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Nirmal's Blog

Nirmal's Blog

Fresh college graduates

Fresh college graduates would go further in the job market/career with these qualities: a hunger to become the best in the field, a strong work ethic, and people skills.

By having a hunger to become the best in the field, the individuals would need to continuously learn, take feedback and will grow. Complementing the hunger would be a strong work ethic which can take the individuals farther than their counterparts. Hunger alone won’t take you anywhere. Lastly, having excellent people skills will take you the farthest.

A learning organization

To stay relevant in the market, be ahead of the competition, and to attract/keep talent, the company’s members’ need to be continuously learning. If the members are not learning, they are not growing.

Most companies know that the employees are its biggest asset. What they know and how they act can differ greatly. Learning has to become a core part of a company’s DNA. It has to be embedded so strongly in the company that employees themselves are proactively learning new things and staying updated. The management needs to provide the right environment where learning is encouraged, incentivized, and acknowledged. Just a few people here and there sent off to a corporate training won’t move the needle.

Travel to me…

Travel to me means to discover

Discover new food, places, people and culture

Cultures of people, customs, traditions, and how they live

Lives of people in different places makes me interested and curious

Curious to learn more about the new destination and myself

Myself is an evolving body and that’s why I love to travel

the incentive

What’s the incentive?

Employees’ motivation at work is influenced by a mix of incentives. If we have the proper incentives in place, the system works best. The salary is an incentive, the raise is an incentive, and the promotion is an incentive. There are other incentives as well. Figuring out what motivates the employee or employees’ is critical to the employee’s growth and the company’s growth. Then there are the intangibles when employees’ do a great job: the verbal acknowledgements of appreciation, company wide recognition, the unexpected treat, giving respect where its due, etc.

Why change?

Why not change?

Why not evolve?

If we are going to get better, why not become one?

If the circumstances are going to be much better, why not take the chance?

Why stay stagnant when things are moving fast?

Why not you?

Why not all of us?

Experienced learner

The saying goes “Experience is the best teacher.”

With experience, comes confidence, knowledge, and a good sense of intuition. When you get hired, you get paid for your “experience.” Can you tell us about your experience managing teams or projects is a common question at job interviews. Employers’ believe that a new hire with relevant experience will take their company to new heights. As much as experience is valued and it should be, another asset is to also have a learner’s mindset. When you can count on your experience, you should and when you are not sure then you should approach people who know/research the topic/ask tons of questions.

Become an experienced learner.

re:Work

re:Work is a collection of practices, research, and ideas from Google and others to help you put people first. re:Work is organized around ways you can make an impact in your workplace.

I love this part “Learning & Development – Empower your employees to grow and develop by making learning part of everyone’s job.” I’ll be sharing what I learned from re:Work in the coming days.

Company culture

What is company culture?

Do we want to have a certain company culture?

If we do, what values should we aspire to have?

Who will be responsible to uphold those values?

What if those values are not followed then what happens?

It’s important to ask the right questions before setting out to “build” company culture.

Is there such thing as too much press in business?

Yes, there is!

I used to believe that getting a lot of press coverage for any business would be good. It would be great to create more buzz, more people would would know about it, more people would be ready to purchase the product, and ultimately there would be more sales. What could be wrong with that right? Well now, I have started to think that it depends where you are in the business stage (startup, survival, sustainable, growth and scale).

For a startup, getting buzz creates hype and excitement towards the company. That buzz can create demand for the product or service, get market feedback, attract talent to the company among others. Yet I have started to see the pressures and repercussion of too much press early in the business stage. First time founders are really excited and passionate about their idea and want to get it out there. It’s hard to resist getting that coverage when it is coming your way. However, when the idea is out in the media, more resource equipped people and companies can easily change their strategies and almost destroy that upcoming new business. Also, if the founder(s) don’t move fast in the market, the weight of the early press coverage/even awards can hold them back. The team dynamics and egos of various people can also be affected if not taken care properly.

