Passing The Baton

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They’ve taught us the languages, theories and formulae we know today, nurtured us during those lengthy hours we were away from our homes, and were unsparing when we didn’t submit our homework on time. Teachers leave an indelible imprint on our lives. Ever heard the saying ‘be cruel to be kind’? That’s what our teachers were doing when we were still juvenile and ignorant of the life that lay outside the walls of the classroom. We do owe them a great deal for being tough on us.

Today, while we take some time off from our frantic schedules to wish them on WhatsApp or leave heartfelt messages on their Facebook walls, let us sincerely realize how fortunate we’ve been to have learned what we did from them. Not everybody has had the same opportunity and exposure.  Education isn’t merely the math formulas and historical dates we’re made to memorize, but also the more subtle and crucial life skills learned in the process, like the ability to think on your feet and take your own decisions. And one can only learn this ‘art of learning’ by a teacher who sets a good example.

Sadly, our country has a lot to catch up on in this regard. It was astonishing to read about Gurmeet Ram Rahim persuading 400 men to get castrated! That’s a staggering 400 men who lacked the ability to think logically, to reason, to question authority. Despite being found guilty of rape, millions still refuse to believe Ram Rahim is at fault. These millions failed to obtain guidance from the right ‘teacher’. Instead, what they got (and to our dismay, accepted) was a self-proclaimed guru releasing ludicrous movies in the theatres! The Indian Express ranked him 96 on their list of 100 most powerful Indians of 2015. How are we allowing power to flow in the hands of such criminals? Why have we let a rape convict become a ‘guru’ to millions?

All of us might not have grown up to create the degree of impact that professors do in a classroom full of students, but that does not stop us from passing on the baton of our knowledge to the next generation – to our peers, to our families, and even to strangers. Acts as simple as donating a book you love to an underprivileged teen, encouraging your younger siblings to carve their own niche, or sharing something awesome you found on the internet with the rest of your team members, can leave a substantial impression, almost a beautiful ripple effect.

Remember, unadulterated learning begins beyond the confines of classroom walls. That’s the real battlefield. The world is in need of something you might have to offer. Make it worth their while.

Jaanam

 

Words And Words Are All We Have!

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After watching Sex and the City, a lot of people wanted to get into the business of PR taking inspiration from the iconic fictional character of Samantha Jones. She definitely put PR on the charts by being the most independent, sassy and social amongst her circle. People wanted to be like her, vicariously wanting to live the ‘PR life’, without any knowledge of what PR entails from an individual.

Having been in the oh-so-fascinating PR industry for a mere 4 years, I have come to terms with being aware of absolutely everything that happens around us, the good, bad and the ugly. Anticipation is the key. Sure, you get to meet some interesting specimens. But even to sustain productive business, impactful conversations with them can be a task.

Sustenance in the PR field revolves around being good listeners and conversationalists. Understanding a client’s tangible and intangible sides of business, what appeals to them culturally and their business ethos is what sets the best amongst us from the rest amongst us. This is why we must get our ‘listening’ act together. Unlike any other business functions like IT, Finance, Engineering, Customer Support or HR – we (have to?) know so much more about everything. Well, we won’t know much about the intricacies of the semiconductor chip in the latest Macbook, but then again, if that is what drove us, we would’ve chosen a different way to make a living.

We focus on the ‘software’ of the product. For example, not everyone knows how a light bulb is made, but we all do know what it’s used for. This curiosity allows us to know all the information which helps us to make a comprehensive diagnosis of the problem and provide efficient communications to position our client’s light-bulb as the best in the market. We call ourselves excellent communicators because we know exactly what needs to be communicated and which medium to choose to tell that story. You know what this also makes us? Innovators! Our challenge is to figure out how to tell new stories every day. There is so much information in our mind-ware that there is immense enthusiasm when it comes to planning campaigns. Can you imagine the adrenaline rush we go through when the event is getting closer and when we see our brilliant ideas being executed? It definitely is one of those feelings which cannot be put in words.

