. It was a must for our people and the equipment to perform in a 24x7 working mode at high levels of efficiency. Aluminum being a process industry, any downtime was simply unacceptable. To be forthright, GMH was not sure about bidding for this business. After much deliberation and due to GMH’s pressing need to

create a new line of business, led to a quote for the enquiry. Intense negotiations followed and GMH ultimately won the contract. An array of material handling equipment was required to be deployed, where the forklift trucks would form the core of the fleet with capacities ranging from 3 to 10 tonnes. The contract amount was Rs. 200 lakhs. Winning of the contract was just a beginning; the real challenges were to surface thereafter. Specifically, we had to put in place processes, equipment and infrastructure as below: »» Logistics, for the deployment of equipment »» Supply Chain, to ensure availability of spare parts and diesel all the time »» Workshop, for carrying out repairs, small and large, around the clock »» Manpower, a requirement of 120-odd hardy persons »» Amenities, comfortable enough for the manpower to remain healthy and work in shifts »» Liaison office, for complying with the requirements of various statutory bodies

To meet these challenges, GMH adopted a synergetic approach of 3Ms – Men, Machines and Money. For manpower, GMH found and developed a partner who would deploy trained and proficient operators. As the operators came from Northern India, putting them up at the remote location of Jharsuguda presented a unique challenge. The machines were custom-made at GMH’s works in Mumbai to best suit the demanding applications. GMH had to spend extra monies to create the infrastructure required. It was only with the full involvement of the senior management that GMH could establish all of these in the short span of two months. The contract was soon up and running to the expectations of VAL. GMH was now looking forward to more business ahead. However, as luck would have it, a perfect storm hit the aluminum industry, and VAL particularly. This perfect storm had three forces. The first – a severe global meltdown of aluminum prices; two – an intense social unrest of the local population; and three – a deep rift between the governments at the state and the center, leading to a severe policy paralysis. The storm, coupled with changes in the policy for import of raw materials, led to a situation where VAL had no option

but to greatly scale down its operations. GMH had to decide whether to continue to operate at the site at a lower margin or to exit the contract. GMH also cut costs wherever possible and convinced their partner to follow suit. Finally, GMH decided to persist and stay on, hoping for an early recovery. The wait was about four years long and it was only in early 2015 that the storm cleared and the industry began looking up. In a few months thereafter, VAL was back on its growth trajectory and so was GMH. In the ensuing years, the contract grew to 5 times its original size, and with brighter prospects. Today, VAL Jharsuguda is GMH’s flagship rental site. The management at VAL has appreciated GMH’s commitment and has accorded us the special status of a valued partner. The rental team at GMH now routinely uses this case to persuade other businesses to opt for them. What did GMH learn from the VAL adventure? First and most importantly, they learnt that helping customers in their difficult times pays. Secondly, the learnings never go to waste and always come in handy at some point in time. And thirdly, it is only in the difficult times the entire team rises to the challenge of revamping the operating system sufficiently enough to create a differentiated offering. Today we have: »» A competent and motivated rental business workforce »» Safe operating procedures for site operations »» A robust supply chain for parts and other inputs »» Digitization across the value chain for quick corrective and preventive actions »» A network of partners to operate pan-India »» In addition, all these factos have helped GMH to put in place processes for ongoing improvement.

The successful ongoing execution at VAL Jharsuguda is a testimony to GMH’s ever-increasing capability in material handling equipment rentals. GMH now believes that keeping customers’ interest at the core helps win in a bigger way.



The Perks Of Being Disciplined Self-discipline is the key to a successful life. Nalini Kala and Elizabeth Bocarro, Corporate Communications

Talent without discipline is like an octopus on rollerskates. There is plenty of movement but you never know if it is going forward, backwards or sideways. Discipline as a concept is known to all. However, its significance is not that well and widely understood. The word discipline often evokes negative emotions from days gone by: from school, college, parental guidance, or a stint in the NCC. In this short piece, we want to explore discipline in the context of effective execution at work and in our lives. We believe that discipline is at the root of all good attributes or qualities that an individual or an organisation possesses. It is an internal force that comes from within. To become disciplined, one has to decide for oneself and then move forward. It is discipline that gives that additional thrust to get things done on a daily basis. Discipline defeats the attitude of “not now”, “not today”, “will do it tomorrow” and so on. It enables us to avoid taking shortcuts, cut corners, and take an easy way out. Instead, it helps us take the route of diligence and hard work. It makes deep engagement possible with the tasks at hand day after day. Discipline is thus a key building block of sustained high-quality execution. External discipline works for a little while, but is never strong enough to overcome the inherent tendencies that exist. External support can help one embark on a journey to become disciplined but it can never replace the powerful inner urge for outcomes that sustain. This, perhaps, is the reason why imposing external discipline does not really work in practice and by-and-large fails to create a culture of discipline. Making personal commitments helps a great deal as it enables us to draw from our inner resources that lie dormant deep within us. These are the resources that give us that additional boost of energy to get things done faster and in a smarter way. By and large, it is up to us to persevere and get disciplined. In business we have to achieve the goals set. The goals are often difficult to achieve

because of many restraining factors that come into play. Hence, unless we are deeply aware of the importance of meeting goals, it is not possible for us to draw upon the additional energy required to complete tasks. The tasks to be undertaken are not always easy. However, they have to be performed. There is always pressure to perform whether it is made explicit or not. This kind of situation requires a lot of discipline and a degree of fortitude for task completion. The culture of a work unit needs to be built step by step by the leader concerned taking along all the team members. Leading by example is a good way to promote discipline. Also, it is important to put in place various work routines and systems that promote discipline while assuring flexibility and freedom.

How does discipline help? It sets a cadence for getting tasks done one at a time. It helps us remain focussed by avoiding negative emotions, ego-driven unproductive thoughts and actions, etc. Discipline helps us muster that additional strength to get things done. The disciplined way of working becomes contagious and has a positive influence on the team. Discipline creates a mental space where creativity flourishes. A positive feeling is felt within ourselves. In more ways than one, discipline makes us free from energy sapping “open loops” (See article ‘Just Get Things Done’) that restrain us from being productive. Discipline gives us the freedom to enjoy many other aspects of our lives besides work, and to live fully. To put it in another way: it helps us create a better version of ourselves. Remember…Discipline is the bridge between goals and a more fulfilling life.

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Discipline gives us the freedom to enjoy many other aspects of our lives besides work, and to live fully.



The Dark Horse: Godrej Mortise Locks The brand’s steep rise is marked by thoughtful design. Shyam Motwani, Godrej Locking Solutions and Systems

Diligence and ingenuity are crucial to executing a transformation. A transformational change significantly alters the profile, silhouettes and ethos of any brand. Here is how Mortise Door Handle Product Segment (MDHPS) at Godrej evolved and grew out of its conventional mould to become a part of a brighter tomorrow. Godrej has been always proud of its pioneering and innovative spirit which has, over the years, given birth to various brands. Godrej Locking Solutions and Systems (GLSS) has been a trailblazer in the market of locks and security in India. In the past, Godrej Mortise was considered a conventional play and accordingly it

was played safely with a contemporary edge by and large absent in its designs. The play of Godrej in the MDHPS was fraught with many challenges. We decided to step out of our comfort zone and aim for market leadership. About nine years ago, a new chapter unfolded when GLSS stepped up their play into the popular mortise segment with the introduction of a new range of door handles. This category showed promise and had a huge amount of headroom for becoming the largest in the market. We launched the new range ‘Udaan’ – an ode to the promise of taking flight towards victory and as a result making the lives of people better. The goal was to attain market leadership. It was 2012, and the trend of using higher quality and sophisticated hardware fittings was observed in the market. Along

with that, the consumer was also beginning to understand the value of good quality hardware fittings when added to their interiors. Design has always been one of the key growth drivers at Godrej and it was this driver that proved to be a game-changer in this journey of ‘Design-Led Innovation and Transformation’. To attain design leadership, it was essential to have complete control of the design function and designs. To achieve this transformation, Godrej Mortise took the first big leap and entered into a collaboration with a product design and development firm, Futuring Design Pvt. Ltd. A line of exquisite, modern and stylish handles were introduced through this collaboration to address the trend in the market. The steady gains in the market, made us identify a new opportunity in terms of


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Our commitment to innovate relentlessly in every sphere has made Godrej Mortise a name to be reckoned with in India. Premium MDHPS. In 2013-2014, the Mortise market was Rs.1200 cr, out of which the premium mortise range was about 15%. We increased the momentum of the category with the launch of ‘Unnati’ and ‘Ujjawal’ – two other series of premium mortise handles. With these launches we changed the face of the mortise door handle segment. Many visually stunning designs helped us achieve market leadership in a record time of three years. During these years, 34 new designs were launched in the premium segment making it a game-changer. Top architects and interior designers in the country applauded the Premium Mortise design range and even today, they continue to recommend it. In 2016-17 Godrej Mortise became the category leader with 42% share of the organised market. The awards and accolades

never stopped pouring in. As of today, 21 of our Mortise door handle designs are the recipients of the prestigious ‘India Design Mark Award’. The real jewel in the crown is, of course, Arsa – The Heritage Collection. It is a new landmark in door handle design. The design of Arsa was inspired by ancient Indian monuments, structures, art and culture. It’s a unique and exquisite collection that depicts the ethnicity, culture and values that are blended with the art and design ethos of our country. Arsa, a range of forged brass handles, is heavier and attractive and is indeed unique – its sheer beauty remains unmatched. Commitment to deep transformation underpins Godrej’s progress in this journey. Godrej Mortise handles has been growing at

a CAGR of 14% for the last 5 years, whereas the overall Mortise door handle market in India has grown with a CAGR of about 10%. Over the years, the Mortise door handle product category has not only evolved but also been transformed by thoughtful design. From being an underdog in the category, today Godrej has become a market leader. GLSS is looking forward to scaling even greater heights in the domain of product development. Our commitment to innovate relentlessly, in every sphere, has made Godrej Mortise a name to be reckoned with in India.






