'The Enablers'. We develop humans into winners

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Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

We Develop Human Capital "Not to unlearn what you have learned is the most necessary kind of learning" said Antisthenes. Our passion at 'The Enablers' is to develop people. Developing human resources is more important to 'The Enablers' than getting clients. We want to make sure that people take way something valuable and useful for their lives. In our workshops, we create an environment which is conducive to learning. We encourage participants to: • Un-learn what is obsolete. • Learn what is contemporary to become futuristic. • Un-learn and re-learn, un-learn and re-learn again! When people follow these three steps, the miracle process begins - the process of excelling. With this mission, 'The Enablers' was established in January 2004 by Prof. Vivek Hattangadi. ‘The Enablers’ unlock the concealed potential in people and leverage their latent talent so they emerge as winners. In our learning sessions, the participants learn the way an excellent surgeon learns - practicing what has been learned through purposeful activities rather than merely from instructions. Our sessions are pragmatic; learning’s are doable. We have a large clientele even outside India.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The ladder of Inference - How to Avoid "Jumping to Conclusions"

This is taken from MindTools. I found it very interesting and thought I must share with you

The Ladder of Inference:How to Avoid "Jumping to Conclusions"

Have you ever been accused of “putting 2 and 2 together and making 5”, meaning that the other person thinks you have jumped to the wrong conclusion?In today’s fast-paced world, we are always under pressure to act now, rather than spend time reasoning things through and thinking about the true facts. Not only can this lead us to a wrong conclusion, but it can also cause conflict with other people, who may have drawn quite different conclusions on the same matter. Especially in a fast business environment, you need to make sure your actions and decisions are founded on reality.

Similarly, when you accept or challenge other people’s conclusions, you need be confident that their reasoning, and yours, is firmly based on the true facts. The “Ladder of Inference” helps you achieve this. Sometimes known as the “Process of Abstraction”, this tool helps you understand the thinking steps that can lead you to jump to wrong conclusions, and so helps you get back to hard reality and facts. The Ladder of Inference was first put forward by organizational psychologist Chris Argyris and used by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.Understanding the TheoryThe Ladder of Inference describes the thinking process that we go through, usually without realizing it, to get from a fact to a decision or action. The thinking stages can be seen as rungs on a ladder and are shown below:

Starting at the bottom of the ladder, we have reality and facts. From there, we:
· Experience these selectively based on our beliefs and prior experience;
· Interpret what they mean;
· Apply our existing assumptions (sometimes without considering them);
· Draw conclusions based on the interpreted facts and our assumptions;
· Develop beliefs based on these conclusions; and
· Take actions that seems “right” because they are based on what we believe
This can create a vicious circle. Our beliefs have a big effect on how we select from reality, and can lead us to ignore the true facts altogether. Soon we are literally jumping to conclusions – by missing facts and skipping steps in the reasoning process.By using the Ladder of Inference, you can learn to get back to the facts and use your beliefs and experiences to positive effect, rather than allowing them to narrow your field of judgment. Following this step-by-step reasoning can lead you to better results, based on reality, so avoiding unnecessary mistakes and conflict.How To Use The Theory:The Ladder of Inference helps you draw better conclusions, or challenge other people’s conclusions based on true facts and reality. It can be used to help you analyze hard data, such as a set of sales figures, or to test assertions, such as “the project will go live in April”. You can also use it to help validate or challenge other people’s conclusions.The step-by-step reasoning process helps you remain objective and, when working or challenging others, reach a shared conclusion without conflict.

Tip 1:Use the Ladder of Inference at any of stage of your thinking process. If you're asking any of the following questions, the model may prove a useful aid:
· Is this the “right” conclusion?
· Why am I making these assumptions?
· Why do I think this is the “right” thing to do?
· Is this really based on all the facts?
· Why does he believe that?
Use the following steps to challenge your thinking, using the Ladder of Inference:
Stop! It’s time to consider your reasoning.
Identify where on the ladder you are. Are you:
· Selecting your data or reality?
· Interpreting what it means?
· Making or testing assumptions?
· Forming or testing conclusions?
· Deciding what to do and why?