Ever attended a party and been able to juggle conversations ranging between Donald Trump and Sarahah? Or debate peers and colleagues with the best policy changes our country needs to the latest Game of Thrones plot twist? Good storytelling revolves around keeping your horizons infinitely expanding. You have to be able to create content and context for everything ranging from post-heartbreak healing to a company getting its fourth round of VC funding! While our industry makes us popular people to be around, this is a real business impacting trait to possess. There, you have it. If you come across a PR professional, it will be safe to know that the person has a vast reservoir of knowledge and opinions. ‘Cause you know what? We gain insights and we know things! *cheers*

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Breaking The Vicious Cycle of Brand-Agency Insanity

Option 1

Dissecting the brand & communication partner relationship to understanding when to hold on and when to let go

Insanity is replicating the same thing in the same way and expecting a different response. We see this more as a personal life phenomenon, and professionals seem to be, for the most part, more sane and pragmatic about finding solutions. Having said this, many brands, often, shop for agencies with the brief focused more around how they felt their last few communications partners could not deliver rather than the trying to immerse the new agency partner prospect in their business and expectations. There are business acquisitions made by consultants on being better counselors and listeners rather than strategists and experts in their fields. Changing communication partners again and again expecting the same result is insanity. Unfortunately, at times, as marketing and communications teams change, this vicious cycle sees no end, and the brand ends up working with multiple agencies, little to show for it, and the same complaints ready against the past partners for the briefing of their new prospective partner.

While it should be noted that some partners may not be actually able to deliver as per their commitments and this phenomenon may not exist in every brand team, the fundamental attitude that changing your agency partner will take you to the promise land is unfounded, and most successful relationships are ones where there is a long-term commitment between the agency partner and the brand with an oath to stick together in sickness and health. The relationships that can make each other better and are solution oriented, rather than justification/excuse oriented, survive. But again, this should not lead to another dangerous cycle of an inability to kill a relationship when it is clear that the two entities cannot see eye-to-eye and spend more time in conflict then in resolution. So, how does one find the balance between not falling in a cyclical insanity of constant change and an inability to kill a relationship that needs to die for the betterment of both the entities?

 Stay True To the Relationship If:

Attitude Alignment
If the personalities of the brand and agency teams match, brands should resist the urge to change the partner and try to work towards a solution. With skillset and experience evaluated at the time of getting into the relationship, a personality synergy between the two entities is extremely hard to find, and once you find it, hang on to it.

Transparency & Honesty
This maybe the most important reason a brand-agency partner relationship can survive in times of challenges and conflict. Most conflicts arise out of the lack of honesty and clarity of commitment. A transparent and honest agency partner, who doesn’t beat around the bush, accepts their mistakes, and never accepts until they truly believe in something, is a great partner to have.

The Language of Solutions
What language do you speak in your discussions, brainstorms and meetings? If a large part of the conversations are about justifications and reasons from the brand and consultancy side, its not going to work, but if both entities agree that they will only speak the language of solutions in every aspect of the relationship, it’s a relationship to cherish, and the two entities will surely do some great things together.

Kill the Relationship & Move On If:

I have no more questions.
When meetings and brainstorms start to get majorly tactical and there is no questioning to the approach by either entity in the relationship, its time to start rethinking the relationship. Curiosity is at the core of the human mind, and if you have no more questions, there is no more challenge. A lack of challenge will not push the relationship to do more and be aspirational.

Is this a relationship or an algorithm?
The agency-brand relationship always starts off to an exciting start due to a new subject matter, sector and brand for both entities, but once an approach that works is found, the relationship may be at the risk of being robotic. While the approach works, both the brand and agency partner get so comfortable in the routine that there is no scope of innovation or creative thought. Its great to get comfortable in the personalities of the two entities, but if both entities get too comfortable with the strategy and approach, it’s, unfortunately, time for a change.

The Fire Doesn’t Burn The Same Anymore
The relationship needs to professionally turn on the brand and the agency partner teams. If each entity is not getting excited, challenged and breaking their head on the next phase of brand growth on a continuous basis, the attraction will start to cease to exist. The relationship needs to be open to taking risks with their campaigns, open to failure, and resist the temptation to do the same thing merely basis the fact that there are no other new ideas.