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S C RI P T – GO DRE J I N TE RI O ’ S PREMIUM BRA N D Script’s ecosystems are both layered and flexible. According to a study conducted by Godrej Interio, a new segment of consumers has emerged with needs different from those of its traditional ones. The evolution of these new-age consumers is mainly due to the enormous change in lifestyles, a trend that has been noticed over the last 5-7years. These consumers are in the age group of 25-40 years, and are unconventional, experience seekers. They work in industries that demand longer work hours, measurable outputs, specialised knowledge and the like. As a result of these demands, the lines between work and non-work hours are blurred. At the end of a long day at work, they look forward to relaxing in an aesthetically attractive environment at home to continue or complete their work. This high-income group of consumers wants things that are not commonplace and yet have a high degree of functionality. Drawing from this insight, Godrej Interio decided to develop a new brand, Script, which strives to offer design thinking led

furniture aimed at supporting the highly demanding lives of these consumers. Unlike conventional furniture that can be used by itself, Script has designed ecosystems that are multi-purpose. For example, a sofa built with a movable coffee table and a unique headrest for those workfrom-home days. It can even be converted into a bed for rest. The best part: all this is possible within a limited space. The ecosystem of Script is both layered and highly flexible providing freedom of living as desired. There are also a host of accessories that bring in a degree of colour and quirk to the ambience. The Script brand has lauched a specially designed retail store of 14,000 sq. ft. in an upmarket locality in Bengaluru. Script intends to reach out to these new age consumers across India, with about 18 such stores in the making.



Success Equals 80% Planning Plus 20% Execution Expert tips to help you plan for success. Anoop Roy, Godrej Process Equipment


As someone rightly said, there is a degree of planning in everyone’s life; the more, the better. Planning has played an important role in my 28 year long professional journey and in the significant success of the organisations I have worked for. In case of Godrej Process Equipment (GPE), planning has played an important role in its sustained success. It is amazing to see how GPE has been tiding over many challenges year after year to deliver on its commitments and thereby building an impeccable reputation in the global market. When you look at something that’s substantially better, you will find there a great amount of detailing and planning. Steps, drilled down to tiny or baby steps, help you work through an event or a cycle or a journey or a process; much before it happens. And attaching a time stamp to these steps is nothing but planning. Many years ago, to find the reason the Chinese firms were doing so much better than ours, I visited a factory in Wuhan, China. What I saw was simply eye opening. The movement of workmen from the time they left home for work was studied in detail. The resultant analysis helped them plan the most efficient use of their time, thus significantly improving output. We learn planning in schools and colleges but truly useful planning is learnt at work through experience, and quite often, by not getting it right the first time! Such experiences are enriching and remain etched in our minds, becoming a facet of our competence. Here’s something to help you plan better.

Start with a Goal It’s important that the goal is set right. We often make mistakes by not defining the goal correctly or clearly. Very often, we refer to our previous experience as the benchmark, consider that as the goal, and in the bargain overlook completely how things have changed or are changing. Many a time, customer requirements are challenging and you have no choice but to find a way to meet them to stay in business. You will surely find a way out; it’s not that difficult. Use experience only as an aid and never let it come in the way of preparing a plan that may initially sound unrealistic. I have had the privilege of being part of teams, some of them in GPE, that reduced cycle times by half or even more.

Use experience only as an aid and never let it come in the way of preparing a plan that may initially sound unrealistic.


Work backwards, first Customers are always demanding and at times, unrealistic. If you ask, ‘When do you need it?’ The most likely response would be, ‘I actually wanted it yesterday’. Thankfully, they stop at that. Compressing of delivery time poses enormous challenges to the execution teams. It’s like a goal post at point A and you are at point B. Generally, it takes x hours to cover the distance between these two points. Imagine you are asked to cover the same distance in x/2 hours with the same or similar resources. However absurd it might sound, you have no option but to find a way. By working backwards from the end date, you can with some difficulty figure out what needs to be done to complete each activity in half the time. Many paths would have to be thought of before finally arriving at a workable way out. Sort of like a “best bet”.


Work forward, next Planning backwards yields stretched end dates for many activities with a huge negative float overall. Since it is not possible to shift the zero date, what should you do then? Switch to forward planning next. As you now have a stretched goal and with negative floats, forward planning will help reduce cycle times for each of the milestones or work breakdown structures (WBS). There are ways to do it, and in many organisations a Project Manager is the one who specialises in it.


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We learn planning in schools and colleges but truly useful planning is learnt at work through experience, and quite often by not getting it right the first time!

“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander - Allied Forces, World War-II & former President, United States of America.






The customer are always demanding and at times, unrealistic.


Take as many people on board as possible

Detail it well

Floats are a must for all project plans. They are like shock absorbers. Add floats, preferably at the WBS level. Some Project Managers prefer to have the float at the end. According to me, it depends on the type of project. For a complex, first of its kind project having the float at the end works better. One may even split it 50:50 between the WBS and at the end. Having at least 10% float is advisable.

For complex projects, baseline plans are prepared by putting everyone in one room and have them prepare plans with the customer requirement in mind. I have seen ‘war room’ concepts working very well. Teams that make the plan, preferably should be the ones to execute it. One way to make that work well is to put each member’s picture on the PERT network, with areas of responsibility highlighted. Team members must meet every day to share and solve road blocks, in many cases, without any external intervention.

Identify and maintain the critical path

As mentioned at the beginning, success lies in detailing. As someone said, planning is all about predicting what the future would look like and finding ways to get there. For example, we see some cities being so different and better from the others. It’s all because someone went into much detail to visualise the future and took actions for the predicted growth. That’s city planning. Detailing is at the core of planning that works.

This might sound strange to many, but believe me, this works. In a line or flow, identify a bottle neck resource and ensure that it remains the bottleneck throughout the project. Increase or decrease the line output in a way that the bottleneck resource remains as it is. This way, it is much easier to manage in the project.

Fallback plans Plan B/Plan C It’s like Google maps showing alternate routes to a destination. Taking a 20-minute faster route to reach the airport might completely ruin a busy executive’s travel plans if the route gets blocked due to any reason. Having an alternate route for “in case” situations or even picking a route that’s not the fastest is always better. Having alternate plans can help.




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Having an alternate route for “in case” situations, or even picking a route that’s not the fastest is always better.


Take decisions fast, don’t linger


Things don’t always go as planned. It is important to keep moving, with minimum stops. Role clarity on who should take what kind of decision, starting with the operator, is very important. And finally at the top, there has to be one person who ensures efforts are synchronised and the decision is taken expeditiously, in the best interest of the project. I guess that’s how matrix organisations work in a project environment.

Make it bold and visible


This can do wonders. A Project Manager’s challenge becomes everyone’s if he transparently shares how the project is faring. Having clarity on how one’s project is doing can help streamline efforts for meeting the overall objective. Once people are taken on board and the asking rate is displayed, people voluntarily start walking the extra mile to do what is required. Just like in a cricket match.

Plan and re-plan until you reach the goal; never give up Cycle times are not fixed and they can be shortened. Stay focussed and you will find a way out. When you feel you’ve reached the limit, don’t stop there. Start the cycle all over again. It will work. To conclude, after the project is completed, do take time to cull out the lessons learnt for refining the planning process. As a rule, invest sufficient time in planning and don’t rush through it as a mere paper exercise.



Automate To Boost Productivity The case of the Pinaka Rocket Assembly Line. Nagraj Pandit, Godrej Tooling

Automation is highly desirable to execute well when production lines are complex and there is an excessive dependency on manual operations.


