Term 12 – movies and Wong’s negotiation

Many of us are still wondering if we really did the 18 months exec MBA course from ISB … It seems like yesterday that we met during the orientation and Bipeen’s daughter sat on my lap. It seems just a few minutes back, the Delhi gang was sweating in Shraddesh’s accounting class and then the whole class except a few was sweating in DMUU. Antony, you were right when you said somehow that one night that we had to flip the darned decision tree is stuck in our heads and Lalit was the only one who had the energy to do it, that’s a permanent special memory that wouldn’t go away. So we are done with the pre-reads, the frantic worrying over assignment deadlines… And term 12 too is done. I don’t know about others, but am still waiting for the pre-reads to come by and in the next five weeks to come back to class and meet everyone, tease someone, get teased in return, argue with someone else and in general have fun …

Prof Kaipa, you were so right… After this term we will never see movies the same way. We will look for coaching scenes in fight scenes, leadership lessons in the side actor’s role and negotiation styles in every movie !! It appears as though you and Prof Kamdar colluded to shift our perspective and a big thanks to both of you because you did it 🙂

The term started innocuously … After the mindbenders that Prof Chidambaran threw at us in the final test of Capital Markets, all of us just registered the movies that Prof Kaipa had suggested as pre-read. Selective attention got us into trouble. Bhat kindly dug into movie archives from all over and sent us the links and the movies were great, but am sure not one of us figured out the lessons hidden in them. We were busy celebrating no pre-read for Strategic Negotiation…hmm we are so gullible.

Prof Kaipa – a physicist who made the shift to leadership taught us the steps to wise leadership. His course was all about self-discovery, feedback from our friends to further dig deep into who we are and then looking ahead to who we want to be and could be. Very thought provoking and Prof Kaipa managed to provoke us, goad us, motivate us, compliment us and continued to push us along the path of wise leadership. We learnt to not be a victim and what the growth mindset was vis-a-vis a fixed mindset, our own decision logic and whether we had any fortitude – flexible or otherwise, the blue and red zones and awareness of where we operate from, our motivations and the gaps in credibility, commitment and courage. The biofeedback experiment with Mayur taught us how difficult it was to get into the “field” or in the “zone”, and how easy it was to achieve your goal (gold) if you did operate in the field. The feedback sessions with the team was fascinating and so useful. I never knew that I had behaved non-inclusively with Venky…. And had gone against my basic value. Such tremendously valuable feedback. The matrix of values, challenges, life journey and traps was a mind bender but useful to think through in our quest of knowing ourselves better. Uncovering our autopilot tendencies, our inability sometimes to be appropriate when being authentic and Prof Kaipa’s Rs.100 fine for coming late worked in further going deep into who we were. Prof Kaipa, you have tremendous knowledge of the Indian scriptures and thanks for sharing the Indian Management frameworks as well. The best was the comparison of “The legend of Bagger Vance” with the Bhagwad-Gita – Robert Redford might have been part of the Kurukshetra war in a past life :):)

What do I say for Dishan ? He taught us negotiations by negotiating hard with us – very unfair till Wong classic negotiation during the gala dinner. Prof Kamdar, you made the topic come alive … And you were right, at the end of round 3 of the union management negotiation, some of us are no longer friends :):) atleast Dilip and I are definitely not friends ! You taught us about the importance of alternatives, the reservation and aspiration price, the importance of planning and ofcourse about integrative, compatible and distributive issues. We learnt to bundle issues and not do ten individual negotiations but one. Dishan’s nine steps were practical and easy to use, your examples were just awesome and your unwavering energy and enthusiasm just amazing. We learnt about the types of influence and the difference between dispute and negotiation. “Twelve angry men” taught us the value of a calm head (yes, equanimity, Prof Kaipa) to turn a minority into a majority and a successful negotiation through persuasion. You did keep up your promise that there won’t be a dull moment and that we will learn a lot. We did learn, no doubt about that. And you got evidence of it as Wong negotiated away the final assignment during the gala dinner – got a public commitment and appealed to your emotions…. You taught us well, Prof Kamdar and you and this class will always have a positive ZOPA.

Will never forget the one rainy evening when Feroze explained with ease what Arun didn’t even understand and how we laughed till our sides ached. Raman refused to even read the statement and couldn’t stop laughing. Then the special Antony creative touch with the caricatures – just awesome !! On Thursday when they got distributed, everyone literally regressed to their school days and were walking around taking autographs from everyone else. So much fun.

The gala dinner was truly gala … Antony, Ram, Siva and many others who put in all the efforts, the skit, the dances, the whole program just blew us away. Niranjana, Sudha and the program management team created an awesome venue and the decorations were just outstanding. For me to compere the show with Bhat was just the perfect ending to being in school as I had done that in all the school events. Maybe I should seriously consider a career shift to predictions …. Ok Arun, I won’t, but it was fun. Sreedhar Challa, am scared of Siddhanth, your cute little boy just held me ransom. :):) Ram, I was serious, we want Praveena in our group, you can graduate along with PGPMAX 2014. Meeting the spouses and children and this time it was like we knew them too, very special. We got to see Antony’s coach and mentor, Neha and his master, Aarti… And his quiet son, Nikhil, who will certainly turn out to be like his dad – difficult to predict these DNA sequences. Wong, your son certainly has your DNA and is going to be more difficult than you to deal with. Deepak refused to give a straight answer to my question on whether we were the best batch, so we will assume we are :):). Kavita, looked great in a sari and am glad we insisted that she wear one. All the children just stole the show – with all the practice that their dads and moms had, they were just unmatchable, inimitable. The ISB song that Antony wrote, composed and sang … And the multiple personality disorder that Arun exhibited in the skit, to Siva being named Kitty …. Mano in impeccable English with Siva just making mincemeat of the Hindi translation..oh, we didn’t know how time flew. Then the three awesome singers, Sajive, Arun and Mehraj just sang the perfect farewell song.

What a journey we have been through together !! But the journey really begins now – the 18 months that went by were prep for what lies ahead and just knowing that at this stage of our lives we have 59 friends that we can call on for help, support and advise is priceless and that is the biggest value of PGPMAX.

Hip hip hurray – we did it and so well :):):)

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