It sounds almost counter-intuitive to not get too much press coverage and recognition early. This is definitely not the case for all businesses. However, I’m starting to feel and believe that for startups in Nepal that want to make an impact domestically and internationally, it’s best to extremely focus on your product/service (and resist press/other coverage until you are ready). The time will come when you need to market it, generate press, and grow your company.

Improving Nepal’s education system

We can improve Nepal’s education system.

If there is one thing that I strongly believe will improve Nepal’s educational system, it would be improving the quality of the teachers.

The foundation of an excellent education system is the teachers. Students spend majority of their time at school/college with the teachers compared to other stakeholders (admissions, career office etc). If the teachers are incentivized the right way, then the magic flows from there. When the teachers are excellent, the students’ learn, grow, and have the confidence to take on the next challenge. This will help the school/college earn a good reputation which will carry over to prospective students, parents and other stakeholders. Thus, a lot of marketing of the school/college is not needed after that.

How do we then incentivize the teachers so that our education system improves?

More to come on another blog.

Some life advice…

Life is beautiful.

I believe the beauty of life is its journey. Each individual in the world goes through life in a different way. The amazing part is that as humans we can share experiences and memories through emotions. There’s no one particular roadmap to life’s journey. However, we can learn from our collective experiences and make the most of the life that we have right now.

Here’s some simple yet profound perspectives 25 Things You Must Know To Get Through Your 20s and 15 Things Everyone Should Avoid In Their 30s from Lifehack.

Managing vehicle traffic in Nepal

Kathmandu faces an acute traffic congestion problem. News of traffic congestion worsening are not rare. The population density is increasing, more vehicles are being added on the road, construction happening almost everywhere etc. We can’t just wait for Dashain holidays to be able to drive comfortably in our capital when most people go to their homes to celebrate the festival. The problem needs solutions right now.

I started researching on how cities around the world are tackling traffic. A good overview can be found on World Economic Forum’s Seven ways cities around the world are tackling traffic. From electronic road pricing, electronic journey planner to integrative public transport model and active traffic management approach, big cities around the world are managing traffic and creating ways to increase their revenue while providing a better quality of life for their citizens/visitors.

Nepal government, concerned government and city agencies, private sector and all other stakeholders should proactively start working on solutions to improve traffic management in our capital. Better late than never.

just be YOU!

The best way to build a personal brand is to be yourself.

Being authentic is the most prized asset in today’s world. For people who want to become a personal brand or have their company connect with the customers, the decision is simple: be authentic. Your audience can easily see right through when you are not being authentic. It’s far more easier to just be yourself than trying to be someone else.

Here’s a good read on 4 Ways To Be A More Authentic Person

Responsibility of teachers, parents, and students

For a student to be successful academically, its takes a total team effort. From the students’ parents, friends to their teachers and students’ themselves, it takes a village to help the students be successful.

What are then the responsibilities of teachers, parents, and students?

Teachers: They are instrumental in gaining the students’ interest, engagement, and ultimately their learning. The teachers have so much influence and the impact of a great teacher on a student or students is lifelong. Anyone in a teaching profession should go above and beyond to make sure each student in the class is learning, being challenged, and ready for the next step in their lives.

Parents: They are important in providing the environment for students to focus on their student life. Parents know the value of a good education and should continuously take time to understand what their child or children like/dislike/want to be. I’m sure every parent wants a better life for child or children than they did. From being there to help out with homeworks and assignments to motivating them when grades fall short of expectations and giving them perspective on everything in life, parents do so much that it’s really hard to describe.

Students: The success of the students’ ultimately depends on themselves. Teachers can do so much. Parents can do so much. However, if the students do not understand the value or need to have a good education, put in the effort/time to succeed or manage things properly, everything will go in vain. The students’ responsibility is for them to fully focus on their education, manage their expenses and time accordingly, and be the main drivers of their success.