Communicating Factually, Assertively, and Optimistically: A Generic Approach

Mastering the Art of Precision: How to Communicate Effectively in Brief Written Exchanges.

Effective communication is a cornerstone of any successful project or organization. While many excel at verbal interactions, the art of crafting precise written responses—especially in platforms like email or WhatsApp, where brevity often matters—can be a different challenge altogether.

Mastering the Art of Precision: How to Communicate Effectively in Brief Written Exchanges.

This insight was triggered by a recent conversation with a colleague, a highly skilled orator, who struggled to convey the same clarity and impact in written form. Lengthy, convoluted messages sometimes missed the crux, diluting the value of the communication. In a fast-paced world, where every word counts, mastering the skill of delivering concise, yet comprehensive written responses is indispensable. This blog post delves into how to achieve this balance, drawing on real-world examples from interactions between grant givers and grantees.

Here are the tops for effective written communication.

Preparation Phase:

  1. Have Absolute Clarity: Understand the exact requirement, pain point or the hidden need (ask as many questions as you should to identify them without annoying the other or sounding directionless) the facts and data related to the subject. Be ABSOLUTELY clear on what you want or what you want / have to offer as you thought, advise or ask.
  2. Research Thoroughly: Understand the facts and data related to the subject.
  3. Know Your Audience: Tailor your language, tone, and content to the listener’s needs.

Communication Phase:


  • Briefly outline the topic and why it’s important.

Present Facts Clearly:

  • Use bullet points or lists to separate facts.
  • Cite credible sources when possible.

Be Assertive but Not Aggressive:

  • Use clear and concise language.
  • Don’t use qualifiers like “I think” or “maybe”; state facts directly.

Maintain Control:

  • Stick to the point.
  • Use pauses effectively to control the pace and allow absorption of information.

Optimistic Conclusion:

  • Highlight the positives or opportunities without disregarding the challenges.

Answering Specific Questions:

  1. Listen Carefully: Make sure you understand the question fully.
  2. Be Concise: Answer directly, covering key points.
  3. Cite Evidence: If applicable, provide facts or data to back up your statement.
  4. Reiterate Optimistically: End with a positive note to signal the conversation’s forward momentum.

Follow-up Phase:

  1. Summarize Key Points: Recap what was discussed.
  2. Provide Additional Resources: Share links or documents that support your facts.
  3. Invite Further Questions: Be open to more discussion.

Email & WhatsApp: Short Response Strategy

Email & WhatsApp: Short Response Strategy
  • Start Directly: Jump into the point.
  • Use Numbers: For multiple points, number them for clarity.
  • Be Clear & Concise: No filler words.
  • End Positively: Close with a constructive or optimistic note.

Example 1: Question from Grant Giver to Non-Profit Grantee

Question: Can you update us on the progress of the literacy program?

Grantee Response:
We’ve reached 200 schools, directly impacting 10,000 students. Challenges: teacher training. Solutions in progress. Optimistic about meeting annual goals.

Example 2: Question from Implementation Partner to Principal

Question: How are the new tech platforms working in your school?

Principal Response:
Adoption rate at 70%. Teachers and students adapting well. Minor tech glitches, but fixable. Overall, very promising.

Example 3: Question from Principal to Vice-Principal

Question: Are the teachers ready for the new curriculum?

Vice-Principal Response:
80% of staff trained. Confidence high. Need to revisit lesson plans, but we’re on track for a successful rollout.

In each of these examples, the response is factual, direct, and ends on an optimistic note. It adheres to the word limit while still conveying essential information and a sense of assurance.

By adopting this approach, you not only convey information clearly and assertively but also instill a sense of optimism and control in the conversation.


Working with the Know-It-All Gen Z: The Art of Guiding without Dictating

Working with the younger generation, individuals in their 20s or early 30s who often carry the confidence of knowing it all, can be both exhilarating and challenging. They bring fresh perspectives, boundless energy, and tech-savvy expertise, but also an audacious belief in their own abilities that can sometimes make it difficult for them to accept guidance. As a seasoned professional myself, I can confidently offer some insights on managing and mentoring this talented, but at times, headstrong lot.

