Understanding Team offsite- How far are we !

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Success to every business is not only defined by how  profitable the balance sheet looks, but to achieve consecutive successful balance on the sheets which have more zeros on the left hand side of the decimal, you need to have a connected team.

I have learned this lately from my operations team over a period of 2 years now, the essence of a Champion team. Critical spices of a Champion team are not tough to understand but it’s not that easy to practice with real situations. There will always be conflicts and issues which will work against the stream.

Offsite is a perfect place for a Group to get away from the regular work surroundings. This event will help you blend fun and work to some extent. This gives the team a recap of how they have performed as a team and what more is expected for next academic year.

With couple of team off-sites we have been together with, I would like to share few team building values that I observed with my present team, which I believe is that best team I have worked with till now:

  1. Knowing Individual Strengths: Knowing the team in and out. How often we talk about the capabilities in our team mates which we don’t get to see the entire year. Team off-sites are a perfect place to bring out the unseen capacities within individuals.
  2. Managing conflicts within the team: We have a tendency to deal with conflicts or issues outside the team or with somebody who is from a different peer. Eventually it’s difficult to deal uncertainties within the team than dealing with an external peer. This is an excellent place to learn how to listen and respond to the issues and how to resolve concerns without impacting the results. At times it needs a serious attention to know what level of interaction it needs or the time it needs to resolve. This should be a learning topic of how a team should maintain the mutual understanding at times when the pressure is high and they need to deliver without stopping the business.
  3. Leaning from others: The entire year since we do not get a lot of time to evolve ourselves to learn new things. It can be learning any new technical topic or personal skill enhancement or business highlights.  The teams focus should be playing games or activities where individual shares the what he has learned or someone has observed about anyone which he wants to adopt as a learning this year.
  4. Looking together towards common Goal: Within the department, we may have different hierarchy of goals for a period of time, which is driven by organization interests. The alignment between functions within the department is must and each individual must understand that all the efforts taken by him should add up to move the team towards the common goal. At times Dealing with issues, leading the team, working hard and individual priorities will push to deflect from the goal, but when the team keeps the vision clear on how to get there together, these things will impact lesser and help making a champion team.

If a team manages to learn and understand the true ingredients of a champion team, the team would then enjoy the challenges across its way to become the best performing team among others.

I personally believe that this annual team offsite should be conducted not just to bring the team together but to share the learnings together and take lessons for the next year.

Theres a famous saying about a team:



wasting time was never this much fun

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With a step in the mud !

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What shall i bring for you.. Sir !

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How many times visiting a decent dine out place, you actually like the wait staff. That was not a horrifying question, but matter of fact , it is.

Okey so admitting the obvious, we like to brush up our taste-buds by upgrading from ‘ghar-ki-roti-dal’ to some spiced up butter dozed   hot served delicious food with a topping of the special treatment by the wait crew. Every visit leaves back a news worth making a perfect headlines if you run your own column of food-mania, or kind of an experience which is usually the most favorite topic of discussions for the complete week, while killing time at the official hangout zones of your workplace.

Honestly dealing with the restaurant crew must be taken as a respectful job. I have seen it getting worse sometimes and it went so bad once when a gentlemen, in front of  his newly married wife, almost had his saucer full of something green in it, flew over the table next to it and landed right next to the kitchen. I was lucky to had a seat opposite to his.

It’s a great deal to eat  and by no chance you would like people sitting around to strangely stare at you as if you were caught stealing a set of classic shiny silver spoons and one suddenly pops out of your pocket. Embarrassing it gets.

You happen to be at the court for few minutes so why not do it like a gentlemen. I prefer it as it is your only chance & the safest way of getting out of the place with a smile big and an Strawberry ice cream cone in hand. Often both the ends can never fit in better, there lies a different story over the other end. You cannot expect best of the both worlds.

I have had a lot of encounters, interesting i must add which have given me a lesson. However or whatever way to try to make the guy understand of what you want to have in the menu with all the extras which needs to be added and the corners which needs to be deleted, the final delivery is going to be a surprise for you, so face it like a star. And the ‘Finger licking good’ fact is ‘ Do not mess with them more than you cannot handle “.

