Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Discovering the Universe!

Saw this prg. on TV - Discovery- last weekend! It was absolutely Fantastic! Search for "Elegant Universe" + "Einstein's Dream" on Google and log into Discovery Online...I'll try and post more links later...no time to value-add now.. :(

Okay! Here's an update - I bought the book "The elegant universe" by Brian Greene the day before! It is all about man's quest to unify the theory of gravity, electromagnetism and the nuclear forces into one theory dubbed as the theory of everything/string theory/M theory....interesting stuff if you love physics/want to know more about our universe and where it began...

Kerala's Akshaya project wins global IT award- The Economic Times

Why can't the other states in India learn from Kerala? Why aren't we making use of the concepts of Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration? Why doesn't the central government wield the stick and make it happen? Oh, God! I want to see India transform into the 'best' country on earth overnight...or at least maybe before I die...(which is hopefully not overnight! ) ;-)

Monday, August 29, 2005

Of conversations and their entertainment value...

Caveat: There's nothing profound about this post. And you may not even find it as funny as I did. It's just a conversation...reported on a blog. For variety's sake you may think...And don't ask me how I remembered the coversation down to the Ho...it's only an approximate reconstruction, that's all :)

A couple of days ago, I had a meeting to attend during my regular lunch time and therefore asked my lunch-friends to carry on for lunch without me. I finished the meeting and went in for a quick bite as I had to come back for another meeting in less than 20 minutes. Once in the lunch room, I jumped on to the nearest vacant seat where 2 guys were almost through with their lunch. They were having a conversation in Tamil. Of course, given that I understand Tamil and was very much within earshot, I’d forcibly ‘joined’ the conversation. (What do you do in such cases? It is something of an ethical dilemma. You don’t want to eavesdrop, you can’t you plug your ears, or even tell them “hey, stop talking…I am here and understand what you’re talking, so if it’s anything personal, you may want to wait till you’re alone”). So I just went about my business of eating and was in for some 'entertainment'! They were obviously in the middle of a conversation but it was one that could be ‘joined’ by anyone anytime. (Following is a rough (especially the laughter) narration of what transpired between the 2 aforementioned people,. Ha ha hee hee. :-) And, of course, the conversation has been translated into English for everyone’s benefit)

First Guy: “So, he hasn’t mentioned it to his organization?”
Second Guy: “Yes”
First Guy: “Is there a rule or something that people who join XYZ (he named an IT organization) are not supposed to get married for the first one year? Is there a bond to that effect? Ha ha ho ho”
Second Guy: “Ha ha ho ho ho ho”

{pause}

Second Guy: “Actually, the students who join organizations from Campus will want a job so badly that they might even agree if the organization instructs them to remain unmarried for life! Ha ha ha ho ho”
First Guy: “Haaaa ha ho ho ho ha”

{pause}

First Guy: “So, what’s happening? You’ve told your parents?”
Second Guy: “mmmm,…………..she’s asking me if I’ve traveled abroad, if I’ve traveled to the USA, if I have a H1B Visa!”
First Guy: “Don’t tell me! They even ask you if you’ve got a H1B Visa? Ridiculous”
Second Guy:”Yes, it’s really crazy! Looks like they’ll get married to anyone who has a H1B Visa….even if there’s nothing else!”

{long pause leading to a change of topic}

First Guy: “You know these companies, when they interview candidates, they decide on the compensation based on the behaviour! If you respect the interviewers, they assume that you are ignorant and ask you to settle for something less. If you’re arrogant and don’t respect them…say sit in an arrogant posture or something…they immediately assume that you know a lot and offer you a better pay packet!”
First Guy (again): “What kind of a policy (attitude?) is it? It is something that the company is using to belittle itself…something that the company follows to make itself look ugly!”
First Guy and Second Guy: Ha ha haaa ha ha ho ho

__________________
:-) That’s all folks! (Yours truly made her exit at this point)

Business without ethics...

