India Inclusion Summit 2017

Today I attended IIS2017. I actually attempted to volunteer event and was invited for event. I offered to volunteer. Received multiple calls in last 2 weeks, sharing my contact person and also inquired for any additional support needed, a meticulous follow-up. Gave me a surpise element for me wth question “why attention to person who offered to volunteer?”.( got answered too).

With a sense of wonder, I reached  Park Plaza,Marthahalli around 8 AM. I saw  a lot of specially enabled children and audience. Two people I recognized were  Carnatic musician T M Krishna(aware of olcott kuppam ) and Feroze (follow his Twitter)

Krishna apologized for delay, started with tamil song on love and moved to Bengali song and to Hindi song. In between songs, Krishna was was sharing his own inner questions.

  1. Can we look at “inclusion” as ” not excluding”. Who gave us right to include or exclude other?
  2. why gender is looked within context of other divisions in society? Should gender be looked first?

Followed by journey sharing by Shalini Saraswathi.Earlier She introduced Krishna and I did not realize that she was specially abled . Now I  became aware that she holds railing of ramp on her way down and she blogs too. I met her parents over lunch and blown down the way they take care of their daughter. Being parent, my respect grew for her parents grew multi-fold for being rock for their girl.

    • Is it fear of the situation or helplessness of the situation? Need to accept both.
    • How do we deal with our scars?

Then, there were a few more inspiring speakers like lawyer with vision disorder and a UPSC officer with bone disorder. I was engaged in their talks where want constraints removed for differently abled people to achieve their potential. Did not take notes.

  • Believe in your own strength to decide your destiny the way you want.
  • When we read someone biography, does biography share the challenges and vulnerability undergone by the person?

Followed by heartwarming story from former Senator Tom Harkins, who started with  desire to create inclusion way of life for his brother. He shared how approach to create an inclusive society can start by clearing path for people with special needs, as this actually has power to clear the path for everyone.

cartoon

Left me with a question to ponder upon at driver-less car beyond loss of job for drivers.

  • Can driverless cars change lives for disabled people?

Followed by discussion with Kris GopalaKrishnan, who shared insights in to mental health, that led to his drive towards brain research and the reason to start research from India with strength of diversity and push to make cure affordable and also emphasized need to balance with research world-wide.

Sai shared his story starting from being confined to a small room. to become a renowned graphic designer.

  • Make Sufferings your Surprises, your Surprises will make you Smile, with a Smile who is there to Stop you.

Prashant Kamat, content writer at Mind Tree was next speaker. His sister came along to the stage. She shares that the only regret growing with brother, specially enabled was  “No sibling fights with his brother”. Prashant had surprise video from his teacher at Spastics Society Bangalore. Amazed by focused attention of IIS Volunteers.

  • ” The work we do at mindtree is all about inclusion. We are given a lot of freedom in work place to exercise our choices.”
  • Life throws challenges at us. We must keep the faith. Believe in yourself. Only then others can believe in you and ur abilities. Do not be limited by ur constraint s, challenge ur limits.

During lunch, I finished lunch and started to observe arrangement for lunch for specially enabled folks. My curiosity lead me to these learnings.

low table lunch

  • Their counter was closer to audience, while ours were farther.
  • Their tables were of lower height to enable person on wheel chair to take their own food with little or no help.
  • The specially enabled folks have come with their parents or friends who helped them to eat and other activities.

Started to realize why volunteers called multiple times to check whether I needed support for the event. They were showering me with attention and care shown by IIS 17.

Met 22-year-old anchor/dancer/writer Meghana who believes disability isn’t merely physical but people with a negative attitude are truly disabled. In crude form, I articulate her optimistic attitude as “I am blind. I cannot see you. It is not a problem. I can dance and make you see me. ”

We saw a play hosted by mix of normal people specially enable children. while I was enjoying play, a mother who sat next to me proudly shared of her daughter in wheel chair in the play. She looked too small and thought that the girl should be smaller than my second daughter(10 years). Head 25 years(if i am right). Made me realize what is love and affection of mother towards her child. (My moher died when I was 12 years old)

Heard storyteller, film director Nagesh Kukunoor, share observation that movies focus more to create sympathy rather than empathy for specially abled people, and added how that he choose to direct 2 movies where the movie is a happy story around main actors who happen to be disabled.

  • Movie needs to be taken based on story and not based on cause, while one can be smart to may be embed the cause inside the story.
  • Magic happens when one believes. Hope builds when we listen to stories. Stories make us believe that miracles happen with hard work and persistence.