First off, I choose to see their high confidence levels as an asset, a catalyst propelling them towards uncharted territories with fearlessness. They are bold innovators, ready to question, debate, and argue. And as much as it seems they are resisting your inputs, they are ultimately seeking logic. They have a keen appetite for reasoning, and when offered, it is generally well received and duly respected.

Working with a know-it-all.

Granting Freedom with Defined Goals

Chaos breeds in ambiguity. The young generation craves freedom — freedom to explore, experiment, and even falter. However, if parameters are not well-defined, it could lead to confusion and derailment. So set clear goals but also provide a large canvas for these young minds to paint their own interpretations. The freedom within a framework kind of approach works best here.

The Role of Respect

It’s a golden relationship rule that applies superbly here as well – respect begets respect. Value their space, their personality, and their uniqueness. Foster a nourishing environment where their voices can be heard without the fear of judgement.

The Power of Constructive Feedback

For the ones who think they know it all, feedback, when given artfully, can be a game-changer. Feedback should be structured, meaningful, and respectful, even when it is negative or critical. There’s no better way to build trust and convey that you indeed have their backs.

Share, to Inspire

Guide them through your journey. Share stories of your triumphs and failures with full candor, narrating how a particular misstep you took years ago led to learnings that you carried forward. Anecdotes from your life can offer valuable learning experiences and inculcate a more open mindset.

Teach the Balancing Act

The ability to see both the big picture and the minute details is a competence that is often hard won. Instruct them to observe, to understand how a small font spacing change in a document can dramatically alter its impact, and how an overarching strategy can guide a project’s direction.

Authenticity and Transparency

To ensure their growth and success, teach them about corporate values. They should witness the authenticity you bring to your work, the focus on shared success, the outside-in perspective, the power of fine-tuned storytelling, and the pervasive practicality of corporate life.

The New Prophesy

Interestingly, they’ve begun to say that I can foresee the future. I take it as a compliment. It reinforces the importance of experience and wisdom. Young or old, we are all constantly learning, earthed on the past but looking towards the future.

A creative journey

Engaging with the younger generation at the workplace can initially be a roller coaster ride, but by focusing on mentorship and creating a space for open conversations, you can easily turn this ride into a journey of shared growth and success. Provide them with insight, not just directions, and the ‘know-it-all’ will transform into the ‘eager-to-learn’.


Unlock Your B2B Powerhouse: #CrucialConversations for Everlasting Partnerships and Soaring Success

In the dynamic landscape of B2B sales, forging long-term partnerships relies on fostering open dialogue, shared understanding, and a commitment to achieving common goals. Dive into the most crucial probing, or discovery, questions designed to drive productive conversations and uncover new avenues for growth and collaboration.

A questioning mind has endless possibilities figured out

Essential Probing Questions:

  1. What has sparked your interest in partnering with our organization?
  2. How does our solution fit within your existing systems or processes?
  3. What benefits do you expect to gain from our collaboration?
  4. How do you see our offering addressing your current pain points or challenges?
  5. Can you describe the urgency and importance driving your investment in this solution?
  6. Are there any hindrances preventing you from moving forward at this stage?

Additional Probing Questions:

  • How do you envision integrating our solution into your long-term growth strategy?
  • Can you share examples of past successful partnerships that could guide our collaboration?
  • What challenges do you foresee in implementing our solution, and how can we collaborate to overcome them?
  • How does our proposed solution align with your company’s values and commitment to social responsibility?

The Value of Probing Questions:

Strategic questioning uncovers critical information, enabling Futureshift Consulting to tailor services that align with each partner’s unique requirements, goals, and objectives. These questions nurture deep connections, empower effective decision-making, and propel businesses towards sustainable success. By fostering an environment of trust and collaboration, our partners can reach their full potential.

Skipping these questions may lead to inefficient solutions and missed opportunities for growth. It is vital to involve each partner in the dialogue and decision-making process.

Optimal Time and Tone for Asking Questions:

Business relationships are built on clear communication and mutual understanding. As a forward-thinking, innovative, and socially responsible brand, Futureshift Consulting should engage in probing questions throughout multiple stages of the partnership.

From exploring possibilities to evaluating the impact of ongoing projects, these pivotal questions establish an open, empowering, and approachable environment that cultivates synergistic growth.

Striking a tone that is professional yet empathetic, the questions should be adapted and rephrased to suit specific conversational contexts while maintaining the core objective of establishing a strong foundation for understanding and shared success.

