The generational shift…

All of us grow up hoping to study well, settle down and fulfil our life goals. Then we want to get married, have kids and be happy in life. This a natural human phenomenon. The relationship between parents and children is special. It is fun to spend time with your kids and play with them and see them grow up.

The real test for us as parents are when they grow up as adolescents. They turn rebellious and challenge us in our role as parents. We feel threatened because they question our role and even the support we provide them as parents. The feeling is like someone removing the umbrella from your head during a heavy downpour. We find it difficult to cope with this transition and try to manage the situation to the best of our abilities.

Some of us tend to look back at our own lives and recalling our teen age behaviourand accept this as the cycle of life. We believe that we did the same with our parents and now it is our turn. Others find it difficult, when challenged by their own children. Our values are threatened and questioned. Their habits, behaviour and social company becomes almost unacceptable to us. Our teenage children believe we are living in the past and are not willing to accept the present.

If you talk to psychologists or counsellors, they guide you to be friends with your kids. This is easier said than done. It is like a fire fighting drill. As long as it is a drill, all of us enjoy it and have fun. But, if a fire really breaks into our homes, we may not find it easy to handle. We feel as if the counsellors and psychologists are making us believe that dealing with adolescent or young adults at home as kids is like a fire fighting mock drill. Fun as a drill but difficult to practise in reality.

Life is different. The realities of this transition in your child’s behaviour is to be experienced to be believed. It is almost like a consultant giving advice on how to deal with a crisis in a class room. When the real crisis hits us neither the consultant is around nor we remember the strategy he taught us in the class. It is like all organisations have crisis management manuals prepared and certified by quality auditors. But when the real crisis hits us, neither the manual is readily available nor do we have the time to read and act as prescribed.

Then how do we prepare for this crucial stage of our life. Some of the tricks, which we have tried and tested are as follows. As parents, one of us can get closer to the child, evolving as a friend over a period of time. It may or may not work but it is worth a try. It is also useful to find out who in the inner circle of relatives and family friends is closest to our kids. We need to find the person whom the child trusts blindly and will be willing to confide in. This may help us enable the kid to share their concerns openly with them and thus minimise tension and perceived misbehaviour at home.

This phase of life teaches you that there is a generational shift. You suddenly realise that you have grown up and have children, who are from a different generation. It may also be useful to be in touch with the realities of today. The needs, wants, behaviours and motivation drivers for our kids is different today. We may or may not appreciate them but we need to accept them as our current reality.

As in the photo above, the generational shift is visible even in the organisational setting.

The earlier we face this reality, the faster we are likely to adapt and change. If we live in the past, the future may hit us harder. The future will become the present sooner than we realise. So, it is better to co create the future along with our kids by adapting to this changed phase of life rather than be a victim of the change.

Together , let us create the future.

S Ramesh Shankar

12th September 2018

Talent, aspirations & opportunities

Today there seems to be a mismatch between the talent in the market, their aspirations and the opportunities. The millennials of today are not keen on a 9 to 5 job. They want to pursue their passion cutting across organisational boundaries. While organisations may offer routine jobs, their aspirations may never be met.

What do we do in such a divergent environment ? While opportunities in the environment may change as per demands of the industry and the market, the aspirations of the next generation needs to be understood to be met.

Permanent employees may be a thing of the past in industry. We are moving towards a gig economy. This means jobs may be split and people may be available part time to share their knowledge and skills on a contractual basis. There will be neither permanent jobs nor permanent people in organisations.

Everything will be in a state of flux and change. While jobs will appear and disappear at frequent intervals, people may also keep changing their jobs and organisations as per their current aspirational needs. Thus aspirations will also keep changing with time. Nobody is going to stick to a particular organisation or profession for life.

A friend of mine was sharing with me that post his retirement after a long and illustrious career he was pursuing painting as his hobby. A few months later he informed me that painting was passé and now he was writing a novel. The aspirations of the millennials of tomorrow will be somewhat similar. It may change many times a year rather than even once in a few years.

Organisations have to redefine jobs to match these transcending aspirations. There has to be a market place for opportunities and aspirations to match. The cycle time for change will be frequent. This has to be managed through automation and artificial intelligence. It looks like there will be nothing permanent in life.

Even the personal lives of the future talent will be different. Family and marriage as institutions may fade away. The boundaries of a nuclear family may give way to living in partnerships as per mutual convenience. Marriage may no longer be a social pre requisite to have children and hence may disappear.

