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QAspire Blog 2012: Essential Posts Redux

2012 was a fantastic year.

Lot of writing, a few speaking engagements, many inspiring conversations some recognitions made this year a memorable one. This year, I contributed a 23 page chapter in “The ASTD Management Development Handbook” published by American Society for Training and Development. 2012 also bought me the recognition amongst “Top 20 Indian HR Influencers on Social Media (at #4)” by Society of Human Resources Management, SHRM India. Lot of good things happened on professional and personal front too. As I retrospect, I have a feeling of deep gratitude.

As I look back at 2012 in terms of blogging, here are some of my important lessons, one for each month along with a respective snippet. I hope you enjoy and revisit.

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January 2012 : What We Need The Most in 2012?

A new year is a time when most of us reflect on personal/organizational changes we seek in the coming year. My submission: when you think of a change, also think about making it happen. If you have ideas, give it a life. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Develop a discipline to execute your art regularly.That is the only way I know to achieve excellence.

February 2012: In Praise of Comprehension and Meaning

Comprehension is important. Understanding nuances of your work, its implications and clarity on overall context is as crucial in knowledge world as understanding others on the team. Style can enhance the presentation, but without substance, style itself cannot make you a better communicator.

March 2012: Great Story: Improvement and Tending the Garden

Improvement is not a product. It is process. On the journey to improve constantly, you can never announce that you have arrived because there isn’t a destination.

April 2012: Lifelong Learning: Lesson From A Cab Driver

That only pre-requisite to learn new things is to have an open, willing, receptive and curious frame of mind. That you learn the best when you learn it for yourself, not for a degree or an external certification.

May 2012: Team Performance: Keeping Ego at Bay

When you encounter an ego situation, quiz your goals. Ask yourself (and others) this question: “Am I (are you) focusing on ‘who’ is right, or doing ‘what’ is right?”. In teams and projects, doing what is right (and actually doing it) is more important than proving who is right.

June 2012: Leading Projects: Balancing Rational with Emotion

Every project we execute is a glorious opportunity to practice leadership, to make a difference in a customer’s business, to nurture the talents of our people. As a project manager, you can make that happen only when you focus on the emotional aspect as much as the rational one.

July 2012: Usman Riaz and Attitude of Self-Directed Learning

Learning starts with an intent, an inner force to know more, dig deeper and understand. It expands as we internalize what we learn and then do something about it. Learning is not one-time-4-year-degree-course, but a lifelong commitment.

August 2012: On Accountability: A Story and a Few Lessons

Never hold people accountable for following the steps and rules, but always hold them accountable for a goal – a big WHY.

September 2012: Comfortable With Chaos 15

One thing is clear: We need to get comfortable with chaos. Comfortable doesn’t mean that you let chaos happen around you and choose not to respond. Being comfortable with chaos means being more responsive to chaos and creative in spotting opportunities around.

October 2012: Agility in Process Improvement Initiatives

In an agile business environment where change is not only constant but rapid, we need agility in how we improve. We need to fail fast, learn fast and adapt quickly.

November 2012: The Promise of Gemba

Gemba allows leaders and improvement managers to appreciate what people really do on the floor and more importantly, how they do it. You cannot take any meaningful decisions about work unless you know how the work is actually performed.

December 2012: Project Management: Science? Art? Common Sense?

Understanding the science of project management is the “least common denominator” for anyone to get into project management. It is the art of understanding the context, dealing with people/situations and putting things in right perspective that make great project managers.

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More than anything else, I am grateful to YOU, the reader of this blog – without you, this blog cannot exist. Your comments, links and mentions only encourage me more to share my lessons. I will see you in 2013. Stay Tuned!  Wish you a Happy Holiday Season!

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Also Read: Bite-sized lessons, stories and parables in 100 Word Posts at QAspire Blog