2 Books I read recently

Tribe : We need you to lead us By Seth Godin

Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition Book by Anthony Iannarino

And I recommend everyone to read it by all professionals. I am sure it will be worth of your time.

The RACI matrix: By Far the simplest ideology I came across to manage team.

There will be days in your professional life when you feel that oh you learned something which will act like an elevator In your growth, discussion on RACI  Matrix was one of that.

I would like to give credit to @Sharada Bose , time to time I take advice from her ( she has been wonderful person & always ready for mentoring).In Early 2016 when I was onsite in USA for one of the largest Parking Solution provider of USA, She brought this topic while having discussion about cross functional team’s performance.

I would recommend top management should go through RACI matrix. Implementation in organization can be done multiple ways. May be it needs a separate blog post on it ;). But having thought process of RACI in early age can help a lot. Not only for executing IT Projects but this should be in DNA of the organization.

What is a RACI Matrix?

RACI  stands for Stakeholder’s Role Responsible Accountable Consulted & Informed

The four roles that stakeholders might play in any project/ task/decision include the following:

  • Responsible: People or stakeholders who do the work. They must complete the task or objective or make the decision. Several people can be jointly Responsible. Cross functional team members can be responsible as well. Responsible stakeholders are the one who needs to execute the task with or without help of other stake holders. More authority should be in hands of Responsible & accountable person.
  • Accountable: Person or stakeholder who is the “owner” of the work. He or she must sign off or approve when the task, objective or decision is complete.  In smaller organization & smaller task Responsible person can be an accountable too. As an organization there should be only one person accountable. Multiple people in this role usually create conflicts.
  • Consulted: People or stakeholders who need to give input before the work can be done and signed-off on. These people are “in the loop” and active participants. People who may be at same position or may be lower or upper in management or may have better knowledge about the task ( it can be cross functional or it can be outside of the organization also) should be consulted for input in decision making. Also people who may not be responsible or accountable but may get highly affected by the decision should be consulted during the process.
  • Informed: People or stakeholders who need to be kept “in the picture.” They need updates on progress or decisions, but they do not need to be formally consulted, nor do they contribute directly to the task or decision. ( sometime people make mistake on consulting a stakeholders who are supposed to be informed not consulted) If there is a change in the process or decision is made on something there may not be direct impact on day to day process but to ensure that their own decision making process stays aligned with what organization has decided, these stakeholders should also be kept in loop.

 More about Responsibility Alignment Matrix

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_assignment_matrix

https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/raci-matrix.php

https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/how-to-do-raci-charting-and-analysis.php

Every time when you think of a change management, project management ensure to fill up RACI matrix.

Feel free to tag me on Twitter @ketanraval or linkedin @ketanraval if you want to discuss more on this. I am happy to share my experiences. Yes I did implement this in multiple companies & department.

10 Things Every Business & Professional Should Learn from the Game of Cricket

To many outsiders, the fervent fanfare that dominates the game of cricket, appears feverish, intense, and incomprehensible to most. Why? It can be sorely boring to watch, it requires expensive equipment and turf, a lot of space to play and in some format of cricket single match can take days to complete. Despite this, it is one of the most beloved games in the world, with millions of individuals watching televised matches in India alone where it has become a pseudo-religion of sorts. With 105 countries involved with the International Cricket Council (12 full members), the game has clearly made an impact on the global competition sphere and like many other sports, there’s quite a lot one can learn from the game. Few matches has got 500 mn/1 bn viewers ( figures will be lot higher as India/Pakistan/Bangladesh/Srilanka still has not been fully digitized to have accurate viewership data)


• Every Game Is Different & Needs a Special Team.

When it comes to cricket, every format of the game will call for different requirements, such as strength, knowledge, training, and skill. In any environment that has a team setting, you will get different types of individual personalities, anything from outspoken extroverts to shy introverts to boisterous members, and intelligent/clever individuals. What this does is encourages diversity, creativity, problem solving, and opens the team to new perspectives, which can contribute to the team’s success. A professional that understands that personalities have different strengths and weakness, different nuances, and different capabilities, can learn how to embrace, encourage, and communicate with each team member effectively, creating that special dynamic that is needed for team success.