Organisations have to spend a lot of time and money to understand the aspirations of this generation. Sociologists and Anthropologists may play an active role in redefining roles and matching aspirations of the future talent. Thus organisational boundaries may fade away. Talent may work in multiple organisations as per their interests and time availability.

The talents today are like the balloons in the photo above.  Multi varied and with different and needs.  We need to create an environment where every talent blooms.

A new era where there will seem a dynamic relationship between opportunities, aspirations and availability of talent. Organisations which are flexible enough to match these changing trends will be successful in the market place. Organisations which continue with rigid job definitions may fade sooner than realise.

Flexibility may be the key to success.

S Ramesh Shankar

9th September 2018

Customer First, Employee Always

Our Customer pays our salary – every employee needs to understand this reality. This a bitter truth that many of us do not realise as the organisation grows and our brand matures in the market. We had a similar experience and hence launched a Customer first programme in our organisation. The objective of the programme was to keep our “Customers” in the centre of everything we do within the organisation.

We evolved five modules in this organisational intervention. They were Customer Intimacy, Customer First Culture, Reliable Execution, Service Excellence & Lean Processes. Each of the modules was led by a leadership team member and supported by a team. This led to our Customer Engagement scores more than trebling in 3 years. We focussed back on the customer within the organisation.

Now that the customer centricity was established, we shifted our focus to employees. We realised that while it is critical to focus on customers, it is equally important to keep employees highly engaged. It is true that if we treat employees well, they in turn would ensure that customers are happy always.

We launched an intervention and called it “People Matter”. We had a long tradition of training and certifying our project managers using global processes and standards. We took a leaf out of this experience and decided that we will train all our people managers and then certify them through a three stage process.

We identified a professional external partner and then trained more than 800 people managers and certified them. All of them went through a two day class room training. They they had to work out an action plan in three people management areas impacting their team and submit it. Then they had to implement their ideas and a feedback was taken from their team on their leadership style. This was followed by implementation and a follow up feedback from their team members to measure impact of their actions.

We found a cultural transformation permeating the entire organisation. I got phone calls, emails and personal feedback whenever I visited locations from team members. Many of them were positively surprised at the changes in their manager’s behaviour. It appeared that the program was making a impact in changing leadership behaviours.

We shared the best practices of various people managers across the organisation through newsletters and other communication channels. We invited the best people managers, who scored the highest to our annual business conference and enabled them to share their experience with the rest of the people managers.

The journey has just begun. We have supported this initiative by empowering people managers to decide the increments and promotions of their team members. We encouraged them to reward and recognise their team members in innovative ways. All new initiatives in the organisation were channelled through these people managers.

Great companies  believe that if they take care of their employees, they will take care of their customers as in the photo above.

Hence, customer first, employee always.

S Ramesh Shankar

25th August 2018

Rituals in our lives…

Most of us have been following many rituals from our childhood without even knowing the reasons for following them. We follow rituals because our forefathers handed them over to our parents or elders and we inherited them.

A ritual is an action determined by tradition more than any other reason. It may or may not have any religious connotation. It could be like fasting during solar or lunar eclipses or even during certain festivals amongst some religious groups. Rituals go beyond religion too.

I am aware of some rituals, which are followed by individuals cutting across different faiths in India. It is like determining the auspicious time to inaugurate a new venture. Even the date and time to admit a child to a school. This gets more entrenched as it turns out to be lucky for some in their actions.

I have nothing against rituals. In my view it is each individual’s personal preference. What I am against is when a society tries to impose its rituals on everyone irrespective of their personal preferences. We recently had some controversies when the highest court of the land ordered that men and women have equal right to visit religious places. I fully support this view.

I cannot understand how religion can prevent a man or a woman to visit a religious place of his or her choice. I am aware that some religions prohibit women to enter religious places. I am against such religious dictates too. No religion should prevent a human being to enter a religious place of their choice.

I do agree that sometimes rituals were designed to discipline human beings. For eg., washing of hands before having a meal may be considered a ritual but it is more for hygiene rather than a ritual. Similarly washing of legs before entering a place of worship may have been prescribed more for hygiene than for ritualistic belief.

On the other hand, women not being allowed to a funeral ground to pay their last respects to their elders may be a ritual with no scientific basis. I am not even questioning anyone’s right to follow a ritual. What I am against is making it compulsory for someone against their wishes.