Major Anuradha runs a trust for PWD children in Asthagram, Kurnool in M.P. She did live show of how tribal children can be enabled irrespective of the fact that they are specially enabled. She was sending message that Normal child becomes more sensitive and sharper when they study along with specially abled children.Followed by two entertaining events

  • Prahalad Acharya who made us to listen and see wonderful stories told through shadows. Thought that shadows comes along with us everywhere and anywhere.
  • Vasu Dixit, who brought folk-rock to the masses in kannada. IIS 17 event that started with music ended with music.

My blog remains incomplete if I do not thank Leo & Sridevi for live translation of all session. Great job at sign language by Sridevi and Leo.

Finally, I said to myself. All my so called sufferings are nothing compared to suffering of  specially abled children, their parents and families. Hence I need to build resilience in myself.

Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Think positive. Talk about your joys.

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Is Aadhaar leading to fear?

Yesterday was July 31st. From July 1 , 2017 I have tried to submit my income tax returns. My understanding on Supreme Court order was “Persons with Aadhaar number need to link Aadhaar number and PAN Number”. On other hand, I I have no Aadhaar number and made attempts to file my income tax returns and was prevented by e-filing portal.

Being a law abiding citizen, I visited income tax camp at Gaythri Vihar at Bangalore. The help desk explained that my tax returns cannot be submitted without Aadhaar. I did  asked to meet income tax commissioner and was lead to a very nice person Commissioner offered me a seat across the table. When i explained my challenge, he showed surprise of not having Aadhaar and neither have plans to apply for Aadhaar and was empathetic.  Felt that he had more meetings with individuals who had issues to link Aadhaar and PAN.

  • On sharing that some folks without Aadhaar number have  uploaded their returns over weekend, he explained that may be possible and added income tax returns of individuals whose PAN was not linked with Aadhaar will not be processed.
  • On sharing  media intimation “Aadhaar not a must to file I-T returns'” by income tax department,  he explained that media had got the communication wrong and they have published correction on Sunday.

When asked how to move forward, He shared that “I ask individuals to get Aadhaar and submit income tax returns. In your case, where  you  have taken a stand and well aware of supreme court case, you may wait to get clarity and decide accordingly. Please understand the current stand of income tax department and things may of may not change.”  He also added ” As I have not additional tax to be paid, he does not see immediate impact other than PAN being invalid by some other govt notification.”

Thanked commissioner and wrote a note in visitor book stating “With supportive folks at income tax camp, I could not file my income returns” and dropped below letter too. IMG_20170731_170454

It was quite easy 3 years back to write this blog “@Field : DBTL and Aadhaar”  as an observer and not impacted party. Today I experienced  impact of not having Aadhaar. In 2017, I am aware of  people who enrolled for Aadhaar with no choice.( did not want to)

  • A bunch of state government staff did not get salaries as they did not have Aadhaar. After staying with no salary for 2 months, they enrolled for Aadhaar with no choice and received salary in arrears in 3rd month.
  • I had a friend who did not have Aadhaar and his daughter goes to college this year. On day of admission, college asked them to provide Aadhaar. On friend’s inquiry, the college explained that there was instruction from UGC and they cannot risk accredition. My friend and his daughter enrolled to Aadhaar with no choice.
  • I have a friend who filed his income tax returns prior to June 20,2017 and escaped being forced to get Aadhaar for filing income tax returns.
  • I informed my wife that she has all rights to get Aadhaar and she went and obtained Aadhaar for her and my daughter.

I found few friends without Aadhaar number, who do not know how they were able to file income tax returns in July 2017.

I want to acknowledge the hidden fear that creeps in me of being left out. Found nice article The right to be left alone and asked myself “Do I have the right to be left alone?” To handle fear, I started to list down what are different avenues that I would be forced so that I would go and enroll.

  • My BSNL connection will be blocked and my airtel connection will be blocked. I can ask my wife to get additional phone account on her name and provide to me.
  • I may not be blocked to book bus ticket and train ticket as single person travel. if I travel with some one with Aadhaar, then I may be able to travel.
  • My wife and I hold joint account. Can my bank account get deactivated, not linked to  Aadhaar? May be my wife  can withdraw and help me with cash for expenses.
  • With no bank account, it is going to be tricky for my company to credit salary to my bank account? May my company would provide me cash to live.
  • With no bank account, my demat and equity trading account gets blocked.  Quite possible and cannot transact in equity and same constraints apply to mutual funds.

