Branding – Winged Post

 

BRANDING

How does an institution brand itself? How does a retail store gain the trust of its customers? Why is it that we prefer visiting certain stores and choose avoiding many shops like the plague? While there are hundreds of companies that are founded on the dreams and ambitions of young wannabe entrepreneurs, there are a few that manage to remain open for a couple of years and still fewer companies that eke out a profit.

There are institutions that spring out of nowhere and have a meteoric rise that leave other organizations in the business breathless in its wake. Try as they might, the business rivals are not able to stay in the competition. The CEOs, Chairmen and MDs break their heads trying to figure out methods to popularize the names of their organizations. Where does the difference lie?

There are many methods adopted by companies to strengthen their footing. Alas! Due to inexperience and bad counseling, the heads commit many blunders without being aware!

Some of the sins to be avoided at all costs are…

 Following a rival blindly

 

Just because a plan or a module worked for your rival doesn’t mean it would or should work for you too. Stick on to your plan of action bearing in mind your employees, their strength and your target audience.

A fox attempting to hunt down a stag by imitating a wolf would end in disaster for the fox. Would it not???

Lack of a proper working system

 

Experimenting is good at the initial stages. But an institution must not falter and make its employees undergo a myriad of experiments with no employee certain of which method to follow in which situation. All ideas can be listened to by the head of institution, but not all should be executed.

It wouldn’t be advisable for an elephant to try climbing trees because monkeys climbing trees are slim!!!

A rise in Attrition Rate

Attrition might not be avoided, but can definitely be brought down. An institution that does not care for its employees is an institution doomed to fail. Identifying the source of attrition and taking corrective measures must be the highest priority of a company. An employee who stays for a longer duration in a company has better understanding of the working nature of the company and has closer affinity. Naturally, the employee would spread goodwill about the company.

 Lack of Stress Busters

Working in groups and rushing to meet deadlines cause people to be under stress. Giving people space to relax and conducting sports meet, cultural competitions and other contests make employees work with renewed vigour. Productivity increases manifold, resulting in branding among clients.

Managers lacking Personal Touch

Managers and Heads who treat employees without human touch are a curse of that company. Before they realize their faults, bury their ego and learn from their errors, their company is long gone. The top management that fails to identify such trouble making managers will lose the institution built on its blood and dream.

 

The Horizon

Horizon

The flicker of a candle on a dark night, the blinking star on the seemingly never – ending carpet of darkness floating and threatening to bring the sky down on our heads, the beam of light that goads a sailor on a yacht to be unmindful of the screams of the waves crashing around him, the sudden increase in the heartbeat of the patient who has been without a sign of recovery in the ICU – well… there is a similar feeling. There seems to be a sign of life. A flower has blossomed in a dry plant. The parched land is a home to one lone patch of greenery. How was that possible? What made it possible? Would this continue? Contrary to popular belief, this has worked out. The previous assumption was that the work would continue in the same vein. What was not realized was that there is now a determination where there was previously only a desire. Ambition has quelled want and has taken the driver’s seat. May be now, may be from now on, things would be different. The solitary soldier is perhaps the symbol of what is to follow. This feeling is akin to the confidence that sweeps and spreads into the hearts of soldiers from the actions or words of a charismatic general or a brave monarch. It has begun its influence. The minds of those in and around are not what they used to be. Where there was a resignation, there now is a glimmer of a distant paradise. A land of magic and enchantment beckons everyone and the journey towards the land of dreams has begun. The land though does not promise a bed of roses as the footpath. There are streams to ford, wild animals to ward off, thorns to be avoided or crushed and above all, the necessity of going on till the summit is reached. That my niceties, is the most important and the toughest thing to do. What makes one tick now is the small burp that made the Kangaroos hear the Whos. I am sure that there is the same thing here too. There are Kangaroos to lead the banner against us and there are monkeys filled with greed and thoughts of gluttony and birds of prey embittered and full of vengeance seeking to thwart every single move made b us. Yet, the silver lining is that there are also Hortons here who will strive hard despite all setbacks and who will not settle back for anything less than the best, for anything less than the very best. Isn’t this a sure sign that the wheels are turning in the right direction? Let us hope so. There then is the Source guiding us toward the ultimate goal. The Source cannot fail. It has never failed. It is not in the nature of the Source to fail or to abandon anyone who trusted in the Source. So, wait, you Magical Land, the Land of Enchantment, the Land throbbing and pulsating with life; the Land waiting for me, for us, ha ha… here we come…