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Industrial machines (IM) - a line of business of Godrej Tooling that provides specialised solutions including automation of metal-cutting machines, jigs & fixtures for improving productivity in material handling, welding and robotics for a wide range of manufacturing activities as well as metro rail and railways. In addition, IM has always met the requirements of businesses of G&B. It is only recently that IM has forayed into catering to the requirements of automation from a select group of customers including ordinance factories (OFs). Over the years, IM has acquired substantial and varied experience for taking on technically complex and large assignments. In 2014, OFs were facing the challenge of increasing productivity to meet the growing demands of our defence forces. The OFs’ board chairman back then invited Godrej Tooling to undertake a study to determine

the areas which could be automated at OFs in Ambajari, Chandrapur, and Bhusawal. The chairman wanted IMs to make specific proposals in consultation with various OFs for meeting their priority requirements. In response, the IM design team carried out extensive studies of current manufacturing processes of the OFs to arrive at a list of operations that could be automated for improving productivity. This list included a project of automating the Pinaka rocket assembly line at Chandrapur. This particular assembly line was selected as the backlog of Pinaka rockets was huge and its line all along had low productivity. Dependency on human skills was simply too high across this line to have high productivity and consistency of quality. Thus, Pinaka assembly line was taken as an ideal candidate for automation. The Pinaka rocket has six components, namely: the warhead, end plug, front motor tube, centre sleeve, rear motor tube and stabilizer. The assembly of these components is done at a coupling station, after which the assembled rocket is balanced and is weight corrected. All coupling stations are designed in such a way that they have both torqueing and un-torqueing provisions. All measurements such as weight, centre of gravity, runout, and length are taken at the fully equipped measuring stations. These and the unique numbers of the components as well as of the assembled rockets are then stored in a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system with the help of barcode scanners for control and traceability. To demonstrate the concept of automation as envisaged by the IM team, a full-scale mock-up station was built. Extensive trials were carried out to prove that some of the complicated assemblies could be automated using our solution. It is only after the witnessing of several successful trials that the OF team gave their approval for the manufacture of the proposed system. The biggest challenge faced was the handling of a rocket weighing 300 kgs having explosives and a live igniter. This meant that even a small spark in electrical equipment, or a malfunction in gantry clamps, could lead to a devastating explosion. Hence, all electrical equipment had to be flame-proof and the handling had to be with minimum or no impact. Many components needed to be joined with each other where access was difficult and visibility limited. Many such problems were overcome with great ingenuity by our designers. As if the task was not complicated enough, we had to integrate our equipment with that

The biggest challenge faced was the handling of a rocket weighing 300 kgs having explosives and a live igniter. of the third party to complete an automated assembly line. The IM team completed the project in about a year. The feedback received was positive and many other OFs have evinced interest in the IMs services for automating their operations. As of today, we confidently state that substantial benefits have accrued to the OF concerned. The major being deskilling of operations, high production, and a huge increase of about 400% in the productivity. The Pinaka rocket availability now stands vastly improved, much to the delight of the defence forces. This project is a forerunner of many similar projects in the future that seek to enhance the defence readiness of India.



To Do or Not To Do? Beating procrastination in the age of distractions. Harini Alladi, Formerly at Godrej Archives

Perfectionists are known to procrastinate for the fear of churning out anything less than perfect.


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It probably began early in life. Rather innocuously. Your school gave you homework to do in the summer holidays. “Two months!” You told yourself, “There’s plenty of time. No need to think about that now.” Yet, after what you could swear was just one game of football and one sleepover, it was the night before your school reopened, and you were staring through panicky tears at two months’ worth of homework, and trying not to imagine Teacher’s livid face. That never happened to you? Just me then! At any rate, we have all done it, admittedly to varying degrees – procrastinate. Procrastination is a problem spanning centuries and across cultures. What else would explain age-old sayings such as “A stitch in time saves nine” and “Kaal kare so aaj kar…”? So, why address it now? Because this is the 21st century. When Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind said the famous lines, “I’ll think of it all tomorrow […] After all, tomorrow is another day.”, she did not have an Instagram account or a Netflix subscription. Today, with ever more distracting excuses available at out fingertips, “tomorrow” can turn into “next week” in the click of a like, share or subscribe button. The need to focus has never been this imperative and getting distracted has never been this easy. What exactly is procrastination? Very briefly then, procrastination is when one avoids an important task by doing several other

low-priority tasks. For example, suppose you have a presentation due on Monday. You have decided that you will work on it on Sunday. On Sunday, you may choose to do any or all of the following: put on a face pack and watch “adorable puppy” videos, have a one-hour lunch and a two-hour nap, organise your table and hope to create the right mood for the presentation, and finally - sit down to work, type out the title of the presentation, then get up to make yourself some coffee. Why do we procrastinate? Chances are that we either find the work boring and therefore do less boring things instead, or that we are afraid of failing at the task, and instead do things that give us easier satisfaction, like cleaning, sending emails, etc. Perfectionists are known to procrastinate for fear of churning out anything less than perfect. Procrastination is in general detrimental to one’s career and personal life – work piles up, you are overwhelmed and crabby, the feedback isn’t great, and you may potentially feel disillusioned. For those like me looking for solutions to procrastination, the internet is full of ideas (provided we get to them, and not fall into the YouTube rabbit hole on the way). Once you have gone through those ideas and decided how to schedule and prioritise your work (to-do list, bullet journal, etc.), comes the hardest part – doing it.

1. Eliminate distractions

2. Assign time slots

Unfortunately, there is no getting around this one (believe me, I have tried). You just have to shut out distractions; Bye-bye to email and social media alerts and “timeplease” to everyone at home. For those of us who tend to find ourselves halfway through episode 13 of that new web series we said we would watch only one episode of, extra assistance is at hand! Web browser extensions like Pomodoro allow you to pre-assign work and break times, even letting you select websites that you wish to be blocked during your work times.

Doing this limits the excuses you can make for yourself, and helps you correct your planning fallacy – the tendency of the human mind to underestimate the time it takes to accomplish a task. So next time you will know that you definitely won’t finish that report in an hour. Apps like Trello help you organise your work,; others like Focus help you time your tasks and keep you on track.

3. Don’t overthink

4. Swallow the bitter pill

Temper those thoughts of self-pity, anger at the person who assigned you the task, guilt about not doing it earlier, or how silly you’ll look presenting it on Monday. None of that helps. So just get down to business!

The temptation is to do the smaller, easier tasks first. Instead, do that big, boring, and in all likelihood the most important task first. It will only get better from there! Will these efforts bear fruit? As a procrastinator on the mend, I would say yes. Besides, isn’t anything that promises guilt- free relaxation at home and a stress- free time at work worth a try?


Learnt It All In The Kitchen A millennial picks up life lessons through cooking. Ria Roy, A Student of Economics

I am often described as a person with a serious obsession with food. Dismissing such descriptions, still I find myself stuck in a vicious cycle of craving, cooking, admiring the creation to absolutely destroying it. As blatant as it sounds, cooking is rewarding. An effort that gives me a lot more in return. Belonging to the “Gen X” or being a “millennial”, as most call it, brings a whole new dimension to the simple skill of knowing how to put beauty on a plate. It is no exaggeration to say that cooking improves your life greatly. In the present fast-paced age, due to the easy means by which ready-to-eat food is available, people are neglecting to learn cooking. There may be a lot of alternatives to feed yourself but being able to cook is something essential to leading an enriched life. As tough as it sounds, once you master this skill a degree of independence is assured. You become enough unto yourself. Food as we know is an integral aspect of any culture. However food these days has also made its way to pop culture. Star World airs ‘Masterchef’ and Facebook offers ‘2 min hacks’ to all things cooking. How about we start describing the journey towards learning to cook as “the Spark Phase”; the sudden curiosity that you have while tasting the best butter chicken as to how someone can craft a piece of heaven. Perhaps using the gift of technology that we millennials have, the in-

ternet. And what if you fail. The kitchen is a place where even failures can taste good. Sometimes living alone can be the greatest gift of all, or maybe the boldest gift parents can give to their child. To worry and still be confident that one’s child can learn and be a stronger person. Food is like a friend whose company rarely disappoints. I moved to a new city and was struggling with my introvert self. I found solace in the kitchen. I took baby steps each day as to conquer the task of making my own masterpiece. This learning of mine was a super win-win situation. My mother worried less, I never slept hungry and I became a favourite amongst all the mothers of my friends. The best part of a home-cooked meal is the feeling of abundance it gives. Everything that you have and need is right in front of you. Cooking speaks to all of my senses. The memories that each flavour holds is incomparable and evokes a tinge of nostalgia. When you cook for someone or for a special occasion it brings a feeling of contentment to know that you provided a special moment. Their smiles are your appraisal. Food brought in structure to my life which made it more positive. Let’s sync our lives with cooking; after all cooking requires confident guesswork, improvisation and dealing with failure in creative, fulfilling ways.


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The best part of a homecooked meal is the feeling of abundance it gives.