From your current “rung”, analyze your reasoning by working back down the ladder. This will help you trace the facts and reality that you are actually working with.At each stage, ask yourself WHAT you are thinking and WHY. As you analyze each step, you may need to adjust your reasoning. For example, you may need to change some assumption or extend the field of data you have selected.The following questions help you work backwards (coming down the ladder, starting at the top):
· Why have I chosen this course of action? Are there other actions I should have considered?
· What belief lead to that action? Were the beliefs well-founded?
· Why did I draw that conclusion? Is the conclusion sound?
· What am I assuming, and why? Are my assumptions safe?
· What data have I chosen to use and why? Have I selected data rigorously?
· What are the real facts that I should be using? Are there other facts I should be considering?

Tip 2:

When you are working through your reasoning, look out for rungs that you tend to jump. Do you tend to make assumptions too easily? Do you tend to select only part of the data? Note you tendencies so that you can learn to do that stage of reasoning with extra care in the future.
4. With a new sense of reasoning (and perhaps a wider field of data and more considered assumptions), you can now work forwards again – step-by-step – up the rungs of the ladder.

Tip 3:

Try explaining your reasoning to a colleague or friend. This will help you check that your argument is sound.If you are challenging someone else’s conclusions, it is especially important to be able to explain your reasoning so that you can explain it to that person in a way that helps you reach a shared conclusion and avoid conflict.

Example:The regional Sales Manager has just read the latest sales figures. Sales in Don’s territory are down - again. It’s simply not good enough. He needs to be fired!Most people would agree that the Sales Manager may have just jumped to a rash conclusion. So let’s see how the scenario plays out using the Ladder of Inference:The latest month’s sales figures (reality) have come in, and the Sales Manager immediately focuses on Don’s territory (selected reality). Sales are down on the previous months again (interpreted reality). The Sales Manager assumes that the drop in sales is entirely to do with the Don’s performance (assumption), and decides that Don hasn’t been performing well (conclusion). So he forms the opinion that Don isn’t up to the job (belief). He feels that firing Don is the best options (action).Now let’s challenge the Sales Manager’s thinking using the Ladder of Inference:The Sales Manager came to the sales figures with an existing belief that Don, a new salesmen, couldn’t possibly be as good as the "old-timers" who he has trained for years. He focused on Don’s territory because Don is the newest salesman, and selected facts that supported what he already believed (that Don wouldn’t be doing a good job). To get back to facts and reality, we must challenge the Sales Manager’s selection of data and his assumptions about Don’s likely performance.Although the figures are down in Don’s territory, they have actually dipped less than in other areas. Don is actually a great salesman, but he and his colleagues have in fact been let down by new products being delayed, and by old products running out of stock. Once the Sales Manager changes his assumptions, he will see the need to focus on solving the production issues. He can also learn from Don – how is it that Don has performed better than other sales people in the face of stock problems? Can others learn from him?

This is just one of the problem solving techniques that you can learn on the Mind Tools website. Visithttp://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_TMC.htm for many more!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Indian Pharma Leaders I Adore and Respect

The Indian Pharma Leaders I adore and respect !

I have read so much on leadership, the qualities of a good leader, the differences between a leader and a manager - but one of the best descriptions of leadership has been attributed to Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. During one of his speeches to the Army Officers during the Indo-Pak war in December 1971 he said: “Leadership is the sum essence of character, personality, motivation and sacrifice. It is also the fine art of inspiring people even in the most trying conditions. The art of leadership requires a life time of sacrifice, devotion and selfless deeds.”

What a lovely thought! In this competitive world of today, you have to be a cut above the rest. Thorough professionalism, innovative thinking, a highly analytical mind and complete dedication is what is required in a good leader.

And this is how some of the greatest Pharma leaders were made!

