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Building Deloitte Studios. Here to learn and share the art and science of bringing together culture and crafts for building products.
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Why are some goals harder than others? Why do certain skills feel forever out of reach? Why do some long-awaited milestones shower only fleeting happiness? Why does not competing for feel liberating at times? How do people reach a level of performance that seems divine?

First, The Mind Games

Take a few moments to think of some examples that fit the following. Be brutally honest with yourself. My answers are in parenthesis.

  1. The Ecstasy: These are activities that give you immense joy no matter how taxing. The more you do these, the better you have gotten over the years (writing, hiking).
  2. The Essential: These…

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The anxiety with which you search for a hometown delicacy in a new land is the same with which you look for familiar people and places when you visit your place of upbringing.

In either case, you are slightly disappointed. When you move out, things also move on.

A Story of Belonging

I left my hometown in Kolhapur in 1999 to pursue engineering in Pune, about 230 km away from where I grew up. Monthly visits back home ended with a 6:00 am trip in an Asiad bus hurrying back to Pune to catch the second half of college on Monday morning. …

Picture of a small gear interlocked between two larger gears
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Most high-performing careers hit a wall in middle management because practitioners shy away from taking risks to address high-quality problems. The conditioned responses to seek career progression act as traps that make it harder to develop skills required to expand the circle of influence.

Let us unpack the hypothesis by solving the following questions:

  • What is a high-quality problem?
  • What are the common traps in middle management?
  • How can you expand your circle of influence?

What is a high-quality problem?

Expanding your impact beyond the role of an individual contributor requires the ability to establish the why (clarity) and the expertise to determine the how…

Well-Being of the Mind

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What is Quality of Life?

Once you have done enough to reasonably meet the basic needs of your lifestyle, the next jump in the quality of your life is not going to come from external factors. It will depend on what you cultivate inside of you — the quality of your thoughts.

It is easy to assume that life in another country with better infrastructure will correlate to a better quality of life. This is true, however, only to a certain extent. …

Hiring Done Right

Text stating “Recruitment”’
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A lot has been written about how candidates should approach interviews, not so much about how interviewers should. Candidate experience is a hard problem to solve if you are trying to do it at scale and especially if people helping you in scouting and interviewing already have a day job. However, it is critically important to get right what could be someone’s first potential employee experience.

Consistent adoption of a few simple micro-habits across the company can help. Few examples below:

  1. Be on time. Few things show as much respect for the other person without uttering a word besides caring…

The Culture-fit Conundrum

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“There are no stupid questions” is a nice sentiment that may be appropriate in some contexts, however, the art of asking questions is an underrated skill, especially when we look for our next career move.

For example, asking “How is the culture at your organization?” to an interviewer is like asking “What kind of a person are you?”. You may not hear intentional lies, but human minds are often incredibly biased against acknowledging vulnerabilities.

If you truly want to understand the culture of an organization, you need to ask questions that focus on the choices, behaviors, and actions during a…

Re-imagining Education

Image of accessories used by students like tablet, scissors, glue stick, erasers, pencils, notebook
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(This article was “written in public”. After a skeleton draft was posted on LinkedIn and Twitter seeking feedback, the attributed responses below were used to further refine and add to the key takeaways.)

The term “Ed Tech” feels like an oxymoron in India, an attempt to change the cover of a book when the book itself needs a replacement. Most technology-first solutions attempting to revamp education in India are primarily using the scale, speed, and standardization of technology to accelerate the adoption of an outdated educational experience. An enterprise architect himself, Vivek Anand, shared his experience of attempting free trial…

The Unsolicited Fortunes

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The word in Pali language for gratitude is kataññutā. The word consists of two parts: kata, which means that which has been done, especially to oneself; and annuta means knowing or recognizing. I am likely missing yet another fifty but doing this exercise revealed the many things that are easy to take for granted.

The Serendipities

  • Being born healthy
  • A dependable mental and physical faculties
  • Never having to sleep empty stomach
  • Having never been in any serious accident
  • Not having to suffer any critical illness
  • Having access and means to a good education
  • Having lived in geographies without life-threatening conflicts

The Family

  • Growing up…

What do Product Managers really do?

I no longer assume I know what someone actually does when they say they are a Product Manager. This year, I had a chance to have over 40 or so 1:1s with folks from outside of work in different stages of their product management journey. No two roles were the same. I distilled our conversations into one picture in an attempt to put a unifying model to the various flavors of product management discipline out there.

The Approach

A significant amount of work that product managers do oscillates between two key questions:

Are we building the right product?

Are we building the…

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Can an eye ever see itself? Can a leg ever kick itself? Ever seen a hand that grabs itself, or perhaps, a tooth that takes a bite at itself? If you are “it” then you cannot exist out of what you are.

So tell me how can you be defined by the thoughts alone that ring in your mind? For surely you have at least once or more heard a voice within that observed your own.

When in fits of anger, it appealed to you for calm. When driven by hate, it spoke to you of charm. When in depths…

Rohit Malekar

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