Saturday, June 11, 2016

Amar's Pensieve - A Dedicated Training Facilitation Venue

I first met Amar Chegu who is Amar to me, Organisational Development (OD) expert, Management Consultant, Thinker, Philosopher, Ideator and Facilitator among other parts, in the later part of 2007. He called me over the phone and asked me if I could help with the content on his website. He was a flourishing management consultant and the President of the Hyderabad Management Association then. Now, anyone who speaks to Amar cannot go away without being impressed by the presence and attention he brings to the moment, along with a highly charming, articulate and intelligent persona. It helps also that he has a constant sparkle in his eye, a ready smile and a welcoming and approachable nature. I was pretty impressed by his demeanour on the telephone itself, and said I would certainly like to look at the content he wanted me to develop for his website.
Amar outside his office in his new venture - 'Amar's Pensieve'

Out First Interactions
I met him at his home-office. Amar looks, sounds and is, the consummate professional .When I looked at his website content, I realised that it was far better than anything I could conceive or create. It was clear, sharp, transparent and well thought out. It brought out all facets of the person and his work - including his interests in reading, writing, work. I confessed as much and told him that I could not better what he already had. He appreciated the fact that I was plain enough to tell him so.
Amar ensconced in 'The Enterprise'
When he heard that my first book had just been published he bought (Amar had this wonderful quality all through - he always bought every single book of mine) 'The Men Within' and gave me fine feedback. As he was an established professional in the Organisational Development area, it mattered to me that he could see the management facet to the rather simplistic story of a cricket team trying to win an improbable tournament.
An aerial view of 'Amar's Pensieve'
Since then, Amar, I am happy and proud to say, is the single largest buyer of 'The Men Within', buying dozens and dozens of the book and gifting it to his friends and associates in that very giving nature of his. He likes something, he shares is whole heartedly. My estimate is that he must have bought over 300 copies over the years. I think I signed every single one of them because he is also thoughtful enough to get the copies signed for the person intended. It gave me much needed solace and happiness to see this management aspect of the book being appreciated in such an actionable way by a practitioner. People can praise you to the skies but when they buy your book, it shows their appreciation. This is the kind of an appreciation that a writer craves for.
A view of the Obstacle Route

The Public Speaking Route
That he was the single largest buyer of that book in itself would have been good enough for me to be grateful to Amar. But Amar did more. He is also the sole reason why I got into two allied revenue streams that I never dreamt of. Amar invited me one fine day in his capacity as the President of the Hyderabad Management Association. He said 'Hari, we would like you to give a talk on 'Leadership and Team Building through Cricket' at the HMA. The audience would include practicing professionals and academics and students. The venue - British Library.'
The central lawn and the offices around it

Public speaking?? No way!!

I tried every trick I knew to get out of that talk. The few public speeches I had given till then were the ones I had given at book launches of 'The Men Within' - stressful, sweat drenched fifteen minute efforts to a small and encouraging group of friends and family. But to stand up like an authority and speak of such subjects before a knowledgeable audience was a formidable task. But he would not take a no. Trapped, I prepared, as I advocated in the book. I wrote and rewrote my draft for some 10-15 times. I stood before the mirror and read it aloud until I knew which line was coming when - maybe 10-15 times again. The speech was to be a two hour affair. It went on for 3 hours and pretty well too. Thus was born a speaker, thanks to Amar. Ever since, I have given over 100 speeches perhaps including one at a TEDx event recently - which reminded  me of the HMA speech all over again. Amar, was pretty much the reason for me to get into the speaking circuit and for adding the 'motivational speaker' tag to my resume.
Solutions Camp - Conference Room that Houses 100

The Management Consulting and Organisational Development Route
Another career stream also came to me thanks to Amar - my first formal OD consulting assignment. The Centre for Organisational Development, then led by our good friend Dr. Madhavi was looking to establish a winning culture. Amar suggested my name and the unconventional route taken by the team in 'The Men Within'. I had done a couple of workshops based on 'The Men Within', mainly to cricketers, but this was new. With Amar's support and encouragement, I brought the same workshop to the corporate area and I think did a fairly decent job for a novice. Of course, now I can see so many things that could have been done differently but then I only knew so much. From then on, Amar and I teamed up to conduct workshops and programs fairly regularly for several corporate teams based on the cricketing analogy of 'The Men Within' and its principles. We must have done some 25-30 together, if not more, to some prestigious names. To his credit, Amar, who is not too fond of cricket, did not hold it against the game, and chose to only look at how it would help the client. So the tag of workshop facilitator and management consultant that I carry, are also owed to Amar and his belief in my ideas. He believes in the creation of great champion teams and individuals just as I do.
Amar and his prized collection of books

My ideas, I must admit, are raw and not mapped on to any scientific theory - most of them come from my experience and understanding. Amar comes from a place of learning and exposure to scientific ideas and theories so in a way it kind of matched.