Every ritual will have a story. Many of the rituals may also have a scientific reason behind it. So, it may be unfair to say that all rituals are blind faith. My belief is that every human being is capable of making a choice. If the individual chooses to follow a ritual, so be it. If they do not want to follow it, let us respect that too.

As in the photo above, I learnt pranayama almost five decades back, but considered it a ritual those days as a child, while now I think it is a good breathing exercise for my wellness.

Every one of us learn rituals from our family, friends or society. Even organisations have rituals, which get embedded in the minds of their employees over time. Let us allow the individual to have the liberty to choose their rituals. No individual, family, community or organisation has a right to impose it on the individual.

Let human beings individually choose their rituals and not the other way around.

S Ramesh Shankar

1st September 2018

Leadership transition – Analog to the Digital age

One of the intriguing questions leaders ask me today is ” What has changed in leadership styles ? Why is there a need to change ? It is important to realise that we have moved from the analog to the digital age. The world around us has changed and so have we. If we have changed as humans then those who lead us have to change. There is a generational shift and expectations from leaders are different. The earlier we realise this, the better it may be for our effectiveness as a leader.

I have attempted to list six clear trends in our transition from the analog to the digital world and how it impacts us as employees and leaders. These trends are:

A. Sequential to Parallel – All our planning in life and work was sequential. Today we do not have the luxury to do so. Our thinking has to be parallel. A good example would be the time taken to launch a new car. In the best of times, it took 2 to 3 years from design to launch of a car. This was mainly because each step of design, development, prototyping, testing and launch was in sequential order. Today concurrent engineering, virtual reality, augmented reality etc ensures that we are able to do most of these steps parallelly. This has crunched the new product development time to months rather than years.

B. Hierarchical to Team based – Organisations were pyramidical. All the wisdom was believed to be residing at the top. The seniors led the way and the others mostly followed. It was inappropriate to think bottoms up and so on. Today, it has almost reversed. Organisations are team and project based. Hierarchy is minimal and ideas can be generated from anywhere. All attempts are made to take decisions at the lowest possible level and closest to our customers.

C. Perspirational to Inspirational – Leaders led by power and authority. There was a chain of command . Fear may or may not have been explicit but was existent in most organisations for the people in leadership positions. Today a successful leader has to be inspirational and lead by example. The moment we try to wield our power by status or position we are bound to be rejected by our team members. This is a soft change but critical to be understood.

D. Clarity to Ambiguity – All efforts in organisations were made to transition towards clarity and perfection. We had programs to achieve zero defect and six sigma in quality. Now these things are taken for granted. Our ability to deal with clarity is easy but it becomes more complex when we have to deal with ambiguity. Leaders who are not hassled by ambiguity are likely to be more successful than others.

E. Long term to Short Term – I used to work in a public sector organisation which had made a strategic plan for 25 years way back in the eighties. All organisations evolved vision and mission with at least a decade in mind. Today, most of us think from one quarter to another. In a lighter vein, it is called the QSQT ( quarter se quarter tak – meaning from one quarter to the next quarter). It is difficult to anticipate what is likely to happen in the short term and hence it may be unimaginable to think long term.

F. Known to Unknown journey – Today organisations are plagued by an uncertain and unpredictable environment, unlike the past. It is a journey for leaders from one unknown to another unknown. It is the ability of a leader to steer their team into the realms of the unknown, which could make them successful. It is like leaders who can show the beacon light in darkness, who will succeed not the others.

Leadership has moved from predictability to managing uncertainties. If one is able to thrive in chaos, the chances of success are higher than failure. Further, if failures are considered as learning journeys, leaders are likely to be more effective than in the past. The analog world was sequential and predictable. The digital world is disruptive and uncertain.

As in the photo above, the leader has to lead by example by showing the way rather than telling it.

Let us learn to lead the different way in the digital age.

S Ramesh Shankar

23rd August 2018

Freedom at various life stages

Freedom could mean different things to different people. It could mean completion of exams for anxious students. It could be the end of tumultuous marriage for a married couple. It could mean transfer from a harassing boss for an employee and so on. Each of us cherish our freedom and want it our way.

Let us examine freedom from a child’s point of view. Every child wants to express oneself without any restrictions. A child wants to study, play or talk depending on the mood they are in. They hate the restrictions on learning through compulsory home work or the system of exams. They also hate parents restricting their play time or hobbies and when they are forced to study. They find it restrictive when they are asked to be quiet by elders especially when they are keen to express themselves.