• Every Individual Has a Role to Play.

When it comes to any type of team, whether it be on the field or in the office, the success that transpires can only come about if every member is playing their role effectively, unimpeded, and with ease. In understanding your role and executing it, you are allowing others to go about their jobs without difficulty. Every role plays into one another, effects one another, and is key to how a team functions.

• Wicketkeeper is Not a Captain, but His/her Role is Not Diminished as Such.

Although captains of teams are often designated as the one’s who have greater ability, have shown promise or extensive knowledge, or have leadership qualities, doesn’t mean that any other member on the team is diminished as such. In cricket, the wicket-keeper may not be the captain of the team calling the shots, may not be the bowler, and may not even be a fielder, but they are just as important. Why? They stop the deliveries that pass the batsman, they prevent runs from being scored, and can dismiss the batsman in a variety of ways. CEO may not have the best picture of the organization all the time & Business must have reliable wicket keeper .

• Teamwork is More Important Than Individual Performances.

The one thing that sports teams and business teams have in common is that they are both made up by individuals who are driven, focused, and ambitious. When these individuals have star performances, it’s great but it doesn’t necessarily bode well on the team as a whole. Value teamwork over individual performances because teamwork creates synergy, it supports an empowered way of working, it promotes less hierarchy, it fosters flexibility, and it creates a sense of achievement for all involved.


• Communication, Timeout & Breakout Sessions are Important.

When it comes to any type of game, work condition, or project, effective, clear, and concise communication between members is critical. Taking timeout breaks and breakout sessions, are imperative to ensuring that everyone is familiar with how everyone else works. A breakout session can be utilized to discuss and pinpoint specific areas of concern on a broader theme, agenda, or topic and timeout meetings can re-orient the team along the correct path to success.


• Six or Wicket, Keep Moving.

One of the harder obstacles to overcome within team settings is to keep steering in difficult situation. In cricket, an opponent may steal your wicket or hit a six , attempting to stop you from being successful in your actions by sledging. Likewise, professionals who must work together on projects may come into conflict with workflow, communication, or problem-solving methods. Every individual person works differently, but conflict should not stop you from moving forward. When experiencing negativity, try to keep your eyes on the forward progression and keep the end goal in sight.


• Toss, Pitch Report, Location, & Time Plays a Big Role in Winning.

When it comes to winning in cricket, there are specific variables that play a massive role in whether a team wins or not. For instance, the Telegraph notes that teams who won the toss and batted first, won 111 out of 201 Tests played while losing only 56 of those matches. The location,Pitch also plays a psychological factor in whether a team wins or loses, Dealing with these types of conditions, issues, and constraints will always play a big part on a team’s success. Similarly in Business or in professional career there will be many factor which will play significant role in collective success.

• When in Doubt, the Umpire Makes the Call.

As it is well known fact Umpire takes the decision & when in doubt third umpire is called for, similarly no matter you are business owner or professional there will be time when decisions are taken by someone else who has the best knowledge of the situation.


• Brick by Brick, Run by Run, Play by Play, and Session by Session.

Break it Down. Many of you would be fan of Dhoni they he tackles/tackled some incredibly difficult plays on the cricket field or taking on a massive project as a professional. When you break down a play , you increase your likelihood of understanding what each step requires, what knowledge you need to tackle it, and what the most efficient route for success is. Your next move should be based on current situation from all future possibilities, Concentrating on one thing will help.

There’s a lot more at Stake Than you Think.

It can be very easy to think of the game of cricket as just a sport that throws a ball and swings a bat, but for many individuals and teams, it represents so much more than that. As we know Cricket is celebrated like religion in some countries & it has significant role in individual’s life even for spectators. One single run or wicket or even an interview at coffee show can make or break economy, career & lives of millions. Every task one professional does has a significant impact on world & one must have full sense of responsibility on what they do.

