LIFE CHOICES

Wake up, its morning

Had decided to keep myself cut off from anything during this years annual vacation. Just be able to enjoy the nature and its beauty with the two most important people in my life.

It worked and then we are mostly the same usual after sometime.

The international attack, the domestic violence and unfairness to students and entire capital , the bush fire, the turnpike injury, the retaliation and the crash.

What world we have created for ourselves.

We have stopped questioning and acting where we should. It may not have happened to us today but it can happen anytime. Political, cultural, environmental and carelessness.

Time to wake up and take our stand at least on one area.

I have started working on the being conscious on the environment aspect. Just being aware may not contribute much to the need of hour but its important we start somewhere.

 

LIFE CHOICES

Do you share in office?

Today I was telling my 3 year old a story to make her understand SHARING of things.

  • I was telling her how it can be so much fun if she and her cousin will share their toys. Both can have more fun and more options to play with.
  • Similarly in the story one kid doesn’t want to share his colours with his friend. The reason being if his colors are broken and not taken care of. So I was telling her that if we take anything from someone we should take care of that and not break or spoil it. So we need to be careful while using it. And also reciprocate the same gesture when the other person needs it.
  • And then when this kid finally agreed to share his colors, it brought so much happiness to the other one when he could color and make a nice painting which came out really well. So the joys we can spread when we share.

This is the age when they have lot of questions on each and everything you tell them. She asked me if I do sharing in my office. As of now for her what matters is that her parents go to work in morning and they do activities like her including colouring  in office.

We teach our kids about sharing. It’s equally relevant for us in life and how we work. How much of sharing and collaboration do we truly do in work (leaving behind the team work or assignment which we have to)? And how much do we just not do for the fear of competition. 

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Competition is good as it is expected to bring out the best and motivate people to improve and deliver better. But collaboration on core problem areas will help bring out the better for everyone operating therein. We see some glimpse of it when businesses come together as a part of industry member on change in certain rules/ regulations etc.

Collaborating/ Helping/Cooperating/ sharing – whatever word we use to describe it. It will help bring out the best practises on how we work and solutions to common issues.  

LIFE CHOICES

It’s not a step but entire process

Last 50 decades saw the shift from the practice of a person being jack of all trades making way for specialists. Specialists brought in focus on the skills, accountability and final goods or service delivery. So a banker traditionally used to handled entire customer experience from first visit to disbursement to final repayment. Now, from cold calling to document collection to credit evaluation, documentation, disbursement, servicing and collection is being handled by different specialists ( One point contact of Relationship Managers may/may not be available).

Entire process has now been divided into activities or roles each catering to one step of the entire chain. Each step or combination of multi steps is to be completed by the team assigned to handle it and then it’s others responsibility.

This is a good practice till the time every step is efficiently completed and is aligned to the end objective. The problem starts when inefficiency starts coming up in the various steps by focus only on completion of one’s respective role or step assigned. Reason probably could be to complete the step quickly in the fast paced demanding world where churning the maximum numbers has become the norm.

So does it help . May be in short term. But ultimately this will lead to the process not being completed or take longer to complete or quality suffers.

Let’s take an example of a process we all can relate to . Preparation of a meal which requires ordering the supplies , initial preparation eg cutting of vegetables , final cooking & serving .

No matter who is making the meal if the supplies are not of required quality or timely , if the vegetables are cut but are not of uniform size , the meal will not meet the time & quality standards & ultimately the efforts of everyone doesn’t yield the desired result . If person cutting the vegetable may in order to finish up the step doesn’t cut in the portion size required ( there may/may not be some quality benchmarks or service level agreements to be met) & instead cuts bigger just to finish , it will take longer to cook and the person doing the cooking will have to stretch beyond to get it done. If not then customer delivery will suffer.

But if everyone whether in cooking or banking or any other process starts looking at it from the end result perspective; the results and delivery would be different.

LIFE CHOICES

Outsourcing- Yesterdays core, Today’s non-core

15 years back I started my first assignment with a company which used to help lenders- Banks and HFC’s outsource their activity on collections and recoveries so that they can focus on their core activities. Not all organizations had dedicated collections and recovery team at that time and the ones which had, didn’t had the kind of success rate which they were expecting.