As you grow into youth, one tends to become a rebellious radical. Every norm of society is a challenge and you feel like drawing your own rules and norms in society. As young adults you want to be the director of your own destiny. You do not like advice unless sought for. You feel better off when you are alone and charter your own future.

Adulthood imposes responsibilities on you. This also feels like needless restrictions on a free flowing spirit. The competitive spirit of the environment around you makes you feel that you are not in control of your future. While you want to work hard, you find it difficult to balance dreams and reality. The inability to pursue your passion makes you disappointed at times.

As you have kids and move to the next generation, you tend to believe that the next generation has more freedom than you ever had. This may not be actually true but one finds it difficult to accept to let go of things you could never do in your childhood or youth. As your kids rebel, reality knocks on your door and you blame the society and environment for this change.

Then as your children grow into adults and have their own kids, you tend to think that they are restrictive on your grand kids. This means a generation gap has already emerged. You re enact what your parents did to you. The cycle of life takes a full circle. It may be time to reflect and restart your view on life.

As we experience life, life teaches you the true meaning of freedom. Is freedom absolute or relative ? In a democracy, we tend to believe that freedom is absolute. However, in reality freedom tends to be relative. Do you have more freedom than your friends, relatives or family members. Even some members of the family tend to believe that they have more freedom than the others.

Even at the work place, freedom is perceived differently by different people. Some feel empowered and take decisions effortlessly. On the other hand, some people in the same organisations in similar roles, feel disempowered. This means empowerment is taken, not given. It takes time and a positive attitude to life and work to understand this concept. Sometimes, by the time one realises this concept, it may be too late.

As in the photo above, freedom could be to be just alone in the hills.

Lets define what freedom means to us and live it the way .

We are born to be free.

S Ramesh Shankar

15th August 2018

Technology & HR

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Everyone today is talking about technology and its impact on people. The impact on people could be from different perspectives. Let us examine it from the angle of impacting life and living.

I grew up in an era where the computer was not around nor the television in homes. Both these appeared in our offices and homes post the eighties in most countries and homes. How have they changed our lives ? Our quality of life has improved materially and physically although may have deteriorated emotionally ?

I remember many unions especially in banks were worried about introduction of computers and had resisted it for some time. Today a bank cannot imagine its existence without computers. We as customers do most of our banking ourselves on computers or mobiles. Has it impacted bank employees ? I would say it has helped the bank employees to improve the quality of their work and their productivity.

I believe the impact of technology will be similar in the future as well. Technology may develop more rapidly in the future than in the past. The quality of our lives and living may improve further. However, the same technology may be helpful if we are willing to use it prudently.

Let us examine the impact of technology on employees from a Human Resources perspective across the employee’s life cycle process – from recruitment to retirement. Technology may help in screening and assessing candidates more objectively and much faster. But I cannot imagine whether even artificial intelligence will ever be able to substitute human judgement in the future.

While it is true that a “Alexa” or IBM Watson may be able to derive logic from tons of data available to them but still may not be able to beat human judgement. It is like the development of technology, which brings the best of cameras in the world every day but none of them have been able to beat the human eye as a camera in its capacity and delivery.

We could trust computers and artificial intelligence to help in addressing routine tasks and also developing them in employees. However, the ability to respond intuitively like a human being may not be a reality in the near future. Even today the Alexa and Watson depend on inputs from human beings and programmers to derive logic from data fed into them.

Now, if we move to assessing and motivating employees, we need to examine the impact of technology. Technology can help us in objective performance assessment but the ability to empathise may not be replicable like a human being. I am aware of robots performing all types of tasks including love making but all of it will be without any emotions.

Similarly technology may help in making more precise decisions including in exits. However, human judgement is a combination of logic and gut. Logic can be built in by technology but not the gut. Most of the times in our lives, our decisions are based on gut and not by logic.

I believe technology will change life for the better in the future. But, no technology can substitute human emotions. We need to use  technology for improving our quality of life without getting impacted on our emotions. Today, we are willing to embrace technology and are increasingly losing the human touch.

Its like technology enables you to take a beautiful selfie without much effort as in the photo above. However, if we end up getting drowned in the sea taking a selfie on the beach, whom should we blame ?

Let technology lead us to a better tomorrow and we continue to trust human relationships to improve both technology and ourselves.

