Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CEO Succession Planning

Ensuring a Successful Leadership Transition

In this issue, Clarke Murphy and the CEO/Board Services Practice set forth the specific elements and timeline of a successful CEO succession plan, as well as the steps necessary to ensure a smooth transition.

The transition from one CEO to another is a critical moment in a company’s history. A smooth transition is essential to maintain the confidence of investors, business partners, customer and employees, and provides the incoming CEO with a solid platform from which to move the company forward. A properly designed and executed succession plan is at the center of any successful transition.

CEO vacancies can be planned or unplanned; in either scenario, by the time a succession plan is needed it is far too late to start building one. Because of this, it is the responsibility of the board to make succession planning a priority, even in the face of more immediate and tangible issues. In addition to being necessary for risk mitigation, succession planning brings with it several beneficial byproducts:

It provides a framework that drives senior executive development, aligning leadership at the top of the enterprise with the strategic needs of the firm.

 It gives the CEO, through an ongoing analysis of the job requirements, the opportunity to adjust his or her role in light of changing business conditions and strategic imperatives.
It strengthens the relationship and information flow between the board and the senior management team through the regular contact that is part of the board’s review of candidates.
Russell Reynolds Associates regularly advises boards and CEOs on Chief Executive Officer Succession Planning, and from this experience we have developed the following practical guide to the succession planning process.


Establishing The Foundation

Succession planning is usually directed by the governance or compensation committees, or occasionally a special ad hoc committee. The current CEO’s involvement varies (depending on whether the succession is planned or unexpected) with primary responsibility being the development of internal candidates. The Lead Director often acts as the single point of contact between the board and the sitting CEO on succession matters.

Succession Planning Roadmap

How to build a robust succession planning program that aligns current talent development with future leadership needs.

If your CEO has a sudden heart attack, do you know who will take the chief executive's place? What if your top executives are wooed away to another firm? Do you have the next generation of leaders ready to fill those roles? If not, you may end up with an empty C-suite—or worse, under-qualified people moving into leadership roles because there is no one better to take over.

The only way to reduce the effect of lost leadership is through a strong succession planning program that identifies and fosters the next generation of leaders through mentoring, training and stretch assignments, so they are ready to take the helm when the time comes. Research supports sound succession planning. A study some years ago from consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton concluded that "over their entire tenures, CEOs appointed from the inside tend to outperform outsiders" when it comes to returns to shareholders. Yet many organizations struggle to take their succession planning programs beyond a static list of names slotted for a few top spots.

"Every company has a succession planning document," says David Larcker, a professor in the graduate school of business at Stanford University. "The question you have to ask is, 'Will it be operational?"

This Roadmap offers human resources leaders a framework and advice on how to create a robust succession planning program that aligns talent management with the vision of the company, ensures employees have development opportunities to hone their leadership skills, and guarantees that the organization has a leadership plan in place for success in the future.

Jim Skinner, former CEO of McDonald's Corp., was known to tell managers:

"Give me the names of two people who could succeed you." It was just one way the CEO continued the culture of succession planning at McDonald's.

It was an understandable priority considering Skinner only landed in the role in 2005 after two other CEO's died suddenly over the course of just two years. And when he retired in 2012, Skinner was confident that his successor, Chief Operating Officer Don Thompson, was ready to take over, because he spent much of his seven years mentoring him.

"I basically felt the responsibility to the board of directors to be sure I provided them with someone who could run the company when I'm gone," Skinner told Fortune a year before his retirement. "Until I was capable of doing that, I would not have left."

This kind of leadership level commitment to training and mentoring the next generation is a vital component of succession planning. And while most executives understand the importance of succession planning efforts, few of them believe their organization excels in this category.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MyGov - India


The citizen-centric platform empowers people to connect with the Government & contribute towards good governance.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Make in India

To make “Make in India” happen, delete control.

India Park. It has swings, nature trails, flowerbeds, sports facilities and walking tracks. Everything is wonderful, except for one thing: Kids don’t come to play there. This is because the park is mostly used by senior citizens, whom the kids refer to as ‘uncles’.