So over the period we have had many regulations with clarity coming on how to deal with  assets which went bad. A new segment of entities which are experts in restructuring became prominent 10 years back- asset restructuring companies – ensuring quick resolution to the situation of collections/recovery/bad assets.

Two years back, Bankruptcy act got finally in action and we have professionals who are expert in this area- the resolution professionals.

So the thing is till all this while, credit assessment was one of the core activities of the lenders along with mobilization and deployment of funds. That is something which has undergone a tremendous change over the period.

The concept of CPC/CPA ( outsourced model  of doing credit assessment ) started to grow.  It is on verge on becoming the model now with this being the new KPO boom in India.

 Good part

  • More opportunities being created and helping in quicker service delivery considering these units work on 24*7 basis.
  • Technology being used as an enabler. .

 Not so good part

Sales is partly outsourced ( in terms of channels like DSA , co lending models with fintech firms etc), credit assessment on verge of being outsourced to a large extent in the times to come, entities specializing in collection/recovery & turning around already  there.

As of now decision to whether lend or not rest with lenders, but who knows that may or may not continue 10 years down the line.

So who will take the responsibility of collecting back the amount from customers esp for banks which has the depositors money.

Or will there be a new model wherein the depositors themselves put the money and decide on where they want to invest- a market place similar to REITS etc.

LIFE CHOICES

Things not to do

We have been mostly used to identifying the to do list. Although many places , procedures & rules will show you both to do & not to do list ; but in general in deciding our own deliverable we focus on to do .
There’s so much to do. Endless at times. Personal goals , professional goals . About yourself , family , career , team , society etc etc .
At times it’s easy to focus on other side of same aspect of the side you are looking if it is getting cluttered .
Make a “Things Not to do list”. The list would actually be shorter & you can focus on it like-
  • Not to eat junk on 3 weekdays .
  • Not to shout 2 out of 4 times when you get angry .
  • Not to waste resources . Switch off all lights , fans , AC when not required .
  • Not to keep on buying stuff whose requirement you are not sure of .
  • Not to waste food.
  • Not to spend more than a specific time on screen after back to home.
  • Not to sleep later than 11.00 pm in 2 weekdays .
  • Not to reach late more than once in a week .
  • Not to go home late more than twice in a week .
This list won’t be long & you can make it focused on the key things which are important to you . What do you think?
LIFE CHOICES

Are we trying too hard?

You need to excel.  You need to give your best to what you do. If you really want to do something, you need to go the extra mile to achieve it. You need make sacrifices to achieve your dreams. No pain no gain.

We have heard or been told this a number of times starting from school time to almost every time post that.

And we do it and keep on trying doing it. Sometimes trying too hard to do it.

Are we taking too many things too seriously?  Have we stopped experiencing the moments in life and have become machines to deliver numbers or expectations again and again.

So basically whatever we say, we all end up thinking and doing short term even if we know it what matters is long term. And most of us do it. Trying too hard. I did it till very recently till yesterday.

But then I realized that one very important thing was being impacted in this quest to excel and trying hard. Our actions do have impact just not us but others as well. Either in personal life or work life. It’s difficult to stay solo or in silo.

So, if we look at the bigger picture the impact is just not on us but all others directly indirectly associated with us.

It’s not just about winning but a win which brings joy and happiness for all involved rather than a burnout.

There is a thin line between giving up and taking a short break to rethink & review. So it’s okay to take a quick break sometimes and trying hard is not helping. Give a new perspective to things when are back after the break.

LIFE CHOICES

When in doubt always ask

Considering that the question we may have may sound naïve or trivial, we don’t ask it. It happens with me a number of times. It seems it happens with lot others also.

In life and in most of the things today majority of it cannot be in absolute black and white, but what helps is knowing which side it is headed.

So today I had a discussion. Before that I had prepared myself to finally ask this question which I was holding back for long. When I finally asked, then it brought an important clarification for me as well as the person from whom I had sought this. Prior to this there was always a sense of mismatch in the expectation and deliverable. And I was afraid on bringing this conversation.