6 TV Shows Entrepreneurs Should Keep Watching in 2019

When it comes to our perceptions about entrepreneurs, there is this idea that they are constantly on-the-go, hustling their business, improving themselves, reaching new milestones, and obliterating anything that proves to be a distraction. However, despite the fact that entrepreneurs may not have a lot of free time to kill, there is still quite a lot that one can learn from watching television shows like ABC’s Shark Tank, and CBC’s Dragon’s Den. Beyond finding inspiration for overcoming obstacles, entrepreneurs can take away quite a bit of learning and education just by having the television show on in the background of the workday.

The ABC’s Shark Tank. This is one of the oldest and most popular American business-related reality TV show currently on the air allows budding entrepreneurs a shot at bringing their dreams to fruition by presenting and pitching their ideas to a panel of industry leaders who have turned their ideas into multi-million dollar empires. The billion-dollar tycoons look to invest in the best business products and services that are offered up by the entrepreneurs cast on the show. If one or more of the tycoons likes the idea and wants to invest their money, a bidding war can erupt, driving the investment sky high in price. The best thing about this show for entrepreneurs watching is they get to see both the highs and lows of the entrepreneurial journey and get some tips on how to polish your pitch making skills.

CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Although very similar to Shark Tank, this Canadian production provides entrepreneurs with an unscripted, front-row seat to the country’s top venture capitalists. Individuals who have business propositions are allowed to approach the five dragons with a pitch of their idea and if any of the dragons are interested in the idea, will fork out thousands of dollars to help them get their business idea off the ground. Negotiations do happen and the entrepreneur may find themselves with a dragon that wants a higher equity percentage, royalty sales, or may get a flat out offer. The main key here is that an entrepreneur is not permitted to accept an offer or multiple offers unless those offers total the amount they initially sought for their business idea. For budding entrepreneurs, Dragons’ Den provides a full-on look into how negotiations, partnerships, and pitches are dealt with in real-time.

CNBC’s Awaaz Entrepreneur. This Indian television series focuses on small and medium enterprises with the intention of aiding and educating budding entrepreneurs within the country. For those who want to learn a thing or two, Awaaz Entrepreneur helps young individuals understand the nuances associated with building and starting up business ventures. The idea behind the show is to help support emerging businesses within India to help make them successful since small and medium businesses are the driving force of the Indian economy. The series showcases the journey that small and medium enterprises must take to transform into larger businesses and it resolves common business-related queries through guest experts on the show.

Apple’s Planet of the Apps. Another American reality TV created and broadcasted by Apple Music provides developers with a chance to pitch their ideas to a team of successful entrepreneurs. If the entrepreneurs like the idea being pitched, they will mentor the app developers through the creation process, provide funding, and help with scaling the application up. Successful entrepreneurs include Gary Vaynerchuk from VaynerMedia, Will.i.am who is a multi-faceted entertainer, Jessica Alba an American actress and businesswoman, and Gwyneth Paltrow who is also an American actress and businesswoman. Those who participate in the show can learn a lot about industry knowledge from the best.

CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer. This American reality TV show introduces promising small business owners to Tilman Fertitta, one of America’s most successful businessmen. Tilman Fertitta is the CEO, owner, and sole shareholder of Landry’s INC, a multi-brand dining hospitality, entertainment, and gaming corporation that operates across thirty-five states. Throughout each sixty-minute episode, Fertitta spends time with two small businesses, shares his expertise with them on how to push improvements out for their products, and then decides whether to place an order with one, both, or neither of them. With the purchasing power of two billion dollars, not only can Fertitta transform the small business owners’ companies but their lives as well.

CNBC’s Follow The Leader. Each thirty-minute episode has the best-selling author, Farnoosh Torabi, spending forty-eight hours with superstar entrepreneurs in a bid to find out what makes these individuals so successful. Those who are watching from the television screen will get to see unique business philosophies, learn about new methods and practices that brought these individuals to success, and find out what talents they were able to use to reach business success. You will get to see the likes of Tracy Anderson (Tracy Anderson Method), Katia Beauchamp (Birchbox), and Gary Vaynerchuck (Co-founder of VaynerMedia).