It should not be mistaken that core skillsets, expertise and clarity in thought process are not important. They are extremely important and an irreplaceable aspect of a successful brand and communication partner relationship, but the softer aspects of the relationships are also important, especially when relationships are not driven by just needs/requirements, but aspirations to do something great together. But then again if a relationship is driven only by  a need, then there is no relationship, and the agency partner would be more aptly referred to as a vendor anyways.

Aniruddha Atul BhagwatDirector & Co-FounderIdeosphere-2

 

Is it Too Late to Say Sorry

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Sample this email subject line that global sports major, Adidas, sent to the participants of the Boston Marathon 2017, once they had completed the race. “Congratulations for having survived the Boston Marathon.” The internet has a field day regarding the perceived insensitivity of the usage of words just a few years from the horrors that affected men, women and children in April 2013.
What a few weeks it has been for some of the world’s most recognizable brands. Pepsico, United Airlines, Uber (where do we start?) and Snapchat have all been the source of some much publicized faux pas. They’ve then been lined up in front of the proverbial firing squad and seen their legacy tarnished leading to capital and brand erosion. What could they have done differently?
Before we embark on a deconstructing journey within the safe confines of hindsight, let us be clear that a brand apology has more variables associated with it. Equally important to note is that we are not trying to measure the intensity of person to person forgiveness versus one that is made by a brand. But millions of users, their collective anger combined with lightning fast communication mediums mean brands might as well decommission the traditional crisis playbook. Brands create various response teams and protocols to deal with errors and some hit the mark while others compound the problem. Maybe the real place to start comes much before.
Listen. If only brands were more attuned to the current state of affairs, they’d be able to predict reception for some of their marketing strategies. Case in point, Pepsi, made the cardinal sin of trying to jump onto the bandwagon of free speech and the right to have your voice heard. Well intentioned theoretically, can you imagine the backlash a homegrown brand like Rooh Afza would face if they released a similar ad except with the CRPF personnel and Kashmiri youth as participants? In a society already polarized by the rise of an unlikely and unpredictable President, the ad struck all the wrong chords. Not to mention the choice of celebrity who is part of a family derided by most, irrespective of your political lineage.
Worse yet, is to shirk responsibility of poor decisions and violent action. Enter United Airlines. If it wasn’t enough brand hara-kiri seeing gory images of a customer (whether he should have been allowed on board or not) being dragged across the aisle, the first response statement actually put the blame on the system and the passenger. This did not come from a staff spokesperson or a PR rep, but the CEO himself. It remains to be seen if ‘re-accommodate’ wins ‘Invented Jargon of the Year 2017’ but the letter backing United employees, most of whom were already embarrassed by the turn of events, was also in poor taste.
I hate to kick a brand when it is down, but having been a resident of the great city of Bangalore for the last 8 years, I haven’t been ‘locked up at home’ until Uber came along and improved our collective Happiness Index. And no, I do not own a motor vehicle. Brands leave themselves open to ridicule and the mercy of trolls by making statements of grandiose which alienate their customers. Have they made travel easier, safer and more convenient? No doubt, but shouldn’t you be letting your satisfied customers do your evangelizing for you? An apology made after generations make for a great Bollywood happily-ever-after ending but in the real world, it is best done immediately. And sincerely. Unfortunately, Uber seems to have the hand-brake on when it comes to rectifying its errors for a few months now.
For an app that made its mark by allowing users to send images which disappear in a few seconds, Snapchat seems to be doing the disappearing act from our mobile phones equally fast. Once again, the source of the problem has been the guy at the top. It must be the rarified air at multi-billion dollar IPOs that make decision making really tough. To insinuate (allegedly or not) we are ‘too poor’ to consider expansion is akin to digging your own grave. Users are uninstalling the app (seems to be in vogue these days), hackers are releasing private user data and poor Snapdeal is also facing the brunt for sounding a little too much like them. A sincere apology involves admittance of hurt caused to the ‘victims’, in this case, a nation of 1.2 billion people. Now whether the statement was actually made or not, Snapchat needs to seem accountable enough to make amends. Releasing India specific filters to placate an irate internet mob is certainly not the way. A brave CEO might even ditch the traditional route and embark on a charm offensive. A visit to India with a plan to make Indians an integral user base of his popular app in due course of time might not be such a bad idea.
Good communication is always a two way process. If you listen, chances are that you will be able to say the right things. The same applies to brands. Listen well to avoid blunders, quixotic or otherwise. And remember, acceptance is the first step towards salvation. To err is human, to forgive, divine. Or in the case of some big brands today – To err is self inflicted, to stop the trolls, futile.