Over a hundred uncles use the park for their morning/evening walks, society meetings and yoga classes. Each uncle also carries a stick, and uses it on the few kids who happen to venture into the park. If a kid jumps too much, squeals in delight, climbs up a tree or plays cricket, the uncles whack the kids. After all, the uncles feel, the park must be kept in order. There is even a microphone system installed that warns kids to behave.

As expected, the kids soon abandon the park. They go across town to China Park, where they are made to feel welcome. There are rules in that park too — kids are told to keep the place clean and not hurt anyone. But apart from that, they are encouraged to have fun. The only few kids who still use India Park are those who have figured out how to manage the uncles. Whenever they come to play, they bring treats for the uncles — a box of sweets, cold drinks or newspapers. Uncles then leave them alone for a bit. However, the number of kids doing this is small, as bribing uncles is not what most good kids do. India Park, hence, is mostly empty and under-utilized.

Then the uncles of India Park start wondering why so few kids come to play there while twenty times the number go to China Park? Uncles have meetings, sticks kept in their lap, to discuss the solution. They put up huge signs outside the park saying ‘Kids Welcome’. However, nothing seems to change.

In the above story, replace uncles with the Indian Government, kids with Foreign Direct Investors, fun with legitimate profit and India Park with India. This sums up how we approach the global investor community. We want them here, but we want to beat them with a stick and shout at them the moment they start having some fun (or earn a reward, in terms of legitimate profits).

This is why we have a long way to go to achieve the PM’s ‘Make in India’ slogan. The hardest part in achieving this is not the manufacturing infrastructure we need to set up; it is the ‘control freak’ mindset that exists in our power corridors (or rather in any Indian entity with power).

So we say we will never use the retrospective tax laws (which effectively allow the government to change tax laws for previous years and take more money), but we don’t remove the law either. The uncles say, ‘We will keep the stick, but we will never use it’.

Well, maybe not today but what if another uncle comes tomorrow? Are the rules going to depend on the uncle’s personality? We want companies across the world to invest here, but the government places so many controls and permissions that it effectively controls every business. We call it free-market capitalism, but in reality it is state-controlled capitalism. The only way the uncles will let you do business is if you keep giving them enough treats. This is how India has been run since Independence, and that is why it is difficult to change the mindset.

The unfortunate part is this uncle-and-stick model keeps the park empty. If investors don’t come, we don’t have jobs or growth. Kids can play in other parks. Asian economies, Eastern Europe and Latin America are all competing for investor dollars and to be manufacturing hubs. The only way the investors will come is if the rules are clear, simple and not politician-personality-dependant — in spirit, writing and practice.

If we really want Make in India, the government has to let go. Keep business rules, but according to international standards. Get the government out of business, not just in terms of selling PSUs, but also having no arbitrary or discretionary control over individual businesses. All this should be personality-proof. The current FM may be investor friendly.  The next one may not. If I have invested money in India, how can I be sure the new guy won’t come behind me with a stick?

All these issues have to be addressed if we want economic and jobs growth which, come to think of it, is what makes ‘acche din’ happen. Let go of the sticks uncles; let the kids come and play.

By Chetan Bhagat - 24 Aug 2014 – The Times of India
Chetan Bhagat is a bestselling author and a popular newspaper columnist.

Serenity (Calmness)

Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.

It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.

A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought. As he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene.

The calm man, having learned how to govern himself, knows how to adapt himself to others; and they, in turn, reverence his spiritual strength, and feel that they can learn of him and rely upon him.  The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good.  Even the ordinary trader will find his business prosperity increase as he develops a greater self-control and equanimity, for people will always prefer to deal with a man whose demeanor is strongly equable.

The strong calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm. That exquisite poise of character which we call serenity is the last lesson culture; it is the flowering of life, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold - yea, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere money-seeking looks in comparison with a serene life - a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempests, in the Eternal Calm!

"How many people we know who sour their lives, who ruin all that is sweet and beautiful by explosive tempers, who destroy their poise of character, and make bad blood!  It is a question whether the great majority of people do not ruin their lives and mar their happiness by lack of self-control.  How few people we meet in life who are well-balanced, who have that exquisite poise which is characteristic of the finished character!"

