Monthly Archives: April 2005

It was getting boring …

…to read Heather and the others discuss The Apprentice episodes in the US recruitment blogs, while we get to see the Don in last season’s episodes. So this news from the Sepia Mutiny woke me up with glee.

After the huge success of the reality show Indian Idol on Sony Entertainment Television, Freemantle Media, which conceived the programme, is set to tap the huge potential of the Indian market for reality shows. Freemantle Media will host The Apprentice, one of its most popular shows in India. “We are planning to introduce The Apprentice later this year. The show will be telecast on the Star network,” says Gavin Wood, director of production, India Freemantle Media. One of the most popular television reality series in the world today, The Apprentice will be conceived on the lines it is aired in different parts of the Asia, Europe and the United States.

Yes, yes. We will export cut-throat corporate world behavior to the third world
now. I wonder if Laxmi Mittal will be the tycoon.

“India is a land of great creativity, talent and passion. The spark among the people is truly amazing,” says Wood. “Although the television Industry in India is young, it is very professional and has high quality standards which is lacking in many other countries where the industry is much older than in India. The television sector with its wide reach will be a major driver of growth in the entertainment sector,” Wood explains.

What they don’t seem to understand is the potential trauma that rejected
contestants could suffer in Indian society. Just imagine being fired, coming
home and having to listen to your Indian mother point out the fact that the
other people’s children haven’t been fired yet.

Training amongst the top 20 growing professions

From the T+D Blog

In the March 21st edition of Fortune, an article entitled “Hot Careers for the
Next 10 Years” names training and development as one of the 20 fastest-growing
professional jobs. Growth is estimated at 22.3 percent, from Bureau of Labor
Statistics projections.

How long to the time this statistic makes the cut in India?
I hope that makes us training folks a lot more strategic and business and learner driven!

despair.com and De-Motivation

Worthwhile blog points to the darkly funny site despair.com

It’s a brilliant site, created by some ex-dotcommers, that sells spoof inspirational items. How about the Demotivators coffee mugs pronouncing: Meetings: None of Us Is As Dumb As All of Us, or Ambition: The Journey of a Thousand Miles Sometimes Ends Very Very Badly or the one I’ve posted here, Potential: Not everyone gets to be an astronaut when they grow up. Now they’re selling a new book, The Art of Demotivation, and pitching it as the “last management book you’ll ever buy.”

The (new) route to the top

HBS working knowledge shows the way how people are reaching the top these days compared to the 1980s.

A recent historical study of the paths taken by executives who make it to the top sheds much light not only on what personal attributes are needed, but also on how organizational dynamics contribute. Are you more likely to charge into the executive suite by working in a small company or large? Does it help to have handled many responsibilities or just a few?
The report, presented in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review, was called “The New Road to the Top.” It compared Fortune 100 executives in 1980 with their counterparts in 2001. We excerpt a section on how the changing face of corporations and corporate life over the last few decades has impacted career movement.

Some important findings are (my emphasis is added)

  1. Executives are much more likely to be promoted in firms with healthy growth rates than in stagnating companies. (Isn’t that obvious??)
  2. Further evidence from the data suggests that, other things being equal, younger firms offer faster advancement, perhaps because of their tendency to have flatter hierarchies.
  3. The firms that have been big for a long time—those in the Fortune 100 in 1980 and again in 2001—seem to handle career advancement and development differently from others.
  4. General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and the like provide extensive training and development opportunities. They also offer relatively long promotion ladders—hence the common notion that these “academy companies” are great to have been from.
  5. Prior research suggested that through the 1970s, marketing was the preferred track into the executive suite, but the results here suggest that finance now offers by far the best path (it offered the best path in 1980, too, but consulting and—surprisingly [why surprising??]—human resources were closer behind).
  6. The finance track will remain the dominant path to the C suite as long as the investor community wields a powerful influence on corporations. (ahah ! that explains it!)
  7. Research suggests that the odds of advancement fall as a person’s tenure in a job grows. Individuals who advance to the top tend to be among the youngest in their cohorts—possibly because talent and ability get spotted early, possibly because of “halo” or reputation effects. (so people tend to pick on the guy who’s moving around in the company, getting to understand the business better than the person who is building the “expertise” in one job?)
  8. Therefore, it may be easiest to move toward the top by doing well in a small company—as CFO, say—then taking the same job in a larger one.
  9. Another important point is that holding a general manager job with profit-and-loss responsibility seems to be a prerequisite for the highest positions, perhaps because the ability to run a business is considered transferable; success in running a $10 million organization is a powerful recommendation for a job running a $100 million organization.
  10. But the data are not clear on whether people should jump from company to company to get ahead. Executives who stayed in the same corporations for their entire careers got to the top as quickly as their firm-hopping colleagues—a change from the situation a generation ago—but far fewer executives are spending their careers in one company. So perhaps only those who are advancing quickly choose to stay put.

Raincoat

O’Henry’s “gift of the magi” served twisted in Bhojpuri Hindi with mainstream bollywood stars and a Kolkata director.

Rituparno Ghosh (no relation to me!) directs about how perennial loser , down-and-out on luck Ajay Devgan arrives in Kolkata to beg his friends in for money to start a business.

In Kolkata, he meets his lost love Aishwarya Rai, who had married a rich guy long years ago.

How they spin their webs of deception to make themselves seem more rich and more classy and the final twist in the tale is what makes up the film.

Watchable…but I thought Aishwarya was not the perfect casting for this role. Maybe Rani would have been a better choice?