S Ramesh Shankar

16th May 2018

“WELCOME” to College

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Today is the first day for you at college. I remember I entered this wonderful institution 37 years back. It was a dream come true. I had done my graduation in science and it was my father’s choice. I wanted to study about people, which was my choice. My father gave me the freedom to choose and this college took the risk of admitting me.

I was nervous and the first day was memorable. If I have to welcome you today, I will urge you to remember the word – WELCOME – and what it means to you.

A. W – Welcome to the world of professional education. You may have graduated in arts, science, commerce or any other subject. Today you enter a professional course and it is different. You need to learn to learn all over again.

B. E – Education at college level is different from school. Whether graduate or post graduate level, you have to stand on your own feet and learn. There will be nobody to hold your hands or scold you. It is an opportunity to be self reliant.

C. L – Learn, unlearn and re-learn. Today the world is changing at an enormous pace. What you learnt yesterday may be history today and irrelevant tomorrow. Our ability to learn, un learn and re- learn will be our competitive edge in the future for you.

D. C – Change – Change will be the only constant in the world of tomorrow. Our ability to change ourselves and adapt to the changes around us will be our only guide to success.

E. O -Openness – We have to open our minds like a parachute. There is an opportunity to learn from everyone and everything around us. If we keep ourselves open, the opportunities to learn are limitless.

F. M – Morals – We often have the dilemma whether to be ethical or not. We see a lot of people around us in all walks of life who have made good money, the wrong way. We are also tempted to do. In my view, it is worthwhile to lead an ethical life. It ensures good health and happiness for you right through your life. Please remember, health and happiness, money cannot buy for you.

G. E – Excel – You need to excel in whatever you do here. Excellence is a journey and not a destination. You have to excel in academics, sports, cultural activities, field work, assignments and et all. If you excel and be the best nobody can ignore you. You will land up with a great job even before you finish your course.

Wish you all the best.

S Ramesh Shankar

July 2018

The flame

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A flame ignites our imagination. I have always wondered what does “fire” consist of. I have not found an answer as yet. I was a student of chemistry but still could not understand it. One thing I have understood is that fire generates light and heat.

A flame could mean different things for different people and in different contexts. Lets start with a teenager or an young adult. A flame could mean a person of the opposite sex, who ignites the passion in this person.

A villager may look at a flame as a source of fuel to cook food or keep himself warm during winters. It could also be significant from a religious perspective too. The flame in the forest could mean loss of life or livelihood.

The flame is a symbol of religious significance for a Hindu. A flame is burnt every day by the Hindus at homes and in temples to worship God. It is also used in religious ceremonies to offer our salutations to God. A flame is God in shapeless form.

When a building or a factory is in flames it is destructive. It can lead to loss of lives, property and livelihood. But a spark neglected may light the flame. This could be a good lesson in life. Are we neglecting sparks in our lives, which may lead to flames and ultimately destroy our lives and livelihood.

A flame is also a symbol of God in churches and other religious institutions. This symbolises that all religions lead us to the same destination. In my view, various religions are different paths leading us to the same God. We may call God by different names but the end is the same.

One of the interesting aspects of the flame is that it has no bias. It provides light to everyone with equal measure. If you tamper with it, it may burn you without any discrimination. It does not discriminate between the haves and have nots. One lesson the flame teaches us is to be unbiased in all our dealings in life.

Another interesting dimension of a flame is that it gives heat and light without expecting anything in return. This is a good quality to imbibe. It may be worthwhile to attempt giving to others without expecting anything in return. It is like the saying that the left hand should not know what the right hand is giving.

In the darkness of night, a flame can be the only source of light when electric power may also fail. It is interesting that man made sources of power and light are not always dependable but flame is. This shows that nature is beyond human imagination and we need to protect and preserve nature.

There is also a flame within us. We may call it our spirit or our soul. It keeps us ignited and always on our toes. It helps us to distinguish between the right and the wrong provided we are willing to listen to this internal flame.

Let the flame be lighted within us always.

S Ramesh Shankar

The ecstasy and agony of working as an HR professional in organizations today

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I became an HR professional by choice and not by chance. Now, if I look back at my career it has been a mix of ecstasy and agony at different periods of time. Both the organization and the environment contributes to it. But, I suppose it has been up to me to convert every agony into an ecstasy by creating opportunities for myself.