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GO D R E J E ON ’ S FRONT- LOA D WA S H I N G M AC H I N E S New range boasts Allergy Protect Technology. In 2017, Godrej Appliances launched a range of advanced front-load fully automatic washing machines to strengthen its presence in the high-end washing machine segment. This range of Eon machines is designed to deliver a complete hygienic wash, eliminating stains, allergens and bacteria. These machines have Allergy Protect mode, a unique programme that eliminates seven common allergens such as pollen, dust mites, house dust, dog dander, cat dander, fungus, mold and four types of common harmful bacteria. Its unique technology is certified by an internationally reputed agency, Allergy UK. A superior wash experience is assured with many distinct useful features built into these machines. It has 15 unique wash programmes to cater to every washing need. An anti-crease function is added to make ironing easy. A short, 15-minute

wash programme offers an ideal solution for less soiled clothes and so does the 3-level stain selection option. An attractive, user-friendly touch panel makes it easy for anyone to operate the machine. Eco-Balance technology helps conserve water and energy. The Godrej Eon fully automatic front load washing machines come in variants of 6 kg and 7 kg and are available in two contemporary colors – White and Silver. Competitively priced, these machines offer higher value and are backed with a nationwide sales and service network. Recently, a home maker wrote to us, “My children’s frequent trips to the doctor are now a thing of the past. All thanks to the Allergy Protect Technology of Godrej Eon washing machines!”



Building A Strategic Partnership Co-creation defines Godrej Aerospace and Rolls-Royce’s alliance. Narendra Patwardhan, Godrej Aerospace

Executing well in aerospace calls for exceptional expertise in managing projects as well as the building of new capabilities. Unstinted support of the top management is crucial.

In March 2018, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Centre of Excellence of Godrej Aerospace (GA), Mr. Kishore Jayaraman, President Rolls-Royce-India and South Asia, said “This contract (with GA) brings Rolls-Royce closer to its dream of co-creating aero-engines in India. We are constantly developing and rationalizing strategic partnerships across our supply chain.” These words aptly describe the nature of the relationship that GA and Rolls-Royce have been able to develop over the last 4 years. It is a strategic partnership and is about co-creating – a new facet of aerospace industry in India. Mr. Jamshyd Godrej affirmed the above by saying “We have established this Centre of Excellence which is a step forward in realizing our vision of expanding our footprint and partnering with global players for developing aerospace in India.” These developments have come about against the backdrop of GA winning the ‘Best New Supplier Award for 2017’ from RollsRoyce. GA’s consistent high scores on delivery, quality, cost, management, technology & leadership have helped win this coveted

award. This new Centre of Excellence will play a significant role in helping GA become a strategic partner of higher significance for Rolls-Royce and other global players. Over a decade ago (2005) GA began contributing to the global aircraft industry with precision-machined components. Over a period of time, GA partnered with several global OEMs for supplying intricate components like sheet-metal and tubing assemblies, actuators and other structures. In 2014, GA won from Rolls-Royce their first contract for manufacturing Unison Rings. This contract required us to understand the Rolls-Royce specifications and obtaining approvals for every special process. Manufacturing methodology had to conform to Rolls-Royce’s Supplier Management System Requirements (SABRe). While this was a marathon task, it was also a great learning opportunity. Rolls-Royce was very supportive as they were very keen to have us as their partner. They wanted to ensure that the supply chain in India first met their technical expectations, before it could be scaled up for larger business. The journey was not without hiccups –

both minor and major. For example, the equipment ordered for a critical machining operation did not arrive on time and we had to outsource the job to meet the commitments. This was difficult as our partner also had to qualify and meet the stringent SABRe of RR, besides having AS-9100 certification, which we already had. This was a great test for GA’s supplier management skills. Our hardworking and dedicated team overcame this challenge and many others to create the first level of confidence in GA’s capabilities amongst the technical teams of RR. GA continued to move forward and finally produced and submitted for the Unison Rings the First Article Inspection Report (FAIRs). Once again, no smooth sailing here and yet another learning experience. GA learnt that it was not only enough to do sound technical work but also to provide as proof thorough detailed documentation. GA learnt to carry out documentation to satisfy the global aerospace industry. The next stage required GA to prove their capacity to deliver at the required rate. GA had to go through a process called the Production Readiness Review (PRR), a must


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for becoming a supplier to RR. Yet another learning for GA. GA teams learnt about the measures to be adopted to protect delivery times against any failures in the supply chain. RR’s valuable guidance ensured our success. Similarly, GA cleared many critical stages successfully and finally got qualified as a reliable supplier of Rolls-Royce. GA teams continued to refine their processes to build and keep safety stocks to ensure 100% ontime delivery. Throughout the decade long journey, Rolls-Royce’s Supplier Engagement Plan helped GA to evolve and move forward. GA’s scorecards, quality maturity assessments, supplier planning assessments and others clearly showed that they were progressing continually. At the same time, some of the outcomes were unexpected and eye-opening for GA. Visual boards were used to share these with GA’s entire team– a technique advocated by Rolls-Royce. In 2015, having established basic capabilities, GA submitted their bids to RR for more complex components requiring fabrication, sheet metal forming, welding and machining. GA started the development of these in

parallel to the supply of Unison Rings. All of this threw at GA completely different types of challenges in the areas of die design, welding methods, machining of tough-to-machine materials and the like. GA struggled for the development of these products as also in managing the project. GA realized that New Product Development needs to be managed differently from operations. This was learnt at a substantial cost! GA continued to plough on and successfully delivered two out of four new products in 2017. Today, GA is ready to deliver the remaining two products. GA will soon be in a special league in the eyes of RR once all four complex new products are supplied. The success thus far enabled GA to sign another contract in 2017 with RR for the manufacture of aero-grade brackets. This contract had by far the largest scope of work in terms of the number of products to be developed (324) and a host of new developments to be undertaken. This project entails a large capital investment in machinery and the related facilities. New capabilities had to be developed for the approval of complex manufacturing processes, procurement of

new type of materials, new engineering software, inspection methodologies and so on. In brief, a completely new business. GA formed a new and young team to bring into play a set of fresh ideas and youthful energy to work on the project. To execute better, GA decided to have separate teams for project management and product development. Taking cognizance of GA’s continual progress in successfully managing new challenges, in 2018 RR decided to award yet another contract to GA for the supply of brackets. Rolls-Royce will now source about $30M over a period of five years which is expected to increase going forward. Consequently, GA decided to set up the Centre of Excellence to strengthen the partnership and establish a strong foothold in the industry. At the core of GA’s deep commitment to making the engagement a huge success lies their constant endeavor to cultivate respect-based business relationships.



Must-Haves For Good Execution A melange of views from the pros. Kaustubh Shukla, Anil Lingayat, Anup Mathew and Dinesh K. Sharma

Which according to you is a critical skill or trait that a manager should have to execute consistently? Please Explain.

Are managers who are good at execution born or made? Your views.

Kaustubh Shukla

Anil Lingayat

Being perceptive could be a trait that can save a manager’s day. Being on plan requires a coordinated interplay of several abilities and skills – planning per se (visualising the course of events and preparing for them), work break down, delegation, communication, creating shared understating, conflict resolution and so on. All this can be brought into play by following the five key principles of management: focusing on the customer, producing quality work the first time, having a strategic approach to improvement, improving continuously, and encouraging mutual respect and teamwork. However, all this can remain a pipe dream if a manager is not perceptive, that is, sensitive to signals, signs, cues, the unexpressed, and body language of the stakeholders – customers, vendors and employees. Perception being a right brain activity, enhancing it can be challenging. However, the efforts put in can be highly rewarding once a threshold level is crossed.

I personally believe that for executing consistency on plan, result and process focus are required, adequately augmented with undying perseverance. Result focus because it drives a person. As he strives to get the results he will encounter many obstacles. He should be able to overcome these obstacles in the short term and should be able to develop capabilities to prevent them in the longer term. This is the PDCA cycle. All this must be backed with a healthy amount of perseverance as the journey to excellence is never ending. Perseverance is the only quality that will enable him to pursue the path of continued improvement.

Both. As in the case of skills, there are some who are good at it and there are some who are not. I believe, that early upbringing counts. Even amongst siblings we observe vastly different levels of execution skills. Maybe some are born with skills to get things done. However, this is not to say that execution skills are not learnable. Execution skills can be learnt in an ecosystem where learning is encouraged and is supportive of development. A leader can create an amiable, amenable, congenial work atmosphere. Nurturing, coaching, critiquing can help inculcate in people superior execution skills. A combination of an inner desire to learn and a relentless pursuit of the PDCA cycle supported by a leader and the ecosystem can certainly build superior execution skills in all.

My personal belief is that execution competencies are present in the majority of managers. Recognising this fact and taking steps to bridge the gaps wherever they may be can lead to better execution across functions in a business. We have to make good execution a way of life through sheer practice, perseverance and encouragement. Personally, I believe that good execution capability can be nurtured in people and that is why it is found that organisations with strong process orientation are better at execution consistently.


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Not all managers are born with the ability to execute. Such managers can be trained to execute well. Anup Mathew

D.K. Sharma

In my opinion, communication skills is one of the most critical skills sets that a Project Manager should have but this often escapes people as they believe hard, technical skills are more essential than a soft skill like communicating well. The importance of good communication is grossly underestimated. A Project Manager usually spends a significant part of his time communicating with his team members and other stakeholders of the project. He should be able to communicate effectively to help inspire and build the team. A good Project Manager needs to communicate effectively the project objectives and goals, roles and responsibilities, processes, protocols and the methods for resolving issues. Besides coming up with novel solutions for the problems faced, he needs to communicate well enough to evolve a consensus amongst those involved. Communication gaps need to be eliminated to ensure that projects are executed according to plan. I also believe empathy is a wellspring from which communication that works, flows.

