Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kudos to Gen-Y parentz

Simple Analogy:

You go to a hotel to have some good food for the first time in your life. Or you go to a new hotel where you had never been.

The waiter comes and asks you what would you like to have? The first thing you expect is , “What are the items the hotel possess?” This is very very very very important question. Because depending on this answer you can make a choice

(1) either you eat an item which you want

(2) to leave hotel and look for something else if nothing interests you

(3) compromise on your wishes and go for alternative.

In mgmt terms, I would say this question is nothing but “What are the choices I have?”

From the perspective of a parent who wants to nurture a child, I would say, “what is THE thing which interest my child?” Only when a child is given an ‘exposure’, repeat after me “only when a child is given an exposure”, he / she can choose his item of interest.

Gen-Y Parentz

In India, there is a new generation of fathers being sprouted up. With the advent of IT jobs, sons and daughters of yesterday’s fathers got the opportunity to see the new world. No longer have they needed to embrace a mediocre life. In some cases poverty becomes an alien. Yesterday’s fathers were mostly in to banking, teaching, petty shop dealers or government sectors (from BSNL to forest officers). Their life revolved around a circle. Most of these families died/dying without a seeing a single foreign country / place.

But their sons/daughters because of IT are now seeing the whole new world. They get exposure to things which might not be possible without IT. They travel in taxis, shift places in planes, stay in a good hotel, have food (at least once) in McDonalds, buy houses, etc. These things happen with in a very short period of 2-3 years of joining a company. These kinds of exposure were unimaginable in government sectors.

These kinds of exposure were restricted to TATA’s, Birla’s or for fathers who worked in these great companies in the past decades. But now the landscape has increased. 80% of these young generations were first out comers from engineering or graduation. A time will come in their life at the age of 28/29 where in which they want to see their children grow beyond their exposure. They want their children to study in IITs, graduate in US schools, etc..

The most important point here is these new generation fathers are “open”. Unlike most of the past decade families who without the knowledge of exposure wanted somehow their children to be in safe job. When I say open, it means these fathers are broadminded and open to understand a child’s natural interest and grow these children in those lines.

Of course these new generation fathers cannot make them to study in ooty schools and pay 1-2 lacs even for 1st standard. But still they want them to study in best schools in the city where they are residing.

Indian education system is inherently faulty. Whatever is the type of education - Matriculation, CBSE, ICSE, Anglo Indian, etc. the syllabus is more or less similar but the way it has been taught is pathetic. A physics teacher who teaches gravitation cannot himself understand usefulness of Einstein’s law in real world. A chemistry staff who teaches elements will not do experiments on his own in the lab.

When the staff himself is taking a teaching job just because he does not have any other option, how children can get confidence to choose an area that’s of interest to him. That’s why 60% of the students are doing engineering / medicine in our country. It is pathetic. I would say not more than 15% of students should choose engineering. Because when I say engineer, I benchmark their talent against Steve Wozniak. He loved engineering and chose his career. That’s why he could able to design and build world’s first computer and started the revolution. It is a herculion task to change the system in India and I believe it will take minimum 40-50 years to make a change and see the result especially in education arena.

What is the difference?

Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Abdul Kalam, VS Naipaul, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, JRD Tata, Sania Mirza, Tendulkhar, A.R. Rehman, etc.. etc..All of them are very different people. But they have only one thing in common. (rightly said by Michael Dell)

“I found what I want at an early age, but some people take lifetimes to figure this out….”

It is not the mistake of the child / parents who are not able to find out what the child is great at (not ‘good at’ !). There are multiple factors which play a role

(1) Parenting

(2) Financial capability of the family

(3) Genetic nature

(4) Schooling

(5) friends

(6) luck

(7) staff in school / colleges

(8) The country and the period in which the child is born

(9) nth generation from grand parents, etc..

When some factors are present some other factors will be missing. No child will have the opportunity to get all. Even the people whom I have mentioned earlier did not get all these factors in their life time at required times. The pathetic situation is even they are unaware that these factors decide their destiny.

But these factors which “can be produced/simulated“.

Here presents the opportunity. A child can undergo a 7-10days workshop constituting 2-3 hours a day. This will be done under the guidance of skilled people, who wish to do the following thing,

… A child will be given a series of exposure in most of the areas (starting from painting to Karate. from physics to yoga , from music to Mergers and Acquisitions). Out of curiosity and natural inclination, the child will choose a narrow set of options.

Then the parents will be given a report of their child at the end of the workshop. The report will contain a set of 5 choices from the 1000 list of choices the child interested in.. The parents then give more exposure to their child on all these areas and let allow the child to choose his own line of interest. By this and continuous hardwork of the child will inevitably become successful. We will get not one Steve Jobs or Narayana Murthy but several.

The toughest thing here is to develop an “intelligent program content” for the workshop that can be customizable to children coming from different traditions and countries. The workshop content can be developed using research people from various universities, schools, NGOs.

The program content once developed will be subjected to continuous up gradation. Conductors of this program will be highly skilled people because they not only do this as a job but also with the intention that their output is going to shape a child’s future.

When a say child, I meant a child studying in 6,7, 8 or 9th standard. I believe beyond 10th, one is subjected to limited options.

There can also be advanced courses/workshops where in which we still narrow down from 5 choices (given at the end of the basic workshop) to 2-3 choices.

Can anyone help me to build such a program content?

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