Regardless of whether you are just starting the process of your business, are in the midst of expanding what you have built, or are already quite successful, taking some time to relax, recharge, and find inspiration is not only good for one’s soul but it can provide you with unexpected inspiration. So rather than feeling guilty for not hustling and grinding, consider watching the above shows and get a look at how the business world works behind-the-scenes.

What it takes to be a successful entrepreneur may be different for everyone, but the new methods and strategies you can learn from these television shows may enable you to grow and build your business beyond what you ever thought capable.

*Images are copyrights of respective shows. Happy to remove in case of objection.

Can Introvert Be A Good Leader? How?

This has been prime concern for Startup Founder who are introvert or small town startups who jumps into bandwagon of new city life. As leadership can not be hired upfront for non-funded startups. Introvert founders tends to feel insecure in this glittery startup world.

There are some really critical abilities introverts usually has compare to Extroverts which makes them perfect for leadership.

Introverts tend to bottle up emotions but they unload emotions at the right time. Do you know most people believe that introverts can’t be good leaders? There is no truth in this claim. An introvert can be a good leader and lead from the front in the right situation.

In fact, as an introvert, there is a practical approach to do things in the right way. Introverts are passionate about their work and that works in the decision-making process. External environment and social gatherings easily stimulate an extrovert. But, an introvert needs time to get the same stimulation as a cause and effect. Introverts need extra motivation to express themselves.

Once it’s done in the right way, there is no looking back. Do you know that there are some big leaders in the world who are introverts? Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, John Kennedy, and Rosa Parks are all introvert leaders but successful with their leadership skills. These leaders sought motivation through long-term goals and planning.

If you are an introvert and aim to be a good leader, then here are a few pointers for you.

Introverts are strong and flexible

Great leaders are always misunderstood and that is common in political situations. As an introvert, you are strong enough to face any situation because of a flexible approach. Most people misunderstand introverts because of their quiet nature. That is the reason they are able to handle any situation with ease and flexibility.

They have that confidence to face any situation without any problem, as they are resilient. If you are strong and flexible, then you have a great trait to be a leader. You won’t really succumb easily to any pressure or unforeseen political situation. You’ll handle any challenge with persistence and perseverance.

Introverts keep safety in mind

Most introverts work on planning. They keep in mind every action that leads to security. They think about details in the process. This trait is truly beneficial for followers of the leaders. As an introvert, you follow a methodological approach that also counts to safety. Followers need assurance and they do count on security.

Introverts can not only assure security but also make followers feel safe. Introverts make plans that are well thought of. They consider every detail about the issue before concluding. This is a great trait followed by introverts, which can help them lead better.

Introverts react according to situations

Introverts are great in analyzing things and that is the reason they react to things in a different way. They take time to think and then decide. In short, they are less reactive as compared to extroverts. Great leaders do elude confidence and their decision making power is good. As an introvert, you can be a good leader if you don’t react to a situation that easily.

Introverts reflect on before reactions. This can help them stay cool in situations that go out of control. Extroverts can be hyperactive at times but introverts react according to situations, so isn’t this a sign of being a great leader.

Introverts take time to think

Great leaders take time to think and delegate on good terms. The thought process that introverts have can be a good trait to become a leader. Introverts are good at analyzing situations and they often make decisions based on deep thinking. Introverts are not afraid of solitude. In fact, they think well when they are alone.

They aren’t emotionally dependent on any person for taking decisions. This trait is far superior to extroverts. Reflective thought process often leads to good decisions. Introverts take time to think and follow a strategic direction in leading. As an introvert, you can play on your strength.

Introverts are good listeners

Leaders are motivational speakers but they also need to be good listeners to understand situations. Great leadership doesn’t require constant talking, it also requires listening and contemplating. Being an introvert, it’s easier to instruct and listen in a better way. You need to have that patience to focus on relevant things and take feedback from people around you.

In fact, introverts have that innate power to listen to people around and take a calculative decision. This is the strongest trait of an introvert and also a great leader. There should be a balance of thinking, talking and listening.

Introverts display strategic perspective

Leadership requires a strategic perspective and introverts do that well. Unlike extroverts who take all the decisions in a moment, introverts are more sorted that way. They observe and analyze each and everything before taking a decision. They are not too social but they consider sensory details before arriving at a decision.