Agility and resourcefulness are the key attributes to execute successfully on any plan. Unexpected happenings are the order of the day, particularly in a project environment. It could be a change in specifications, stop or start due to the customers interventions, or due to resource constraints. Many a time, quality and unravelling of unexpected tasks add to the challenge. Agility is required in decision-making for which the manager must have the requisite knowledge of products and processes. Experience shows nearly 60% of the delays occur at the start of a project. It is here that resourcefulness helps in the form of persuading customers about the necessary set of goaheads so that work can begin. A timely start helps a great deal in preventing delays that derail a project at the start.

In my view, project managers who are consistently good at execution can be developed. In the construction business, each project is unique and our managers learn something new from each assignment. These learnings could be both from the challenges that were met successfully and those which were not. Over a period of time, their accumulated experience gives them sufficient learnings and know how which in a way becomes their own knowledge for future projects. Effective project managers do have specific managerial skills as well as technical skills. It is only through experience or working with seasoned managers that they can learn to leverage their own set of skills to identify potential opportunities and pitfalls. Anticipating risks that may derail the project is also a key capability that can be acquired through experience.

Not all managers are born with the ability to execute. Such managers can be trained to execute well by creating a supportive environment. Most supervisors are made Managers due to their technical skills – but improving their soft skills can convert them into being good at execution. Empathy, the ability to collaborate and negotiate well are also some of the key skills which can enhance a manager’s ability to execute strongly. Managers who execute well always learn from their successes and failures and apply lessons learnt to sharpen their skills. They also learn from the experiences of others - seniors, colleagues and juniors. In my experience, performance dash-board visibility across the business helps in the achievement of business results and to create a culture of ongoing improvements.

Anticipating risks that may derail a project is also a key capability that can be acquired.



The Quintessential Team Player Like in football, success in business depends on co-operation. Debasis Sahu, President’s Office

History has examples galore where mankind went on to realize unimaginable things. Many of them in the early era were largely an act of individual brilliance, like some form of Harry Potter wizardry.

Working as a team gained in relevance once our basic survival needs were taken care of, and we had that urge to go beyond what we thought was previously possible. Right from the 1st manned space mission to Mars colonization plan, the success of all missions has hinged and will hinge on team work. We don’t have to look beyond the beautiful game of football to understand the strong correlation of team work to success. As I write this, the World Cup is in full fervor. The round of 16 has just about started and thus I believe, this is an opportune moment to draw parallels with the game. Sports, as they say, is a great metaphor for life. Argentina and Portugal had arguably the best players in the world, namely Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo respectively.

But both these countries couldn’t make it to the quarter finals as they were outplayed by France and Uruguay. Neither of these teams had any player who had the skill, experience and accomplishment of Messi or Ronaldo. Both France and Uruguay won their matches on the strength of their team play. France simply outran Argentina with their young and agile team, scoring three goals in a fireworks-filled 11 minutes. Uruguay did a similar thing with a clinical precision that could match that of a team of cardiac surgeons. No flashy display of dribbles or any such frills. Only superb timing and a sharp capitalizing on opportunities. Each player in both these teams was aware of what he needed to do, which was decided by the coach and captain consider-

ing his strengths and weaknesses. Once the strategy for the game was decided jointly, individual opinions and apprehensions had to be put aside firmly. Each team player had to suspend his own judgement and commit himself wholeheartedly to the overall strategy decided and do what he was expected to do. While adhering to one’s role is necessary, it might not always be sufficient. A good team player has to be flexible enough to adapt to any new changes that the situation may demand, like filling in for another team mate or sharing the burden of a key team member. Selflessness is the hallmark of a good team player. Deciding when to assist another player rather than chasing individual glory ensure that the opportunities that come the team’s way are not missed.


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A good team player has to be flexible enough to adapt to changes that the situation may demand

In a business environment where there are strict timelines and delivery schedules to be adhered to, knowing when to pass on one’s work to fellow members is crucial for meeting stakeholders’ expectations. It’s imperative that the overall objective is borne in mind at all times and actions are taken in sync with the objective. A good team player routinely apprises the leader and the rest of the team about any new information he thinks is likely to impact the team’s performance. Sharing one’s own unique perspective of the situation can make the difference between winning and losing. It’s difficult to predict who is going to win the World Cup but there can be no doubt that the eventual winner is not just going to be a star-studded team playing as individuals but a balanced side rallying around each other in their pursuit of ultimate football glory. Meanwhile, we could all do well to see our professional lives as a game of football. The ball being passed around to each other for

moving ahead, outmaneuvering the competition, opening new gaps, occupying them with moves that are not only differentiated but also well-coordinated and timed. I can’t agree more with what the character played by Al Pacino said in the movie ‘Any

Given Sunday’ - “You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, of life or football, the margin for error is small. One half step too late or too early and you don’t make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in the game every second, every minute. We claw with our finger nails for that inch. Because we know that when we add up all those inches, they are going to make the difference between WINNING and LOSING.” Needless to say, the inches are gained as a team with every member fighting in unison for them. Being a great team player is the need of the hour. It’s time the unsung and taken for granted players get their due. Fabio Cannavaro was the quintessential team player, leading Italy to FIFA World Cup victory in 2006. Alas! In the absence of players like him, Italy does not even feature in the 2018 football World Cup.



Reclaim Your Life Physiotherapist Dr. Sunita Dave transforms lives at GMH. Team CHANGE

The aim is to reduce pain and minimize dysfunction by using evidence-based techniques.


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With changing lifestyles, and long and hectic work schedules, an increasing number of people, irrespective of their age, are suffering from health disorders that hinder their pursuit of worldly success. Today, we are slaves of technology with most jobs requiring us to be seated for long spans of time and working on computers, answering emails from our phones and more. The demands of jobs are such that movement is restricted. The lack of much-needed physical activity results in disorders related to poor posture, weakening of muscles, fatigue and stress. Our psychological health gets affected leading to depression, and other mental health issues affect our productivity at work and the quality of our personal lives. The feeling of being tired, listless, and having random pains leads us to seek medical help, albeit not always the right kinds. These symptoms seldom go away by popping pills; side effects surface soon enough. Some also seek out gyms and other fitness classes to help relieve pain but these can actually do more harm than good. So it’s back to where we started, at pills for pain, and the vicious cycle continues. If this is you, then a possible way out is physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is the science of diagnosing and treating injuries or diseases by using physical means. The aim is to reduce pain and minimize dysfunction by using evidence-based techniques. It covers everyone from infants to seniors in areas such as musculoskeletal, orthopedics, rheumatology, respiratory, neurology, injuries including sports, and the like. Physiotherapy has also proven to be useful for people with psychiatric problems, post-natal fitness issues and those undergoing treatment for cancer. Physiotherapy plays a major role in enhancing the quality of life by keeping people fit, mobile, and independent. Dr. Sunita Dave, a renowned physiotherapist at Godrej Memorial Hospital (GMH), has been instrumental in transforming lives through her healing touch. With in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology and psychology, she focuses not only on the physical but also on the psychological, emotional, and social well-being of the individuals. It is with great expertise that she develops a customized physical therapy program that is a blend of exercises, lifestyle modifications, and the use of specialized techniques. Dr. Sunita Dave cultivates a strong bond with her patients through her compassion and commitment to heal them.

Physiotherapy helps you get rid of your pains and aches as well as physical limitations and makes you fitter to lead a fuller life. Here are a few of the innumerable testimonials that Dr. Sunita Dave has received that speak volumes about how she helps those who consult her.

Adi Godrej Physiotherapy is very important for modern healthcare, especially in the later years of life. Physiotherapy is preventive as well as curative. I have benefitted tremendously from physiotherapy and plan to continue it regularly.

Dr. Rekha Pandey A couple of years ago, I had surgery and the recovery wasn’t as expected. Weakness, fatigue and pain persisted and instead of taking the easy way out (popping pills), I consulted Dr. Sunita Dave. Through her patience and deep understanding of my condition, she developed a special program of exercises and therapies which helped me regain strength in a matter of a few weeks. Being a school principal, my work involves long hours at the desk, which over the years had impacted my posture and weakened my back. The comprehensive rehabilitation program of Dr. Sunita Dave helped me get better quickly. In a gentle manner, she forces you out of your comfort zone which you may find challenging initially but it gets you well in a while.

