All about Me…

Archive for March, 2009

Tips on Keeping Virtual Teams Productive

Posted by vishalsinghal on March 27, 2009

Karen Sobel Lojeski, Ph.D. is Visiting Assistant Professor Department of Technology and Society, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York.

Karen has given 5 tips on keeping the virtual teams productive:

  1. Introduce yourself to someone new. Sometimes the monotony as well as the stress of the times can make virtual team members feel not only physically isolated but also trapped inside small circles. Write a letter to someone new and take the time to introduce yourself. Don’t worry about whether they return the favor right away, or if at all. Virtual team members get a lift when they take charge of expanding their own networks.
  2. Mix-up communication modes—if you have been on email or social software sites all day, take a break and make a phone call to a virtual team member to “hear” how they are doing and swap a story or two. If you’ve been sitting at your desk all day, take a break, go out to a coffee shop and try to engage with another human being face to face, even if it is a casual conversation. People can often lose perspective on the world when stressed for time and when there is no human to human interaction for long periods of time.
  3. Coach virtual team members on how to juggle multiple priorities and competing goals. As the number of resources shrink and work piles up for any given individual, it’s sometimes hard to know what should come first, second, third, tenth, on the list of things to do. Facilitate sessions where virtual team members talk about their workload and encourage others to help them prioritize and stay on track. As a team leader, make regular calls to team members to make sure they are not becoming overwhelmed and give them “permission” to take breaks and time out to be with family and friends to renew energy and focus.
  4. Put things into context—leaders need to help virtual team members understand where/how other team members work and live. Context is critical for being able to identify with other virtual team members. Take time to talk about where other team members work, the kinds of things they do on weekends or in their time away from the office. Knowing the context in which others work and live is critical to establishing trust among virtual team members.
  5. Communicate, Confirm, Console, Cajole. When times get tough it is hard to avoid thinking that one is alone in their worry or anxiety. But the truth of the matter is that with good communications, virtual team members can take solace in knowing that while times are tough, and getting tougher, they are not alone. In fact, their virtual team can be a source of comfort in times of uncertainty. The leader and other key members should take the time to communicate—not JUST via email—but through phone and video when possible to get team members together regularly to talk about project issues but also about how people are feeling and what they can do to relieve stress.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Startup-tip on on building Board of Directors

Posted by vishalsinghal on March 21, 2009

Today, I read an article on this topic and thought I should definitely share this with my blog readers.

This article talks about what goes into building a team of board of directors and what should be the right mix. You can read it here.

Posted in Entreneurship, Startup, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Always let your boss have the first say…

Posted by vishalsinghal on March 20, 2009

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to
lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie
comes out. The Genie says, ‘I’ll give each of you just one wish.’

‘Me first! Me first!’ says the admin clerk. ‘I want to be in the
Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.’ Pouff!
She’s gone.

‘Me next! Me next!’ says the sales rep. ‘I want to be in Hawaii ,
relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of
Pina Coladas and the love of my life.’ Pouff! He’s gone.

‘OK, you’re up,’ the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, ‘I
want those two back in the office after lunch.’

Moral of the story:
Always let your boss have the first say.

Although in today’s scenario team work is best but still in many situations, above example holds ground…:)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

How to Tweet Your Way Out of a Job/ Business

Posted by vishalsinghal on March 18, 2009

Hutch Carpenter saw this exchange on Twitter, which is a painful lesson in how NOT to use Twitter in this tough economy.

A lucky job applicant tweeted the following:

Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

This tweet caught the attention of Tim Levad, a channel partner advocate for Cisco. To which he responded:

Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

Ouch! The person who dissed the Cisco offer quickly took their Twitter account private. But Twitter search retained the record.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Management Tips for an Uncertain Economy

Posted by vishalsinghal on March 13, 2009

Guiding staff through turbulent times requires an approach that accentuates the positive and keeps employees feeling empowered and focused on the bigger picture. Some insights on how to effectively lead staff through the turmoil:

Guiding staff through periods of significant change and economic difficulty isn’t easy, even for the most seasoned managers.

Companies should try and give newer roles to existing employees when they are forced to freeze the recruitments. Also, along with imparting new roles and responsibilities, company should give them sufficient time to increase their skills and be a bit linient towards their initial days of performance.

As a manager, it is imperative to communicate openly and often with your IT staff and keep them in the loop on anything that may directly affect the department or their positions. Although you may not be able to share everything you know, be as honest as you can. You will keep the rumor mill from grinding and fueling fear and suspicion, which can drag down morale and undermine productivity. Remember, if your staff doesn’t hear the news straight from you, they will certainly hear it from someone else, and it may not be delivered accurately.

Don’t ever assume your IT staff members know they are appreciated. Be sure to give frequent, timely and specific praise, not only when people are engaged in lengthy or difficult projects but also when they are simply “doing their jobs” well and with enthusiasm. Recognition is especially important if you are asking staff members to take on additional responsibilities to cover gaps left by employees who had to be let go.

Reminding your staff that every employee plays a role in the company’s success, you will help keep them engaged during this period of economic uncertainty. Encourage staff to approach you with their ideas for how the departments can meet their objectives more efficiently and cost-effectively. Often, the best ideas come from those who are working on the front lines. If certain ideas cannot be implemented, explain why, while also emphasizing that you value the individual’s input. Employee suggestions should not be dismissed without constructive discussion, otherwise, your staff will believe you are not sincere when you say you want to hear their opinions.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Women Entrepreneurs…

Posted by vishalsinghal on March 6, 2009

Today I attended International Women’s Day Celebration in Russian Centre of Art and Culture in New Delhi.

There six women entrepreneurs spoke on how they started and achieved success in their busy lives. The whole program was simply wow.

Each lady had started from scratch and is now a successful entrepreneur. I feel more and more women should come in front and become successful entrepreneurs.

Inspite of the fact that they have to manage two fronts i.e. family life and professional life, they still become good entrepreneurs. Hats off to them.

I feel women make better administrators, better business women and better organisers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Start-up fever in Gurgaon (India)

Posted by vishalsinghal on March 1, 2009

Today, I met an old friend of mine from school days. His attitude has always been kind of laid back, easy going and satisfied in what ever he does. Currently, too he is working with one of the large IT firms in Gurgaon.

He had always been against working part time in start-ups etc. but today he told me that he has been thinking for some time in favor of the same. He says that during these turbulent times when even big IT companies – Indian or global are facing issues in growth, it’s time to start working parallely on or with some start-up ideas/ start-ups, just in case, something worse happens. He also told me that lately, many of his friends with similar nature had been planning the same.

Thus, I would say that time has come that laid back attitude will not work any more and people need to definitely become pro-active. If they take any more time then this, they may have to face dire consequences.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »