CEO Desk

Planning beyond the uncertainties

“The rest of this year (2021) will be full of uncertainties.” Was my response to the following conversation. I was discussing with a CEO of a tech start-up during the half-yearly review. We were looking at last year's numbers and comparing them with now. “Well, this year looks much better than the last one.” “No doubt last year was bad, but we...

Start now if you want to get it done!

“Don’t perform tasks in sequence, when they can be done in parallel.” I was talking to Manisha. She was planning for a company event. “I have the list of people to invite. I am collecting and verifying their contact information. As soon as I have all the addresses available, I will send out all emails using mail merge.” Manisha explained her...

Empathy: The secret sauce to great leadership

“This is completely unreasonable, I am expecting a complete professional behaviour, I can’t work with such emotional xxxxx.” Sujit, one of the managers in my team was completely upset with an unnatural behaviour from one of his team members. Sharad on the other hand was really a good person, he had done wonderful job in the past. His last mistake...

Empathetic Buying: The Differentiator

“The need for empathy towards the buyer is huge. It’s a differentiator…” -Doug Brown, former CMO, IBM Systems“I am looking for a laptop computer, for my daughter.” A middle aged customer called in using the support line. What would be your answer, when a customer calls a support number for buying? Would it be - “That is great, we have many available to buy online, please login...

Chats, Conversations and Customer Experience

“What is the difference between a chat and a conversation? How is conversational AI different from a chatbot?” “Well, in general chat refers to an informal interaction, while a conversation is a more serious matter and requires involvement from both sides.” “It’s not so much about the dictionary definition.” “When you visit a superstore, do you really look forward to an interaction...

The Slingshot: Secret sauce of control

“I understand delegation. I am still not able to figure out the secret sauce of control. When should I exercise tighter control and when should I leave it to the team?” In a Saturday morning mentoring session with a budding CEO of a start-up, we were discussing scaling the organization. “It’s like using a slingshot, my friend.” “A tighter control is required...

Is technology really helping to choose the right thing?

  “Do you remember the glossy #catalogs, received in the mailbox? It was not such a high tech experience, still very popular with high-value retailers.” Along with a #CIO from a #retail start-up, I was enjoying the journey down memory lane. “And the 1-800--- numbers. I wondered why would someone call when it is easy to pick up from the store!” “There are people with special needs....

Is your product learning Emotional Intelligence?

“We are replacing human interaction with our AI-based product. This is working out really well, I am now considering more improvements. Do you have any suggestions?” Sagar, the CEO of a Start-up started the conversation during our brainstorming session. “Sagar, in personal and social interactions emotional intelligence plays a key role. Have you considered adding some grace to the conversations?” “Emotional intelligence in the product? What...

Which criteria do you use to buy the right thing?

    Continued from last week... “You will be your best self when you take time to understand what you really need, feel and want.” - Deborah Day There is always a struggle between what you #need and what you #want. Should I go for what I need? Or go for what I want? Difficult to decide, isn’t it? I tried to ask many people for advice and...