Human mind

Human mind is strange and hasn’t been explored beyond a certain point. Trying to understand the human mind completely would be futile, as it is not possible. What satiates a person? He who is happy with the happenings of a particular system isn’t happy anymore. The settings have not changed, the people have not changed, the climate has not changed, the financial condition has not changed and yet, there is no productivity. When asked, the person comes up with umpteen number of reasons – ones that would shame a five year kid resorting to outmaneuver himself out of a perilous situation. What then is the primary reason for the person’s irresponsible behavior? Not that he is not capable of doing so. He has delivered in the past and the man has been observed in action to be of an excellent quality, not seen commonly. The things that worked for him before do not work for him, or so he says.Why is this so? Was he judged wrong? Was he not good enough in his work in the past? Was he impersonated? Lots of questions hammer one’s mind when encountering such personalities.

How does one handle people who oscillate between extremities? Eccentric hotheads, if you might call them so. The reason they cannot be eliminated from the system is that they are extremely valuable and enviably hard-working when they want to be so. It takes a lot, quite a lot of effort to replace them. But when things get into their heads to the level of making them inebriated with their own glories, well… sad to say, they’ve gotta go.That would be good for the system, family and more so for the individuals. The furlough they get will help them realize where they stand and give them a better perspective of themselves. They can’t be blowing their own trumpets for their whole lives and they need a wake-up call, rude though it might be.

Let’s see when this jackass thinking of himself as a smart – aleck comes to his senses.Let’s hope for his sake he gets back his senses soon, for time is of the essence. He sits at home enjoying the rustic charms and pretends nothing has happened when he must be climbing the ladder of success and tasting its fruit along the travel by cruising along, with the breeze rustling his shirt cuffs. It was after all he who paved the way for the system and was a pioneer. He deserves a cut surely. But man, the extent to which he goes to make people loathe him is quite large. He is eccentric, hotheaded, extremely moody but not incorrigible. And that my folks is what I am counting on, next to God. Let’s wait and see how events shape up. Let’s see when he wakes up. If he comes around to his senses, it would be good for the system and for his family… HIS family, and he ought to get that into his head. But he being thick-headed, it might take time. But I am willing to wait and watch, for I am interested in the working of the human mind and would like to take note of this scenario and make baby-steps into the exploration of the human mind myself. And the guinea- pig here… is him.

Grumbling employees???

Grumbling employees

Why do employees grumble? Is it the lack of monetary benefit? If you give them a huge salary, does the grumbling stop? Does the murmur end? Do the employees breathe easy when they get a huge sum as payment for their work? There are disgruntled workers even in institutions that offer a hefty package. What then is it that makes workers happy? May be, it is in the way that the workers are treated. May be, it is in the method used to communicate things to them. When the employees know for sure that they are recognized and that their efforts really matter in the institution that they work in, well… that makes all the difference. There is a spring in the steps of the employees as they come beaming out of a meeting after having been patted on the shoulder in an appreciative manner. There is in their outlook, a vision and the determination to accomplish missions in order to achieve that vision. Such visionaries are not born. They are made. They are ordinary men made extra-ordinary by the kindness and magnanimity of the institution’s leaders. People rise to great heights because of the immense faith and trust the authorities place in them. May be, that is why some institutions soar high whereas many flounder and are grounded because of the wrong kinds of missions employed to try to reach their vision.