In conclusion, B2B relationships thrive on insightful questioning and open dialogue. By investing in this approach, Futureshift Consulting and its partners can achieve sustainable growth, drive innovative solutions, and uphold shared commitments to social responsibility and sustainability. Together, we can create a brighter future for all.


India’s Quantum Leap: An Inside Look at the Technological Transformation

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

In my previous article, “Happy 75th, India – Next 25,” we paused and reflected on India’s journey of seven and a half decades. We celebrated India’s 75 buoyant years and anticipated the promising next 25.

Many lived through the iconic turning points and paradigm shifts, particularly those from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, when India was perceived as a slow-paced, industry-unfriendly zone. Today, the canvas that India paints could not differ more. Through the lens of the cognitive biases that often cloud our collective memory, this article delves deeper into the significant chapters of India’s transformative journey – from being a talent supplier to starting to become a global leader in technology.

As one among the 1.3 billion hearts beating in India today, I felt compelled to extend the narrative, especially for those who bore witness to the transformations from the 60s to the 80s. As the memory of India being a slow, socialist, industry-hating economy still lingers, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the reality couldn’t be more dissimilar today.

From Trishaws to Chandrayan3 ?

Unhooking from the Cognitive Biases

Often, the human mind clings to the present, succumbing to cognitive biases, such as the ‘recency effect’ and ‘bandwagon effect’. In this 24×7 social media era, these biases get amplified, subtly nudging us to ignore or undervalue the path tread. The transition from the reluctance to reveal our Indian identity overseas back in 1999 to assertively proclaiming one’s origin as “Bangalore” by late 2001, is a testament to the sea change in perceptions. This shift underpins the impact of major events like Y2K on our collective psyche and, indeed, the global image India projected.

Banking, Investment, and Technology: the Early 2000s

It was during 2002-2007 that the seeds of massive transformation were sown. As the new millennium unfolded, India emerged as a major investment hub, fueled by an influx of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the technology and automotive sectors. This period ‘marked’ the initiation of full-scale banking reforms in India. Banks across the country adopted and integrated cutting-edge technology, creating an incredible foundation for the banking sector in the years to come.

Resilience also became India’s middle name amid global crises: the expensive crude oil at $200 a barrel, the 2008 financial meltdown, and health scares from SARS to swine flu. Despite the odds, India managed to keep inflation within check – a noteworthy achievement considering the global economic scenario.

Telecommunication Revolution in the Palms of the Common Man

Fast-forward to 2005. A small, mobile device, courtesy of the stunning ₹500 Monsoon Hungama offer, began reaching the majority of Indian households. This significant turning point signaled a shift in business models, particularly those aimed at the ‘Bottom of Pyramid.’ Cellular technology’s diffusion had a profound influence not only on the way businesses operated but how society communicated, engaged, and consumed services.

The initial charm of feature phones gave way to a thirst for smarter, faster, and more versatile devices. By 2013, 3G-enabled smartphones were no longer the toys of the affluent but tools of necessity. This rapid evolution helped pave the way for services like home delivery of groceries. A concept pioneered by Fabmall in 2000-2001, paralleling the services offered by Amazon Pantry in the present day.

Buffaloes and Cycle Rickshaws and Space Race

The Aerial Revolution – Making Everyone Fly

In parallel, the aviation sector was undergoing its transformation, catalyzing the idea that everyone can fly. Low-cost airlines emerged as a game-changing concept between 2003-2014, toppling the traditional paradigms in domestic travel. Airlines like Air Deccan started offering tickets at jaw-droppingly low costs – as affordable as ₹500. The Indian sky was teeming with choice and the potential that affordable travel could unlock across the Indian landscape.

Auto Industry Transformation – Becoming the World’s Workshop

In the auto sector, the revolution was no less significant. Major car manufacturers – GM, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, and Mercedes Benz – expanded their operations in India, setting up vast factories. We moved away from being net importers to significant exporters of vehicles across the world. Brands like Hyundai became synonymous with quality and affordability in international markets, making their Indian plants major export hubs.

Companies in the auto ancillary sector, such as Sundaram Clayton and TVS groups, furthered this growth. Tata Motors’ audacious acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover, glorified India’s prowess in auto manufacturing on the global stage.

