Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Slow Down Culture...

One of email messages that came as forwarded message….

For all of us who think we don't have enough time to do things we like, cause of our hectic schedule!!
 An interesting reflection:  Slow Down Culture

It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalized processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to possess a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.

Said in another words:
1. Sweden is about the size of San Pablo, a state in Brazil.
2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants.
3. Stockholm has 500,000 people.
4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies the NASA.

The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think? Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe name Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week.

Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being". French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!"

This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living.

It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do. It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of spirit.

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minute now". To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance to a tango.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalized world. 

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vacancies - Creative department - Pune India

The following vacancies are available in the Creative department with one of my friends firm in Pune, India. Please refer your friends and acquaintances.

For more details you can visit:
Mid level UI designer- 1 nos
  • You will have to create designs that match the taste and trends of each specific brief given, at the same time provide creative design solutions to many of the projects as a part of the creative team.
  • Innovatively design User Interface for Ipad apps, mobile applications, design icons, buttons and templates, layouts of the apps, cover page of apps and storyboard design.
  • Graduate or PG in fine arts, Commercial Arts/ Applied Arts, not mandatory if you have very good design and visualization skills with great esthetical sense.
  • Extensive and hands on experience in Corel, Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash.
  • 2- 4 years experience working in similar role, exposure to working on international projects will be an added advantage.
  • Experience of working on projects in content & design development for I pad Apps, Mobile user interface, e-learning and any other interactive software applications will be preferred.
  • Knowledge of 2d and 3d animation is an added advantage.
  • Ability to work closely with creative team, understand the user requirements and provide effective solutions.
  • Ensure very high quality output as per international standards and work under tight deadlines.
  • Should be well versed with the latest trends in e learning, web & graphic media and efficient in using popular tools to create designs.
  • Think creatively and crystallize requirements and ideas into exceptional and effective designs
  • Good communication skill is a must.
  • Somebody who loves the excitement of being innovative rather than following directions, and is constantly innovating to create stunning interfaces which defines high level of usability.

QB artists- 2 nos
Job description:
  • You will have to create designs that match the taste and trends of each specific brief given, at the same time provide creative design solutions to many of the projects as a part of the creative team.
  • Produce Innovative graphic designs for Ipad apps and mobile applications.
  • Produce photoshop related work such as cutting, pasting, colouring and stamping in extreme level of details.

  • BA in Graphic Design, Advertising, Art, or Communication Design preferred
  • Extreme level of Photoshop skill is a must.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with knowledge of design and presentation software packages such as Illustrator, Flash, Corel Draw etc.
  • 2- 3 years experience working in similar role, exposure to working on international projects will be an added advantage.
  • Excellent color sense and visualization skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Knowledge of 2d and 3d animation is an added advantage.
  • Ability to work under tight timelines
  • Initiative and the ability to maintain a high level of productivity with minimal supervision.

Mid Level Animator- 1 nos
Job description:
  • You will be working in a company who is being constantly producing high level apps for I-pad. It will require animation in 2d classical, flash, Photoshop, 3d and sometimes in some other media depending on the creative decision.
  • Should have skills to draw key poses and in betweens for classical animation in small clips, for I pad apps and mobile applications.
  • Guide the coloring team throughout the production and work side by side the animation director of the project.
  • Ensure very high quality output as per international standards and work under tight deadlines.
  • You will have the opportunity to be flexible and work in various animation mediums like 2d classical, 3d, flash and Photoshop.
  • Degree, diploma specialized in 2d classical animation with knowledge of 3d.
  • 2- 3 years of experience working in similar role, exposure to working on I-pad and mobile applications will be an extra advantage.
  • Ability to adapt and work on the various medium like 3d preferably in Maya, 2d frame by frame, or any other media like Flash, can animate even in Photoshop.
  • Should have good artistic skills like illustration and painting either in digital or paper.
  • High level Knowledge in Photoshop is a must.
  • Good Communication Skills and a Team player.
  • Very much consistent in productivity and delivery.

3D Generalist – 3 No.s
Job Description
  • Should be able to basic level modeling and rigging
  • Competent in creating high quality textures
  • Reasonable ability in 3D Animation, 2D animation and cutout animation
  • Ability to composite scenes.
  • Understand the requirements of the creative team and provide technical solutions
  • Ability to adapt into new production techniques without a big learning curve and share the workload with the team leads.