In addition to fear about your own self, there is hidden fear about my family. How will l me not having Aadhaar  impact my family and my relationship with them. If I die tomorrow, what is the impact on my family that I do not have Aadhaar. Will they be forced to get Aadhaar?

Should I blame anyone for my situation? I work in IT industry and understand privacy and have been using IT for my living.  I was part of a particular group and wrote article India Stack: Powering thousands of experiments. I do not see reason to blame anyone other than myself.

While I acknowledge fear, I want to end article with question ” Would India  have achieved freedom in 1947 if the freedom fighters succumbed to fear of British? “

 

Will Identity(Aadhaar) lead to separation?

Today I was reading  articles and started to ask myself question of “why identity?” and started to look  beyond privacy

Identity can be sense of security, safety, a sense of being owned and of possessing, that gives great comfort, which is more of  illusion. Privacy is fear(lack of security) , when person shares data(identity)  with authority or others and fears that data(identity) in hands of authority has potential to lead to your own exploitation.

see-yourself1-443x500

Anyone from India is aware of what happened when India society gave identity to people in terms  of caste, sects and work and gave rise to a new sect of people called untouchables.  When  children of scavenger applies for opportunity , the connection of  children’s identity with parent’s identity  has potential to bias in the judge who decided whether person qualifies for opportunity or not.  If you  claim maturity in objective evaluation, watch video கக்கூஸ்” ஆவணப்பட இயக்குநர் திவ்யா,  to understand how much society context is influenced by identity of individuals.

Look  200 years back. Did people have passport? No. Passports may be provided by kings or emperors to give special privileges to specific people. When King asks special persons of opposite country to surrender his passport, the message was “Your country has lost the belief of ours” or “There are serious differences with your country”.

Will identity leads to separation? Post industrial revolution,  new identity of of owner and workers or capitalists and socialists that separated them.  Look at  IT industry is created based on job roles that separate them and cause for conflicts.

In my daughter’s school, there are houses formed with identity and asked to compete against each other to bring success to their house. Why do students are not taught of the ability to achieve more as single school, rather than two houses in school?  May be students can use time to compete with others to learn to compete with themselves .

Having spend time as entrepreneur, I see entrepreneurial clubs based on identity of your business. Occasionally, When club fails to represent all their aspirations, a new club gets created based on their identity.  Most of times people are working hard to gain access to existing clubs and people are denied access to social network of club. One’s failure identity will make exclude you from the club’s activities.  On other end,  folks who invested in efforts to build brand identities leveraging club exploit the same to their personal advantage.

Passport is an identity document used by countries  to limit people from other countries to migrate in to the country in the process to safeguard benefits of country for people who stay in the country and do not want to lose them to migrants.  H1B or Green Card are identity got by migrants arriving to USA. The identity brings fear in migrant as it enables them to earn the economic benefits, and absence of the identity leads to loss of economic benefits. Economic benefits leads some to give away citizenship of their birth country to gain the citizenship of the new country.

When I see an article You need not submit Aadhaar card to comply with FATCA, my mind questions what is the identity of  people interested to make Aadhaar mandatory. Are these people Indians? Have they lived in USA for years? If yes, they would social security benefits. To repatriate social security benefits India and USA needs to have treaty and every India needs to have something equal to Social security number. Is Indian taxpayer money used to gain benefits for some of theses self servicing people?

Let me end with quote from world teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti  ” When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind”

How I would act if I am PM – My 2 cents

PM Modi may be right or may be wrong about his focus  to remove black money and time will say. I am concerned about the plight of the common man who paid his taxes and have no black money. While we can debate the pros and cons of the drive, let us focus on immediate problem today,

I agree that every implementation has challenges. My question always connects to whether PM Modi is working on ground to solve problem or expecting others to solve problem, being on foreign travels, while common man suffers. It is easy for me to have opinions and thoughts. Here are some of actions that I would take if I were PM.

Action 1: Digital approach  1: Setup monitoring room.

Ask his officials  and bank officials to  setup dashboard that shows summary of cash availability across all bank ATMs and branches in India.

  • When cash goes empty or close to empty in ATMS or branches, it shows red
  • When cash is available, it shows green

The dashboard should be be displayed state-wise and branch-wise. If  a bank ATM goes red, the bank CEO gets SMS and is expected to fix the same in next 2 hours.  This happens 24 hours and not during day hours. if officials need security, he can arrange for the same. Have a RBI representative for every state, any fault of ATM or branch in state should involve the representative working with bank officials to get this corrected in 2 hours.