Expanding Footprints – The Forays of Airtel & Tatas

Indian companies didn’t limit themselves to just enhancing domestic capacity–they went global too. Airtel set an example by spreading its operations into Africa, providing affordable cellular services to millions. Likewise, Tata Group, with its vast array of business interests, expanded its footprint into Europe and other global markets.

Embrace and Scale: The Story of Aadhaar, UPI, Direct Cash Transfer & More

Concepts that were pilot-tested during 2012-2015, such as Aadhaar, UPI, Direct Cash Transfer, established the potential that technology had in transforming governance and public services. These initiatives presented scalable models that could positively impact the lives of millions, further strengthening India’s standing in global technological innovations.

The Unseen Backbone – How Global Tech Transformation Enabled Local Growth

If a billion wishes were hoses, the cows did indeed fly.

Behind these triumphs lies an unsung contributor that fueled India’s technological ascendance – the silent revolution that internet and global technology transformation brought. WhatsApp, bought over by Facebook, evolved from being merely an instant messaging app to a platform that enabled small businesses to connect and interact with consumers like never before. The rampant penetration of 3G, followed by 4G networks, pushed the envelope, transforming India into a mobile-first nation.

In this context, key sectors’ convergence, visionary leaders, and competencies of Indian scientists, engineers, and technologists came to a crucial juncture. The driving message behind this narrative is acknowledging every football field run, every player’s agility, every strategy employed, and every triumphant goal that has brought us to this juncture – from the Y2K-stimulated IT revolution and telecom wave to the banking reforms, auto industry leap, advancement in mobile Internet, Aadhaar integration and beyond.

India, as we witness today, is a significant actor on the scientific and technological world stage—a testament to several decades of consistent toil, tenacity, and innovation. As we derive pride in today’s breakthroughs, let’s also pay tribute to the journey that has brought us here and prepare to navigate the exciting new chapters yet to unfold.


Binaries: A Thinking Problem in Business and Personal Life

In both our personal lives and business, the concept of binary thinking – classifying everything into either “right” or “wrong” – can prove to be quite limiting. This perception often glosses over the complexity and intricacies involved in every area of life, and the unique manifestations that may not necessarily fit into these preconceived categories.

The Negativities of Binary Thinking

  • Discrimination: Binary thinking fosters a tendency to pick one thing over another, leading to discrimination. A wide range of possibilities may exist between these extreme ends, but is often overlooked or rejected.
  • Non-Inclusivity: Different perspectives, unique experiences, and creative ideas may fall outside of this binary classification. Such non-inclusivity excludes many individuals or ideas from being considered.
  • Lack of Diversity: By overlooking intermediate points and solely focusing on the extremes, binary thinking fails to embrace diversity.

Nuances and Grey Areas: The Real Architect of Solutions

Solutions and problems are abstract constructs that change according to context, they are not black-and-white. To paint them strictly as binaries means disregarding important subtleties, creating an environment that lacks richness and diversity.

  • Context-dependent: Problems and solutions always exist within an ecosystem of interconnected, co-existing variables, all of which play a significant role in defining outcomes.
  • Embracing ambiguity: The “grey” areas, or zones of ambiguity, are fertile grounds for innovation, learning, and growth, serving as potential treasure troves of insights and novel solutions.

Unacknowledged Middle Ground: The Choke Point of Possibilities

When binary thinking becomes the default approach, the vast realm of middle-ground possibilities are often ignored. This middle ground, a combination of diverse elements from either ends of the spectrum, houses infinite unique combinations of solutions to complex issues.

Breaking from Binaries: A Call for Pluralism

A pluralistic perspective — which acknowledges and values a range of different views, beliefs or practices — is necessary for a more humane and effective approach to problem-solving in both professional and personal life.

  • Embrace diversity: By acknowledging the vast spectrum of possibilities, we can celebrate the richness of human diversity, and the potential for collaboration and co-creation.
  • Inclusivity: By making room for the different, the unconventional, and the less common, we build an environment that is inclusive and embraces differing viewpoints, thus leading to more comprehensive and effective solutions.
  • Challenge set patterns: By questioning the set binaries, we can explore new frontiers and open up new possibilities, leading to interesting and innovative outcomes.

