Tag Archives: motivation

Destination Unstoppable with Maureen Monte – A Journey of Strengths

On 28th July 2011, almost 5 years ago, I got an email from a lady, asking me to remove a link from IBM Manager Community – a place for all IBM People Managers, across the globe. I was the community manager then. It was 12:10 AM, India Standard Time and I was surprised – why would someone ask me to take down anything from a community I manage! The sender was Maureen Monte – someone I have never seen, never met, spoken to only once on a call with few other people.

Her point was valid – Why should we restrict the learning to a special set of people, when we can make a bigger, larger, more astounding impact. We did exchange few emails back and forth and we both knew, we are heading towards something brilliant.

We both joined hands and ran. The result of our partnership was the ‘biggest’ virtual learning event in IBM till date – from attendance: over 7000 people enrolled and attended the webinar sessions. Greater than 90% of the responses indicated that the workshops were valuable and should be shared with other IBMers.

I checked the replay data today: Our five webinar recordings have been downloaded over 12,500 times, accounting for 40% of all the downloaded recordings since June, 2011 (There are total 72 recordings). Continue reading


So you think you are Brad Pitt? or Mebbe Angelina?!

Two things in Barranquilla will never leave you wanting for more – the food and the warmth of people: Khalid Raza

The first thing we all note in any new place is food and it leaves a lasting impression on us. I am not a foodie (ask people around me and they would say I just nibble). But I feel I am eating a lot here in Colombia as the food is sumptuous and people who serve it to me are amazingly warm. My lunches and dinners have not been in the hotel I stay and hence I have already checked in into a lot of places and experienced a variety of tastes and flavors.


L to R: Khalid, Wendy, Ping and Remy @ Benito Juarez

Especially at lunch, Dani, Jordan and I, try to go to the neighborhood restaurants, which are most likely family-run establishments, to to savor the local and true to geo gastronomy. Meat is an integral part of the food here, however vegetarians will be happy too. (Dani is vegetarian). The food is not spicy, thank god because though I am Indian and we eat spicy food, me not so much.

Yesterday, I ate Arroz con coco (Coconut Rice), something Diana from ACR (our client) suggested that we try and it was yummy. It was different but really really tasty. At lunch, we went for an ‘executive buffet’ kind of a setup in which we get soup, main course, salad and desserts. The soups are magical here and the servings are huge. I am not a big fan of soups and never have them in India, but here, I am almost scraping the bottom of the bowl. The corn cake that I ate yesterday was yummy and filling.


Arroz con Coco and Beef Stroganoff

Now, going back to how we started the story, if you are wondering how is this in anyway about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie! When we arrived in Barranquilla, we had a meeting with Diego Sandoval from IBM security, where he detailed a long list of Do’s and Don’ts. Most of them being ‘don’ts’ and only one do – follow all do nots!

Diego’s sense of humor ensured that we laughed till we fell off of our chairs. About night life, he quipped, “…we guys think of ourselves as Brad Pitt and think all girls will fall for us so it does not appear strange to us if we get lured into any trap. Trust me we are not Brad Pitt so always be careful, and ladies please don’t think you are Angelina either.”

As we pack our bags to go to Cartagena this weekend, his advice will stay firm in our minds (Maybe lol). Hasta Manana.

Are you creating Cloned Social?

As the growth of ‘Social’ becomes exponential, everywhere, including organizations, we are seeing a trend, a trend which is becoming a dangerous monster, which will kill the very existence of it.

This monster gets life when we take steps to make ‘Cloned Social’. When efforts are put to inorganically grow the communities, or make them active, or when incentives are put to push the use of social media or when rewards substitute the intrinsic motivation.

In my last blog, The Fairy tale is ending, we read about how this phenomenon of incentivizing use of social media with in organization will actually kill it. By not letting people adopt ‘social’ if they find value in it – and making it a mandate and taking the charm out of it. Imagine all employees of a huge organization start posting status updates, not because they want to share it but they are forced to paste!

The problem is just not numbers or sheer waste of resource, it goes much deeper, inside our psych, and messes up our behavior system. It’s called over-justification effect. There are many studies that acknowledge and support this phenomenon.

Read the blog on socialmediatoday.com

You are the key!

There are times when the jig-saw never falls in place, although everything seems fine. Has it ever happened with you? At workplace, in your relations, in your career or maybe a small cards game! It happens all the time.

What do you do then?

The most difficult locks of life have a master key and that key is You!When no-one seems to care and you do not see any direction, have faith in your abilities. Sometimes all you have to do is grope in the darkness but keep the determination.

You are the Key!

You are the Key!

You may get hostile people with you, trickier times, there will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them. Constantly keep yourself stuck in the right direction. It will be darn difficult at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are.

And the sense of achievement will make you a more complete entity. Never give-up never give-in!

Share your thoughts and let others know when you faced a challenge and came out shinning!

How to keep Employees engaged?

Engaged EmployeesAt an informal dinner, I was recently asked, how do we ensure employees are engaged to make them feel important.

As usual, a lot of witty minds jumped in to share their intellect. The conversation revolved around taking the employees out for an outing to maybe a resort for a weekend. Someone mentioned giving away t-shirts and mugs helps. The idea of gifting i-pods also surfaced.Strange!

Why do employees need to engage in order to feel important? And important for whom? Themselves or stake holders?

Engagement and collaboration, if carefully managed, leads to members realizing the value of being with a community of like-minded people. A lot of minds perceive/confuse engagement with an offsite team outing or dinner or a trip to a resort to relax. But this only takes the minds off work and is that what organization wants? Keeping employees off work?

True engagement happens when employees overcome the barriers of teams, departments, BU, geos and start collaborating with one another and create an conducive environment for informal learning. Frequent and free flowing discussion forums, participation in MOOCs, strategically planned watercooler sessions and leader-speak events ensure employees are engaged in a productive way.

I had the privilege to host Will Runyon (IBM Director, Workforce Communications, Sales Incentives & Global Recognition Programs) on our IBM Manager Community’s watercooler call where he talked about IBM’s Global Recognition strategy and programs. The strategy has evolved from being a gift-provider to a culture-creator process.

Let’s watch this beautifully crafted video and lecture by Dan Pink on the surprising truth about what motivates us, to understand why ‘only-cash or cash like’ incentives aren’t the only incentives. Daniel H. Pink is the author of four provocative books — including the long-running New York Times bestseller, A Whole New Mind, and the #1 New York Time bestseller, Drive. His books have been translated into 33 languages.

While we continue to ponder and inch towards another centennial, IBM is growing as a smart place to work where recognition is higher than dollars.

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