  • Dip/degree in fine/commercial art
  • 2 plus years’ experience preferably in similar small studio were people are generally multi-task
  • Good knowledge in maya, photshop, Adobe AE
  • Some experience in animation/rigging is an advantage.
    Working knowledge in Adobe premier and soundforge
  • Good communication skills
  • Proactive, good team player

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Friday, July 1, 2011


This is a nice summary of the issues with corporate meetings.
Unfortunately, too many corporate meetings don’t go this well. Often, they are a complete waste of time. But the good news is that they can be substantially improved by observing a few simple rules. Here is my list of seven rules for more effective meetings.
  1. Establish hard edges. Good meetings start and end on time. When you start late, you inadvertently penalize the punctual and reward the tardy. This only make the problem worse rather than better. People get “trained” to come late because they know nothing significant will happen until well after the announced start time.
    When you finish late, you also frustrate participants. People are busy. Meetings that finish late cascade into other meetings which must then also start late. Instead, we have to be as disciplined about our ending times as our beginning times. It’s amazing how much you can cover if you know you absolutely must finish on time.
  2. Create an agenda. I don’t think any meeting should proceed without an agenda. If it’s not important enough to create a written agenda, then it’s not important enough to attend. Leaders must set the example here.
    They need to think about the topics to be covered and how the meeting should flow. I always like to start the meeting with a review of the minutes from the previous meeting (more about this in a minute). I like to end every meeting with two items: a review of the agreed-upon action items and setting—or confirming—the date for the next meeting. Agendas should always be circulated in advance of the meeting, so that people know what to expect and how to prepare.
  3. State the desired outcome. If you are the leader, it is important to know exactly what outcome you want from the meeting. If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you have arrived?
    I would suggest that you state the desired outcome in the meeting invitation and then re-state it as you begin the meeting. For example, “the purpose of our meeting is to report on the results of our latest market research and give you a chance to ask questions.” Or “the purpose of our meeting is to evaluate prospective titles for Don Miller’s new book and determine which one we are going to recommend to the author.” Or “the purpose of or meeting is review the company’s Q3 operating results and provide a progress report on our five strategic initiatives.”
    By stating the outcome, the participants can work together to achieve it and keep the meeting from wandering off-track.
  4. Review the minutes and action items. The first thing I do in any meeting is to review the minutes and action items from the previous meeting. This gives the participants context and gives those that were absent an opportunity to get up-to-speed.
    You also want to get a progress report on each action item from the person responsible for it. If you make a habit of always doing this, people will soon learn that you expect them to complete their assignments. If they have to give an account in front of their peers, so much the better. This may give them the added “incentive” to complete their assignments, so that they are not embarrassed in front of their colleagues.
  5. Take written minutes. Someone should take minutes, even if the meeting only has two participants. However, detailed notes that chronicle the discussion as it unfolds are usually—in fact, almost always—unnecessary. In most meetings, recording the key decisions and action items are sufficient.
    You want to document decisions, so there is no misunderstanding later. You want to document action items, so that you can hold people accountable and track progress. Beyond that, you’re probably just engaging in busy work. You should distribute minutes as soon after the meeting as possible, so that participants can review the key items while they are fresh in their memory as well as review what is expected of them.
  6. Clarify action items. At the end of the meeting, the person recording the minutes should read off the action items. It is particularly important that these be stated in a specific format.
    • Start each action item with a verb. For example, “Review Milford contract with the agent” or “Call Jim and get latest turnover figures.”
    • Specify the deliverable. What exactly do you expect the person completing the action to do. It must be an observable behavior with a specific end-point. It may be a phone call, a written report, or a presentation. It should not be a process.
    • Assign a single owner to each action. No action should have more than one owner. You want one person to blame if the action isn’t completed.
    • Agree on a due date. Get a commitment from the person responsible. Be realistic but put it in writing. This is a commitment and should be treated as such.
  7. Determine the next meeting date. This is easy to do when everyone is together. Everyone should be encouraged to bring their calendar to the meeting (or their iPad, iPhone, or Blackberry).
    If the meeting disperses without setting the next date, it makes it that much harder to schedule the next meeting. Take advantage of everyone being in one place to get this settled. It’s one less thing you have to do later.
Improving the quality of meetings takes work. Every once in a while we need to step back from the meeting itself and ask, “How can we make our time together more productive?” We need to be honest. Meetings consume a lot of resources. The more efficient they are, the better the return on our investment.

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