An Afternoon of Ideas and Inspirations

Gayatri Vidya Parishad, Rushikonda
4th February, 2015

An afternoon where a college made several exceptions in its schedule – cancelling its CAT class, labs for the first years, classes for various years of Management and Engineering Degrees, and made the students to be present on that day, in the late afternoon hours, and still the energy of creativity and spontaneity did not come down.

Attended by 70 students of BBM stream, the session got honoured by a presence of an already-aware and intelligent crowd. An interactive crowd, that came up with 6 spontaneous ideas regarding a water bottle, an interactive crowd that came up with lot of intelligent questions, even at a time when everyone gets tired with a day-long college activities, deserves a respect. Ultimately we had to make students aware that the time was running and they could miss their buses, or they wouldn’t have even left the venue.

Even while leaving, people came to us and thanked us for the session. There were people who said, “we actually planned to visit NIT Warangal, but now we require to rethink upon that plan”.




A Confluence of spontaneous and Inspiring Ideas

Bootcamp Visakhapatnam

February 6th, 2015

14 ideas, 3 real-life experiences, active participation equally by the students and the administration of the college were some of the features that marked the bootcamp at Prism Degree and PG College, on 6th of February.

When we first saw a highly-energetic crowd of 270 people, who were called in exactly during the lunch break, the first thing that we became skeptical about, was the acceptance on their part – we were, after all taking away their lunch break. Initial few minutes went in bringing their energy to the session, and conducting ice-breaking activities so that the audience was on the same page with us.

Seeing the energy overflowing, for the first time we gave the students a liberty to come up with any idea of their interests or wish, and what we saw was, in 8 minutes there were 8 ideas on the screen, and at least 6 of them were out-of-the-box. We were really amazed by the professor who shared his story of quitting his job at TCS and starting a real-estate business, completely funded by a risky mortgage of his mother’s jewellery. Generally we start the idea session with a small activity involving a newspaper headline and a water-bottle, in which we ask the participants to come up with any idea as a consequence to the newspaper headline, and things that could be built out of a water bottle. We still kept the session, but after the liberal-idea pitching session.

The session went on for 2 hours, but when we ended, we felt as if we had started just five minutes back.

And the college happens to be the venue of the main event, scheduled on February 20th. All the 14 ideas are to be expected on the main event, stay tuned!!DSC00151 DSC00152 DSC00155 DSC00191 DSC00193 DSC00201 DSC00204 DSC00215 DSC00219 DSC00220

 

 




3 Ways Steve Jobs Made Meetings Insanely Productive — And Often Terrifying

1982a_dwalker_meeting.gi

American businesses lose an estimated $37 billion a year due to meeting mistakes.

Steve Jobs made sure that Apple wasn’t one of those companies.

Here are three ways the iconic CEO made meetings super productive.

1. He kept meetings as small as possible.

In his book “Insanely Simple,” longtime Jobs collaborator Ken Segall detailed what it was like to work with him.

In one story, Jobs was about to start a weekly meeting with Apple’s ad agency.

Then Jobs spotted someone new.

“He stopped cold,” Segall writes. “His eyes locked on to the one thing in the room that didn’t look right. Pointing to Lorrie, he said, ‘Who are you?'”

Calmly, she explained that she was asked to the meeting because she was a part of related marketing projects.

Jobs heard her, and then politely told her to get out.

“I don’t think we need you in this meeting, Lorrie. Thanks,” he said.

He was similarly ruthless with himself. When Barack Obama asked him to join a small gathering of tech moguls, Jobs declined — the President invited too many people for his taste.

2. He made sure someone was responsible for each item on the agenda.

In a 2011 feature investigating Apple’s culture, Fortune reporter Adam Lashinsky detailed a few of the formal processes that Jobs used, which led Apple to become the world’s most valuable company.

At the core of Job’s mentality was the “accountability mindset” — meaning that processes were put in place so that everybody knew who was responsible for what.

As Lachinsky described:

Internal Applespeak even has a name for it, the “DRI,” or directly responsible individual. Often the DRI’s name will appear on an agenda for a meeting, so everybody knows who is responsible. “Any effective meeting at Apple will have an action list,” says a former employee. “Next to each action item will be the DRI.” A common phrase heard around Apple when someone is trying to learn the right contact on a project: “Who’s the DRI on that?”

The process works. Gloria Lin moved from the iPod team at Apple to leading the product team at Flipboard — and she brought DRIs with her.