They…

They…

A typical scenario

Almost all people love a good job. A job that would help them feed their families and get their desires accomplished. A person in a regular job spends his/her life mostly in the work spot. The place of work becomes a second home for many. Some come to work eagerly in order to avoid or to stay away from the pressures of household members. Some straggle into work revolting the necessity of work but unable to stay at home for fear of losing regular means of income. In this scenario are found some pushed in by a tall wave, still being tossed about, not sure of what they are going to do in future. Then comes a select group bound by the love for the subject concerned. The people in that category are usually envied, for they stand tall amongst the ruins. They have absolute confidence in their stream and they know what they teach. They believe in what they proclaim. They are strong. They usually do not compromise, for they need not. Others crave their help and attention. This is more so in the teaching field. They are the pillars of the institution that they work in. They are indispensable. The cog revolves around them. But alas! If only someone could peep into their mindset! It is true that they are the best. It is a fact that they are sought after by almost all. Yet, the turmoil inside their heads is unbearable. Man is a social animal. He needs interaction. How can you expect a first grader to regularly hang out with a college graduate? This is the usual level of disparity. The Intellectuals run around trying to find someone… anyone… to share their thoughts with, in vain. The solace they need, the network of ease that anyone needs is denied to them. The privilege of leading a normal work life combined with learning is prohibited. They can never learn or expect to learn from such an environment. The institution sucks the life out of them and throws them out at last when it has drunk… drunk them… to the lees. But no one in that group ever seems to be aware of this. They go as a sheep is led to be butchered. They realize the fact only when the arrows pierce their livers. Alas! So many wasted lives.

The Driving Force

Driving Force

What is it that drives you? Are you driven by the thirst for power? Do you lust after anything that gives you the authority to mow down people with your actions and words? How do people treat you when you are not present in a room? What do they talk about you when you leave a room? What gives you the energy to come for work everyday? Is it the financial monster threatening to gulp you and your family? If so, is that the only thing that makes you creep into an institution and drag your body to merely ‘work’? Are you a cadaver or a vibrant and dynamic leader at work? Or perhaps it is the unavailability of job elsewhere that makes you to join the many millions around the world who opt for an easy job with many perks, one of them being vacation for a month or two every year. If this is the case, then there would be no driving force behind the individual. This is one sorry case that can be rectified. Edification of the person concerned is still a possibility, though it requires the presence of a facilitator who can do the job required efficiently. The most hopeless situation is where people come to a work spot without a care, and care two hoots about their improvement and the development of their institution. They do not change when they are told, reminded and coaxed. They pretend to change when they are threatened. They are incorrigible. Well… that sums up everything. They have no driving force and they dare to demotivate those who breeze into an institution and scatter them away in a whirlwind out of proportion. So… what is YOUR DRIVING FORCE?

Fortune never comes single

Fortune

Misfortune never comes single, so they say… what of fortune? I for once had an overdose of fortune for a day. I got up late for college, missed the college bus and was in a predicament – to use the city bus to reach college, bunk college or to use one of my bikes to reach college. If I used the city bus (I had to use three buses), which I obviously detested and still loathe, I would yet be late for college anyways losing almost 500 bucks as loss of pay. If I bunked college, I would lose almost 1000 rupees as loss of pay, which naturally was and is not to my liking at all. What of my motorcycles then, one might as well as ask… Well… one of my motorcycles had not cleared the FC inspection and had no papers certifying it to be used on road. I did not want to take any risks with the law enforcers by using that. The other motorcycle was the mighty Yamaha RD350, which munches miles like it is made to do only that and drinks petrol like a Viking consuming ale. If I used that beast I would have to shell out 500 rupees at the least, for the mileage it offered was around fourteen kilometres per litre. Such was my situation. I finally rolled the mammoth out, perched upon it forlornly and rode it like the devil was after me. Boy! Did it fly! It set the road on fire. Thirty minutes to cover forty kilometres in mediocre traffic. Not bad for the leviathan!!! I reached on time. Fortune number one. I got a call from one of my brothers asking me to pick him up from the airport at five. He did not want to take a taxi and waste money. The luggage he had, required the assistance of two people, courtesy my youngest bro and I. I had the beast with me. The other motorcycle, the one we call the pooch, the one without papers, was at home with the youngest brother. He was a rookie. The bike was mighty powerful. Did not want him to feed the filth on the way to ride that motorcycle, because a lot were standing to collect whatever they might find to fill their uniformed garbage cans from unwary motorists and poor truck drivers, bringing defamy to the glorious image of India. I had no other option. The rookie was asked to come – slow and careful. I reached on time, followed by the kid, grinning like a Cheshire cat because he had come unscathed. We reached home safe. Fortune number two. The beast had actually softened and given a mileage of around 20 kmpl!!!A miracle. Fortune number three.