As an introvert, if you think about others viewpoint then this quality of yours can be truly powerful to lead. A planned approach is always better than a hasty decision in life. Introverts can deal with bigger things in a better way.

Introverts influence through actions

Actions always speak louder than words. What is the use of words if nobody acts on it? That’s the difference between an introvert and an extrovert. Introverts believe in actions rather than speaking much. People who follow influential leaders admire the quality of the action. They have immense belief in what the leader does or will do for them.

Introverts don’t talk much but when they do they make every word count. That’s indeed a great quality of a successful leader. Introverts are not only committed to their action but they also believe in consistency. As an introvert, you can not only influence people through your work but also leave a positive impact on them.

Introverts visualize better

Introverts are always lost in their thoughts as they speak less. And, that helps them to visualize in a much better way. Introverts set long-term goals with the power of visualization. They think about the consequences of action so the power of visualization works for them.

Extroverts also visualize but introverts are better in deep and reflective thinking. Leaders who visualize always leave an impact in the future. They turn the power of visualization to said action. Being an introvert, your power of visualization can also help you to develop a great leadership quality.

To sum up,

An introvert person can be an equally good leader as an extrovert. You just need to balance your time and optimize your thoughts for deep actions. You need to be clear in your thought process and stay strong. Whatever you observe, you can just write it down and use it later for decision-making.

Keep the whole process transparent and genuine, as that’ll help you develop great leadership qualities. Being an introvert, you can also have that determination to excel further and leave an impact on your followers. Your ways could be different but your actions are similar.

Power of a great leadership starts with intent and not the way you are. You can influence people with your honest approach. It all starts with your true actions and the way you want to lead.

Be unapologetically true to yourself to be a great leader. You’ll be able to set a benchmark for yourself for sure.

10 Lessons You Can Learn from the TV Series Peaky Binders

I don’t pay for suits. My suits are on the house or the house burns down.

  1. Always Put Family First. At the end of the day if you have no one to share your success with, then it truly means nothing. Form a close family with those whom you trust and always put them first, as they will support you to the very end.
  2. Fake It Till You Make It. Always make sure that you are delivering on your purpose in every way possible. When your team expects something special from you, stand up and deliver on it even if you don’t know what you are doing. Learning along the way is critical for success, authority, and respect.
  3. Do Not Try to Control Everything. When push comes to shove, you’re not going to be able to control everything as unforeseen circumstances are going to arise. Trying to control it all leads to undue hardship in the way of stress. Delegate out the responsibilities and trust that others are going to get the job done but step up when you are needed.
  4. Never Let Success Pollute You. An exceptional leader will be able to take credit without forsaking accountability. Meaning, they will be able to take responsibility for all actions, decisions, performance, and behavior including the ones that deserve applause and the ones that deserve an apology. When a leader is accountable, employee engagement increases as responsibility and humbleness creates a culture of respect.
  5. Good Planning + Better Execution = Better Results. In order to create a good plan, one must first know what end they have in mind. This requires a leader to have three qualities. Passion or a drive/motivation, an initial vision of how to set this passion in motion, and a mission to make it happen. Furthermore, individuals that are able to create a mission statement based on the end that they have in mind will be better able to communicate this with their team.
  6. Always Make a Good Entrance and an Even Better Exit. Remember that having “enough” is never the end goal. When you begin as a leader, you may start small with a good, solid entrance but that will not be enough as you will want to make an even better exit. What this means is that starting off with a solid plan that is executable is great but reaching that end result that is a million times better than what you started with, is what you should be aiming for.
  7. With Great Power Comes Even Greater Burden. Keep in mind that the more your business grows, the more you will be responsible for. This may come in the form of having to manage more employees, or deal with miscommunication and mistakes and so the burden of doing everything properly will become great. Put measures in place to help you through this.
  8. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew or You’ll Choke. Although not directly related to business, biting off more than you can chew will always cost you, no matter what business, situation, or circumstance you are in. Taking on too much will cause situations to turn negative real fast because you’ll choke, either on workflow stagnation, creativity, or motivational drive.
  9. The Lower Rungs of Society Hold Vital Decision Making Information. Always remember that it is your position within the company that will attract attention and not necessarily you as an individual. This means that even those who are at the top need to understand that it is those at the lower rungs who hold the vital information required for making important decisions. As Tommy Shelby shows, no one is so important that they cannot shovel the shit too and only when you do, will people buy into who you are and the vision you provide.
  10. A Strong Foundation Keeps Everything Else From Crumbling. Without a strong foundation built on core, uncompromising principles, your business will crumble as you will not have the pillars to hold it up. As Tommy Shelby does, sew together a foundation built on passion, vision, and a solid mission that all members of the operation can get behind.