Transparency: Expose above dashboard to public. Let public see how things are made effective by PM. Let banks get good marketing by making things work or  bad marketing when things are worse. The representative would give announcement of day’s progress in the evening to media at 6: 30 pm about how effective they were. PM  would consolidate and address the nation at 8 pm.

Servant Leadership: Let PM walk down and get cash in bank ATM. Let him do this at different part of the country without informing officials.  He can be joined by Finance minister and RBI governor also. The point is for  Modi to demonstrate that he is on the ground to solve the problem and is really working to balance removal of black money and the challenges of common man.

I am sure  his demonstration will motivate everyone in the entire bank machinery to  ensure that cash is replenished  to branches on time.

 

Who did we give our remote control ?

“Do not give your remote control to someone else.”

Some one remarked that not having money to spend is making them anxious. I see the long queues in ATMs and bank branches. The weekend  brought to me to question         “Can we punish all including  innocent person as we cannot identify who is guilty?”

When I went around neighborhood, road-side merchants and vendors reported losing 50% business from customers as customers do not have currency. On more enquiry, one offered me chat and I replied that “I do not have new money to pay for chat”. He gave me chat and offered me, asking me to pay later. I acknowledged his act of kindness  and ate the offer. Same is story heard from old newspaper vendors and construction workers. I thank people who helped their maids and drivers with cash they have and also request them to realize that poor people have more self-respect and may not ask for money in Indian society and may instead choose to starve without money.

On a different note, I received email written with right intent that educates employees who have bank ATMs within corporate offices to visit their offices to withdraw cash. Are those ATMs only accessible to employees working in corporate offices? What would common man do? Some one would say  “If you have worked in IT park, you would have no problem. Not working here is your mistake for losing privilege “.

Everyone has privilege or right to live in the world and get privilege from nature and not from firms or humans or any governments. No invention and no innovation defines breathing of humans.

To have better life, a government setup was created. No government or firms perform favors by allowing us to have a good life, right food and surrounding environment. We choose them and gave them power and rights to act in our behalf. Think that we need to remind ourself that our life is not define by some one’s good nature or some one’s pity.

Looking around, I feel that all animals expect humans seem to live with more freedom. The urban man seemed to have lost his freedom completely and is on path to become slaves for experiences, comforts and conveniences that he enjoys. That includes me too.

Fundamentally, seeds sown in fields to grow crops has been taken over by MNCs. Today lot of farmers do not keep seeds for sowing for next crop. We are afraid to east fruits with fear of pesticides. Children think that food comes from departmental stores.

We are happy to swallow medicines and take injections given by doctors without questions.  You are not ready to be cured of fever in 5 days and demand doctor to provide antibiotics for quick relief. Soon, mobile applications are arriving to recommend medicines and injections to patients without even visiting doctor.

In India, there is a long tradition of sharing front portion (called thinai) of our house with travelers and visitors for free.  Our history talks of families sharing food with  guests and sleeping with empty stomach. 20 years back, I have gone to Palani and stayed in Chattaram which was almost free. Where are chattarams today? In trichy, bus stand is still called chattaram bus stand.

thinnai.png

Today we justify and share or inability with living  in apartments and have security and not able to allow people to come in easily. In addition, with advent of airbnb , we now rent rooms of the house and make money.  Your apartment  has club house that is large and empty and you cannot share the same with homless for nights. You also have bathrooms down for staff which can be used by them. You still do not allow them. what has comfort and convenience lead you to?

In my birth town, my father had never used to drop me at school in his official jeep, while he used to pick employees/workers on the way to office. His employer did not expect him to do that. I know that he was paying back similar privileges received  by him when his superior with jeep picked him and he had no personal jeep assigned.

Today, we take rides using Uber and Ola. When we ride as single individual, can we pick guy known to us travelling in same direction, waiting for bus? Some of us would say that this is not allowed and once can use OLA-share or Uber-share. Has someone tried the same?  When three passenger can climb from your home in Ola-regular for same price, what stops us from picking this guy waiting for bus?

In last few months, my kids cajoled me to experiment using OLA and Uber. I have started to travel by bus, cycle,walk for many years now.  Earlier, I have pitched to my children of reducing pollution, reducing fuel consumption and also cheap travel( when they were young and had half/no tickets).

For shorter rides, children pitched that costs for 3 people to go in OLA was less than going by Volvo bus in Brookfield area. Very true. When we I tried to hail auto for same travel, we learnt that cost of hiring auto was more than hiring cab  using mobile app. They seem to ignore the other things. What happened to them?

