Saturday, June 27, 2015

2 Day Workshop at VJIM - 4 Ps and the Student as the Product

The 'Champion's Mindset' program for MBAs applies the four Ps on the student. The idea is to find the right marketing mix for the student. Students look at themselves as a product, identify the place they are best suited for, find the right promotional activities to build the brand and determine their price. It's a valid question after all and an exercise that makes them think.

What am I as a product? Which market place am I aspiring for? How do I promote myself and as what? What am I worth?

The core idea is to shift a mindset of entitlement and no-ownership to a mindset of responsibility, learning and effort. It's difficult. That's why its called the champion's mindset.

Stay foolish, Stay hungry
First we discussed the importance of being foolish. Dropping all pretences of knowing everything and being silent and instead asking foolish questions that will clear ignorance.

Mindset - The New Psychology of Success
Second we had a session on the mindset to adopt - I cannot thank Carol Dweck enough for her wonderful work on the Mindset here (read her book 'Mindset - The New Psychology of Success'. The difference between a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset was discussed and I was glad to hear some of them mention that they would adopt a learning or growth oriented mindset in their feedback at the end. It is purposeful effort that counts in the end and not talent.

A gist of the book on my blog can be read at this link.

Me - The Product
Then the parts that ask questions and seek introspection. What am I as a product? The answers lacked clarity and conviction mainly because we never look at ourselves that way. It's only under duress that we become honest and that's when we look at ourselves as we are. We did a quick exercise on knowing strengths (from parents and friends). They enjoyed it. The idea was to back themselves 80% on their strengths and 20% on addressing weak areas.

We listed the characteristics of  good products and wondered where we fit in them. How can we be the iphones? We concluded that they all had potential - all the spare parts of an i phone were there  - but they had to put them together to be of any use to anyone. The better one can get at putting those parts together and satisfy a need, the better their chances are to get accepted as a product. The question is - how does one put it together?

Goal clarity
We looked at their goals - to see the potential the product has. A list of 50 goals was made - to expand their minds - and also to make one aware of thought processes and their limitations. The goals were aligned keeping in focus the first goal - the one to aim for by the end of the 2 year course. The first goal will be the enabler for all other goals to come true. So we put all effort into getting goal clarity for the first goal.

For more info on the same, a link to a workshop I'd done sometime ago.

Process Orientation - How to achieve goals
The path to achieve the goal was discussed. Goal clarity, planning, implementation, belief, monitoring and achievement - with nuances. The optimum use of resources available was suggested. Time was an important resource - just as energy was. In time we arrived at having 270 days before they go out of the institute. At 10 hours a day the result threw up 2700 hours which were available to them to prepare for their first goal and more. Those who use these 2700 hours well could really make a difference to themselves. A few major steps were written down and time allocated to each - say 100 or 200 hours to learn.

We saw Sean Stephenson's 'The Prison of Your Mind'' talk just to see how their minds can restrict their stories.

All Preparation, No Luck - 2700 hours!
There was some talk of luck and destiny and how one cannot avoid it. I told them it was better not to take such words in consideration and instead focus on effort. Then only good luck comes our way. We looked at how one prepares - skill, physical and mental areas. How preparation is directly proportional to performances and how it throws up opportunities. When we miss opportunities it reflects lack of preparation. When opportunities come seeking us it shows we have prepared more than required. How the 2700 hours can be used is the key.

The making of an expert - link

Where - Place
What the goal setting exercise did was also to identify where one wants to go - i.e. the place. Again we expanded the mind - like all those looking for bank jobs were asked to think about MNC banks also as an option and not merely restrict oneself to what the senior batches had done. This shows the importance of the Place in the scheme of things, in the marketing mix. Working towards a goal of getting a job in an MNC bank in New York versus working in a Grameena bank require different preparation, different levels of ambition.

Promotion - Brand building
On Day 2, we examined how one promotes oneself. Banding oneself through various routes - blogs, digital media, achievements, skills, awards, all show seriousness. Networking with people on the industry, with teachers, with known experts, joining clubs and associations - it all helps. In the end try to find the best way to brand yourself and promote yourself accordingly. Make some noise about who you really are and what you have done.

Value - Worth - Price
We discussed the importance of belief in our own worth. If we have no idea how to value ourselves or what we are worth we are struck. The best way to feel worthy of high value is to keep adding value to oneself. To add value to oneself one has to have a growth mindset, to explore new things, to go out of one's comfort zone. The students were advised to do small acts that grow them every day, where they take on new things and thus expand their minds to new things. This exercise of doing 21 new things every day will help increase their concept of self-worth along with the constant growth path and a sense of ownership.

We discussed the concept of money and our money consciousness. Here I gave them some insight into the book 'The Richest Man in Babylon'. A link to the book review on my blog.

All employers love an attitude of ownership after the basic skills etc are taken care of. If a person is seen as someone who can demonstrate the capacity to take ownership, the person has higher chances. It's better for students to now find or create more such experiences in their 2700 hours which demonstrate their capability to 'own' things. This requires taking up more responsibility etc. If there is one thing they must learn its this. The other two important things are goal clarity and process-orientation.

10000 hour rule for expertise vs Josh Kaufman's 20 hours to learn anything new
We looked at the famous 10000 hour rule for expertise, what makes an expert, what deliberate practice means etc. Then we looked at Josh Kaufman's 20 hour to learn anything TED talk which gave much freedom. To learn anything new he says it only requires 20 hours of deliberate practice. It needs four steps - deconstruct the skill (easier said than done, needs expert guidance), learn enough to self-correct (again expert guidance of a coach or teacher helps), remove practice barriers (use energy well) and lastly put int the 20 hours.

Link to Josh Kaufman's TED talk

Leadership models of Insecure leaders, Personal leaders and Secure leaders
I introduced the idea of personal leadership - one needs no position or power to exercise one's responsibility.  There are no limits there.

Link to my talk on leadership at L&T, Tech

The students shared their feedback about the program at the end in an exercise that was also an exercise at getting out of their comfort zone. Speak at the dais about what they learned.

Action points
Three key action points -
1) Work on goal clarity and prepare deliberately using resources of time (2700 hours) and energy well to achieve the first goal, ideally prepare way beyond what is required to attract better opportunities
2) Do more acts of ownership by taking more ownership for their life thereby building a brand that has taken ownership for itself and is reliable
3) Work on the 4Ps and take feedback from the environment in terms of performances, opportunities coming up, and then use the understanding of process-orientation to work at creating more value for the product

Ideally, the institute should be able to develop a method to measure the student on the 4Ps by the last semester. Let's see if something like that can be worked out.

1 comment:

Rajendra said...

good idea-the last one.