Spirit VS Flesh

Spirit VS Flesh

The Spirit is willing, but the body is weak. It is true on many occasions. Be it a place of study, or a work-spot, or even a place of entertainment, try doing the same thing for six days a week tirelessly, faithfully, sincerely and honestly by travelling around one hundred kilometres per day, you will know what weakness is. It will come on you slowly, like a needle being inserted into a banana… You will not feel it initially… almost painless… almost natural… always disguised… by words of encouragement from a mentor, a fellow colleague, a friend, a religious leader…the list goes on… when the realization comes on you, Alas!!! It will be too late – for the weakness would have eaten into your very soul. The physical sense of the weakness would have majored and crept into your mental faculties, occupying and corroding the core of what you need for work – The Spirit…What then of the ‘The Spirit is willing, but the body is weak’? It is true indeed that the flesh gets tired soon. Should the condition persist and be maintained, it is natural – though many might not accept, that the Spirit also would follow suit, resulting in collateral damage – and that Sirs, is not something to my liking… So, I gotta do what I gotta do, for it is tiring for my flesh right now… I do feel it. I want my Spirit to be fresh, unadulterated and free of the corrosion that is fast approaching and trying to sneak in unawares… So, I ask myself… Is the Flesh weak or is it the Spirit that is weak? ? ?

Courtesy: jannekerlawrence

English Language Teachers

English, English, English… English everywhere!

There are countless numbers of meaningful meetings and conferences that have become meaningless because of the lack of commonsense and foresight. Sometimes, the necessity to prove one’s worth to others or to the world makes one to take adverse steps by not heeding the warning signs and making one vulnerable to mistakes and sometimes blunders. I remember an incident that so rightly pops into my mind. It was a national level conference for English Teachers and Professors. Faculty members had come from all parts of the country. The event started on a positive note, with a couple of native speakers contributing to the richness and purpose of the meeting. Then came the time for paper presentations by the participants. They all talked about the necessity of changing the pattern of education followed in colleges in India. One must’ve heard them talk to believe that they really talked so. Such was the quality of their language that Shakespeare would have become Othello himself and Dr. Johnson would never have compiled his great initiative work. One cringed as one listened to the meaningless chatter that emanated from the mouth of the people who presented. To think that they were English Teachers was something incomprehensible. It would be a miracle if students could learn The Language from them. Aren’t teachers of English supposed to be grammatically correct while conversing in English? Isn’t that a common requirement? Where has the Quality of English Teachers gone? Isn’t it a crying shame that there are many teachers of the English Language who cannot speak in the same language confidently without mistakes? They then become the butt of all jokes inside and outside the college campus and end up blaming the Management or the Quality of students and finally retire from their respectable positions in colleges and universities signalling a grinding halt to their miserable, fruitless life. There was a workshop given by an Associate Professor of English. God only knows how she became one, and of all surprises how she was chosen to be the resource person on that day, fateful for lovers of English. The Associate Professor did not know proper English, had no clue as to the use of a microphone and to top it all, she thought that she was doing a wonderful job as a speaker. The last point was evident from the manner in which she strutted around. Where, I ask, is the quality that is required now? Can’t colleges and universities recruit candidates who know how to talk in English? Can’t they take in someone who can deliver more than what the students need? Are there not people who can make a crowd swoon by their language skills? Why can’t they be employed? Pay them well, I say, and retain them.Where did we go wrong? Where are we going wrong now? It is not the educational system. It is the lack of fire inside individuals. It is the case of people going to a job just for the sake of working. There is no heart in the subject, no love for the subject and practically no interest whatsoever. The change that needs to be implemented is the one that needs to happen within the teachers, not with some system that everyone blames. The Teacher must change, lead from the front and make the students fall in love with the subject and inspire them to follow him/her. Till that happens, many more farce presentations and conferences will continue to happen and I too will be lingering around, hoping to catch glimpse of one or two people talking in a way that would make English Language Teachers proud.

Courtesy: jannekerlawrence.blogspot.in

Is blogging in English dying?

Facebook, Twitter are preferred avenues for expression; English blogging deteriorates!