Shoebahmed Shaikh, Director South, Ideosphere

Making My Way In The BIG City

Mumbai

It’s almost been a year, thinking to myself in a crammed balcony while I separate myself from reality with the usual getaway ritual – chai and toast. All around me was noise. And as I sip and eat, I gaze down at people. The typical smell of Bombay, of congestion and chaos, was getting the best of me. At that moment, the Usain Bolt in me wanted to run and settle in the Himalayas. This was typically the first thought that crossed my mind each day as I persevere through failed hopes and fake-pleasing everyone.

All I was craving for was my bed back home and ‘mummy ke haath’ pakodas.

Ah Alas! It was only the first bummer of the day. Like I actually counted and waited for it. I was one those people, whose life started and ended at work. A 9-6 person was something that I never thought I’d become. With a horrible social life, friends I could count on my finger-tips and vada pav as my meals; I had become a slave to the“I’M WORKING! I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR LIFE” excuse.

I just wanted run into my mother’s arms and cry my heart out. But obviously, I couldn’t because I had to be the independent girl. Keeping myself strong, I finally decided to do something, one too many times done in Bombay. Hop into a train, catch a bogey to Marine Drive, and sit there amongst a thousand other people trying to ‘figure’ life out. OH LIKE MARINE DRIVE KNEW WHAT WAS TO BE DONE RIGHT IN MY LIFE.

So I went. Reached there in a glorious mess, helplessly trying to hold my tears before I sat with music plugged in, minding my own business. My heart told me to not leave this place until I had it all ‘figured’ out. Being the drama queen I am, I tuned into ‘Iktara’ from Wake Up Sid! A movie that has always been close to my heart, the song forces me to cry like a baby every time. People around me begin to stare at me weirdly. I wanted to shout and tell them how much I hated this city and what it had done to me!

Reminding myself to be as mature as possible, I pull myself back together after a heartfelt 15-minute moment. Maybe a breakdown in public was something that I really needed. I’d finally figure out why it was imperative to make my way in this big city and why it was okay to be crammed up in a 1BHK alone when you live with 20 million other people and still feel alone.

It suddenly was all okay. It was okay to make my own breakfast, it was okay to go out for a coffee alone and the biggest of them all; it was okay to stay away from family. This city is nothing but full of people giving off a uniform smell. Yet as though some magic spell, it casts onto you a reality to face Life. It lets you wear a mask but also help you to discover yourself.

From visiting Chor Bazar at 9pm to shopping at Crawford Market, alone, I knew that I could manage it all. I’d finally become who I’d want to be at 21. A girl who can live alone, an independent and strong girl who could take the shit that life threw at her. And she’d finally found a home – Bombay.

For all that matters, I stuck through the chaos and filth of a city and finally discovered myself.

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From a Simple Hobby, to Life

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You are a product of your environment, be it the people you hangout with, the kind of upbringing you had or the hobbies you pursue. Everything affects your personality to an extent and brings out the best or worst in you. In this case hobbies are a major factor that holds the key to changing your personality and creating a better version of it. Something similar happened to me; since childhood I have been a fan of combat sports like boxing, wrestling or taekwondo and hence took up Mixed Martial Arts training. I always used to feel there is something cool about this sport. The athletes, the finishing moves, the physique but never thought of the positive changes it can bring in one’s life. It has been two years since I started training and unknowingly it has made me a different person altogether.