Amar's Pensieve - A Place for Organised Thought and Learning
Our friendship and association continued - and as professionals do we also drifted into different areas and streams. We did work together when the need arose. We still catch up over phone or a meal and discuss our ideas. So when the other day Amar told me that his dream of creating a space  for training and learning activities (which he had been sharing with me all along) had come true, I was thrilled and happy for him. He took me to his venture - aptly called 'Amar's Pensieve' - a name that introduces you to the man. It makes you think and ask. And the process of learning begins right there.

The Meaning of Pensieve - The Learning Begins
To quote Amar - ‘Pen-sieve’ is a magical vessel, referred to by J. K. Rowling in her ‘Harry Potter’ books. Thoughts can be placed in the ‘pen-sieve’ for looking at them dispassionately and taking decisions. The training centre: Amar’s Pensieve™, through its activity based emphasis seeks to be the pen-sieve for its visitors." The logo similarly has green grass and sunflowers and depicts "an eco-system which nurtures the evolution of meaningful thought and action".
The Enterprise
Dedicated Venue for Training and Learning
"Amar’s Pensieve" is a dedicated venue for facilitation and training though it has great potential as a lovely weekend getaway too, for the adventurous. It is located around 30 Kms (35- 40 min) from Gachibowli Circle -  # 6-46, Mothukupally Village, Moinabad Mandal, Ranga Reddy District - 501504, The place is spread over 3 acres in a lovely rural setting, not far from the Pragathi resorts. Amar envisaged it as a "secure activity-friendly Training Centre, a dedicated eco-system for trainers and trainees to engage in results-driven ‘learning-development-training-coaching-evolution’ activities and interventions, for competency development and organizational transformation". As you can see - I still don't touch much of Amar's copy - he does it so well.

Indoor and Outdoor Activity
Designed in such a fashion that it facilitates indoor, open-air and out-door activity - the focus being on activity. An impressive military style obstacle course stares you in the face and challenges you to your limits. Open-farm surroundings ensconce 20,000 square feet of training space. The training area consists of four buildings, grouped around a tennis court sized lawn (which can be used to play a short version of cricket for experientially learning team dynamics and leadership), providing a setting that is at once self-sufficient and convenient, for out-door, open-air and in-door training.
Amar and Me in the Pensieve
Enterprise, Solutions Camp etc
‘Enterprise’ - is the name of the administrative building which consists of work space, library and conference room. The Conference room can be used to hold meetings or training for up to 10 people. 'Solutions Camp’ is the closed-door training room that can seat 90-100 people in theatre style. It seats up to 60 people, in work-groups, around tables. All facilities like Wifi, LCD projectors, chairs, tables, boards, screens etc are available. A walk around the place, down the bucolic road, a shuffle through the obstacle course, a knock with a cricket bat and ball can all stimulate the creative juices.
Enroute to Amar's Pensieve

One can hire the Training Facility. The friendly and affable staff at 'Amar's Pensieve' will help with Transport and Food arrangements The training facility may be hired on a day or overnight (tent stay) basis by prior agreement. Transport through taxi or bus may be arranged as required. Set meals are provided as per requirement too.

For more information do visit www.amarspensieve.in/www.betterenterprise.in or contact Amar Chegu at +91-9848007151 amar@betterenterprise.

As always, I wish Amar great success in making his dreams come true and hope to conduct a few programs there myself. Amar's own set of programs are filled with activities, fun and focused learning. Amar's Pensieve really is a place where our thoughts get organised. Well done Amar and wishing you great joy, happiness and success

1 comment:

krishnajampala said...

Good effort Amar nd Hari.Wishing you the best. Krishna Kampala.