Did you know this? (Saw it on a programme on Richard Branson in the History Channel)

British Airways felt threatened by Virgin Atlantic when the latter captured a huge pie of the sky and went on what is apparently known as the ‘Dirty Tricks Campaign’ at Virgin Atlantic. The campaign was about spreading false stories about Virgin – posing as Virgin to tell customers that flights were cancelled, and stealing information! I was shocked! Talk about Business without ethics! BA also paid close to $1 Mill as settlement (I don’t know if it was outside the court). It takes me back to my previous post about organizations not chasing money but an ideal…

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Motivation - Money or Passion?

Q. Money, position and power have limited scope in sustaining a high level of motivation. Then from where should the source of motivation stem from?

Ans. It must stem from a conviction or ideal that is deeply and strongly embedded in our heart. This makes it easy for the individual to dedicate any results and sense of being the doer at the alter of one's ideal or conviction. The institution's interest must be the uppermost objective, overriding the individual's ego. Then, the ideal will bring glory to the institution, society or nation. It is this attitude which has caused great achievements in the fields of science, history, art, literature,engineering and others. Great persons effortlessly spent lifetimes in serving their chosen ideal, and as a result, served society at large by their dedicated work and inspired actions. Ideals and convictions are powerful motivational sources when aligned with an organisation's values.

- R.K. Srinivasa Murthy
_______________________________________

I think the world would be a great place to live in if organizations stopped chasing money and instead focused on making the world a better place to live in...if they started focusing on their passion...I've a lot more to say on this topic. I shall come back....

Friday, August 26, 2005

Mr.AB!

Big B, Amitabh Bachchan, is a man that I admire a lot. I have not really been influenced so much by his acting skills or his movies as much as his character. Though there are some movies of his which I’ve enjoyed immensely and I thought his characterization and performance were particularly good in Sholay, Chupke Chupke, Anand and Satte Pe Satta. (Note that I am not a movie buff and haven’t watched all his movies. There may be better movies of his which I’ve missed). What I like him for and what I am enamored by is that he’s a guy who seems to blend sophistication and simplicity with so much ease that it is almost unbelievable. He has an air of dignity and humility, all at the same time! He’s a bundle of nicely amalgamated paradoxes. And, methinks, that’s so difficult to achieve!

Maybe, I’ve posted this before, but I wouldn’t mind saying it again - The first time I was actually impressed was when he said this about his son, Abhishek Bachchan, when asked by an interviewer as to whether he was worried about Abhishek’s image of being a silent and ‘unaware’ person - “I’d rather my son be an ignorant (read ‘a person who doesn’t understand politics’) person than a cheap and cunning fellow!” To add to this, it is inspiring to realize that he is now living his second life or perhaps third life after the famous freak fire accident earlier in his career and of course his well-known losses in business, after an interim retirement from acting, a decade or so ago. It’s amazing how nature has rewarded him for his patience and resilience by getting Bollywood to actually create new movies FOR him - REVOLVING around a man his age and makeup, when there are so many young heroes struggling to make a mark! Life is wonderful and stunning in its methods!

A great advt.!

Have you seen this new ad on TV for Surf Excel? It was telecast, I think, for the very first time on the eve of Raksha Bandhan. I should say that the ad has bowled me over completely. The kids, the concept, the expressions….everything about it is cute! Kudos to the people who conceptualized the whole thing and to the folks who picked the children out from GOD knows where and got them to act it out so well! I was contemplating narrating the ad on this post, but no, on second thoughts, I decided I ought not to deprive you of the pleasure of watching the original on TV and experiencing it first hand! :). Don’t please miss it; especially if you are either a loving sibling or for that matter a loving parent.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Live Music...on the move