Let me reflect on some events of both agony and ecstasy to make my point. The first instance was more than three and a half decades back. I was posted to an iron ore mine more than 100 km away from a steel plant in central India. The joy of being selected into a public sector steel giant vanished after my training was over and I was posted to the mines. Within the first 48 hours I was gheraoed by the unions for more than 24 hours. It was agony at its worst, to say the least. However supporting managers and a great team helped me to convert this agony into a valuable learning experience. Even today, I am able to work collaboratively with unions and win their trust based on this experience.

The next big experience was in an automobile company more than two decades back. We had a big dream to evolve a vision and involve all employees in the change process. This was one of my best learning experiences of managing change and successfully implementing it. We introduced the “large scale interactive process, wherein we involved all the 1000 employees working for that business to evolve a common vision, understand where we were, where we wanted to go in 5 years and how do we get there by implementing the action steps. It was one of my most ecstatic moments as an HR professional. I have been practicing this learning even today to involve a large group of employees and implement real time strategic change efforts successfully.

About a decade and half back at an FMCG company I learnt the art of building trust. We had lost the trust of our employees and management lacked personal credibility. Again, although it was a crisis like situation, the support of a new enlightened management team helped us to re build that trust and gain employees’ confidence back over three years. Yet another situation of anxiety converted into an opportunity.

Today I work for a MNC. As a HR professional, I have learnt that we can convert an organizational crisis into an opportunity. Our customers were unhappy with the company. We worked with the management team and launched a “Customer first” intervention and trained more than 8000 employees to win customer confidence back. In this process, we not only earned customer loyalty but trebled our customer engagement scores. This has been one of my most gratifying experiences in HR to make a direct positive impact on our end customers.

Another learning experience in my current organization has been transforming our relationship with our unions. Although, we have internal unions, we had a evolved a love hate relationship resulting in at least one labour case filed by our union every month against us. We worked on this issue in a very systematic manner through establishing communication channels, reviewing all pending disputes in a fair manner and mutually withdrawing court cases and settling them through bilateral discussions. This has resulted in zero court cases filed in the last three years. This has been possible only due to objective support of both the union and management representatives.

All the above experiential learnings have taught me one lesson. Every crisis is an opportunity. As an HR professional, we cannot expect that our career journey will be filled with roses. It is always thorns and roses. It is up to us to convert every thorn into a rose by working on it.

One thing is true in today’s organization for all of us. What I learnt yesterday may be useful today. but may not make me a winner tomorrow in the market place. The rapid transformation of technologies and its impact on people, processes and organizations will have a huge impact on the role of HR.

One major impact I can foresee today is that although technology has provided multiple channels to efficiently communicate with people around the world in seconds, it has not enabled the effectiveness in the human connectedness. We may have a landline, two mobile phones, a tablet, video conferencing and IP calling facilities today but we do not talk to each other and understand each other as human beings. While I am a big fan of technology, I am equally concerned about the human alienation and loneliness within families, organizations and societies. This is a a big challenge for the HR professional to address since it will have impact on relationships within and outside the organization.

The generational shift will have its own consequences. Our ability to manage and balance multiple generations will be a strategic advantage for organization if HR is able to plan optimal interventions. Further, the VUCA world will challenge business models and impact the future of work. In my assessment, this will get impacted in five distinct spheres – work, skills, space, technology and life. All this will mean leaders have to adapt their styles to manage these radical shifts in organizational mindset of employees. HR has to partner employee and co create the future together with them and their manager in a digitized world of the future.

Diversity & inclusion will be an added dimension as a challenge to the HR function. It will be expected that the HR function facilitates diversity and inclusion as a culture in the organization of tomorrow as it is no longer a fad but a strategic advantage for better business outcomes.

As in the photo above, when five girls join the shop floor of your digital factory, you feel diversity is in action and not a slogan anymore.

One vital question for the HR professional today could be the survival of the function itself? Some thought leaders are questioning the need and survival of the HR function in the future world. I would think that as long as human beings exist, HR function will exist. However, tomorrow if an organization is going to be run by robots and AI then HR function may not exist. Having said that, it is important that HR function continually adds value to the business to ensure it is future proof.

Today’s environment is changing even before we realize it. Data analytics may alter business models and decisions. Cloud computing and artificial intelligence may crunch response times. Internet of things and connected devices may radically transform the way we experience life today. But human emotions and empathy will remain. It is up to us to anticipate this change and thrive on the chaos and convert every agony into an ecstasy by empathizing with our employees, suppliers and customers.

Every agony when reversed becomes an ecstasy.

The choice is ours.

S Ramesh Shankar

12th July 2018