From being one of my favourite hobbies, MMA has become a part of my daily life; not only my personal life but professional too. While training, you are taught to be disciplined, patient, empathetic, fearless, confident and be respectful towards your opponent and your surroundings. These things have started reflecting in my professional life.

Let’s start with discipline – without discipline one cannot be a good fighter; not on the mat and not in personal/professional life. There is not much of a difference between discipline one follows in MMA and in personal life. In MMA, you must be discipline in terms of training, workout, eating and drinking habits. These are the smallest things that makes a huge difference in your performance. Discipline helps in achieving the level of dedication required to acquire necessary skills of fighting and self-defence. Similarly, in my work it has helped me in following the discipline of being in line with the processes and keeping small things in mind to get the desired results.

A good fighter is always patient, always work hard with utmost dedication and never expects things to happen overnight. In my professional life, it has taught me to work hard; leaving no margin for error as well as going that extra mile in terms of achieving the desired result. To go that extra mile, one needs patience. Many times, it came to my mind that I should stop at certain point cause the results were not evident, here I kept telling myself to be patient and to go that extra mile. In terms of handling people, patience plays an important role. Nobody is perfect in terms of skills and knowledge, when there are people in my team I try to be patient and empathetic towards them. Everyone has a different level of understanding and grasping. It just needs the right kind of push with a balance of patience and empathy to drive the best out of them.

Fear is the first thing that stops you from taking that first step towards your goal. Overcome your fears and 80% of the job is already done. As for the remaining 20%, leave it upto your skills. Being fearless is what my sensei taught us during training. Even in the worst possible situation in real life, fear can be a spoiled sport. People get robbed cause they get scared. A good MMA athlete never fears the consequences and walks up to his opponent and fights him and even if he is scared he needs to walk to the centre of the mat stare right into the eyes of his opponent and start fighting and that’s how he conquers his fear. By doing this fear can be mastered and that’s where the confidence comes from. Resistance to fear is courage, it has helped me in being fearless while taking decisions on my own for my client with 100% onus. Conquer your fear of fire and you will gain the confidence of taming a dragon.

People will respect you only if you show them respect. A great fighter always respects his opponents and his surroundings there is no place for arrogance. Here surroundings are the equipment we used to train ourselves in MMA viz. mats, punching mits, pads, gloves, the dojo etc. A great fighter is always respectful towards his opponent and humble in victory and more importantly, in defeat. This has taught me to be respectful towards my team and people I interact with in my professional life. Show them respect and be humble during successful moments as well as give the due credit to the team for their contribution in work however big or small it may be.

These are a few of many things that MMA has taught me which are equally useful in personal and professional life. I used to think of MMA as a sport but now it has become life, it has helped me in bringing out a better version of myself.

Aniruddha Atul BhagwatDirector & Co-FounderIdeosphere

The Untold Story

My colleague had earlier asked me about my plans for Diwali that night. To which I responded half-heartedly as I was just getting to know him. Had he not been good-looking, I wouldn’t have dismissed him with my explicitly conniving thrall. Work is stressful as equally as its mentally rewarding. In the business of communication, one is entitled to a duty that reluctantly demands your time post-office hours. Who doesn’t work hard and not have to hang back to get things done even till 8PM? The sun swiftly retires from over our heads to under our beds. And there is an imminent psychological change that tethers to oneself when the time comes to wrap-up and go home. It was 7:45PM, just a few hours after he spoke to me and he was just sitting beside for me so I complete my work so we could talk on our way home. As we left office we waited in the lobby for a smoke the receptionist at her desk observed me in a weird way as if I m a psychopath or something. Walking down the street I spoke about the work pressure and achievements where as he was in a very different world of his own speaking about life, travel, hobbies etc. which was an alien language for me now.

I just realized that I am getting addicted to the company of my friend. Oh, man… Seriously I need to get out of this. I hope nobody has observed it.

F**k, I am sweating. I need get out of this cycle. Wait who am I following? Or someone else is following me?

