Wednesday 30 August 2017

Make Your Own Lane: Ground Rules For Virtual Team To Support Large Assignments

When I work with virtual team for large projects or ongoing assignments, there are few ground rules that is exchanged with the team.

Live Coaching:

When they work with me they are being trained step by step to handle clients independently in future – both online and offline - when they are ready to offer their skills / services.

When they are confident to bid, quote and execute orders without assistance or being front ended by a project lead, they are on their own.

Image Credit: Canva Design

A few critical rules are listed here for BECKON Aspirants:

Habit Building

1] Read everything twice.

2] The first time you read everything may not register in your brain

3] Many can be non-readers and are used to receive verbal instructions in their primary occupation

4] Many have repetition as their learning style. Reading twice helps better comprehension and communication.

Correspondence with Project Lead

1] It can be me or someone else in the team who has won the order that will lead the team, liaison between team and client.

2] Phone calls and Watsapp message are not allowed for clarifying doubts and seeking assistance from lead. 

3] Only formal email communication so that the quality check of finished product can be cross checked with ongoing instructions exchanged on mail. 

4]  If team member needs clarity from project leader before sharing quote for their particular scope of work, they need to ask that and draft/ frame their response/ logic accordingly (Example research time required, sources, complexity, methodology etc. to justify their quotes)

5] Even if the task seems difficult, there is absolutely no reason to panic or lose confidence as the project lead will provide adequate guidance for execution because after all it is the project lead’s client relationship that is on stake.
Correspondence with Client 

1] When you correspond with real client, both buyer and seller may be working in different time zones – Will the seller be able to call him to check? Hence mail communication is recommended.

2] Without much thought, the length of the exercise/ assignment make virtual team member apprehensive and just to defend their situation, they tend to call to keep project lead informed in advance why something cannot be done. Read this quote at least three times a day.

Image Credit: Canva Design

3]  Every team member has to curtail tendency to

(A) React mentally
(B) Call and defend your situation

Virtual Team Member’s responsibility

1] Follow ground rules.

2] Consistency in efforts to make yourself reliable team member. 

3]  Micro learn to build skills. 

4] If any team resources has “Spoon feeding” level of dependence on coach that consumes a lot of bandwidth of project lead which could lead to termination and loss of future assignments.

Write to if you want to know more about the coaching framework

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Make Your Own Lane: Why You Need A Team To Execute Large Projects Virtually?

Here is what I do/ did for startups; corporations; first time entrepreneurs; fresh graduates; training firms so far

1] Business Plans
2] Feasibility Study
3] Sponsorship Proposal
4] Case Study
5] Marketing Strategy
6] Social Media Strategy
7] Call Script - Telemarketing
8] Storyboard for presentations
9] Pitch Deck
10] Learning Modules for Diploma Students (Instructional Design) (With Team) - Including "Accounting"
11] E-book
12] Blog writing
13] Business Coaching - I answer one critical question relating to client's business (Based on my experience or relevant research)
14] Social Media Plan
15] Social Media Management (With Team)
16] Screen play for Advertisement - Creative storyboard 
17] Business Name 
18] Consulting for BPO
19] Investment Offer
20] Visual Communication (In Presentations) - Shaping storyboard through format and visuals
21] Market research
22] Startup Checklist (Over 200 action items)
23] Investor Checklist (Over 50 investors)
24] Leadership Profiles for website
25] Website - Identifying critical pages
26] Website - Critical review (My perspectives on client's existing website)
27] Website - Content Development
28] Marketing Brochure - Two Pages
29] Managed client's business platform - ZOHO
30] Elevator Pitch (100/ 150 words in 45 to 60 seconds)

Over a period of time, there are 10 more skills/ services that can fetch regular clients (online and offline) with a team

31] Email Campaigns
32] Resume Writing
33] Virtual Assistance 
34] Transition support
35] Pre sales support
36] Digital Marketing (End to end)
37] Guest posts and Ghost Writing
38] Webinar
39] Action Learning Projects (Identify Issue, Team in large corporations - We drive the project towards actionable solution)

There are 10 more skills that I want from the team I am building:

1] Web designing
2] Logo designing
3] App development
4] Crowdfunding
5] Voice Support
6] Search Engine Optimization
7] Financial Planning - Individual and business
8] Whitepaper - Professional standards 
9] e-books - BECKON Series
10] Case Studies - BECKON Series

My current focus this year: Coaching only.

