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Celebrate it more often

In an earlier interview with The Smart Manager, author Hap Klopp explained why Silicon Valley companies are a class apart—they recognize the fact that excellence is only achieved via radical action, and that radical action has an incrementally higher probability of failure. They keep ‘failure’ in perspective and do not let it overwhelm them.
It is not something to be averse to—‘failure’ could be the winning mantra if seen as a strategic step along the growth path.

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Stepping stones

John Lunney, Sue Lueder, and Gary O’Connor of Google write in an article on re:Work, “We use postmortems to carefully document and disseminate learnings from any mistakes… A postmortem is the process our team undertakes to reflect on the learnings from our most significant undesirable events… For us, it’s not about pointing fingers at any given person or team, but about using what we’ve learned to build resilience and prepare for future issues that may arise along the way.”* It is this attitude that startups and entrepreneurs need to develop to face failures and bounce back.

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How to tame your ‘victim voice’

Our lives often take unexpected turns—landing us in difficult situations, fighting unforeseen odds. However, rarely do we comprehend that what has led to the crisis could be our own flawed approach and we wallow in self-pity. It takes a lot of courage and self-belief to accept and acknowledge that the fault lines lie within.

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A case for a second chance

A 2016 Harvard Business Review article refers to Pixar’s president Ed Catmull’s view on mistakes. “They aren’t evil at all. They are an inevitable consequence of doing something new….and should be seen as valuable.”*
‘Failure’ is a relative term, but there is one aspect that is almost universal: flight from failure. One needs to overcome this temptation—to succeed.

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Fight it young

According to a research study report by Chestnut Global Partners India and SHRM India, chronic, and lifestyle-related health issues are growing rapidly among the so-called ‘Young India workforce’. It is predicted that by 2025, India will have more than 57 percent of the population suffering from diabetes.1 Another study by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that millennials joining the workforce felt more under pressure at work than their baby boomer colleagues, with 28 percent stating that working through stress was expected in their job.2 Arianna Huffington founded Thrive Global to eradicate stress from organizations by providing science-based solutions. In an exclusive interview with The Smart Manager, Dr Marcus Ranney sheds light on workplace stress for millennials and how organizations can enhance productivity by prioritizing individual
well-being.

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Entitlement, a millennial problem?

“It’s easy to measure diversity: It’s a simple matter of headcount. But quantifying feelings of inclusion can be dicey. Understanding that narrative along with the numbers is what really draws the picture for companies.”*
What is the true measure of inclusivity, especially when multiple generations are at work? How can businesses stop lamenting over the lack of sameness and start leveraging the strength of differences?

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Dive deep

‘Generation gap’ has always been a hard reality. It is then intriguing why there is so much talk only about millennials. Perhaps, because the differences are more stark—globalization, technological advancements, and social media have shaped their minds and lives in a totally different manner. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to understand and accept this. They perceive millennials as a puzzle and while attempting to engage them, try to fit them into the straitjacket of an old order. As Dr Debashish Sengupta points out, understand the core of Ys before engaging them.

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Break down barriers

In You Can’t Google It! The Compelling Case for Cross-Generational Conversations at Work, Phyllis Weiss Haserot writes, “I have seen tensions, frustrations, misunderstandings, disconnects and unnecessary divides develop among age cohorts at work. And it’s unnecessary, avoidable, and costs organizations money, talent, and clients/customers.”
Organizations should promote and foster cross-generational communication as it is key to productivity and profitability.

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Innovation is not everything

Companies often engage in quick fixes in a bid to be seen as innovative. While this may bring in short-term value, failing to focus on the long term could erode their most valuable moat—the brand. Hap Klopp explains why a brand’s story is not just about its logo or taglines. It is the combined accumulated impact of every aspect of the business, authoritatively unified under imaginative but single-minded direction.

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Beyond the blame game

In an article in The Guardian, Stephen Hawking wrote, “The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative, or supervisory roles remaining.”* Here, the author holds a slightly contrarian view, explaining how AI would create more jobs, than rather eliminate them, and why human insight would remain crucial to success.

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