They’re hugely helpful in a startup situation.

“In a fast-growing company with tons of activity, important things get left on the table not because people are irresponsible but just because they’re really busy,” she wrote on Quora. “When you feel like something is your baby, then you really, really care about how it’s doing.”

3. He wouldn’t let people hide behind PowerPoint.

Walter Isaacson, author of the “Steve Jobs” biography, said, “Jobs hated formal presentations, but he loved freewheeling face-to-face meetings.”

Every Wednesday afternoon, he had an agenda-less meeting with his marketing and advertising team.

Slideshows were banned because Jobs wanted his team to debate passionately and think critically, all without leaning on technology.

“I hate the way people use slide presentations instead of thinking,” Jobs told Isaacson. “People would confront a problem by creating a presentation. I wanted them to engage, to hash things out at the table, rather than show a bunch of slides. People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.”




Silicon Valley CEOs Swear By This Super Simple Meeting Technique

ben-horowitz

How does one become awesome at running a startup?

Like anything else that’s relationship-based, it’s a matter of communication.

Take it from Ben Horowitz, the high-profile VC and bestselling author.

He says that building the structures of communication is one of the CEO’s most important jobs.

“Absent a well-designed communication architecture,” he writes, “information and ideas will stagnate and your company will degenerate into a bad place to work.”

Communication happens in many ways: over email, through social networks like Yammer and Slack, and all-hands meetings, to name a few.

But Horowitz advocates the most fundamental form of conversation: the one-to-one meeting.

“[They] provide an excellent mechanism for information and ideas to flow up the organization,” Horowitz says, emphasizing that they’re for employees rather than managers.

“This is the free-form meeting for all the pressing issues, brilliant ideas, and chronic frustrations that do not fit neatly into status reports, email, and other less personal and intimate mechanisms,” he says.

So how should you run them?

If you like structure, Horowitz says that the employee should set the agenda and send it to the manager in advance, which communicates to the employee that it’s their meeting.

To reflect that priority, he says that managers should do 90% of the listening and only 10% of the talking.

Other startup leaders, like Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, swear by the one-on-one.

“I’m a strong believer in doing 1 on 1 meetings with each of my reports every week,” he said in a Reddit AMA. “Sometimes I feel like the company’s psychiatrist, but I do feel like listening to people and hearing about their problems (personal and professional) cleans out the cobwebs and keeps the organization humming.”

The lesson is clear: To have a productive organization,

How does one become awesome at running a startup?

Like anything else that’s relationship-based, it’s a matter of communication.

Take it from Ben Horowitz, the high-profile VC and bestselling author.

He says that building the structures of communication is one of the CEO’s most important jobs.

“Absent a well-designed communication architecture,” he writes, “information and ideas will stagnate and your company will degenerate into a bad place to work.”

Communication happens in many ways: over email, through social networks like Yammer and Slack, and all-hands meetings, to name a few.

But Horowitz advocates the most fundamental form of conversation: the one-to-one meeting.

“[They] provide an excellent mechanism for information and ideas to flow up the organization,” Horowitz says, emphasizing that they’re for employees rather than managers.

“This is the free-form meeting for all the pressing issues, brilliant ideas, and chronic frustrations that do not fit neatly into status reports, email, and other less personal and intimate mechanisms,” he says.

So how should you run them?

If you like structure, Horowitz says that the employee should set the agenda and send it to the manager in advance, which communicates to the employee that it’s their meeting.

To reflect that priority, he says that managers should do 90% of the listening and only 10% of the talking.

Other startup leaders, like Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, swear by the one-on-one.

“I’m a strong believer in doing 1 on 1 meetings with each of my reports every week,” he said in a Reddit AMA. “Sometimes I feel like the company’s psychiatrist, but I do feel like listening to people and hearing about their problems (personal and professional) cleans out the cobwebs and keeps the organization humming.”

The lesson is clear: To have a productive organization, you need high-bandwidth communication, which one-to-one meetings help provide.

If you’re wondering what to ask an employee in a one-on-one, Horowitz has a few suggestions:

• If we could improve in any way, how would we do it?
• What’s the No. 1 problem with our organization? Why?
• What’s not fun about working here?
• Who is really kicking ass in the company? Who do you admire?
• If you were me, what changes would you make?
• What don’t you like about the product?
• What’s the biggest opportunity that we’re missing out on?
• What are we not doing that we should be doing?
• Are you happy working here?

 

, which one-to-one meetings help provide.

 




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