Now finally the way it got sorted out, it reinforces the point that when in doubt always ask, no matter how small or big the point under consideration is.

LIFE CHOICES

Urgent vs Urgent

Everything which comes these days is urgent only required as of yesterday. Why is that? Is it competition or is it faulty planning. Or is it that the real meaning of urgency is lost and every task needs to be done as soon as it’s identified.

Mobile and emails was once the enabler of meeting the urgencies and emergencies. But when every second thing starts falling in that category this looses its relevance and meaning.

URGENT

Receiving hundreds of emails and about half century of phone calls or messages everyday has become a norm for a higher proportion of people. Where does it leave us?

Email is no longer a desktop or laptop thing. It’s configured on phone and you keep on receiving alerts on real time.

How much it helps in addressing the real urgent situations is a big question?

Old saying that judicious use of every resource holds a lot of relevance in current situation.

I also have not been able to escape it but have done below:

  • Switched off email alerts on mobile. If something is really urgent, it would be called for rather than email. It also helps avoid the distraction which comes every second.
  • Attend the emails at specified intervals rather than as and when received while working on laptop or desktop.

Emails and Mobile is just one example. We see so much burnout and rush in most of the execution of tasks no matter which domain it is. People working late hours, weekends etc.

Time to rethink how we define and address urgent.

LIFE CHOICES

Do we need like everything we do ?

“It’s important to like what you are doing”, is a common saying. The logic is if you like something, you put your full heart into it and the outcome is better and satisfying as against when you don’t like it.

But honestly real daily lives might not give you this choice on everything you do.  Life’s not always about the options you want but it is exercising option from available choices. At times those options are not the ones you would have ever wanted.

Like

So what do you do?

You may or may not get everything you like. And it’s okay. What is important is that you have at least something which you like doing. And that liking should be strong enough to balance the other ones and help you manage them, the ones which you don’t like.

We face this Let’s take two cases of  student life and work life.

When you are studying: You may not like all the subjects, few classmates or faculty or few activities which you have to do in your school/ college, because of some reasons. You may have some choices to take up a particular subject, attend a particular class, and be part of certain activities. Some may be compulsorily part of curriculum or course which you have to do whether you like it or not.

When you are working: It may be the role or profile which you would have chosen in anticipation of something which in reality may turn out different. Or you couldn’t find the work of our choice. Your and your organizations goals are different. You had to take up the job due to certain circumstances or situations. In all these or similar situations you have to find your key motivation/ area of interest which you help you reach your goal.

In both:

What is important is that in the overall things, either you have or you create a sense of interest, motivation and likeness towards some of these.  The ultimate decision is on whether these “some” are strong enough to help you tide over the rest of challenges in terms of dealing with areas you don’t like. In case the answer is no, then it would make sense you spend some time and look for other alternatives. Change the subject or course, identify areas which are bothering you, try talk to people, start afresh without any pre notions.

I can understand that it’s easier said than done. Sometimes there are in fact no choices only on face of it. Then you need think deeper again. Something will come out. If it doesn’t then you need look beyond these options and chart a new territory either at that moment or put a timeline so that it keeps you motivated.

LIFE CHOICES

When you really want to do something it happens

So last week when I was travelling I wanted to take this ferry ride which was close to my hotel . But then it was quite late when I returned back previous night & waking early seemed difficult . I parked this thought of going till I get up in the morning, actually telling myself that this one happening seems difficult. Also I was trying to tell myself that since I am not too sure of how this thing works in a location new to me its fine if it doesn’t happen.

Incidentally the wake up call in the morning came as a blessing. Initially I felt really bad on missing on one opportunity to rest. But as they say alls well which ends well.

The fear of not knowing how to do things ( in this case taking a ferry ride alone in a new country) doesn’t matter actually when you really want to do something . So this was one of it . I read, enquired from the hotel staff & figured it out to the extent I could & rest I was prepared to handle .

This is a small incident & may not seem relevant if I just look into the complexity or rather simplicity of the thing. But as a person it made me realize that if you believe in something & take the initial steps; rest will fall in place . You gotta believe that .