Social net woking sites seems to have brought down people's interest in blogs in English
Social net woking sites seems to have brought down people’s interest in blogs in English

The once vibrant English language blogger community of Chennai is nearly gone. Some blog once in a while, but the action seems to have shifted to social networks, primarily Twitter and Facebook, where ‘instant gratification’ is the name of the game.

“The number of visitors I get these days are not much compared to what was even three years ago,” a popular blogger confides. “Maybe my writing is not what it used to be,” he laughs. “But undoubtedly the traction is more on Facebook these days. I ask my friends who read my post there to leave likes. Seems to work better that way.”

Another blogger, Lavanya Mohan, who says she grew up in the healthy environs of the blogging community after starting her first blog as a 14-year-old in 2004, says the slowdown has been especially severe since 2010.

“Until even 2010, young writers could begin their writing in a healthy environment where blogging was the way to express yourself and find like-minded people,” she points out.

In recent years even Lavanya has slowed down the frequency of her posts. “At the peak of my blogging in the years 2008, 09 and 10, I had around 48 long posts a year along with several short posts. But of late, it is just one or two posts a month.”

Humour blogger Balajee.G.E, who writes the popular ‘Local Tea Party’ blog, says blogs going niche has coincided with the likes of Twitter and Facebook offering easier ways to publish. “Blogs tend to have a backend interface to manage and can be cumbersome. Also other forms of expressions like Memes and GIF images with text are becoming popular and going viral.”

A few others say the slow demise of blogging is a blow to writing itself. Blogs are imminently more searchable. Though a Facebook post might gain likes and comments almost instantly, the real-time nature of the timeline makes what is written temporary. The long tail effect — where an old article or a blog post suddenly comes back to public view — is ruled out.

Some of these changes have also had an impact on the writing style of bloggers. Lavanya, who has dabbled with humour, says anonymity was a boon in the past. “A grumpy office colleague or an everyday incident might inspire a humourous post,” she says. “But in this day of Facebook, it is impossible to write something like that out of fear of offending someone.”

Serious writing for blogs

Though English blogging has taken a hit, the Tamil blogging scene remains vibrant. Popular writers like Jeyamohan and Payon regularly post on their blogs and also use it to interact with their readers.

Payon, whose humorous short stories have found a good audience online, explains how blogging helped him and his writing be taken seriously. “To keep writing, make myself write longer pieces, and to earn more credibility as a writer, I bought a domain name for my pseudonym and signed up with a hosting service. I started writing regularly on my website and posted links on Twitter, got a decent number of readers to follow my RSS feed. My blog has a simple design and it helps. Many people I know read my writings on my blog. I’d say the more serious people prefer reading me on my blog than a Facebook page.”

Writing on Facebook and on one’s blog are different, even from the manner in which writing is approached. “On my Facebook page, any post above 10 lines is often ignored. That’s Facebook for you. If it’s gossip, people would willing to read longer posts,” the writer says. “The problem with writing on Facebook is that you turn into something like a circus monkey performing for “likes”. You do it without immediately realising it. There’s no dignity in that. People compile their Facebook posts into books, but I think a blog is a more respectable place to write. Also you’re conscious of what you write. A blog is where you write for yourself and you’re more spontaneous. So you get genuine, serious readers on your blog, which is good for you.”

Rise of new formats

Popular online personality Krish Ashok, who has a good following online and publishes in different formats – memes in a Tumblr blog, audio on Soundcloud and videos on YouTube – says the situation should be viewed more of content creation than just blogs that were popular at a time when writing was the easiest format to publish online.

“User generated content has undergone a revolution both in terms of both volume and diversity over time. It’s important to remember that text based blogging was mainstream at a time when both amateur/indie music and YouTube didn’t exist. In my own case I’ve never really seen myself as someone who writes. I started doing memes on Tumblr, jokes on Twitter, podcasts and music on Soundcloud and videos on YouTube,” Krish Ashok says.

The new publishing service Medium that combines the long form advantage of blogs and the viral nature of Twitter promises to usher in a new era where long form writing could thrive. Lavanya says she is tempted to write something for Medium though now she mostly reads the post recommendations there.

Courtesy : thehindu