It feels pretty nice to think about how some folks make all the difference to people around them by doing their bit, however small a thing it may be. When I worked with an IT organization in Chennai a few years ago, I used to commute between Purasaivakkam and Egmore everyday. The bus that I used to take was so crowded that it seemed more like we were ‘moving’ the vehicle rather than the other way round. There was a bunch of youngsters –regulars – that traveled on the footboard and dangled on to the bus by (I often think) their nails. Amongst these youngsters were 3 boys who used to sing hit songs from the latest Tamil movies and sometimes add to it an oldie as well! They were loud enough for everyone in the bus to hear and the sound waves reached us folks in the front through the air outside the bus…uncontaminated by the cacophony (if any) inside the bus. It was pretty entertaining because the prerequisites were all in place - The singers had good voices and perhaps some ‘technical’ training as well. Some people in the bus did give them a lukewarm response, perhaps because they were more surprised than entertained and maybe had their share of problems that prevented them from enjoying music. But some of us just loved the entertainment as it made up for lack of radio in the city bus. It was like our very own Top 3 countdown while on the move. :) I am sure it brightened many people’s days and helped them start the day with a (musical) bang.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Culture and Knowledge Management

I’ve been pondering over KM as related to the organizational culture once again... Knowledge Management is only for people and organizations that think long-term and are non self-centered (couldn’t think of a better term!). It’s only for people who look beyond the obvious. There is an inherent happiness in sharing knowledge which extremely self-centered/insecure/’once bitten twice shy’ people find it difficult to see. Knowledge sharing is actually a process of learning – one involving the consolidation of thoughts. If the person learning from one is a novice, the questions that one faces are sufficient to add to one’s knowledge and also to revisit the fundamentals. If the person listening to one is an expert, then the challenges that she poses are once again sufficient for one to keep learning and discovering newer things.

But one still has to be alert. We ought not to give knowledge away to people (read blood-sucking parasites) that don’t deserve it, people whose purpose is to simply get it out of you and make their way up by stepping on your corpse. (How certain people live so happily in such a crematorium beats me) For which we need to also be a good judge of character and objective. Well, the spiritualist in me reminds me about being kind to one’s enemies as well, but in today’s cut-throat/dog-eat-dog world, it doesn’t seem to make sense to knowingly walk into a trap. Needless to say, the organization will have to follow its KM policies in word and spirit. Lack of reinforcement and recognition of the person who shared his knowledge can be a disaster. If the organizational policies and systems let people who’ve taken advantage of knowledge sharing practices to build corner offices for themselves thrive, there is no way in which KM will be a success in the organization. KM is only for organizations where people give credit to the mentors and build teams rather than pursue selfish-objectives. If the manager wants a great team rather than a ‘team’ of individuals good at only their own things, she needs to reward team-players and not individuals who’ve either built their empires on corpses or those who’ve built their empires without a care for the higher purpose.

Innocence!

‘STOP BEING INNOCENT’ – was a feedback that I got from one of my ex-team members. Though, unfortunately, I don’t really think I am as innocent as I was when I was a kid, ‘you don’t know what you are asking for’, was how I reacted within myself. Ignorance may not really be bliss at all times. But innocence, I think, is. At all times.

Innocence is bliss and more. It is happiness. It is satisfaction. It is learning. It is peace. It is joy. It is intrinsic; the natural state of man. Innocence is GOD. All of us have come away from our natural states…and maybe not for the better. We have lost our innocence and instead substituted it with manipulation, cunningness, Machiavellianism, selfishness, cruelty and what not. One reason why the ‘grown-up’ man talks about learning from children is the fact that they have something that we don’t - innocence. The face of the baby on my blog perhaps says it all.

Another of Calvin's (Hobbes') philosophical pieces...


Apart from the substance in this cartoon strip, the pictures have come out very well too! The first box looks awesome....and not to forget the portion where Calvin has been 'circled'...where the message perhaps hits him hard!! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Calvin's View of the World... :)


Another of those profound quips from Calvin....(read Bill W).