Let me remind myself that girls travelled in bus for close to 8 years, when we did not own a car. My younger one used to like Volvo bus to play monkey style in Volvo bus and the elder one liked breeze in auto and complained against car and preferred auto in the past.

While hiring online cab, I was wondering how to move my children to take bus. when I looked at their regular activity, children traveled by school bus for a shorter distance and for other travel, they go along with my wife in car and have less exposure to bus today. Now both of them demand for AC in car, once car is on the roads.

For me walking and travelling by bus and cycle, I found the comfort of OLA and Uber nice. I started to experiment myself  with Uber and OLA to observe my own needs of comfort and conveniences. Visits to Chennai made me realize comfort that Ola-share and Uber-share provides same quality service at less costs. For rides, where prices are same for both option, I choose normal OLA and where prices was costly, I choose OLA-share.

I kept paying by cash and resisted payment by card. When a driver failed to turn up, I walked to metro station close-by, got a bus and went to suburban station and reached home. I was not ready to allow me influenced by the comfort.

I felt that lower cost has become more important criteria than benefits of car pooling to save environment. I realized that for long distances that I like comfort of Ola-share.

Coming back to Bangalore, I find myself more getting used to comfort of car, moving from cycling to work.  Becoming aware of my comfort seeking, I pushed myself to cycling again.

On day of demonetization, I worked late at work and had planned to take OLA. With cash currencies of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 not acceptable any more, the first thought was whether to connect my credit card with OLA to enable going by OLA.  My inner mind started to question why I have not asked for office cab and why I am falling to comfort. I decided to walk home and walked 4 km to reach home.

Yesterday and Today, I observe a lot of people standing in long queues before ATMs and sure lot of them work for IT companies. What is productivity loss with people standing in front of ATMs and anxiety of not having cash? When there is a strike and employees are not able to report to work, Bangalore employers complain about loss of productivity. Why there is no sound now?

On other hand, IT industry is happy with behavioral change induced by current situation to bring more business  online. There is little or less thought on the difficulty brought to their employees, beyond the challenges faced by themselves without cash.  Maybe thought is employees have to visit ATMs in their personal hours and will not impact productivity.

Banks promise that customers can use ATM at their convenience. In past, bank representatives come to our offices to open accounts. Where can they not send today people with cash to offices and disburse the same?  They have failed to keep up their promise as part of service contract.

While I acknowledge efforts of bank employees as individuals, I view that banks as entity have failed their customers. Banks pushed customers visiting branch to use online services and ATM services, some charged money for visiting branches.  To show that they are customer friendly, some published notification to effect that charges are waived.   When customer failed to maintain minimum balance, customer is not charged for not meeting commitments and is rarely given a chance. Are banks justified for negligence?

Today, banks have outsourced operations including ATMs and is that reason they find it difficult to handle scenario.  Technology can be used for good or bad. What would happen, in these challenging times, if there is failure in power grid and ATMs stop working? What would happen if there is natural calamity in these times?  Let me thank God and nature for protecting us. Has Indian government thought of these risks?

 

How inclusive are tech meetups, hackathons

I attend and participate in meetups and technical events on Saturday. I started to observe the presence of more men than women in these events. The ratio of men to women looked like  75: 25 or 80:20. In last few week, I was involved in few activities and experienced some new learning and sharing the same here.

diversityI am father of 2 daughters. Last few years, my wife started to work and some Saturday morning, she needs to attend events at her work, where I offer to take care of my children. Few weeks ago, my wife had planned work for whole of Saturday and I was leading event at my office on the same day. When both of us discussed to take care of children, I decided to take my children to my office. (they hanged with my cousin for large hours across lunch). While i was happy that i can keep my children with me, they shared with me that it was exciting initially and felt bored and restless after few hours.

My personal experience made me look at our volunteers. We had one female employee to volunteer. She was one year experienced and that made it easy for her to come.   I looked at male employees and asked myself ” Who was taking care of their children in their homes?  Are their wife house-wife’s?”. Felt good when a manger brought his son for few hours to event.  I found volunteers were mainly men. I was surprised with lady HR executive who stayed whole event, possibly she is recently married.

Our whole day event(9 to 8)  got delayed by 30 minutes. My wife came and picked children around 6 pm and I was left to come home late. A mother would have found it tricky to balance delay in event and needs of her children.  My own daughters become uneasy and uncomfortable when mother come few minutes late from promised time.