In conclusion, while binary thinking may seem efficient, it’s actually a limiting and divisive way of thinking. An approach that appreciates the nuances and the breadth of possibilities can open up new avenues, bring about innovation, and make our lives and businesses more effective and inclusive.


Navigating the Crossroads of Educational Ideologies: Integrating Disciplined Rigor and Sparking Curiosity

In the milieu of educational disciplines, two schools of thought often create a schism—those favoring stringency and discipline (puritans), and those favoring curiosity-driven exploration (liberals). As with many philosophical divides, this dichotomy often limits educational approaches to siloed territories. However, by orchestrating both rigor and curiosity, we propose a dynamic educational framework that takes the middle ground, synthesizing the best of both worlds.

Curiosity and Hardwork

Rigor and Curiosity: An Enlightened Fusion for Modern Education

A successful educational experience is built on a sound structure of rigor, balanced with the liberation of exploratory learning. This model champions the strengths of both philosophies and sets the stage for a balanced, productive learning environment.

Making Toughness a Habit: The Puritan Ethic of Rigor

The puritan strand of education underscores rigor’s crucial role in cultivating resilience, mental toughness, and grit. The belief is that by instilling discipline, an individual gains the ability to confront challenges head-on and even perceive failure as nothing more than a growth catalyst on the path to success.

Unleashing the Mind’s Potential: The Liberal Ethic of Exploratory Learning

On the opposing end of the spectrum, the liberal philosophy of education places great emphasis on curiosity and exploratory learning. It champions the active pursuit of discovery, invoking intellectual growth and transformation. By encouraging an open mindset that constantly probes new territories of knowledge, education extends beyond a process of learning to an experience of intellectual exhilaration.

A Dynamically Balanced Education: A Symphony of Philosophies

While both philosophies possess their unique strengths, imagine a unified, dynamic relationship between the two—a fusion of puritan rigor and liberal curiosity. This form of education provides a robust, adaptable learning experience that molds learners who are resilient and intellectually agile. It’s about instilling disciplined toughness while igniting the innate curiosity to explore and learn.

When seamlessly intertwined, these key elements of education functioning together lead students beyond singular pedagogies. They experience a comprehensive journey of learning, armed with the discipline to face challenges and the agility to adjust with the changing times.

Concluding Thoughts: Embracing an Enlightened Model

By discarding the either-or approach, we can instead adopt a this-and-that approach—an avenue that brings the rigor of discipline and the passion for exploration under one umbrella.

By integrating these philosophies, we create a potent concoction that prepares young minds to face the world with resilience, flexibility, and an endless curiosity. This inclusive and enlightened model could very well be the answer to fulfilling the ever-evolving needs of modern education.


The Vision of X: Impactful Insights from Linda Yaccarajan’s Interview

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

One week ago, I shared my thoughts about the captivating journey of Twitter rebranding to X, with a particular focus on their logo transformation. Fascinatingly, this complex tale of evolutionary branding continues to swell as Linda Yaccarino, the new CEO of X (formerly Twitter), divulged insightful details about her strategic vision in an enlightening interview with CNBC.

So, allow me to share a succinct summary of her revelations to fuel our intellectual appetence:

The Why of X’s Rebranding

Linda elucidates that the concept of X, long cherished by Elon, represents a global town square fueled by free expression. The rebranding is a liberating move, enabling the company to transcend the constraints of the old Twitter mindset.

Why X, When Twitter was Already a Strong Brand?

According to Linda, this is where X’s ambitious foresight comes into play. Incubating as Twitter would have resulted in merely incremental changes while X dreams bigger—envisioning the realm of possibilities. Interestingly, 3 out of 4 users harbor positive sentiments about this invigorating shift to X!

How Do Linda and Elon Share Control?

While Elon stirs his magic in product design and engineering, spearheading the rebranding and charting X’s future, Linda exercises autonomy over the remaining departments such as HR and legal.

Controversial Content: Can Businesses Feel Safe Advertising on X?

Despite the controversial content narratives, Linda clarifies that extraordinarily, over 99.9% of content on X is deemed “healthy,” and that almost all ad impressions align with brand-safe content. In her words, “X is a safer platform than a year ago.”

How Do Brands React to Elon’s Bold Posts?

Linda candidly admits that some brands express concern over Elon’s compositions, often interpreting them as violations of X’s safety principles. However, she coherently underscores that the platform’s appeal lies not in Elon’s posts but in the vast half a billion user base.