Image Credit: Canva Design
BECKON Coach will follow the same pattern - the 4 quadrant pricing - both for clients or students

Option 1: Free nuggets of your wisdom (If this is not good enough, will anyone want to associate with you?)

Option 2: Booklet ($40) - Prospect will Self Learn 

Option 3: Coaching ($150) - Guided Learning adhering to the booklet/ building prospect's habit and skill coaching, if required.

In 10 months you do not teach your prospect "All that you know" - They may not be ready. You begin with what they "Want to learn" and later steer towards learning that will lead to their outcomes. During these 10 months, you know everything about your learner so that you can steer in the right direction.
 BECKON Framework is learner centric.

Option 4: Outcomes ($550)  - Outcomes driven learning - You need not share client's details however in this option, you should be willing to share mails exchanged with client (without sharing  IP) to prove a point, feedback received, interesting case studies - all directed to mentally train prospect 

In this option, it is not just about "skill", but "will" otherwise you cannot lead the prospect to their outcomes)
Unlearning is the key here.
 Minutes of call/ Call highlights are critical for this framework.

Write to if you think you qualify to join our team based on your skills

Saturday 26 August 2017

Alternate Learning: Are You The Skill Coach or The Will Coach?

Today, I just abruptly discontinued coaching session with a BECKON Aspirant who is being trained to manage my professional social media first – Pages, blogs, tweets etc. and then for other clients. According to the aspirant, this is the scope of agreed skill coaching.

Post discontinuation, here is the impact analysis on BECKON Aspirant

Psychological Impact

The aspirant is under the impression that the coaching session ended due to performance issues (poor learning and grasping ability) however the reality is – this circumstance is being created deliberately for mental training (Will)

Financial Impact

No further fees have to be paid if the work in scope (Social Media pages) is managed with immediate effect to my entire satisfaction. This is one of the learning outcomes in the agenda

Learning Impact

On job training for a new “Skill” with ulterior motive to trigger “Will” to learn on their own when the situation arise.

Social Media Management

I have to read more blogs than necessary to choose the right ones for my followers or to increase my own understanding of the market

To make my bandwidth available for core functions I needed someone to manage few of the pages and blogs I maintain on a regular basis.

It is not about merely sharing links, it is about outcomes to be achieved and that is definitely not mere vanity metrics or branding. The bottom line is revenue, customer acquisition and growth.

The content has to be useful for me and my followers

I did consider Crowdfire for twitter account however the points listed below kind of diffused my enthusiasm

1] Post on our behalf

2] Followers are not always high quality and relevant to the industry in which we operate

3] I am not sure if they filter out spam or fake account.

4] I follow users that tweet information useful for our business and scope of work we are involved in.

5] It is beside the point which I may read immediately or when I have the time.

6] It is handy and finds new people to follow or un-follow inactive users however the relevance and usefulness are questionable.

7] It is simple, quick, and easy to understand. It is not smart or great for my needs and the motive seems vengeful (for the lack of exact word) which is quite unprofessional. I do not necessarily have to un-follow some just because they do not follow me. I am the loser then as their tweet quality may be far superior to mine. I would definitely want to follow them.

So the BECKON aspirant will be gradually made to understand the nuances and needs to manage my account – live, on the job and who is not quite aware of it yet.

Phase I:    Doing
Phase II:   Thinking
Phase III:  Consulting

Thinking is a natural process lead by repeated doing. The more you do the same thing mechanically, the more you will question why, when it turns mundane

Why social media management?
What business problems are being solved by our product or service?
What benefits have target audience realized?

Why follow few influential people and few average people?
What is end purpose?

While we let the BECKON aspirant here to dwell on outcome driven learning process and unexpected twists and turns, you can write to if you are ready to be a BECKON coach. 