In another technical meetup conduced, a female colleagues and women had come. When thanked for their participation on weekend in their busy schedules. they shared ” Event was closet to my home for me to attend”. If you look at Bangalore, more of events happen in Koramangala or IndiraNagar. What is percentage of weekends events that happen around ITPL ? When I inquired women about joining session online, they said “Not easy to join webinar. kids allow father to do office work and not mothers”. Reminded of ex-colleague who takes conference calls being  present in bathroom to reduce disturbance.

While I  consider hackathon helps to identify talent applying knowledge rather than only being good theory and enable hiring of diverse talent. How much hackathon help companies to recruit qualified  2 to 5 years experienced IT women professionals, married and mothers. Do companies miss to hire women employees using hackathons? On a different note, women employees stay for long time in their jobs compared to men. To leverage short-term benefit, are we sacrificing long-term benefit?

On Google of  words “hackathon Bangalore  women”, here are few result links.

I observe that  above were single day hackathon. Recommend companies who want to hire diverse mix of candidates to have 1-day hackathon compared to 2 -day hackathon ( Friday evening to Sunday evening). While  48 hour schedule  favors men than women, i acknowledge that married men & fathers want to spend weekend with their families.

Happy to see lot more inclusiveness  in paid events  TechSparks events are on Friday and Saturday, completes early evening, allow  participants to return home/families. HasGeek events are more on week days.  NPC events are mainly on weekdays, with night networking on the first event day. Can we measure the number of women who stay to network ? Let me thanks them for allowing Sundays to the participant families.

What do you use? Email? SMS? IM? Phone?F2F?

Today  multiple modes of communication are leveraged in our professional and personal lives. E-mail, SMS , IMs or Chats, Phone call and In-person F2F meeting. Are you leveraging the right communication channel? Are your leveraging right communication channel best suited  for real life scenario? Here is my attempt to answer.

Email  are used to communicate for non-urgent matters and  scales fairly well, being asynchronous. As emails document facts, emails  qualify to be considered formal and are suitable to be prioritized, free of pressure to respond immediately. The sender is aware that he would obtain response based on receiver priority. Receiver is aware that he can schedule time to check and respond emails. Easier for both parties to develop a disciplined approach for communication over emails

Emails are ill-suited when people use emails to resolve conflicts. Emails can become nuisance when emails are used to assign tasks to individuals. In these scenarios, it is better to talk or meet person in F2F mode or Phone mode

SMS are for short messages and for asynchronous communication. Used communicate quick status or interest to other person. Examples are like reached place and do not see other person at scheduled time, keep informed of delay to arrive to F2F meeting and so on.

IMs are suited for quick short informal messages prior to F2F or phone discussion(using voice) when both parties show attention to IM,  IM becomes more efficient than a candid back-and-forth email thread.

During conference call, IM are used to share quick facts on a topic  and IM can be treated as confirmation of facts across conference call.  IMs allow teams to collaborate internally better with exchange of private messages within the team, even during a joint call with multiple teams. Any IM interaction for more than a minute or two may become tricky and for IM interaction more than two or three minutes, explore options to move to voice based IM or phone call. Let us accept that  voice is quicker/cleaner than typing!

IM Pop-ups can be distraction( Remember to set ” do-not-disturb” when necessary). They are not good to document formal responses and are to be limited to internal team discussions. IMs are efficient with customers with IM federation enabled IM of customer.

Phone calls are useful when both parties cannot wait for F2F meeting to occur, or critical issues cannot wait to be scheduled F2F. Please schedules phone calls, being aware of time loss due to unscheduled Phone calls. Either answer  unscheduled calls for less than a minute to schedule or call back unscheduled calls in planned hour. While one needs to be aware of distraction on one’s focus due to unscheduled calls, there are times where one needs to  pick up phone and  talk, instead of long  back-and-forth e-mail threads.

F2F meetings are most suited to resolve conflicts or brainstorming sessions. Too many F2F meetings can be a time-killer. Schedule F2F meetings that are truly necessary with a clear agenda communicated in advance so everyone has time to prepare. Take meeting notes and documents action items. Send notes and action items to all invitees/participants for F2F meeting. if  the magnitude of conflict increase, it is very important to have F2F meeting as soon as possible, as it has potential not to let any problems linger around!

To end, please remind yourself of the cost of the meeting to the company. Remind yourself mentally with everyone’s salary  engaged in conversation. Ensure to finish meeting early when agenda of the meeting is completed. When key person required for a meeting is not able to attend, please postpone or reschedule meeting.

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