I own almost all the P.G.Wodehouse books that are available for sale in India, which works out to be close to 80% of the total number of books (91)written by the comical genius . My eyes are now set on C&H. Got only 3 of them so far...

PS: If you're thinking of giving me any gifts, you know what to buy... ;-)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Five Thoughts About... - KM, Rushing the Technology Curve and Failing

Five Thoughts About... - KM, Rushing the Technology Curve and Failing - - Darwin Archive - Darwin Online for Informed Executives

Knowledge Management - Less for Success - CIO Magazine Oct 15,2004

Knowledge Management - Less for Success - CIO Magazine Oct 15,2004

Don't Put Your Company in a Purple Haze - In the Know - research - CIO

Don't Put Your Company in a Purple Haze - In the Know - research - CIO

Seeing Through the Fog of Data - In the Know - research - CIO

Seeing Through the Fog of Data - In the Know - research - CIO

The Time Is Now - In the Know - research - CIO

The Time Is Now - In the Know - research - CIO

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Sudden Change!

Something that happened to me this morning makes me feel a little disorientated about the changes I am going through...

I normally break down when I see a dying/dead dog (not to mention other animals and birds). My eyes start welling up with unrestrained tears and I cry like a baby. More so when the dog has met his/her end because of being run down by a vehicle (driven by a cruel and merciless rogue, I ought to add. GRRRRR!). I am not even able to type this out, feels like I am committing a crime….

This morning, I had the misfortune of laying my eyes on one such gruesome spectacle. But, it was all over when I saw it. I only saw the ‘signs’ of it. (God!). I was almost about to break down when I heard a stern voice in my head. “It’s just the body!” It was as if someone had brought my emotions to a screeching halt. That was not all. As I realized that I’d actually recovered from my emotions in less than a minute, the voice returned to say “Remember, nothing is permanent!” If there were any emotions left in my heart, even they were wiped clean at that instance. I returned to my book. But, as I began to read, I couldn’t help wondering whether I ought to feel good about being detached or feel bad about taking the death of a dog so lightly...almost indicating a lack of humanity/compassion. Any answers?! Please be generous with your thoughts. I want them thoughts! (But I have to admit that I found it challenging to write the first part of this post despite such ‘spiritual developments’ indicating that it may be the transitional phase)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Legacy

Yesterday, I went home to find an old, brownish and slightly tattered book on my bed. I pounced upon it and gingerly flipped through the pages. (Doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron?). The book I found on my bed and gingerly flipped through - “Heroes who made history”. (It’s a book with a dozen chapters covering a dozen Indian Heroes…mostly kings/princes and the like) The author who wrote the book that I found on my bed and gingerly flipped through – V.B. Kulkarni.

V.B. Kulkarni was the then editor of the now Indian Express which was then called the National Standard. (What a sentence! But I like to ‘complicate’ sentences as much as possible…after all I need to justify being one of PLUM’s * biggest fans!) My mom got it as a prize for having stood first in her village school (lower primary school). :). How cute! But she never touched the book because she studied in a Tamil medium school and found it difficult to read books in English. She did have English as a subject but the standard was too ‘simple’ for her to read books and moreover she was too young and playful to read such ‘outside-the-school-syllabus’ books, I guess. (If you don’t find me blogging anymore, you’ll know my mom has been reading my blog ;-) )

* P.G. Wodehouse is known as PLUM to his fans. If you don't know who P.G.Wodehouse is, then I suggest that you do one of the following. (You have lots of options to choose from). Hang yourself with a rugged rope after ensuring that the door to your room is locked from inside/go away to a place that doesn't have any hospitals whatever and consume the deadliest of poisons/ jump from the tallest building in your city/shoot yourself at point-blank range with a gun that cannot fail/stand in the middle of a busy road when the traffic is at its peak....

Inspiring Speech by Jim Rohn!