Yes, humanity surges with uncontrolled passion, is tumultuous with ungoverned grief, is blown about by anxiety and doubt.  Only the wise man, only he whose thoughts are controlled and purified, makes the winds and the storms of the soul obey him.

Tempest-tossed souls, wherever ye may be, under whatsoever conditions ye may live, know this - in the ocean of life the isles of Blessedness are smiling, and sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming. Keep your hand firmly upon the helm of thought.

In the bark of your soul reclines the commanding Master; He does but sleep; wake Him.

Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery; Calmness is power.

Say unto your heart, "Peace, be still!"

As A Man Thinketh - James Allen

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Protective Mantra

The Protective Mantra
(Known As Trailokya−Vijaya)

Hring, may the Adya protect my head;
Shring, may Kali protect my face;
Kring, may the Supreme Shakti protect my heart;
May She Who is the Supreme of the Supreme protect my throat;
May Jagaddhatri protect my two eyes;
May Shankari protect my two ears;
May Mahamaya protect my power of smell;
May Sarvva−mangala protect my taste;
May Kaumari protect my teeth;
May Kamalalaya protect my cheeks;
May Kshama protect my upper and lower lips;
May Charu−hasini protect my chin;
May Kuleshani protect my neck;
May Kripa−mayi protect the nape of my neck;
May Bahu−da protect my two arms;
May Kaivalya−dayini protect my two hands;
May Kapardini protect my shoulders;
May Trailokya−tarini protect my back;
May Aparna protect my two sides;
May Kamathasana protect my hips;
May Vishalakshi protect my navel;
May Prabha−vati protect my organ of generation;
May Kalyani protect my thighs;
May Parvati protect my feet;
May Jaya−durga protect my vital breaths,
And Sarvva−siddhi−da protect all parts of my body. 

Adya Kali Svarupa

Hymn Entitled Adya−Kali−Svarupa

Hring, O Destroyer of Time,
Shring, O Terrific One,
Kring, Thou Who art beneficent,
Possessor of all the Arts,
Thou art Kamala,
Destroyer of the pride of the Kali Age,
Who art kind to Him of the matted hair, 
Devourer of Him Who devours,
Mother of Time,
Thou Who art brilliant as the Fires of the final Dissolution,
Wife of Him of the matted hair,
O Thou of formidable countenance,
Ocean of the nectar of compassion, 
Vessel of Mercy,
Whose Mercy is without limit,
Who art attainable alone by Thy mercy,
Who art Fire,
Black of hue,
Thou Who increasest the joy of the Lord of Creation, 
Night of Darkness,
Image of Desire,
Yet Liberator from the bonds of desire,
Thou Who art (dark) as a bank of Clouds,
And bearest the crescent−moon,
Destructress of sin in the Kali Age,  
Thou Who art pleased by the worship of virgins,
Thou Who art the Refuge of the worshippers of virgins,
Who art pleased by the feasting of the virgins,
Who art the Image of the virgin,  
Thou Who wanderest in the kadamba forest,
Who art pleased with the flowers of the kadamba forest,
Who hast Thy abode in the kadamba forest,
Who wearest a garland of kadamba flowers,  
Thou Who art youthful,
Who hast a soft low voice,
Whose voice is sweet as the cry of a Chakravaka bird,
Who drinkest and art pleased with the kadambari wine,  
And Whose cup is a skull,
Who wearest a garland of bones,
Who art pleased with,
And Who art seated on the Lotus,  
Who abidest in the centre of the Lotus,
Whom the fragrance of the Lotus pleases,
Who movest with the swaying gait of a Hangsa,
Destroyer of fear,
Who assumest all forms at will,
Whose abode is at Kama−rupa,  
Who ever plays at the Kama−pitha,
O beautiful One,
O Creeper Which givest every desire,
Who art the Possessor of beautiful ornaments,
Adorable as the Image of all tenderness,
Thou with a tender body,
And Who art slender of waist,
Who art pleased with the nectar of purified wine,
Giver of success to them whom purified wine rejoices,  
The own Deity of those who worship Thee when joyed with wine,
Who art gladdened by the worship of Thyself with purified wine,
Who art immersed in the ocean of purified wine,
Who art the Protectress of those who accomplish vrata with wine,
Whom the fragrance of musk gladdens,
And Who art luminous with a tilaka−mark of musk,
Who art attached to those who worship Thee with musk,
Who lovest those who worship Thee with musk,
Who art a Mother to those who burn musk as incense,
Who art fond of the musk−deer and art pleased to eat its musk,
Whom the scent of camphor gladdens,
Who art adorned with garlands of camphor,
And Whose body is smeared with camphor and sandal paste,
Who art pleased with purified wine flavoured with Camphor,
Who drinkest purified wine flavoured with camphor,
Who art bathed in the ocean of camphor,
Whose abode is in the ocean of camphor,
Who art pleased when worshipped with the Vija Hung,
Thou Who threatenest with the Vija Hung,
Embodiment of Kulachara,
Adored by Kaulikas,
Benefactress of the Kaulikas,
Observant of Kulachara,
Joyous One, Revealer of the path of the Kaulikas,
Queen of Kashi,
Allayer of sufferings,
Giver of blessings to the Lord of Kashi,
Giver of pleasure to the Lord of Kashi,
Beloved of the Lord of Kashi,
Thou Whose toe−ring bells make sweet melody as Thou movest,
Whose girdle bells sweetly tinkle,
Who abidest in the mountain of gold,
Who art like a Moon−beam on the mountain of gold,
Who art gladdened by the recitation of the Mantra Kling,
Who art the Kama Vija,
Destructress of all evil inclinations,
And of the afflictions of the Kaulikas,
Lady of the Kaulas,
O Thou Who by the three Vijas, Kring, Hring, Shring, art the
Destructress of the fear of Death.