Nariman Bacha An accidental electrocution (22,000 volts), gave my uncle 70% burns, mostly on the chest. He survived 45 days of hospitalization, after which he was advised Physiotherapy for complete rehabilitation. Dr. Sunita Dave treated him daily for two months and he made phenomenal progress, that was nothing short of a miracle. She also treated my father when he had a fall at home which fractured his hip. He underwent surgery at Godrej Memorial Hospital. She treated him with physiotherapy exercises and to our amazement, my father started walking without a walker, climbing stairs with minimum support, all within three days of reaching home. Dr. Sunita Dave customises rehabilitation regimes for her patients and her personal touch adds greatly to their efficacy.

Huvakhsh Mahuvawala I was in severe pain for two years and was diagnosed with disc degeneration in my L5S1 and L1-2 vertebrae and also had severe spondylosis with pain extending to my legs. Dr. Sunita Dave put me on strict postural training to straighten the spine and then to strengthen the muscles. In the first month my pain reduced by 80% and after a while the back pain also vanished and my neck got better. She worked hard with me and ensured that I didn’t give up. Today, my posture is normal, the pain has gone and all the credit goes to her.

Adil Palsetla My right leg was fractured and was put together with a rod and five screws. Physiotherapy was given by Dr. Sunita Dave. Initially, the pain was unbearable but over a few months, I was able to stand, walk without a walker all because of her hard work and the latest therapies used. Good thoughts, good words and good deeds are innate to her and I wish her all the success.

Shivdutt Parmar Five years ago, I began having pain all over my body. But since it was intermittent, I ignored it. As the pains became frequent and severe, doctors diagnosed it as fibromyalgia and prescribed medication. The pain was widespread and muscular particularly in the neck, jaw, eye and head. My calf muscles too ached but the pain was secondary. Numerous consultations with mainstream and alternative medicine practitioners did not help. The pain would go away for a while only to return soon. It is at this juncture that I consulted Dr. Sunita Dave. She developed a special regime for me that helped in relieving my pain in a short span of time. She worked on my spine and the results were surprising. In just four weeks I could get rid of my medicines and began feeling much better. She indeed has a healing touch. Godrejites are fortunate to have access to Dr. Sunita Dave to take care of their physical well being. Don’t ignore those nagging pains. Consult her right away at Godrej Memorial Hospital.






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M OT I O N CH A I R S BY G O DRE J I N TE RI O A chair that is designed to make you move. The intensely competitive nature of today’s work calls for working schedules requiring users to be seated for long hours. Ergonomic field studies indicate that static postures are associated with an increasing number of health concerns such as strain on the body, leading to fatigue and over time, even spinal injuries. MOTION is a chair designed to adapt to users’ posture changes, encouraging them to be playfully active while sitting. Active seating means that the body remains alert thereby bringing greater focus and higher productivity at work, thus reducing the risks associated with prolonged static sitting. MOTION has a unique synchronous Easy Flex system (patent pending) which enables dynamic body movements and encourages frequent changes in posture. MOTION Chair’s back tilt with variable limit adjustment up to three positions can be

used based on the nature of the activity performed. The unique flexing and spring back motion of the chair is a result of complex design construction and hi-tech compounded engineering plastics. The light cantilevered seat and back frame gives MOTION an organic form making it visually refreshing - a perfect chair for creating a productive and happy workplace. MOTION is available in full-back, mid-back and visitor chair variants with 10 colour options. This will benefit users who value comfort, flexibility in use and robustness, within an affordable budget for use at office or home. MOTION has won accolades such as INDIA DESIGN MARK – Good Design award, ACETECH DESIGN WALL – GOLD award winner, GREENGUARD GOLD – Green Design certification, AIOTA - Ergonomic Design certification.



Reviews That Work Moving from criticism to critique. Kartik Modi, Business Excellence Cell

Reviews enable successful execution through timely corrective actions and building of capabilities. Reviews of all kinds are an integral part of the modern way of managing. Almost everything that happens in an organisation is reviewed by someone at some time or the other. Performances of individuals, teams/ functions as well as businesses should be reviewed regularly. In this article, I wish to share my perspectives on conducting reviews of businesses and teams/functions. As business scenarios become more complex and competitive, it is commonly assumed that reviews help reviewees to align themselves better with the changing context for sustaining and improving performance. The reality sadly is to the contrary. A quick survey of the reviewees reveals that they find most of the reviews , belittling, confusing and an overall waste of time; reviews are largely dreaded. A considerable amount of energy is spent justifying what happened as opposed to what should be done to move forward for improvement.

Why should we conduct reviews? To most people, reviews are conducted to know about the happenings in a business in general and specifically about competitive actions, the status of improvement initiatives, utilization of resources, impact of government policies and the like. Also, to know how the business is fairing on its key performance indicators both on the demand and supply sides. Income statements are also reviewed to know about the revenues, costs and margins. In brief, reviews are conducted to get a snapshot of what is happening in a business at a given point in time. Reviews are conducted to give suggestions for course correction to improve performance and remove any bottlenecks. I believe apart from all these rational reasons, it is important to have some emotional reasons that appeal to reviewees. These reasons should be such that they inspire corrective actions with vigour. I believe the fundamental purpose behind conducting reviews should be to help all concerned per-

form better. If this purpose is always kept in view and emphasized, then the process of reviewing will be pleasant and more acceptable for bringing about the desired change. The review should focus more on what was done well and should be uplifting tonally so that people are energised to do better.

What should be reviewed? The first and most obvious answer is results, vis-a-vis the plan and against the previous year. All significant variances should be underscored and elaborated. The process of elaboration is the key to making reviews effective. If the elaboration touches the variances alone and some kind of justification, then nothing actionable can emerge. However, if the elaboration covers the causes for the given results, then remedial actions can be identified readily. Activities that influence results also should be reviewed and a plan of action should be developed to make them more potent. It is important to review both the processes and the results to help people perform


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At the end of the review, people should walk out of the room feeling empowered and stronger in their resolve to make things happen.

better. Reviewing only the results is not sufficient. Corrective actions planned must impact the lead measures that drive the lag measures or results. For example, if the sales are below plan, then we must look at the activities that lead to the generation of sales. As lead measures are within the team’s control, they are actionable and their impact is predictable. By clearly assigning actions to be taken by individuals, accountability can be established. Further, by assuring support, commitments can be strengthened. Often, reviewers may not be fully aware of the business context; updating reviewers on the changing business context could be helpful. This understanding is crucial for taking important decisions for allocating resources and removing bottlenecks as well as policy constraints.

How should reviews be conducted? Very thoughtfully and with empathy. The reviewer’s earnestness to understand why things are the way they are should be felt by

all. Deep listening is also an important ingredient of the review process. Reviews should be conducted in a manner that upholds our core value of respect. All the nuances of respect should by displayed in the presentations by reviewees and the feedback given by reviewers. The data presented should be fact-based and authentic. If the purpose of the review is to help people perform better, then the areas where help is required should be clearly specified by the reviewees, and the reviewers should clearly indicate areas where it is possible. At the end of the review, people should walk out of the room feeling empowered and stronger in their resolve to make things happen. Focussing on positives does help. Also, clarity on “next steps” can be of great value. All these changes are not easy to implement from the next review onwards, However a few sessions and some introspection on what was done right and what wasn’t can lead to a improvement.

Measures that may help It’s important to fix frequency, time and venue in advance so that most of the reviewees can be present and not lose out on the collective understanding of what needs to be done. Reviews should be timebound and not stretch endlessly. Balanced participation by all must be encouraged and even the silent ones should be sought out to be heard. Achievements should be recognised and applauded. The tone should be that of building on strengths as opposed to hammering on weaknesses. Always focus on outcomes, giving clear roadmaps. Critique if you must but shun criticism. Draw on the past to understand the present better. The topic of reviews is a huge one and to cover all of its aspects in a short piece such as this is an impossibility. In the end, I would say that spending some time on improving the process of reviewing can yield multifold benefits that may surprise even a non- believer.



Building Bigger And Better Submarines Britain’s Astute class submarines are the result of bold decisions. Mikhil Bhatt, Corporate Procurement

Great execution is the outcome of exceptional leadership which challenges existing paradigms and is courageous enough to go beyond the proven best practice on one hand and on the other, is confident enough to use the latest technologies and best practices from other industries.

Ask any successful entrepreneur the secret of their success and they will always credit their team. High performance teams have one thing in common: execution excellence. The relentless pursuit to perfectly execute the operational plan and strategy is what sets these teams apart from the competition. The flattening of the world and unprecedented developments in technology have added another layer to the timeless mantra for success stated above. Artificial Intelligence and virtual and augmented reality are adding new capabilities and today’s knowledge worker can do the same age-old things faster, better and creatively. These new capabilities empower individuals to tackle some of the toughest problems and take huge risks. It is these bold decisions that disrupt traditional practices, fields and industries. Take for example the case of the design and development of the British navy’s new Astute Class submarines. The British Navy had to replace its aging fleet of submarines and the Astute class of submarines were supposed to be the front-line of defence. The new submarines had to be able to travel faster, quieter, achieve a higher range at sea, have better living standards for its crew and pack an array of weapons. But the most important element was that

all this had to be done at no increased cost. Bill Oliver, who was the programme director of this project for BAE Systems Marine, said that this was one of the most complicated projects ever undertaken by a group of engineers, even compared to building a space vehicle. The project brief included 14,000 individual requirements making this a hugely complex project to design and complete on time and to cost. Submarines, like aircraft, are “systems of systems” that involve multiple systems in various technology areas that need to fit in perfectly with each other and operate in harmony. BAE Systems was the prime contractor for the Astute project. The challenges in this project were massive and the solutions to these challenges had to be innovative and multi-faceted. The most difficult engineering and design strategy decision that the team made was to pioneer new modular construction techniques. Innovating across all major systems and sub systems meant that the team had to build new relationships with the Ministry of Defence (customer) as well as their suppliers in the supply chain. Modularisation was a risky decision. It had never been done before. Submarines were always built sequentially; the hull is built first then other components are installed inside.


