Pre-read

(1)  First 90 days – prelude; This is about strategies for leaders in new roles/jobs.

(2) First 90 Days Insight-1: Trust your boss

One of the concepts I liked from the ‘First 90 Days’ book is the “STaRS” framework.  Every business situation can be categorized into one of these: Startup, Turnaround, Realignment, Sustaining Success. Each situation needs a unique approach because the priorities and challenges are different. For example, quick decisions are critical in turnaround versus realignment. In realignment and sustaining success scenarios measuring success is not easy as against startup or turnaround. What is considered ok performance could have been worse and what is seen as good could have been better! In turnaround the focus is on dropping dead-weight, in startup it is on building solid team and so on and so forth… While I am at it, ensuring key personnel in organization go through STaRS situations grooms them. In fact, its one of the four ways selected people can be groomed:

1. Give cross-functional exposure

2. Expose to different geography

3. Prepare for career crossroads

4. Increase breadth of exposure to STaRS business situations

Hmm… makes a lot of sense! Anyone who has gone through all of this will be a lot wiser!

By the way, the insight I wanted to register was related to STaRS – Keeping my promise that you don’t have to read the book, I wrote a bit about it.

Unless you are in a turnaround situation, you are likely to encounter pockets of excellence in your new organization or group especially in a realignment or sustaining success situations. Consciously look out for these islands! General tendency is to be skeptical  or create a completely fresh setup. More often than not, if you are sympathetic to what is being said – you will realize there are interesting stuff that exists which can be leveraged or built upon. Some of this holds good for a new bride or groom – you enter a new system which needs to be respected. Understand first. Later, tweaking can be done for peaceful co-existence.

So, be sympathetic – this will help you spot more of those pockets of excellence!

Conscious of making full use of the breather between the two terms, even if it was just 1.5 days, I slept through most of the weekend, took my son for a horse-cart ride around the vastrapur lake. Bought some DVDs hoping to watch with wify and to write some movie reviews in the blog; instead watched India loose to the windies.

Suffering from ‘can’t stay away from mails for half a day’ syndrome, opened my mailbox on Saturday to find an invite for a weekend party with the EIRs. I decided to check out; Partly since, I found quite a few of the Re-search EIRs interesting and was confident about the same kind of caliber with iAccelerator EIRs. And also bcoz, I wanted to attend a party!

Well, it turned out to be quite interesting. I am only sad that I did not carry my camera. Otherwise, I intended to have one photo per blog entry. I didn’t expect the non-photo blog to appear this soon. Hmm… let’s not worry about frills alright!

Some of the profiles I met that night and what they are working on:

Freeman Murray, Founder of Upstart.in, a consultancy that assists technology start-ups. Freeman is a co-investor and is part of the Management Team of iAccelerator.

Ram, one of the EIRs and founder of Hashcube, an iaccelarator startup; HashCube has become one of the most successful companies to launch games for the recently opened up social networks of MySpace, Orkut and Friendster.

Vishal and Arpan; EIRs and founders of meraevent.com; Arpan and Vishal complement each other. Arpan is a complete techno-geek and a graphics designer. Vishal is the management guru.

Selvan and Sankar; EIRs working on an idea to build a statistical analysis tool for stock trading; Selvan says that he got fed up when his mutual fund firm kept loosing much more than what he did and that was the inciting incident for his discovery process. Since then he has worked on the algorithm and CIIE has put him in touch with Mr. Subinder Khurana, an IIMA alumni and CEO of MarketRx, a business analytics major now acquired by Cognizant technology solutions. He hopes to launch “bitstat” successfully by August 2009. Apparently, bitstat does a bit more than what transpired in our talk that night – check out http://www.bitstat.com/.