(To Thee I make obeisance.) 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Understanding International Law

What is international law?

International law is the law governing relations between States.

What are the benefits of international law?

Without it, there could be chaos. International law sets up a framework based on States as the principal actors in the international legal system, and it defines their legal responsibilities in their conduct with each other, and, within State boundaries, with their treatment of individuals.

Its domain encompasses human rights, disarmament, international crime, refugees, migration, nationality problems, the treatment of prisoners, the use of force, and the conduct of war, among others. It also regulates the global commons, such as the environment, sustainable development, international waters, outer space, global communications and world trade.

With so much conflict in the world, how can this really work?

International law does work, at times invisibly and yet successfully. World trade and the global economy depend on it, as it regulates the activities required to conduct business across borders, such as financial transactions and transportation of goods.

There are treaties for roads, highways, railroads, civil aviation, bodies of water and access to shipping for States that are landlocked. And as new needs arise, whether to prevent or punish terrorist acts or to regulate e-commerce, new treaties are being developed.

Does international treaty law impinge on a nation’s sovereignty?

To become party to a treaty, a State must express, through a concrete act, its willingness to undertake the legal rights and obligations contained in the treaty – it must “consent to be bound” by the treaty. It can do this in various ways, defined by the terms of the relevant treaty.

How does a state express its “consent to be bound”?

A State can express its consent to be bound by a treaty in several ways, as specifically set out in the final clauses of the relevant treaty. The most common ways are: definitive signature, ratification, acceptance, approval, and accession.

The three terms ratification, acceptance and approval all mean the same thing, particularly when used following “signature subject to….” Member States may use one or another of these terms in their documentation, but in international law they all mean the same thing – that the State has agreed to become a party and thus be bound by the treaty upon its entry into force.

Signing a treaty is one of the most common steps in the process of becoming party to a treaty. However, simply signing a treaty does not usually make a State a party, although in some cases, called definitive signature, it might. A State does not take on any positive legal obligations under the treaty upon signature.

Signing a treaty does, however, indicate the State’s intention to take steps to express its consent to be bound by the treaty at a later date. Signature also creates an obligation on a State, in the period between signature and ratification, acceptance or approval, to refrain in good faith from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty.

Multilateral treaties contain terms that indicate where the treaty is to be available physically for signing and for what period of time. Multilateral treaties often provide that they will be “open for signature” only until a specified date, after which signature will no longer be possible. Once a treaty is closed for signature, a State generally may become a party to it by means of accession. Some multilateral treaties are open for signature indefinitely.

Most multilateral treaties on human rights issues fall into this category, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966; and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1966.

