Friday, September 14, 2018

Workshop at School of Management Studies, University of Hyderabad - 2018

It is normally a two-day workshop but since the student intake is now 120, we decided to do a one-day workshop for both sections with clear objectives for the day - learning mindset, goal setting, preparation and execution. I liked the one-day format that Prof Jyothi suggested and felt it would be more focussed. The first day I addressed students from Healthcare and Analytics, and then on day 2, I addressed the regular MBA. The content was the same. The workshop was conducted on September 6 and 7th, 2018.

We first administered a questionnaire on their clarity on goals, preparation, expectations etc. The same would be administered in the evening to measure any improvement.

Why MBA, Expectations, Approach
We looked at what the students expected from the course and whether they had any clarity about what to expect and how to go about it. We wondered if we could achieve our goals by being vague or by being clear.

Design or Hope
The example of being ready with bricks and cement and sand to build a house was looked at -  do we need a clear vision of what to build or go about it vaguely? The students understood the importance of building their career by design.

100% Responsibility is 100% Freedom - Your Best Chance
We looked at the concept of taking 100% responsibility for their careers and life. They are now full grown adults at 21 years plus with a right to vote and marry, and whatever happens, they now have to bear the consequences. So they are better off taking 100% responsibility for their lives and careers rather than hoping someone will help or something will happen because if it succeeds or not they will get blamed for it. I suggested that 100% responsibiity for their lives will give them 100% freedom and they can enjoy the consequences better.

Approach to Learning - 'I Don't Know' Is the Way Forward
We looked at the approach. I suggested that they may be feeling insecure which is not a great place to learn. All insecurity would be driven by the feeling that they do not know enough. I told them that no one knows everything so it is ok not to know everything. But to act like you know will add a lot of pressure and will stop all growth and learning. Saying 'I don't know' can be very freeing and can also be the beginning of all learning. People will help when we say we don't know and we can also do something to learn. A loud shout of 'I don't know' in the classroom and that it's ok and we were off.

Mindset - Fixed and Growth Mindset
We looked at the two governing mindsets and the students played roles of both mindsets. In the end we understood that the learning mindset can free them from a burden of 'knowing' and enable real learning. For my review on the book click on link.

Fixed Mindset Characteristics
Growth Mindset Characteristics
Desire to look smart
Desire to learn
Avoid challenges
Embrace challenges
Give up easily
Persist in the face of setback
Get defensive
Seek help to find ways to improve
See effort as fruitless
See effort as the path to mastery
Ignore useful negative feedback
Learn from criticism
Feel threatened by others successes
Find lessons and inspiration from others success
Plateau early and achieve less than their full potential
Reach even higher levels of achievement as a result and get closer to potential

Start With Why
We watched Simon Sinek's TED talk 'Start With Why' so the students understand their purpose. We discussed goals and how purpose drives great things - Sulabh and Goonj were discussed as ideas with great purpose and how they succeeded.

Goal Setting
We discussed the apocryphal Harvard study of students who set goals. We looked at how goals are important to bring our best. The students were told about how to set SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

Then we set a 20-year vision - with all the aspects of SMART goals. A few students shared their goals and we could make corrections until the picture was clear. Position, House, Car, Bank balance, Impact on society, work involved in, were all part of the 20-year achievement.

Then we set a 10-year goal keeping the 20-year vision in mind. Only condition was that it had to be in line with the 20-year vision. Again clarity on position, house, bank balance, impact etc.

Then they set a five-year goal keeping the 10 and 20-year goal in mind. Again position, company, bank balance etc.

Then they set a 2-year goal - what they would achieve in these two years at college and achieve what placement to be in line with their 20-year goal.

The fact that they were all connected and one had to start walking on the path from now on was impressed on them. With the learning mindset technique they could achieve what they set their mind upon.

OKR Technique
We discussed the OKR technique  to make their execution foolproof. Objectives were set for 2 years, 1 year and 6 months to understand the idea of how to set Objectives. They were significant and directional, 10 x of what they could achieve and not incremental. With Objectives, less was more.

For each Objective, we set 3-4 Key Result Areas which are metric driven, had a number, were specific, time-bound. If all Key results were achieved the Objective would be achieved as well. It was therefore important that the Key Results were set well.

The principles guiding the OKR system were - Focus and Commit to Priorities, Align and Connect to Team, Track fro Accountability and Stretch for Awesome.

