Musings at 40,000 feet…

A80CBC07-052A-4CC9-91D2-84D41D78F9EA.jpegAs I write, am on flight back home to India after 100 day on/off tour of APAC countries….Singapore, Dubai and Melbourne before I take off for Kathmandu in few days. As always my lens to view, observe, reflect and comment on a what I see during my travels is culture. Only this time, it’s the culture of posturing, positioning and pitching. Whether I visited mega diversified conglomerates, worked with technology giants, partnered with small home run businesses or just spent time with local families, what struck me most is the way they are branding themselves, most of all these cities.

Singapore is all about the core values and intangibles assets of its people. Brand Singapore hits you the moment, the wheels of your aircraft hit the tarmac. It has fought their its way out of non-entity status and smallness into becoming a thriving, glittering economy, a shining case study for several global economies. Singaporeans have deeply engrained the value of honouring multiracialism, with fanatical focus on continuing learning and reskilling. Sojourners to this island-nation are now stayers. Every Singaporean is it’s brand ambassador.

Dubai on the other hand believes that brands are about people working together towards a shared purpose. It’s putting its people at the center of its vision and making a assertive statement that they have embarked on a journey to achieve ‘happiness’ for all who reach its shores. In fact, UAE has not only appointed Minster for AI but for happiness and well-being as well. Happiness per them is the ultimate metric of success. If a country’s brand can create that illusion to begin with and then make it into a reality, it’s pull will be like that of a siren drawing both trade and tourism to its shores. What a brand story.

Then there is Melbourne who has what it calls ‘Melbourne moments’. It’s the way they transform ordinary everyday activities into unpredictable and unexpected enjoyment which inspires its residents and visitors to experience them repeatedly, be it the fire spouting pillars on the yarra river promenade, pop up luxury brand retail stores or quintessential reconstructed spaces as empty parking lot, derelict garage or laneways which beckons the passerby just by their sheer promise of unconventional experiences. It’s not for nothing that Melbourne has got rated as the ‘most liveable city in the world’ for years!

If at times, you do think if spending time and money on building a brand is worth the effort, considering it’s such a intangible, well then it’s good to remember that not only these cities but mega brands such as Pepsi, Samsung, Amazon, McDonald, IPL and heaps more pour in millions of dollars into advertisements, sponsorships, events, billboards to keep their brand alive and kicking and right where it belongs…At the top. Let’s trust their reasoning.

Coming closer home, to personal branding, based on my travel observations, I am mulling over these and given that many of you ask me so much about it, thought it pertinent to share:

  1. It doesn’t matter where you come from, What matters is where you’re going. Start now.
  2. Being small does not mean being insignificant. Play the odds.
  3. Purpose fuels passion. Find yours. Fan it furiously. Make it your USP.
  4. To be remembered takes doing. Create your experience moments.
  5. To be a leader, you need fans and followers. Do good, take the stage, let the spotlight shine and say your piece. Applause will follow!

Transition, transform, transcend! Happy travels…

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Mei akela hi chala tha, janibe manzil magar, Log aatay gaye, kaarvaa banta gaya…

Long Journey

Said one of the finest avant-garde Indian Urdu poet Majrooh Sultanpuri who comes to my mind as I write about the long road SHRM India has traveled. In English, I would quote Lao Tzu – “A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step”.

Couple of years ago, there were rumblings which were becoming a crescendo about invasion of technology, coming of mobile devices, age of digital natives & rise of robots, all of which were churning a mixed bag of emotions in the hearts and minds of Indian workforce.

HR was expected to know, HR was expected to show the path, HR was expected to lead! After all, Human is at the heart of technology, both the source & the recipient!

SHRM stepped in & stepped up! SHRM HR Technology Conference – India was born! Today it’s a force to reckon with & my sojourn with them began, as a delegate, speaker, blogger, twitter host, panel moderator, jury member & a friend of #SHRM.

Today this relationship has morphed into several threads of deep and meaningful partnership. Much of what I’ve learnt about contemporary and futurist HR has been at the SHRM conferences, many new ideas have struck me there watching and listening to hugely talented folks from around the world, several deep relationships with colleagues from industry seeded here, many win-win partnerships with vendors forged and social and networking skills honed!

Often, I hear people say and ask things like – “I am a lifelong learner”, “Platforms are going to revolutionize the way we work”, “I believe Microlearning is the way only way to go”, “AI will cause a turmoil, what is HR doing”, “Learning Agility is the key skill of the future”, “What is the dark & the bright side of technology”, “What does future of work look like?” and more…

Well then, if any of this is on your mind, tune into SHRM India HR Technology Conference 2018 #SHRMTech18 as we whip up a storm…of disruption & innovation, letting go & learning & draw out the blue print for HR digital organization of the future!

It is after all a melting pot of some of the finest minds in the country & beyond…Join Us!