We will be glad to know more about case studies with your learning intervention towards measurable outcomes.

Friday 25 August 2017

Alternate Learning: Is It Time To Gather More Skills, Than Degrees?

I know quite a few people from millennial generation. Most of them are engaged in any one of the following:

1] Pursuing their Masters
2] Done with their Masters
3] Getting ready for PHD
4] Attending tutorials for entrance exams (This is a huge industry in itself)
5] Preparing for banking exams (Another big revenue - forms, fees, coaching etc) 
6] Pursuing an additional certification (This has nothing to do with passion, something they think or were told is in demand - Digital Marketing. If they had basic research skills, they would find several free webinars on the subject)
7] Waiting for exam results
8] Applying for jobs however not well prepared for interviews

Then you have a whole different range of permutation and combination:

9] Getting ready for PHD while looking for a job as a school teacher
10] Quit a job after training, when it was time to perform
11] Preparing for bank exams though could not keep a job with a bank franchisee
12] Travelling 25 kms to attend classes for appearing in bank entrance exams
13] Done with Masters in Bangalore, internship in Delhi, getting ready for PHD
14] Done with Masters, teaching in a local school and getting ready for marriage
15] Pursuing PHD and amidst semesters, got married because she was nearing thirty and couldn't risk losing her fiance to someone else.
16] Completed Masters and doing multiple jobs to pay bills
17] Completed Bachelors in Science, Paramedical and now pursuing dance while looking for a job as a school teacher or for that matter anything

The points I am trying to drive are:

The rationale behind the pursuit for Masters is not learning
Their understanding of the Market is limited
Their currency to Measure results and success is one dimensional

In simpler words,

Do they know their minds – what they want to achieve?
Do they have any financial goals within a definite time frame?
Do they have bare minimum self-esteem to fund their whims and fancies without depending on parents?


1] In most cases the pursuit for Master’s degree is mainly a stop gap – killing time (a few years) without feeling guilty about it while hunting for jobs and keeping parents happy

2] Deep down they entertain wishful thinking - an additional degree will make it easy for them in the job market giving them competitive edge. Future managers will consider this for promotions. 

3] When they do get a job that gives a salary, not quite up to their expectation or standard, it is this very degree that stands tall as hindrance – because they are too qualified.

Reality Check:

1] Masters is the new excuse, the new average. If you do not know or do not have any plan to apply the knowledge you acquire you are wasting your time.

2] Apart from degree, you need skills, different levels of intelligence that is not limited to your academics alone in order to succeed in a job.


1] What is point in having an additional certification if you have not learnt to use any of your existing skill to get a job or build revenue streams?

2] Show your target job market how you are different from others by using the existing skills in a meaningful way that gives you fodder to talk about during interviews – tutoring, freelancing, handling clients, community initiatives - something that hints at your ability to use your existing skills.


1] The education system is obsolete in the prevailing economy – The direct connect between education and business world is missing or the gap is so wide that you will need many skills to bridge that gap

2] Is money the only measure for your success? In most cases it is one’s paycheck that limits one from getting rich because unconsciously they fall into a habitual thought pattern and predictable flowchart which goes something like this:

A] Paycheck - Degree - Certification - Work Hard - Promotions - Life style 
B] Paycheck - Degree - Certification - Work More - Onsite - Loans
C] Paycheck - Job Change - New Boss - Permanent relocation -Liabilities

The fundamental questions:

1] Why did you do that Masters in History if you did not like that subject or had no intention to use that knowledge?
2] Did that help in the corporate world? 
3] Was any of your promotions based on that degree?

Write to to bridge skill gaps and be global workforce ready. Ask those fundamental questions today to take more informed decision on your next steps, next skills, next study and next scope.

Thursday 24 August 2017

Alternate Learning: A Model To Focus On What Matters In Business

The whole idea is to assist companies get more with less.

1] Less cost 
2] More productivity 
3] Low investment 
4] More returns 
5] Less time 
6] More deliverables 
7] Limited scope
8] More engagement 
9] Less resources
10] More output

Image Credit:  Canva Design

A few examples:

One: If lengthy hiring cycle is reduced, that automatically has impact on cost

How: Alternate People Model 

Focused move towards Gig Economy for non-core functions that will be directly contacted by business based on their need for expertise.