IT reminds me of a Hollywood flick called “waiting “. Life turns around you without much of a hustle and you find out some hard hitting realities about the ‘Men-in-Black-n-White’ who wear a tag with their name on the pocket and gets you what you want.

So to help others out I have a few life saving ideas out of my Pandora’s box which I thought of putting down here for you to avoid getting upon the wrong side of the bed:

Rule No. 1 #: Do not call the guy in black n white dress a ‘waiter’. It goes without saying that if you prefer names, you can expect a better service with no extra cost.

Rule No. 2 #:  Shoot your menu when you are ready. Switching dishes in-between can be not only irritating but acidic.

Rule No. 3 #: Don’t be a critic when the food is served on the table. Say cheese and thanks to the gentlemen who landed every plate on the table safely. Don’t be a silly goose, looking out for discounts on winter sale after you see a board of “ upto 30 % off “ if you get lucky.

Rule No. 4 #:  It takes a brave heart to run down orders. And boy you would never love to be called in 10 times for super silly returns, may it be pepper salt or napkins. 9 Times it would be fun but the 10th time, god bless your next morning.

So if you are thinking to get your bucks off on the deal, like an angry young man, you are probably beating a dead horse.

Happy waiting. J

Kolkata Diaries!

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Cubicle-ism .

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Cubism is not all about Pablo picasso,but more.

I googled instantly about how this generation has gone friendly with the cubicles they sit all day in.  As time  spent in cubes is not always fun. There are horror stories too. Cubicles are now becoming a world in its own, a saga of someone’s witty emoti-cons, still to be explored, which holds attachments,drama, excitement.

Let me tell you a secret, that i love my cube very much and i don’t feel bad on people coming to me and explicitly explaining how their cubical looks better than mine. Its again a love of some kind. But when it comes to a serious dose of work for about 8 hrs a day,  you  get better chances to stick in to your world, unless your boss call in you for every 15 mins to see whats happening outside his world. Bosses are made that way, they really don’t like you sitting with a smiling face & a cuppa-coffee in hands.

I have seen people hanging a lot of weird things in there to make you feel better. Crazy little toys, make you feel home & comfortable. Thoughts to motivate, but most of the times when its a considerable ‘bad-time‘ , people take lot more out of it , which usually hints over the pain-in-the-ass boss. You think of questioning the integrity of existence of what you took as a source of inspiration some time. So you learn to fool around bosses and your counterparts sitting next to you or may be when you find them standing right behind you staring over your angel-ring to see how good you are working, you pretend as life cannot be more bizarre than this.

You will find a long list of “Top 10 things to kill time in office ” or something similar which gets you going and the fun package gets complete when you are served  with a free internet line to try those things out.

A recent study by Harvard School claims that 50 % of employees in US spends more than 40 % of the time browsing and window shopping. They cant just get control over it.

So its a strange world  where you really learn a lot of things for you besides looking for ‘ Root causes to make your business run better ‘.

Turning 30 .. Agggrrr !!

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Turning older is not something which you would like unlike celebrating birthdays. One of the worst fears of you is when you know you are getting older and older. You see at things which are about to change here off now, like your skin which is getting lousy & wrinkles begins to appear. You take a moment and stare it tough enough it shouldn’t grow.

There’s a decade about to pass and you are hardly hit. I am saying this as i am about to turn 30 sooner.. not within few days but may be few years later. It has been a while since i have stepped beyond 20’s, the lovely adulthood.

So what makes these so called era of 20’s most remembered decade for you. I think it is the time when you see responsibilities coming and you learn, you graduate, you get your hands on ‘own’ bike or a scooty , to be fair to all genders, you break up, you find your first job, you get your first pay cheque and you make your parents smile.

So you would be thinking .. Oh so whats special in that , bloody every Tom Dick n Harry does that..:)  you are hundred and one percent correct.

Its all what you see happening all this 10 years and most importantly you prepare to land in some tough shoes as time is going to show you a complete new season of what you have only expected. It means rough ride is on you way.

So cheers to all who are about to turn to 30.. This article is dedicated to all of you in the league… specially my colleagues who really gives me a lot of learnings daily..

Cheers and Lets face it with a silver knife in a hand.

Happy bday uncle..:)