How are treaties enforced?

There is no over-arching compulsory judicial system or coercive penal system to address breaches of the provisions set out in treaties or to settle disputes. That is not to say that there are no tribunals in the international legal system.

For example, the Charter of the United Nations established the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, as a means by which Member States may settle their disputes peacefully, in accordance with international law. The Court can also give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized international organs and agencies.

Member States of the United Nations, in cases to which they are parties, are obliged to abide by the Court’s decisions. However, before a case can go before the Court, a State must have accepted the jurisdiction of the Court, either in general or in relation to a specific case. A State that has not accepted the Court’s jurisdiction cannot be forced to appear before the International Court of Justice.

States may also entrust the settlement of specific disagreements to other international dispute resolution mechanisms established by treaties such as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the dispute settlement bodies of the World Trade Organization, among others.

Different treaties may also create different treaty body regimes to encourage the parties to abide by their obligations and undertake actions required for compliance.

For instance, the Human Rights Committee monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; and the Committee against Torture monitors implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.

The Security Council can also adopt, under Chapter VII, measures to enforce its decisions regarding threats to international peace and security, breaches of the peace or acts of aggression. Such measures may include sanctions or authorizing the use of force.

Courtesy: United Nations

Monday, August 18, 2014

10 top quotes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi - Aug 15, 2014

NEW DELHI: Addressing the nation from the iconic Red Fort on Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to invigorate the spirit of the nation with an impassioned appeal to the people to rise above petty issues and move forward as one unified unit.

He also laid out the agenda of the government and its main goals. 

Here are the top 10 quotes from the PM's address. 

1. I can promise you. If you work 12 hours, I will work for 13. If you work 14 hours, I will work for 15 hours. Why? Because I am not a pradhan mantri, but a pradhan sevak. 

2. I am an outsider in
New Delhi. I have stayed away from the elite in this city. In the 2 months I have been here, I now have an insider view. I was astonished. I saw many governments functioning within a government. One department is fighting the other. So, we are trying to break this wall; we want to have one mission and target: Take the nation forward.

3. I come from a poor family and I want the poor to get dignity. We want to start a movement for a clean India. If we have to build a nation, let us start from the villages.

4. Be it caste or communal violence, they stall the growth of the nation. Let us affirm that we will be free from these tensions.

5. Can someone tell me, whatever we are doing, have we asked ourselves if our work has helped the poor or come to benefit the nation in any way? We should come out of the 'Why should I care' attitude and dedicate ourselves to the nation's progress.

6. India used to be known as the land of snake charmers. Today, our IT professionals have left the world spellbound.

7. From ramparts of the Red Fort, I would like to call people of the world to 'come, make in India'. I want to tell the global companies that we have skill, talent and discipline... From electronics to electricals, from chemicals to pharmaceuticals, come, make in India. Paper to plastic, automobiles to agricultural products, come, make in India, from satellite to submarine, come, make in India. We have the capabilities. Come here and manufacture in India. Sell the products anywhere in the world but manufacture here... we have the power, come, I am inviting you.

8. The mantra of our country's youth should be to at least make 1 product that we import. Don't compromise in manufacturing; Stress on Zero defect, Zero effect (impact of environment). Our manufacturing should have zero defects so that our products should not be rejected in the global market. Besides, we should also keep in mind that manufacturing should not have any negative impact on our environment.

9. I want to ask parents, when daughters turn 11 or 14, they keep a tab on their movements. Have these parents ever asked their sons where they have been going, who they have been meeting? Rapists are somebody's sons as well! Parents must take the responsibility to ensure that their sons don't go the wrong direction.

10. India's sex ratio is 1000 boys for 940 girls. Who creates this disparity? It isn't God. Don't fill your coffers by sacrificing the mother's womb. People feel that sons will take care of them when they are old. But I have seen aged parents in old-age homes. I have seen families where one daughter serves parents more than five sons.

My comments…….

I am in total agreement to the points raised by Sri Narendra Modi, and we, Indians, must ensure that the ideals and principles thereof are adhered to for the welfare and progress of the people of India, and India – Prathapan Gopalan – Prathap G., Sharjah, @librahitech