Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Join a Business Book Club (For students of B-school).

Would you like to develop a reading practice?

How about resolving to do it today on Gudhi Padwa?

We start/begin good things on the milestone days like 1st January, our birthday or so.

Gudhi Padawa is also the beginning of the new year for Maharashtrians. And why not start something useful on the day?

(Behavior science of the "Fresh start effect" supports starting of activities/habits/practice on such milestone days like 1st January or Gudhi Padwa).

So, let’s begin developing a reading hobby/habit as a business school student.

Idea is to focus on "business/management" related books. So, this reading will double up to build knowledge in the area of business/management. (However, you can choose the books as per your interest/liking, there will be no compulsion). Moreover, once the practice is set, you may choose the books in your specialization area like HR, Marketing, Finance, or/and Entrepreneurship, and continue deepening your reading practice.


· If you wish to develop a reading practice.

· If you are willing to invest little time on it – from as little as 15/20 minutes to 1 hour. (Regularly investing just 15 minutes will result in a reading of 4 to 6 books per year!)

· If you are willing to invest a little bit in books. (You can buy, borrow from any library, or borrow from friends. Anything is fine). (Popular non-fiction paperbacks generally cost 300 to 500 Rs per book. To start with you may read a book or so per month).

· If you are BBA/MBA student currently. (Preferably have studied with me).


Then I invite you to join.


This will be a sort of book club. Modalities and details we will chalk out soon.

Remember this is not a class/course and will not have any tests/exams/assessments 😊.

It is informal activity, not linked to any entity/organization as of today. 

Reading is my hobby and I love helping others to develop this hobby. That's it!

But to take benefit and learn, you must be interested and willing to read and learn.


Currently objective is to read books that are useful as BBA/MBA student and leverage them to be a better student. As I have little/some experience in coordinating book clubs and reading books, I will be able to help you to select books, read them in a better way, and leverage them to improve desirable competencies (KSA – Knowledge, skills, and abilities. For starters- competency – is an HR Jargon 😊).

If things turn out well, you may be able to add a line or two to your resume.  

Ultimately it is expected to groom you as a better student.

So, if this excites you, do join! 

(Image Source: Via Google: )


Monday, February 13, 2023

BhagVad Geeta - 1st Chapter (2nd Lesson).

All memorable speeches start with a bang!

And so are movies, stories, and dramas.

The same principle is used in Bhagavad Gita. The first chapter opens the Geeta with a bang!

Huge armies on both sides are facing each other, almost about to begin the attack. Arjuna requests his chariot to bring between two armies and looks at his teacher and grandfather.

Arjuna has panic attack, anxiety-neurosis, or nervous breakdowns.

And a most revered warrior refuses to fight!

Try to visualize this, quite a drama!

Geeta's first chapter starts with all this drama.

Some nuggets from the first chapter.

1.       Sanskrit text's first letters/Stanza are carefully crafted. Geeta begins with the word "Dharma". Though the rough translation is religion. But Swami Chinmay Ananda suggests that it's neither religion nor righteousness. It is much more than that. Here it means, "that makes a thing what it is". It is the "essential nature of anything". So essential that without it can not retain its independent existence (Ref 1).  (1.1)

2.       The first stanza is the only stanza in the whole of Geeta that is uttered by Dhritrashtra (धृतराष्ट्र). (1.1)

3.       Hrishikesha is translated by commentators as “Hrishika + isha” (lord of senses) or even as “Hrishi + Kesha” -having short hairs. Commentators Swami Chinmaya Ananda, as well as Lokmanya Tilak, commented on this (Ref 1, 2). (1.15)

4.       Only a few words (Half of the stanza) are spoken by Krishna in the first chapter (1.25)

5.       Symptoms of mental illness or Anxiety-neurosis or panic attack are listed as Sad talk, trembling limbs, dry mouth, spinning head, and depression for commonly liked things (1.27 to 1.30). (Ref. 1).

6.       Then Arjuna goes about rationalizing his decision to not fight a war.

7.       He talks from a personal point of view, individual loss/sacrifice (power/wealth), and family issues, then he talks about breaking a family unit leading to loss of values and finally how women will fall in disgrace.

1st Chapter creates a drama, arouses readers' interest, and develops a context for the rest of the chapters.

Ref. 1: The Holy Geeta – Swami Chinamay Anand.

Ref. 2: Geeta Rahasya – Lokmanya Tilak. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

13 books for diving deep in L&D (Learning and Developement)!


I think, am passionate about learning and teaching. (I switched from IT in an investment bank to an academic career)

I have always put the effort into learning more about learning.

Formally and Informally I tried to learn more about L&D (Learning and Development).

My MBA was in general management, hence didn't have a chance to learn “Learning and Development” systematically.

During the FPM program at XLRI, I got a chance to attend an HRM course, in which L&D was covered nicely. But still, it was not an in-depth full course.  

I tried to sneak into XLRI’s HRM electives in “Training and Development” – but then covid and lockdown blocked my attempt!

However, I tried my best to learn outside of this.