A very important quality for a leader is to have clear vision. He should be able to identify the drivers and catalysts of that vision. Having done that, a good leader should create a robust organization that has the strength and energy to march ahead. A shining example of this is Dilip Shanghavi of Sun Pharma. He ensured that all team members stayed focused and motivated and that paid rich dividends to the company. He encouraged feedback and even criticism which were professional in nature. His team, therefore, delivered consistently high performance. He made his people understand that persistence is not about trying – but about the determination to achieve its objectives. And the employees kept on reflecting on how they can help Sun Pharma achieve its objectives. Proper communication helped build right perspectives among employees. The foundation for organization’s future success was laid by setting the right tenor from the beginning. He created a ‘thinking organization’. He stimulated a thinking environment within the organization.

Leadership also means communicating a vision that motivates and inspires others. Late U.N. Mehta of Torrent Group of Companies was one such leader. He was able to transform and energize the people working in Torrent. He had the ability to ignite passions and could connect with his team. His team knew where exactly it headed and his team could translate vision into reality. “Failure is not a crime – aiming low is a crime”, he continuously preached. He constantly looked for new opportunities and challenges. His belief was firmly rooted in the 3S philosophy – systems, speed and spirit. This was combined with transparency, result orientation and empowerment and catalyzed the organization towards greater growth. Sudhir Mehta is definitely his worthy successor. Through his magnetism and quiet persuasion, he enlists the employees in the company vision.

Binnish and Nimmish Chudgar of Intas Pharmaceuticals typify the leaders who knew that risk taking can involve failures and disappointments. They nevertheless took risks and made Intas what it is today – the most adorable company in the Pharma industry. When about a decade back, the annual turnover of the company was less then Rs.200 millions, they decided to invest Rs.300 millions in a new ultra-modern plant which met US-FDA and UK-MCA specifications. They were the first to invest in the most modern Pharma packaging – double aluminum blister foils (now known as Alu-Alu pack) which made the company stand out and their corporate credibility reached new heights. They made their people feel like heroes in the industry! They were creating an ideal image of what an organization can become. The people in the organization were ordinary, but they accomplished extraordinary results. They made every employee take pride in Intas.

The single most critical ingredient, which has made Sami Khatib, of Medley Pharmaceuticals a successful leader, is passion – passion for hard work. At 70+, he is still a workaholic and can put to shame people half his age. He has been able to infuse his whole team with that same passion. He shares his passion with his team by translating his passion into a vision for Medley Pharmaceuticals. He coaxes, cajoles and inspires his people into sharing his vision. He uses his communication skills to psyche up his people. He evokes trust among his followers. He has faith in the abilities of his people and makes them realize that every person has the potential to grow. And he gives them the opportunities to do so. He once mentioned that although Kotler has talked about the 4P’s of marketing, but he has not talked about the 5th and the most important P – People. He really considers people as his assets.

Another great leader in the Pharma industry I shall cherish forever is the Late P.J. Menezes of the Cosme Mathias Menezes Group. He had the uncanny knack of making some of the top multinational pharmaceutical and FMCG companies collaborate with his group and obtain sole marketing rights of their patented products in India. At one time the company simultaneously had tie-ups with Carter-Wallace (USA), Upjohn (USA), Pharmacia (Sweden), Bristol-Myers (Britain), Leo Pharmaceuticals (Denmark), Takeda (Japan) and Old Spice (USA)! This was at a time when the larger Indian companies never thought of this! He exhibited excellent leadership qualities – a coach cum player. In fact he was the mentor of his team. Even at the age of seventy-five, he moved about in the field along with medical representatives meeting doctors and retail chemists! He even celebrated the diamond jubilee of his field working. (He started his career as a salesman with Nestles). He ensured that organizations work culture facilitated employee growth and development. Except for the top position, all promotions were from within. Employee development resulted in the overall growth of the organization.

Leadership is not the private reserve of a few charismatic men and women. It’s about ordinary people bringing forth the best from themselves and others. All my idols from the Pharma industry created a culture where people dream, imagine, collaborate, invent, experiment and most important – deliver.

These are the people who have made the Indian Pharmaceutical industry a force to reckon with internationally.