Who is the shadow? Is it in front of me or its behind me? Have I lost it? I have lost directions?

This is weird, I haven’t smoked up in days… This spookier than weed…

I know a place. I think that’s the only solution now.

Now we have to figure it out. We can’t stay like this.

Shit shit… why are you coming our way?

Are we going somewhere?

As lust crept my mind, I heard her say something in my ears.

“I think you’ve forgotten to send an e-mail to the client.”

That’s when I realized that it’s THE client who was after me since the past week for a way forward plan. But I did send that mail! What if it was still in my Outbox?

I heard her again – “You have to go back to office to check your mails.”

I hurried back. The office was locked. Thankfully I had the keys. Oh wait, there was no one in the office. No one. As I realized this, I felt a trickle go down my spine.

Was it planned? Empty room, solitude, darkness.

Did this mean something?

I quietly tip toed into the office… there was strong feeling inside me that there was someone there, right there, waiting for me. I switched on the lights, pressed the switch thrice, on, off, on, there was no electricity! I switched on my phone torch, went to my desk, switched on my laptop. It was dark, my face was blue with the light from my computer.

Tip… tip…tip…

Ugh damn it, the leaking tap! it was so more freaky at this moment. Anyway, I opened my mail; there it was, in the outbox. I re-sent it.

Drrrrrr,  my phone vibrated, Client calling… I apologised and said that the mail just got sent. A sigh of relief, but the leaking tap was irritating. I shut my computer, switched off the wifi; but I HAD to close the tap, it was too annoying.

I went to the washroom, it creaked open, I turned the tap around and closed it and ran to the door. There was no one around. I locked the door and turned, there he was.

Standing in a black suit, tilted head, a smile plastered on his face.

“Long-time…”, he said.

I thought, WHO IS HE?!

May be this is an illusion, I thought to myself. Or is it my colleague playing a sick prank. I can see a tall figure blending with the darkness.

I am frantically looking for the switch board, damn it, it’s okay, breathe. I assured myself.

“Who are you?” I asked with a confident tone, He or ‘it’ should not sense my desperation.

“I am your worst fear, I will cause you great angst”, he said.

I could feel him smiling at me, moving closer and closer.

At this moment I am scared beyond belief. I jumped back, startled and anticipated for the worst.

I hear trickling of water, I can’t move or breathe. I could feel the darkness overtaking my soul.

This is it, I thought to myself. This is my end.

Suddenly my alarm bell rang and I woke up with a jerk.

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Building Your Brand Workforce

For every time I have walked into a communications, or brand strategy meeting, this one stubborn question (almost giving it a human form) never fails to make an impromptu entrance into my head “Why is PR exclusive to a handful of titular heads?” This question is always sent back with an indisputable response of “The titular heads, my friend, are natural extensions of the company’s values, vision and diktat. By the virtue of title, understanding and drive, they are best capable of representing the company!”. While I cannot argue the accuracy of the response, one can defy the profoundness. At some level, every individual in an organisation holds the mighty responsibility of being a brand spokesperson, and more than ever before, this simple, yet pertinent point needs to find its pivot in the communication machinery. This would mean adaption of an effective internal communications strategy, regardless of the company’s size or spirit.

There is no denying that internal communication has found its identity in many organisations in the recent past, however whether it has found its significance in the overall communication and brand strategy is still ambiguous. This could also be down to the fact that PR (I like to refer to it as communications) is largely led by media focused campaigns, and not necessarily employee centered. While companies focus a large chunk of their marketing budgets in creating brand evangelists outside of the organizational eco-system, the more receptive and effective influencers seated internally come last in the pecking order. Guilty as charged, as a communications person I can’t remember the last time I brought this up with a client associate, and laid emphasis on crafting an internal brand strategy to create brand advocates from within.