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The cost savings helped the team to design a larger hull to accommodate a bigger reactor for a 50% larger weapons payload.

The electronic items are fitted into the submarine through the hatches and hence due to the space constraints the fitting takes a lot of time. Modular construction required a huge change in the mindset of the submarine design engineers. This was different because not only did they need to design a great submarine but also parts that fitted well with each other. The team had to be convinced that spending more time and effort at the early planning stage was important to reduce overall costs. A project of this magnitude and innovation complexity cannot be completed by design innovation alone. This requires innovation across the supply chain and BAE systems had to forge very deep relationships with its component suppliers and work with a cross-functional team of experts across the value chain. A lot of technology had to be used to design the components and BAE systems and partners were able to make excellent use of tools like virtual reality to manage the internal space. For the first time in the history of submarine-building, the submarine was entirely designed on a computer. The Astute submarine was broken down into nine hull sections and 11 main modules of equipment. There was a reactor section, a 400-ton command and control unit that had

more than 30 mini modules! Ultimately, BAE systems was able to cut design time by 25%, and production time by 30% compared to previous submarine projects, and also build a larger submarine. For a 2 Billion Pound contract, these savings were tremendous. The cost savings also enabled the team to design a larger hull, which enabled the submarine to have a bigger reactor and a 50% higher weapons payload. This was a significant achievement. This case study actually serves as a very important proof of concept: traditional manufacturing ways can be disrupted and complex projects can be innovatively executed. It requires the will of the team to take bold decisions that challenge the status quo. The relentless pursuit of excellence is important to be able to achieve creative results. The courageous use of new technologies, partnerships with the supply chain and experts from other industries are important levers to succeed. Effective teamwork is like a beautiful symphony that enables implementation of even the impossible tasks. As JRD Tata put it, “The effective execution of a plan is what counts and not mere planning on paper.�



JGTD: Just Get Things Done! A timeless classic revisited for getting things done in the digital age. Elizabeth Bocarro, Corporate Communications


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If everything is important, then nothing is. In today’s work world where we are flooded with information, with everything that needs to be done here and now or as of yesterday, how do we actually get things done? Ever had this feeling of “I think I’ve forgotten to do something, but I just don’t know what!”. Or that you’ve left work for the day thinking “Gosh! that email should have gone today, now what?”. That’s the feeling of having an ‘Open Loop’ - a key term in David Allen’s highly acclaimed book ‘Getting Things Done’ (GTD). If you’re like me, a person who feels a strong need to complete things, constantly thinks about the what-ifs, and relentlessly overanalyzes things to the point of that dreadful anxiety, then this book is perhaps the best one that I can recommend to you. Recently, having a coffee with my friend, I noted that she kept typing away into her laptop ceaselessly groaning how much more was to be done. After a while, I mustered up the courage to ask – “Is everything that you

are doing urgent and important?” Her response was - “Everything is to be done as of yesterday!” This response of hers triggered off a few questions in my mind – how does one deal with the stress of completing many things in a single work day? How does one prioritize the things to be done when the time available isn’t enough for even half of the tasks at hand? How does one get a semblance of control on one’s time to do things well? Not an easy set of questions to answer. The plight of my friend and the everyday challenges that I face pushed me to look for a solution that would help all of us facing similar challenges in getting things done. A short search led me to David Allen’s book. I wanted to understand his acclaimed system of getting things done to not only help my friend

but myself. The thought was to progressively become better at getting things done and live more fully. As people, we like closing on things, ‘getting things done’ in that sense. So, I sat down and figured – what is it that keeps us from getting things done – the answer was simple – Open Loops. Open loops are simply the tasks that you need to get done but for some worrying and undefined reason or the other, they are left incomplete. This causes stress and occupies precious mental energy that could be used for more productive tasks. The following are a few key learnings taken from the GTD system that I’ve personally found helpful.

1. Write down everything!

2. Prioritize.

3. The two-minute rule.

Yes! You read right! While we might be moving to a more digital way of doing things with millions of apps offering us nirvana, the traditional way of putting it all down in one place – whether work or personal – really helps in clearing the mind. Constantly trying to remind yourself of things to be done occupies double the brain space as compared to when you have everything written. Whether it’s making that investment, signing up for a gym during a festive offer, calling up your best friend abroad, cleaning your wardrobe, preparing an important note that the boss had asked for, and so on. Do write it all down.

Next comes tackling this list – what to pick first and how do we determine that? While this might be a slight deviation from the prescribed system, I found making an ‘effort vs impact matrix’ to be quite useful. You don’t have to be a B-school nerd to draw the twoby-two matrix. Put ‘impact’ on the X-axis and ‘effort’ on the Y-axis as shown in the diagram. Now, you have four choices. Which quadrant will be your first choice? In my view, you must first take up the task that falls in the quadrant of low effort and high impact (Q3) and then the tasks that require high effort for high impact (Q4) and so on. This system will help you maximize your cumulative impact at minimum effort. Isn’t this what people call ‘smart work’?

Next, assess your tasks by asking – do I require fewer than two minutes to do it? If the answer is “yes”, then what are you waiting for? Get it done! Don’t postpone completing these tasks. Postponing may be delayed by an hour or two, post lunch, the next day, and maybe even the next week... The two-minute rule helps in cutting through procrastination, and just ticking such tasks off your list boosts your sense of accomplishment. So, if it’s a two-minute call to your agency to check on the delivery of a creative, a follow up for the latest sales figures or just calling your mom to ask her to pick up pasta for dinner – just get it done.

use people’s strengths whilst sidestepping weaknesses. This kind of positive delegation is an effective way to get more things done. So, is this all that is there in this greatly helpful book? The answer is a resounding NO! The book has much more useful stuff than could be covered in a short piece. It has David Allen’s forty-year-long experience distilled into 300-odd pages. I believe those who want to get more things done must buy the book and study it carefully for carving out a way of working with the tools recommended. Whether you are digitally savvy or not, the

approaches recommended do work. Some of the solutions offered in the book could have a life-changing impact. But wait, we are missing one small but ever so important ingredient in the process… Chemical X a.k.a. Will Power. Because no matter how many lists you make, how many colours you code it in, no matter the amount of effort you put into planning, YOU still need to take that first step – which only your will power can help you take… Just get things done.

4. Delegate, mindfully. If you have someone reporting to you, it may be a good idea to delegate certain carefully selected tasks to your reportee. The idea behind delegation is to increase the overall capacity of your work unit to get things done. If you believe in developing people, then the best that you can do is delegate select tasks and provide non-intrusive supervision. Micro-managing is certainly not desirable nor is it a good way to help people grow. Delegation calls for a fine balance between giving a free hand and yet stepping in when called for. To get more things done,






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G O DRE J EV E H O M E C A M E RA S Plug and play cameras for remote viewing and auto record. Godrej Eve is India’s 1st wi-fi enabled home camera by Godrej Security Solutions. EVE is an acronym of the products’ unique selling proposition, Easy Viewing Everywhere. The EVE range of cameras can stream a home’s live feed to the smart phones of the owners anywhere, and help them remotely watch over their loved ones. The EVE range of home cameras is equipped with an auto-record function which on sensing any untoward motion sends a notification to the owner’s handset. EVE also enables one to remotely control their camera functions from anywhere across the world. It allows the user to easily view and check in on their pets, loved ones or workplace

anytime, anywhere. EVE is also equipped with a two-way communication feature, allowing users to listen in on happenings and respond through the camera. The Godrej EVE app enables a user to access all these functionalities of the camera. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices. These cameras can be used on the go by simply charging them using a power bank. Suitable for residential security requirements, the EVE series cameras are affordable and available in three variants: EVE - Mini, Cube and PT. These cameras are very easy to install, and are essentially plug and play.



Augmenting The Physical With The Digital Look back at the past to understand the present for reimagining the future. Sarita Sundar, Hanno

Sarita Sundar writes about how she curated the exhibition ‘Back to the Future’, which explores the history of Godrej through an archival lens.

