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Moneyball


Category –  Drama-Sports ;  Rating –  4  ;  Comment  – Heroic  pursuit of success using a non conventional route!

Another incident to remind me about my limited memory cells and the strong subconscious memory ….   (am actually not complaining, this piece of my senile decay brings in lot of fun into life!)

I probably watched MoneyBall almost an year ago  –  skipped to record my review and just continued with my life (I thought zero impact to anyone including me!).  Couple of days back, I had the opportunity to laugh again at the corporate vagaries with a colleague  –  someone who has similar traits like mine –  the rare ability (ok, call it “strain of crankiness”)  to see the humorous side of the corporate vagaries.  What i found over years is that this ability (ok, the strain of crankiness!) is considered as a taboo at the higher echelons of the corporate society and people who have this ability actually are living like the disguised aliens of Men in BlackScott adams was  probably one courageous individual who came out in the open and was smart enough to monetize his ability by kicking off his Dilbert series.  So, when I discover someone like this (a fellow alien)  I thoroughly enjoy it!  The talk was about how skewed the opinions of managers about their teams  –   in that context, I was asked if i had watched the movie Moneyball and I bluntly said a big NO (senile decay!).

And my colleague went on explain the Moneyball theory  –  the rational to select winning teams which is very different than the traditional one and recommended me to watch the movie.  Having the day off at Bangalore (aarrgh…another embarassing strike day called out by trade unions impacting crores of productivity!!), I decided to look for this movie and bang, when i saw the google throwing  up Brad Pitt images in his baseball cap, it just hit me that I have watched Moneyball already and liked it!!  I remember relating to the fact that how we make heroes out of those managers who mess up things initially, get the projects into RED and then with support of many folks bring the project into Green.   In parallel, we miss to notice those managers who keep their projects in good shape all through the year.

Coming to the movie review, ofcourse it was a good movie  –  good enough to even make it as a mandatory movie in a leadership training workshop!   Brad Pitt was sometimes overshadowed by the bubbly bespectacled Jonah Hill, but that is fine….!!!

Good watch!

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Women Leaders and Self-confidence


While self-confidence is the basis for any self-improvement, a recent article in Harvard Business Review (HBR) was very specific about the need for women leaders to be self-confident.  Leslie Pratch is the author of this article – she is a clinical psychologist who helps companies identify whether potential executives possess the psychological resources and personality strengths needed to succeed.  If you read the 16 page research paper referred in this article, it can become a long read….so i consolidated the key messages which I found helpful …….

You can read the HBR article here…..

–       Before a woman answers a question in the corporate scene, it may help to stop and ask yourself a question “do you think a man would have ever answered that question that way?”

–       You got be very confident, even though we are so self-critical inside about what it is you may or may not know.  And this will lead to taking risks

–       Gender based expectations for behavior influence the styles and evaluations of leaders

–       Men are freer to carry out leadership in different styles without encountering negative reactions because their leadership is ordinarily perceived as legitimate

–       The findings indicated that women have to have high self-esteem and high self-confidence so that they can cope with the constraints placed on their leadership styles.

Vasan Eye Care – Leadership and Management!


Effective leadership is putting first things first.  Effective management is discipline, carrying it out  –  Covey.

When you see Covey principles in action, especially meticulously implemented at large-scale, we have to commend!!   It was time for cataract surgery for dad  –   while I can call myself decently educated, when it comes to medical field, I am as novice as anyone can get….rather, I get psyched by how the medical field operate  –  I still struggle to comprehend on the fact that doctors are also human beings and their individual skills make or break a life (not a program unlike a software engineer!!)

So, when we went to the Vasan Eye Care center in Vadapalani, Chennai –  I was not expecting to see Covey in action!!   Starting from the security, receptionist, ward nurse and doctors  –   all I saw was the focus   –  CARE team in action….they have analyzed the psyche of patients, the psyche of attendants and established the processes…….!!

The experience was very unique for me  –  while I have seen the multinational hospitals, system and process  –  what was unique here was the human touch to everything  –  while the scale of operations is much smaller compared to a huge hospital, the focus to ensure the implementation of their USP  –  “WE CARE”  was amazing!!

Later I learnt about Dr.A.M.Arun and read through their vision, mission and values….nothing so unique for the story of a successful entrepreneur.   What was unique was the  business model which they implemented across this chain of hospitals.  

To put it simply –  a business model of a business is the one which converts the technical inputs to revenue outputs.  While I look at the most generic  components of a business model and see how Vasan fairs, this is how it looks

Value proposition – establishing the CARE TEAM, which also doubles up as their USP.  I feel there are probably excess staff –  but may be very specifically trained to do specific jobs  –  in an average eye clinic, I have mostly see ophthalmologist handling  the sensitive testing instruments, but in Vasan I saw trained technicians doing that work  –  while it is a guess, I think Vasan gets to have more staff on their roles at probably low-cost as they are only trained on specific functions. 

Market Segment  –   Vasan seems to target the upper middle class market segment –  who are affluent enough to spend money, but want to ensure that there are no frills  –  spend enough for the necessity!!  Look at the location of the hospital chains they have picked….their ambience is something which is not of a five-star status, but of a decent well-kept hospital.

Position in Value Network  –  Vasan probably is feeding the need for a neighbourhood eye clinic and hospital   –  replacing the individual eye clinics and the super-speciality huge eye hospitals.  In the value chain, they are probably all over   – adding value as a one time eye clinic visit, to the high-end of cosmetic eye treatments!!

Revenue generation and margins  – proof is in the pudding!!  they are planning their IPO!

Good going!!!

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