Apart from the obvious reasoning that internal communications aids HR practices – from employee collaboration and engagement, soliciting employee feedback; it also brings business impact that is nothing less than the one we often seek from external audiences. Individuals in the organisation, directly or indirectly, play the role of a storyteller for the brand making it imperative to bring them under the PR spotlight.

aniruddha-atul-bhagwatdirector-co-founderideosphere

Right Expectation Rather Than No Expectations

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Through my years of childhood, youth and now as an adult, I have had a lot of people say, “have no expectations”. The reasons have been either to avoid disappointment, being hurt or to be delightfully surprised by the unexpected. There were times when I was told to just close a conversation or asked to add ‘having no expectations’ to my life’s “to-do” list. As I tried to adorn this character of “No Expectations”, I have had the most difficult times, while in other situations, it worked beautifully well.

I am sure all of us in our relationships, be it a Mother-Son, Husband-Wife, Friends as well as in a professional relationships of a Team Lead and Team member, Client and Agency, Businesses and Consumers, have all experienced the gravity of this term, as it dominates as the base of many of the relationships.

I had my ‘Aha!’ moment very recently when I realized it was the right expectations that need to be defined, refined and communicated, not to have no expectations at all! We, as communication specialists, are very often posed with this situation and are enamored by how simple it is to have the other side know, of what to ‘expect’ and mutually come to an understanding of what to ‘accept’. While I do agree when attached with emotions this can be a bit tricky, I still feel it holds great potential to be able to train your mind and learn to communicate the right expectations, as that will not only reduce the complexities, but also the stress out of not knowing the outcome.

Setting or designing the ‘Right Expectations’ in different situations will also help towards understanding the layers, identifying a core problem and also reduce the blame games as it has been already channelized. As leaders, we experience this more than often and start to realize the maturity is in understanding the situation and setting the right expectations supported with all the blanks of understanding the characteristics, personality, environment and behavior. This leads us to come up with a hopefully positive and collaborative roadmap in a professional or personal set up. It’s time for me to go back and follow this in my life, and hopefully be able to influence others around me to believe the value of right expectations to those who have told me to “have no expectations”.

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Give Every Idea A Chance

Ideas are meant to break tradition. At the conceptualization stage, they need to be outlandish, radical, and even, unrealistic. There is a stage of chaos, after an idea is tabled, which brings structure and realism into the idea. Being a realist, I have been guilty of rejecting an idea at face value, and a few times, ashamed when the idea works out into a great campaign. Its that hard road I have walked a couple of time telling my co-founder that she was right, and the idea was good with my head hung low in embarrassment. I don’t blame myself though; I blame all the good grades I got in school. Doing well in school conditioned my brain to think of facts, feasibility, and realism before I even gave any idea a chance. But if an idea is to innovate and bring up something novel than how can I use my past conditioning to evaluate it? It’s like using Google to think of something radical, when if it’s on Google, it has been thought of!

My co-founder always tells me no five fingers are the same, and each one needs to be treated differently when dealing with people on the team. This is true for ideas for also. After every idea is tabled, there is a moment of chaos, fights and arguments. After spending many years trying to avoid conflict, I realised that great ideas would be borne out of embracing this chaos. The disorder and confusion to an organised and rule-based mind like mine is hell on earth. But that begs the question, what is a structured mind like mine doing in an idea driven company? Am I taking away from its growth?

As the chaotic phase of ideation gets transformed into a feasible method, there is a need for a structured mind. An imaginative mind will think of the ideas without a care in the world for its feasibility while a structured & conditioned mind will try and bring peace to the chaos and make it feasible. Having these pairs of minds at every stage of an idea development process whether it is the conceptualization, planning or execution is important. From the top to bottom, these mind couplets help create a great idea into an even better campaign. It took some time for me to understand this, but all the fights and arguments were just our way of trying to make an idea feasible. The times I rejected an idea at face value was nothing less than criminal to the team. This oscillation of a traditionally conditioned mind and a dreamy, imaginative mind is the assembly line that makes ideas great. Everyone has a role to play, and no matter how your mind is, the tact is to identify it and ensure it fits into the right role of this assembly line. While some ideas may face death due to the lack of feasibility, the point is to ensure and give every idea a chance. You never know when that change can turn out to be magical!

Aniruddha Atul BhagwatDirector & Co-FounderIdeosphere-2