Large corporation prefer two things:

A] Cultural fit
B] Competency fit

Two: If class room based behavioral training is replaced by self-learning and micro learning option

How: Alternate Learning Model 

Focused move from participation/ certification/ scores towards self-paced transformational learning where resources quantify their learning by linking it to business outcomes that is measurable. 

Large corporation prefer two things:

A] Impact on project
B] Capable work force ready for the future - Some firms have a competency framework to allocate the existing workforce in slots - Beginner; Intermediate and Expert

Why do we charge 25 times more than our contemporaries?

1] Our recommendations trigger alternate learning

When a BECKON Coach is aligned to a project, the dual responsibilities are:

A] Deliverable
B] Learning

2] Our inputs are actionable by any in house team

After Due Diligence and thorough research inputs that are recommended in our proposal is very much within the capacity of any team or internal leader to execute it to drive desired results

A] Hands on training which saves precious production hours
B] No external support or coach required, which again saves cost

3] There is ongoing support from BECKON Coach to develop a model that can replicated for multiple projects of similar nature.

4] We offer price slab (0 to 25 times) that depends on the kind of support companies need.

Read here to know more about 4Quadrantpricing

Write to to discuss your business concerns and adopt a model that enables leaders to focus on core functions that matter while the existing workforce gets slowly but gradually upgraded - skill wise and results wise.

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Learning: Reading Is The Appetizer For The Main Course - Learning

Take One

Most of us remember that famous line:

Kungfu lives in everything we do

That’s a very important lesson from Mr Han to Sao Dre (Film Karate Kid 2010)

All rights reserved to rightful owner: YouTube

Take Two

Many of us need to remember this today

There is learning in everything we do

If you aren’t learning – You are enslaved by unproductive habits and thought patterns

Case Study:

Today morning, I was speaking to mother of a smart young boy studying in Class II. The kid must be 7 or 8 years old. She was worried about her son’s school environment and rationalizes that he will not be fully ready for his first board exam (Class X) if he continues in this school.

My question

Why don’t I see your son playing with the rest of the kids?

Her response:

I used to take him to the ground to play - now I don’t

My question

When is the last time you read a book?

Her response:

My son keeps me so busy. I do not find time to read books.

I had to tell this upfront –

It shows that you have not read anything for years.

It is her limited knowledge and understanding about education that is being imposed on that little boy.

The boy sings well, recites so well and I eagerly wait for his program in the local cultural functions every year, when I am in Kolkata

During my walk, every evening I see him making all kind of automobile noises standing near the window and if I happen to look at his direction, he will quickly wave at me. Can you imagine the sight?

You can spot a non-reader within 30 seconds.

1] They tend to talk about people/ things
2] Their list of excuses is never ending
3] They always have someone or something to blame

They can be eloquent, qualified, rich, dignified, hard-working, ambitious, provider for the family – all kinds - however a non-reader takes a very long time to activate their 4th intelligence.

How do you spot a reader in 30 seconds?

1] They talk about ideas
2] Mental growth matters
3] They learn to know or know to learn

Even if a person is illiterate and does not know to recognize alphabets – they will display these traits to reflect their craving for ideas, learning and mental growth.

According to me, it is the mother who needs coaching/ counseling

1] Being driven by goals is great. Planning is good.

Why should that apply only for the child and not for herself?

Why does she not set any goal for herself or any plans for her own growth?

2] She spoke about discipline multiple times

Why not set an example for the kid to follow - Healthy life style; morning walks, meditation, community initiative, part time work, side hustle from home or visiting elders (She has not visited her parents in 6 months who are just 40 kms away)

If one can relate to this, they should ideally introspect, reflect and assess if they are victims of age old habitual thinking patterns, unproductive habits that is affecting their choices and decision making.

Finding an excuse not to learn or do something new is a state of mind, crippled by one's one limiting thinking
Read to unlock that potential 
Write to if you need to discuss options for a learning road map