Zig Ziglar Full Newsletter: "Training Lesson:

Bringing Life, Happiness & Joy To Our Lives
By Jim Rohn

Any day we wish, we can discipline ourselves to change it all. Any day we wish, we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish, we can start a new activity. Any day we wish, we can start the process of life change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year.

We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth, and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause. As Shakespeare uniquely observed, 'The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves.' We created our circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today. Those who are in search of the good life do not need more answers or more time to think things over to reach better conclusions. They need the truth. They need the whole truth. And they need nothing but the truth.

We cannot allow our errors in judgment, repeated every day, to lead us down the wrong path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then we must make the very choices that will bring life, happiness and joy into our daily lives.

And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life--if you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life--and it all begins with your very own power of choice.

Fast Company Now - Focus

Fast Company Now:

Expand Your Focus: 4 Tips

Expanding your focus is one of the most valuable aspects of developing your personal brilliance. When what you are doing is the same as what you are thinking, you are present and focused. In this state of mind, you have a feeling of mental smoothness, even when there's a lot happening.

1. Broaden Your View
Consider the big picture with all of its components and possibilities.

2. Look Beneath the Surface
Appearances can be deceiving. Take a closer look.

3. Practice Being Present
When your mind wanders into the past or future, gently bring it back to 'now.'

4. Observe with Flexible Intent
Be clear about what you are looking for in each situation and simultaneously be open to learning something entirely different."

-------------------------------------------------------

Wait, I am not being paid by FC Now to post all these articles/tidbits... :)
I think these are very useful....and remember, we use blogs to keep track of ideas and learnings as well....so, this is just a matter of recording what I've learned today... :)

I think the list on Curiosity is the coolest of the lot! (scroll down) What say you?

Fast Company Now - Curiosity

Fast Company Now:

"Curiosity Key to Personal Brilliance 7 Tips

Curiosity helps you clarify problems, ideas, and situations, and it encourages you to explore how they could be different. Actively exploring the environment, asking questions, investigating possibilities, and possessing a sense of wonder are all part of being curious. Questions are key. Once you open up to the nuances of life, it's easy to find things that fascinate you and to begin wondering 'why?' and 'how?'

1. Think Like A Child
2. Look Beyond the Obvious
3. Fire Your Inner Critic
4. Vary Your Daily Routine
5. Identify the Most Impossible Solutions
6. Work Like a Detective
7. Try New Things

1. Think Like A Child
Children are like miniature reporters, constantly asking who, what, when, where, and particularly why. They also have very few preconceived notions, so they are open to taking in new information without being constrained by biases and judgments.

2. Look Beyond the Obvious
The obvious can mask information that may be vital to learning the truth of a situation. The next time you catch yourself thinking, writing, or saying, 'Obviously...' make a note of your assumption. Then invest a few hours in looking beyond what appears to be true. Keep searching until you find at least three pieces of information or sources that conflict with what you classified as 'obvious.'

3. Fire Your Inner Critic
Remember that someone had every great idea in history. Why not you? We can be so critical of ourselves. Fire that inner critic. Give your ideas time to develop. Respect your intuition. Let ideas percolate for a time prior to applying a critical eye.

4. Vary Your Daily Routine
Take different routes to work, or school, or the market. Use your curiosity to see how many ways you can get there from here. Ask directions of a number of people and evaluate how many variations you hear in these directions. Try them all and evaluate the differences.

5. Identify the Most Impossible Solutions
When faced with a challenge, try to identify the most absurd solutions possible. This can be a fun exercise and may unmask a solution. This process tends to expose the boundary lines in your thinking.

6. Work Like a Detective
Good detectives follow all potential leads, often gathering a huge amount of possibly relevant information, much of which turns out to be useless. However, your attention to detail can eventually pan out when you find the one thread that leads you to a solution.

7. Try New Things
Take a class. Try a new mini-hobby. Taste a food that is new to you. See a movie that you normally wouldn't be attracted to. Read a book on a topic that is unfamiliar. The more you put yourself in learning and questioning mode, the more you develop curiosity as a habit.

