Yet another year has come and gone; 2007 is now here. I am sure most of us will be ready with our New Year resolutions. To me, 2006 was a special year. I hope to write to you about some of our accomplishments in 2006 in the next E-News. Meanwhile, let me wish all of you a very happy and prosperous 2007.

The New Year offers yet another opportunity to translate our ideas into reality. As my Aussie friend Brad Tonini says “Make it happen NOW!” The Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul commented - “Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.” Let us be really free and act upon our vision in 2007. Let us work together in our small ways to make the world a safer and more peaceful place.

December 2006 was an unusually busy period for me. I spent most part of the month in the Middle East. Being away from the family and the extraordinarily cold winter there did make me feel physically stretched but my clients and friends made me feel at home. The traditional Middle Eastern hospitality was amazing and I had the opportunity of visiting friends at their homes. The peace and quiet helped me finish my pending writing. Unfortunately, Iraq still seems to be an issue. Any peace loving person will hope the violence will end there soon.

Let me share in this E-News:
Implementing a Strategic HR Programme
Working ourselves to death
Freebies
SMR & Personal News
Implementing a Strategic HR Programme

Roberto F. De Ocampo, the former Secretary of Finance, Philippines and the former President of the Asian Institute of Management lists three strategies for a strategic HR programme in the context of globalization and technological advancement. Firstly, he lists the importance of building organizational responsiveness through a learning organization. Streamlining business processes, harvesting knowledge across the organization and the continuous upgrading of competence are critical says De Ocampo. Secondly, the building of an innovative organization through service assets is essential. With competitive edge being redefined, the need for creativity, innovation and organizational trust becomes important while managing knowledge workers. The challenge is to balance organizational unit with diversity, homogeneity, conformity, proactiveness and flexibility. Thirdly, organizational capability has to be built through talent management and retention. De Ocampo asserts the role of HR is to implement these there strategies while using Information Technology to drive the process. The paper is available from the Institute of South east Asian studies via www.bookshop.iseas.edu.sg.
Working ourselves to death

My former colleague Jeremy always used to say that it is critical to switch off over the weekend to be ready for the working week. Recently, I had the opportunity to read a book on the above title gifted to me on my birthday. The author Diane Fassel puts her finger on a key problem in the workplace today. For many people, work, as currently defined in our society, has become a substitute for life. I could relate to that. She also debunks something that I have always told my family and friends - work addicts get ahead and we need to work harder and longer to get the quality of life. She is persuasive that a work: life balance can be achieved with a clearly defined plan.
Freebies

In most of our training programmes, we use crosswords to introduce the content in a FUN and challenging way. It also helps us check out the existing subject matter knowledge of the participants. We have been able to customize the crossword for each course very easily. Just give Eclipse Crossword a list of words and clues, and you will have a crossword sheet. The software is a product of Green Eclipse. For more great free software, visit the website www.eclipsecrossword.com.

Another great product to test out is Siva’s games and quizzes. FIRST RAY specializes in developing multimedia software that adds the oohs and aahs to your communication. Siva’s expertise is in providing interactive games software to trainers to enable them to make the session totally engrossing for the learner. More details at www.firstray.com.
SMR & Personal News

The holiday season has ensured the SMR office is a little more relaxed.

Personally, I have tried to keep up with my routine at the gym and the walks with my daughter. With school and offices reopening, I am sure all of us will swing back into action. My hope for 2007 is that we will have a better work: life balance compared to 2006 even if not perfect.

Once again, I wish all of you a prosperous 2007 and will be in touch with you in mid January.
Kind Regards,
Palan
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