Brands making a comeback?

In a promising prospect, brands like Coca Cola and Visa have been returning to advertise on X in the recent weeks.

Linda’s Thoughts on Threads and Financial Stability

Linda expressed views on Threads, acknowledged the hiring efforts of X to fortify its team of 1500 employees, and shed light on X’s financial standing, stating that the company is near break-even, showing momentum in data licensing/API, subscription revenues, and advertising.

Wrapping It Up

In her closing remarks, Linda expressed her gratitude towards the X community, highlighting the essence of free expression that drives this platform.


This enlightening conversation with Linda reinforces my belief in the subtle power of transformative branding and management as brands scale new heights. As X continues to showcase this vibrant evolution, it’s an exciting space to watch! #X #BrandEvolution #CNBCinterview #LindaYaccarino


The Curiosity Chromosome: How Curiosity Got the Cat Nine Lives

‘Curiosity killed the cat,’ we often say, using the phrase as a cautionary tale. But isn’t it more accurate to say, ‘Curiosity gave the cat nine lives’? Our need to understand, explore, and ask questions is intrinsic to our nature.

A Tale of a Toddler’s Curiosity

Children, from the moment they are born, display an innate curiosity, a thirst for knowledge born of the countless mysteries surrounding them. It’s like watching a miniaturized research scientist at work. Let me share with you an incident with my elder son K, who, at 13 months old, tossed our expensive TV remote from the 14th floor of a building in Singapore. The remote was shattered into multiple fragments which I presented back to him. K was seriously intrigued by the remnants of the remote. He had yet to learn about gravity or force equals mass times acceleration; yet, he was visibly enchanted by the outcome of his little experiment. Instead of reacting angrily, I allowed his curiosity to flourish.

K – A record of damages

The Joy and Pursuit of Curiosity

Children experiment with curiosity, pushing boundaries to understand how the world around them works. As adults, we often dampen this spirit of curiosity inadvertently, imposing restrictions and consequences.

But what happens when we encourage curiosity, in children and ourselves?

Learning With Curiosity

As adults, we must regain and nurture our inherent curiosity. Here are five ways to invigorate your curiosity daily:

  1. Ask open-ended questions: Encourage dialogue and challenge your assumptions by asking questions that require more than a yes or no.
  2. Read widely and often: Tap into the wealth of knowledge available in books, articles, blogs, and podcasts.
  3. Embrace uncertainty: Understand that not knowing the answer can lead to many interesting paths.
  4. Plan exploration days: Pick a day and spend it exploring a topic, place, or idea that intrigues you.
  5. Stay teachable: Recognize the limits of your knowledge and remain open to learning.

Building Curiosity in Organizational Settings

Moreover, it’s crucial that we foster curiosity in our workplaces. As managers, we need to stop:

  1. Discouraging inquisitiveness: Treat all questions as legitimate and treat curiosity as a valuable trait rather than a distraction.
  2. Limiting learning opportunities: Encourage continued learning by providing resources and time for employees to explore their interests.
  3. Rewarding only results: Recognize the process and the learning, not just the final outcome.

Discover how liberating it can be to embody the spirit of curiosity. Remember, it’s not about knowing all the answers, but the thrill of the pursuit. The next time you hear the phrase, ‘Curiosity killed the cat,’ remember my story about the TV remote, and think to yourself, “but curiosity gave the cat nine lives.”

Rajesh Soundararajan

What are your thoughts? Is curiosity innate or is it is inculcated?


A Thoughtful Conversation on Effectiveness and Efficiency: Unlocking True Potential

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

The Intriguing Dichotomy

Last night, I experienced an enlightening conversation with my 13-year-old son, K, about the intriguing relationship between effectiveness and efficiency. This profound dialogue emerged from a simple discussion on book reading pace. As we unraveled the intricacies of speed and comprehension, it became apparent that K was indeed becoming efficient in his reading endeavors.

However, this revelation ignited my curiosity to explore further. Can we truly say that we’re effective when it comes to applying what we read in real life? How do we determine if our learning translates into tangible outcomes in our daily routines?

Father and Son Conversation

Earlier that day, we had shared a moment of meditation. Reflecting on our 40-minute session, I turned our focus to assess the effectiveness of our mindfulness practice. How connected were we to our surroundings, and what was the quality of our mindfulness?