First I took a program “Designing learning interventions for personal change” by Ashish Pant of “Pathways to self". It runs in a seminar fashion with a small number of learners and a lot of personal attention. They formed a learning community too. However, the workshops were stopped later! 

I attended one more certificate program in L&D. But I think it was more suitable for trainers and wasn't going deep in the practice of L&D. It left me thirsty. Most of the other programs that I come across were suitable for trainers and not diving deep in the practice of L&D. 

I searched programs offered by various Institutes including IIMs, but none of the programs enticed me enough to join. (However, do share in comments, if you are aware of any good program).

Then I came across the KPMG program "Future learning and development leader program”. It wasn’t like a short MDP or executive program or workshop. I found the program well designed covering almost all aspects of the L&D cycle plus a few foundational skills for consulting in the area. Plus, I perceived KPMG brand name and consulting practice will add value to the learning.

I was right.

The program was rigorous and had a flavor of consulting in L&D. Something that added value to me as an academic.

That certainly put me on a fast track to learning. The facilitators were experienced consultants. Assignments were practical. Discussions were great, and a peer group – professionals and enthusiastic about L&D. All ingredients of a good program conducive to learning were in place. And it helped to get a grip on practice also.

I supplemented the learning with teaching.

Teaching is the best form of learning. This year, I opted for teaching an elective in L&D. I could closely/deeply read a textbook, and read through various HBR articles and cases. I am still working on refining the program for the next offering.

Learning shall continue in learning and development.

I love reading, and reading can help in diving deep into any topic of your choice.

Over my recent learning period, I have prepared a list of some books, that will help anyone to dive deep into various aspects of L&D. I don't claim it to be a definitive list. It's a list that I prepared for my use. You may have different opinions. (Do voice them in the comments or DM me!).

Here is the list. (& a brief comment)

1.       Telling ain’t teaching I see that this book is frequently recommended in various forums. I am curious to know more about this. 

2.       Training from the back of the room. This was discussed in one of the KPMG sessions. The title intrigued me and maybe something that will help you to upgrade to facilitator from trainer. 

3.       Design Thinking for training and development  Design thinking is an exciting area. I wish to learn more – particularly for solving issues/problems in the L&D domain.

4.       Design for how people learn I came across this book repeatedly in various searches. The high number of ratings on amazon and Goodreads, enticed me to put it on this list. 

5.       Elevating learning and Development: Insights and practical guidance from the field:  (Here: Amazon Link: Mckinsey doesn't require introduction nor praise. Their articles are insightful and will make you think. Probably the most influential name in consulting and knowledge business. Book title and its relevance - make it must read for this list. 

6.       Neuroscience for learning and development Coursera's most popular course by Barbara Oakley is on learning. One of her lectures, make me interested in learning more about neuroscience.

7.       Training instruments in HRD and OD: I have partially read this book. It is an excellent companion for any trainer, particularly in the area of behaviors. It has more than 80 scales/instruments that you can use in your training workshops. You don't need to read it end-to-end, but you can refer to it frequently in your practice. 

8.       An Indian approach to learning: The Talent Sutra: Devdutta Patnaik has a different flavor to his writing. I am curious to know what he says about learning. I am also curious to know what our traditional knowledge says about learning – hope it is covered in the book.  

9.       Designing and Leading life-changing Workshops: The book title, introduction, and online blurb enticed me. I put it on this list -because of the good number of ratings and reviews on Amazon.

10.   Chief Learning Officer: Driving Value Within a Changing Organization through learning & Development:

11.   Chief Talent Officer: The evolving role of Chief Learning officer:  This and the previous book – focuses on the CLO. Someone who drives the L&D -its strategy/direction and operation. When one is studying L&D – it becomes obvious to note – more about CLO. In addition to various topics, the book has interviews with some leading CLOs  

12.   Corporate Universities (Suggested in KPMG’s FLDLP Program). Firms are heavily investing in corporate universities. It talks about what these universities/academies are doing with various cases. 

3.    L&D’s playbook for Digital Age.  This is the latest publication by ATD. It was on the award list of the book-summary site getAbstract.  Topic and award – enticed me to put this on the list. 



If you know any good book and think, it shall be on this longlist of L&D books, do let me know in the comments.

I love reading and will read more or fewer titles from this list. I often add my readings on GoodRead.

If I feel book content may be useful in class/program or for future reference. I may end up taking notes (generally I put them in Evernote), writing a summary, or/and reviews. And may be able to present the book summary/reviews of some of this book. I can share that with you. If you are interested in knowing/getting them, do drop a comment or DM me. 

Or just follow me on Linkedin. 

Maybe we can have a community of L&D learners. Or I can form a mailing list. (Don’t worry, I won’t SPAM. And you can always opt out later!). 

Or maybe we can think of a book club only for L&D domain folks. (I do run a couple of book clubs. If you are in general interested in reading, do comment or send me a direct message – I will get in touch.)

See you soon with more details on these books.

(Top Image Source:
Other Images: From Amazon).