(OKR Technique is taken from the book "Measure What Matters" - BY John Doerr. to see my review of the book click on link -

CFR Technique
One reason why the best Objectives and Key Results do not get achieved is because they are hidden from public view. So following John Doerr's advise, I told them to write their Objectives clearly with the Key Results, share it with everyone, and have conversations about progress. C is for Conversations, F is for Feedback and R is for Culture of Recognition.

The conversations and transparency of Objectives will push individuals to achieve their results and objectives.

I ended with an exercise in the regular section which I somehow could not do in Healthcare - an exercise to show that we have a lot of energy and that the energy and enthusiasm we have will double our income. Double your enthusiasm and double your income is the formula.

Measuring feedback
An analysis of the feedback from questionnaires.

Healthcare and Data Analytics (% improvement)
Regular MBA(%improvement)
Clarity on career path
36 %
34 %
Clarity on process to achieve potential
27 %
28 %
Goal clarity
30 %
28 %
Clarity on preparatory process to achieve goals
50 %

46 %

A Secure Society
We ended with my plea to be more secure as people, to be gentle and honest with themselves and to have a learning mindset, seek continuous feedback and stay on course for their goals. Their fear that by pursuing one goal they might miss on many others was dispelled - when we pursue one goal with all effort, we normally find our bigger goal.

Some Feedback From the Students

“Really sharpened our thoughts and enlightened our minds. Our goals are clear now. Came to know the importance of hard work.”

“Good to know that learning starts from saying “I don’t know”

“It was so informative. I was only 30% responsible – from now on I’ll take 100% responsibility for my life and career.”

“Very inspiring, helped remove dilemmas and fears, very interactive, clarity on my goals and ways to achieve it.”

“Helped organise my thoughts, year wise goal setting made me self-confident, showed me what efforts I need to put in.”

“Really inspired and highly motivated, whatever you said is not just for the job but for life. I know my role and responsibilities and I am sure that I will achieve them.”

“Learned the importance of why. The forms provided really helped us in self-assessment and self-discovery.”

“I was very unclear of what I wanted to do but after this session, I know what I want in my life. I am definitely looking forward to more sessions from you.”

“The most important thing I learned was to accept that ‘I don’t know’ which will help me grow.. lots of useful information.’

‘Quality of content – high, Motivation – very high, highly satisfied and motivated.’

‘Great talk, eye-opening, clear and simple to understand, Mindset, OKR (Objectives and Key results), CFR (Conversations, Feedback and Recognition), Really helpful.’

‘Will become a hard worker and will definitely achieve my 20-year goals.’

‘Made me clear about my short and long-term goals. Eye-opening session for me."

'Vast experience and vast knowledge led to a quality session. Put my goals on paper and I can feel it shape into reality – I believe in my goals much better now. Look forward to putting everything learnt into practice and achieve my goals.’

Healthcare and Analytics
‘Learned not to feel inferior and to learn from my mistakes.’

‘I only had a 2-year plan but now I am able to think of a 20-year vision.’

‘By listening to others and their goals I learned about more opportunities.’

‘Learned different ways and I am motivated to think and work for myself. Helped me to be more confident. To see clearly my goal.’

‘Learned how to prioritize things. I am more clear about myself than I was in the morning.’
‘Learned to be more responsible for my life.’

‘Perception of my thinking has changed. To achieve something big, groundwork needs to be done from the initial stage.’

‘Made me specific and practical in reaching my goal. Earlier I was not sure about the path and whether I can attain it. Helped me get a clear vision about my future goals.’

‘Encouraged us to break our shells of fixed mindset.’

‘It has given me a clear-cut aim. Helped clear the confusion I was suffering from any days. It has given me peace.’

‘Feeling very good than in the morning. Will continue my learning. Learned that success cannot be achieved in one day. It takes a lot of effort and hard work. Learned how to deal with our insecurities and learned to say “I don’t know”.’

‘I questioned myself many times during the workshop. About how many days I wasted till now. The workshop is very helpful as we have just joined the course.’

‘Helped me understand how to connect dots looking backward. Will apply the golden circle in every aspect of my life.’

‘Funful experience. I loved this day and I feel better than I was about an hour ago. Got a chance to share my views and heard how determined others are. Learned how I can frame an approach. Learned how my decision today can have an impact on my dream.’

Thanks all.

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