Documents, images, oral histories, objects, and now digital files and YouTube links. These bits of history can seem like junk to an unfamiliar eye. However, for an archivist these offer insights into the identity and culture of an organization. We decided that our task as curators and designers was not only to make stories residing in the archives come alive but also to bring to the forefront the stories of the archivists themselves. The story of archives is a perpetual crusade to piece together fragments of history and identity – the brief we gave ourselves was to capture the excitement and the pitfalls of this journey. Richly peppered with as many anecdotes of euphoric discoveries as disappointing leads, ‘Back to the Future’ (B2F) presents material artefacts, oral histories, letters and documents that record and mark milestones in Godrej’s corporate history. A passing statement, such as “kuch pada hain Lalbaug mein” (there is something in Lalbaug) offered the promise of archival treasures and prompted the lifting up of creaky shutters in dusty, cobwebbed sheds. Events such as these become the triggers for the storytelling in ‘Adventures of Archives’, a section that features comic book frames on laddered

panels with QR codes linking to online content. Another adventure story was inspired by conversations with retired employees, who dug into the recesses of their memories to provide exciting leads to blurry faces in old black and white photographs. Clues found in other artefacts such as fraying fragments of paper – or a 1960s corporate film, long thought to be lost forever, provide content for other archival stories. Stories of marginalized people and objects often get ignored in big picture corporate narratives. However, it is these stories that add colour and give meaning to the culture and identity of corporates such as Godrej. To give voice to these stories of people and objects, B2F uses many diverse approaches such as creatively blending and augmenting the physical with the digital, placing appropriate film clips next to objects, and recreating the Vikhroli township with stations mounted on Kindle screens featuring black and white photographs of the various manufacturing plants. Also, oral histories of former employees are brought alive by loading them onto digital tablets. A key unlocks a slice of history by triggering a film on the manufacture of locks in the mid-20th century. These embodied experiences allow the visitors to

curate their own experiences and delve into the parts of history that may be of interest to them. Interactive elements such as a cut out panel encourage visitors to enact a role in noteworthy advertising campaigns and to upload their selfies on social media. On the day of the inauguration of the exhibition, the visitors were gifted soaps which were manufactured using the dies, composition and fragrances as were used in the early 20th century. Visitors could walk away with a print taken from the decades-old metal blocks used by a letterpress. From paper to digital, static to fluid; design, sound, and smell – all are strong memory triggers. These have been used to breathe life into otherwise inanimate records. The aim is to encourage a thoughtful pause, excite recognition or evoke nostalgia amongst people who have been a part of the Godrej family as employees, customers, dealers and associates. As a curator, l invite you to visit this exhibition that augments physical archives with digital support – do share with me what you liked and did not!

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Top The opening panel features a hand painted signboard of the title of the exhibition inspired by period typography often seen in archival documents Bottom An interactive installation uses a handle of a Godrej safe. Visitors are prompted to align the segments of the wheel to the commitments that Godrej had made in its early years towards the nation, its people, the earth, sustainability and quality. On aligning the wheel, archival documents that demonstrate these commitments are displayed on the connected digital screens.



Top Left and Right A part of the Pirojshanagar campus map is graphically recreated on the floor so that visitors can walk on the map and experience its history on digital screens by pausing at “stations� that store archival photos and oral history. Bottom Left First model of Godrej typewriter on display at the exhibition. Bottom Right The first ballot box, and Godrej typewriters from the 1960s.

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Welcoming Defeat Reproduced courtesy ‘Yesterday I was the Moon’ by Noor Unnahar

when you’ve lost everything and everyone, meet defeat with open arms. shake hands with it; warmly, firmly, happily. it has taught you all the things you shouldn’t do if you want victory next time – embrace it. your defeats are not a sign of your weakness; they never were and they will never be. they are the medals you need to decorate in your living room for the world to see so they can know where you are coming from, because in the end the victor and the defeated are kind of the same; one has won the battle and the other one knows how exactly it is won.



The Mantras For Success In Execution Godrej achievers share their learnings. Amit, Avitendra, Anshul, Pankaj and Sarath

At first, there usually is a plan, which is followed by a commitment, which then is followed by execution - a series of actions. Between the plan and the outcomes, a whole lot of things get done, at times in a structured manner and at others as demanded by the situation. There are many approaches that individuals adopt to achieve planned outcomes. CHANGE spoke to some of our individual achievers to reveal their recipes for successful execution. Excerpts of the conversations follow.

Amit Tilekar Godrej Appliances

Avitendra Sharma Godrej Locking Solutions and Systems

“One of the important aspects of successful execution is visualization. I visualize the roadmap for the desired outcome keeping in view the end result. After visualizing clearly the final outcome, I proceed to make a list of possible challenges and bottlenecks. I then take each of these as a mini project, assign priorites, develop an action plan to address them. If required, I revise the plan of each mini project until I reach a plan that works. Thus, complexity is reduced and each action becomes doable. Thinking through the details helps me minimize uncertainties.”

“In sales, keeping the team motivated every step of the way is critical for successful execution. All the techniques for selling and decision-making, including the ones learnt from the market, should be considered for application, always. Team members, whether new or otherwise, should come together regularly to ideate. The overall mission must be broken into specific milestones and progress monitored regularly so that performance can be tracked. We must always remember the basics like professional selling, building relationships, daily work reporting and the like. For the team leader, taking the responsibility but not the credit helps keep the morale of the team high.”


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Thinking through the details helps minimize uncertainties. Anshul Vyas Godrej Interio

Pankaj Mahajan Godrej Locking Solutions and Systems

Sarath Mohan Takasi Godrej Security Solutions

“In my view, perseverance is one of the most important factors for successful execution. In institutional selling, multiple decision makers are involved, hence interacting with each one of them is essential to move the sale forward. The challenges emanating from any of the decision makers have to be met through creative selling and finding new solutions. The support of functions such as design, marketing and manufacturing are of immense help. All this requires sustained effort which can only take place when one perseveres. Also, one has to go beyond the routine responsibilities and delve into customers’ ways of doing business for facilitating the placement of orders.”

“I have devised my own method of working that I have been following throughout my career and in all the different areas that I have worked in. I look at five aspects - explore, plan, learn, execute, review. For instance, in marketing function explore would relate to the plethora of opportunities in the market. The annual plan would be derived from SBP and ABP which I would break into monthly, weekly and daily plans. Next, the learnings from previous experiences are assimilated into the current way of working to make them more effective. I always proactively consult my colleagues. As I begin the process of execution, I frequently review the progress made and the actions taken to stay on track and refine the methods used. In challenging situations, I always keep a Plan B ready. I have learnt to focus on lead indicators instead of the lag indicators - the results in numbers. Once the lead indicators are acted upon, the results follow readily.”

“The freedom to take decisions has really helped me in executing successfully. Also, the pillars of our company – our values, have given me a vital frame of reference for taking actions and decisions. Customers or team members alike, I believe in making a lasting first impression. It is critical to maintain healthy relations over the long run and again, the freedom to take decisions matters most.” As you would have noticed, there is no single formula for successful execution. Every person learns to create his own way of getting things done successfully. As long as the underlying principles of their way of working are sound, chances are such ways will be sustainable.



Of Rituals And Symbols An out-of-the-box idea can inspire excellence. Parampal Singh, President’s Office

“I’ve never experienced something like this before… meeting a cheetah on the first day of a new job!” Some years ago, one of our Friends of CHANGE had joined an upcoming, dynamic private bank in a fairly senior role. He was asked to see the Chairman within a few minutes of reporting to work. Little did he know what lay in store for him. As he walked into the Chairman’s office, he noticed two giftwrapped packages on his desk. Wasting no time, the Chairman presented the packages to his new recruit and requested that he open them there and then. Our Friend decided to open the smaller package first. It was a signed copy of ‘Execution’ by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan; this was understandable as it was a highly respected book on the subject, and receiving a book that had made a lasting impression on the founder was not unusual. The Chairman held forth on the contents for a few minutes and then urged our Friend to read the book thoroughly. Then, more impatiently, he asked his new recruit to open the second package. It was decidedly heavier than the first and long enough to contain a violin. As our Friend opened the package, he was most surprised. It contained a clay replica of a cheetah – large enough to call attention to itself when seen in a room. The Chairman could see the look of bewilderment on our Friend’s face, but did not offer any explanation. He waited to hear what sense his new recruit made of this gift. As the metaphor dawned upon him, the new recruit slowly smiled. The bank our Friend joined was founded by a professional banker who had significant experience of working for a large multinational bank. The founder believed that if his bank continued to act like established

players, there was no way it could carve out a profitable space for itself. He realised that his bank had to be a cheetah. To drive home this point, he developed a ritual that he carried out personally for every senior recruit. It gave him an opportunity to communicate, impactfully, that superior execution was what he was looking for. In order to win, a mindset of executing flawlessly had to be embraced by his senior leadership team and inculcated by each leader within his team…hence, the artefact of the cheetah

that is fast, focused and fearless. Amongst other actions within the bank, it was this symbolic act that emphasised the importance of execution as a differentiator in an industry like banking where most other players were procedure-bound and slow to act. Today, this bank has indeed carved out a profitable niche for itself and having achieved success, it does not stand still or slow down… it continues to be cheetah-like as it sprints into the future.

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