Effectiveness vs. Efficiency: A Strategic Outlook

The distinction between effectiveness and efficiency is fascinating, particularly when viewed through the lens of corporate metrics such as customer interactions, lead generation, or website traffic. Are these measures merely numbers, or do they translate into genuine effectiveness?

More often than not, organizations are driven by a focus on efficiency, which results in an oversight of effectiveness. This selective approach often relegates effectiveness to the background, almost as an afterthought. A closer examination reveals:

  • Systems and processes lean heavily towards efficiency, especially in IT.
  • Effectiveness is a long-term play, influenced by a myriad of factors both within and outside an organization. It’s multifaceted.
  • Efficiency, on the other hand, offers a straightforward path. It’s quantifiable and often short-term.
  • Efficiency may provide a quick win, while effectiveness is akin to long-term lifestyle changes that leave a lasting impact.
  • The quest for excellence requires prioritizing effectiveness before efficiency. However, in our fast-paced world, this balance is often skewed.

Reflecting on the Bigger Picture:

In my regular interactions during monthly meetings and Quarterly Reviews, I often find myself asking poignant questions such as:

  • “Are we aligning with our true objectives?”
  • “What is the state of our customer satisfaction?”
  • “Are we nurturing trust with our partners?”
  • “Are we content with our professional contributions?”
  • “How are we impacting lives positively?”

The responses go beyond mere data collection. I encourage a moment of contemplation and self-awareness. While efficiency is often easier to measure, the true essence of effectiveness remains elusive. It is through an honest introspection and willingness to reprioritize that we can unlock the true potential hidden in the delicate dance between effectiveness and efficiency.


The Art of Subtle #Logo Transformation: The Quiet Yet Significant IBM India Resurrection

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

Part 3 of Three Part Series

Part 1 –
Part 2 –

A careful balance between logo change and non-communication in a pre-social media era

During my early days as a fresh IBM recruit out of XLRI Jamshedpur with an MBA, I was thrown into an unconventional assignment – a stark contrast to the #Twitter to ‘X’ transition. as part of core team to manage the PR and communication for the rebranding of Tata Information Systems Ltd (#TISL) to #IBM India. Remarkably, the goal was to keep it shrouded in silence, despite the magintude of brand transformation – of IBM gets 99% equity and Tatas left with 1%.

A Nuanced Logo Transition

IBM’s odyssey in India took a distinct trajectory. Having resumed operations in February 1992 as TISL, the company underwent two more transformations – evolving into Tata IBM in 1997, and then IBM India in 1999. Along with the name, the logo followed suit.

I was tasked by Nipun Mehrotra for the exceptional challenge ahead from the IBM Systems Group (STG) – handling the PR and communication around IBM’s takeover, all while ensuring this colossal change and logo shift unfurled subtly so much that it hardly made news.

Crafting the Silent Strategy

A key aspect of our core assignment was an unusual PR brief – this massive event, while significant enough for headlines, must slip quietly under the radar. Contrary to the PR world’s norms and the attention-seeking Twitter-to-‘X’ transition, the decision to adopt a silent strategy stemmed from the desire to prevent socio-political backlash from nationalists as a foreign entity surged in an Indian company.

As a young member in the Core Team alongside Narahari KS and Suresh Kolthay among others, I participated in an incognito operation, navigating this sensitive brand transition through well-crafted non-communication.

The Pre-Social Media Landscape

During that era, the absence of #social media platforms and the relatively underdeveloped #24/7 news channels on television enabled our meticulously silent execution. The media landscape then focused predominantly on the print domain – newspapers, which were far easier to manage compared to today’s complex, hyper-vigilant digital world.

Triumph in Discretion

Through strategic silence, we circumvented potential social backlash while ushering a smooth and inconspicuous transition that most of the public remained blissfully unaware of. The IBM India transformation serves as an offbeat case study in brand evolution, wherein non-communication so purposefully governed a logo change.

This extraordinary journey into the realms of PR and brand transformation presents an alternative perspective – not all brand metamorphoses demand widespread attention and fanfare. Some require deftly pulling strings to glide quietly through the corporate arena – a balance that was exquisitely achieved during IBM India’s discreet yet powerful logo transformation and brand resurrection.