7 Points Agenda I implemented to Build a Strong Multi-Location Company With Company Culture

Although there are advantages to working exclusively in a commute only company, the number of individuals who prefer to work remotely is on the rise. According to Gallup, a United States research firm noted that those working remotely rose to forty-three percent in 2016, up from thirty-seven percent in 2015. As these numbers rise, the misconceptions around remote work, such as decreased worker productivity, communication issues, and negative company culture, are being challenged. Companies are choosing to embrace the flexibility, mobility, and diversity that remote work offers, and are building strong multi-location companies as a result of this dynamic workforce shift.

Continue reading → 7 Points Agenda I implemented to Build a Strong Multi-Location Company With Company Culture

Micro Management vs Macro Management: An Entrepreneurs Dilemma

When it comes to business workflow, task delegation, and attention to detail, an effective leader is going to evenly spread out tasks with clear, concise, and efficient instructions without becoming too involved in the details of how the work is done. On the flip side, an effective leader must also be present without being too vague on expectations, and results. This creates a bit of a dilemma, as you cannot do one without the other and so striking a balance between these two stances can be incredibly difficult. Working with multiple remote teams, multiple startups has been roller coaster ride. I would like to share my point of view on what micro-management and macro-management are, why they create issues, and how entrepreneurs can find success between the two.

Continue reading → Micro Management vs Macro Management: An Entrepreneurs Dilemma

Management Lesson From Kitchen

After my recent business trip for our company Lets Nurture & Karconenct, I & my wife had a plan to spend some time together. Due to rainy season we had to do it at home. We decided to get high by cooking. My wife is a wonderful cook for Gujju Cuisine.

The Muffin Experience..

Muffin is not that difficult thing to cook so we decided to play with it. Here we both had a great experience with each-other ( we had this encounter in past but at that time we did not put second thought on it).

Always good to be at receiving end sometime..

Whenever I am in kitchen it is kind of a yoga for me.. It gives me some detachment with the routine, gives me some mental exercise. But for my wife it is whole different thing & we know this.

I started preparing things for muffin , she started suggesting, I started doing as per my own.. She started arguing.. I kept following my way & she started yelling. Even though I am familiar with my Kitchen , I was struggling to get some tools. And it helped me to realize things look easy from far & even if you know it can take time sometime.

Then I revolted “ Have I ever asked you how you should be cooking everyday?” And She reverted “No”  & added but in many of the stuff which I dont know you and you tell me to do you act similarly. It was a pause moment for me :).

Know your end customer’s requirement

Then she started telling me to go out I did not know why she was insisting me to go out of kitchen initially. But when I did not she told me to add 1 tb spoon oil . I said “no” And She said then it will not be soft. I said you have to understand we have to stay low fat & I am absolutely fine with bad taste or bad experience. Here She learned a lesson ( And I too) that whatever we are cooking it is has to be in best of your end customer’s point of view.

Its not always like what you think

Next week I decided to help her in morning with Tea. Making Tea is a simple task but it also needs 100% concentration.I realized by forgetting closing lid , spoiling kitchen floor due to not focusing properly. In couple of days I realized it is really great activity to recharge brain in the morning but it is definitely not that easy to adopt new things. Willingness to change is a must for the improvement.

Following weekend we learned how to make Tacos & it was amazing 🙂

We learned another lesson of communication.. 🙂