Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The fort called 'PEB' (Part I)

"Peb"bing can be a lovely break from the usual and monotonous 'Pubbing'... :-)

Just back from an arduous trek to a fort called 'Peb' after a four year gap in trekking. After having conquered forts like Harishchandragad, rajgad, Jivdhan Naneghat, Dhak, Duke's Nose, Torna and others, this one was a refreshingly new trek altogether.

One thing that gets reinforced after every trek is that you can never ever beat nature in its own game. Hats off to Shivaji maharaj for going this far to build these lovely forts across Maharashtra. This atleast gives us a reason to fight. To face extreme conditions and come out even stronger.

This is one of those beauties built by Shivaji Maharaj. He used the caves a silos for the purpose of storage of grains. Atleast that is what we hear from people around and those who have visited before.

I was in pune on one of those regular weekend trips catching up with friends. Had gone to meet some of my childhood friends (Though not sure if i am still out of that stage in life). Thats when Amol told me that he was going for a trek with some of his friends. As it is, i was leaving for mumbai the next day (Sunday), so thought i would do this trek on the way and then come back to 'Amchi Mumbai'. Not knowing what lay ahead for me, i accepted...

So, we reached Pune station at 11 PM hoping to catch the passenger and reach nerul (Base for the trek) early in the morning on Sunday (28/12/08). What was waiting for us at the Pune railway station was a long queue for tickets with some intermediate fights adding spice to the never ending wait for a ticket.

Then we called upon Amol's 'TO BE SASURJI' to do the honours. He is an employee with the Indian Railways. Five mins more and we have a ticket in hand. We boarded the train that was supposed to halt at Nerul (Thats where the trek begins) and the same was confirmed by the TT.

Three hours of sleep and we reach Nerul - Only to find that the train doesnt stop there... So we did what logical souls would call 'common sensical' -> Get down at the next station. So, we get down at Badlapur. The clock was showing 3:30 AM. One more surprise - The next train to Nerul is at 5:30 AM. Two hours of chatting and Garma Garam chais help us pass this time.

And here it comes.. The first train in the morning towards Karjat - A chilly morning that promised a day full of activity and fun. Just before we reached Nerul, there is a halt. The signal is red. We get down from the train to explore the surroundings enroute to nerul. Luckily for us, Nerul was not that far..

We reach Nerul at about six in the morning. Our initial plan was to reach the base of 'Peb Killa' around 5-5:30 AM. The base is still about 3 kms away.

The climb to the top, which was equally exciting, is coming soon in Part II...

‘P’ for Professionalism; ‘P’ for Politics

Just like there are 4Ps for marketing (Product, place, price and promotion), these are 2Ps which prescribe the success formula for any organization.

I often think why do some organizations succeed while others don’t and what is it that differentiates these types of organizations.
And then I realize that there is a stark similarity amongst the successful ones. These organizations follow a culture of ‘Professionalism’ to the core. They don’t do it for the sake of doing it…

Then comes the next question.

Why doesn’t every organization aspire to be a truly professional organization??

It is not all that easy for that idea to percolate within each and every employee. The vision of the top management should drive the employees into ethical and professional practices at work which would take them longer in the long run. There is always dilution of information as it passes up and down the hierarchy and horizontally across departments. The extent of this dilution decides the amount of effort to be put in to align everything to a common goal.

Now, you might be wondering what I mean by ‘politics’ in this case. Politics here refers to everything from regionalism to bias based on religion to favoring a specific employee irrespective of his/her performance. These are small things, but make a huge difference when you look at it from an organization’s perspective.

This makes me remember a quote by Hillary Clinton “The challenge is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible.”

It is upto each individual to decide which ‘P’ he/she wants to take. And if the vision of the top management is strong enough, it ensures that every one who is a part of the organization is aligned with the common vision. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen in 99% of the cases.

All said, a work environment that is driven by professionalism is the best motivator for employees and makes them give their best performance every time.

It certainly is a challenge, but not all that difficult to achieve; if all employees share the same vision for the organization and have a sense of responsibility and accountability.

Hillary Clinton Quote Reference:; All other thoughts are original.