Fast Company Now - Awareness

Fast Company Now: "7 Ways to Amplify Your Awareness

Awareness is a natural human ability and an essential catalyst for Personal Brilliance. When we combine it with the other three catalysts, curiosity, focus, and initiative, we can come up with innovative solutions in all areas of our lives.

1. Contemplate and Consider Different Perspectives
2. Practice Empathy
3. Look Closely at Processes
4. Peel Back the Layers
5. Pay Attention to Your Breathing
6. Look for Beautiful Designs
7. Look for Horrible Designs

1. Contemplate and Consider Different Perspectives
The more perspectives you consider, the more choices you will have for how to respond. But find a balance, neither clinging white-knuckled to your own views nor letting others define you and your behavior.

2. Practice Empathy
Put yourself in the other person's shoes. What were they thinking? Why did they do what they did? For practice, choose someone in an interesting situation and empathize with what they are experiencing.

3. Look Closely at Processes
Consider how and why things are done. Notice how obstacles are part of the process, not a negative to avoid.

4. Peel Back the Layers
When an event occurs, move your awareness beyond your initial reaction. Instead of 'Oh no--here comes another problem,' for example, consider what you fear. Forging new relationships? The loss of control? Changes to your routines? Having to be a novice again? Being specific shows ways you can have power over a situation.

5. Pay Attention to Your Breathing
It's difficult to be engaged in the past or future when focusing on our breathing.

6. Look for Beautiful Designs
Look around you for beautifully designed objects, no matter how small or specialized. Let these"

Fast Company Now - Innovation

Fast Company Now:

"Without harnessing the power of initiative, the wheel of innovation comes to a screeching halt. We all have a desire to 'make a difference' or to make improvements in our lives, but for a variety of reasons, many people face challenges in regard to taking initiative in one form or another. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to enhance your power of initiative, and the payoffs are huge.

1. Give Yourself Permission to Decide for Yourself
Waiting for others to join you in your initiative can slow the wheels of innovation and drag out the process.

2. Make Choices and Act on Them
Keep in mind that you don't have to come up with the best possible decision, you just have to come up with one way that will work.

3. Don't Wait to Be Inspired; Get Inspired!
Take responsibility for feeding positive input into your mental process.

4. Increase Your Accountability
Practice increasing your initiative by stepping up to the plate and volunteering to lead projects.

5. Live By Your Word
Make a firm commitment to yourself that you will keep your promises, no matter what."

Monday, August 08, 2005

Analogies Again!

One of the most exciting and sensible things for man to do is to learn from his environment; from nature; from the general laws of life. Analogizing, that is.

I heard this on FM radio – Gyanvani – a few days ago. Bats, as we know, emit ultrasonic waves which they use to assess the distance between themselves and obstacles in their way. The concept of echoes is what is used here - the ultrasonic waves hit the obstacle and return to the bats based on which the bats figure out the distance between them and the obstacle, thus avoiding hitting the latter. If it’s a moving obstacle, even the speed of the obstacle could be calculated. This is related to the Doppler Effect which is about the changing pitch of the sound as the object producing the sound moves away/toward us. (The frequency/wavelength of the waves changes with the distance.)

Coming to the area of application of the Doppler Effect – and of learning from the bats - traffic cops carry radar guns that emit waves that are used to track escaping speedsters! These radar guns are used to produce waves that hit the speeding vehicle and calculate both the speed and the distance of vehicle moving away from the cops!

Even without complete knowledge of all such potential analogies that can teach man, I can bet that man hasn’t perhaps learned from even 10% of such laws of nature!

What are the interesting analogies that you’ve come across? Bridge-building from beavers, carpentry from woodpeckers, leadership from geese, serenity from donkeys, power from horses…. ? :-). Tell your story!

Slogans That Are the Real Thing

Slogans That Are the Real Thing


Keeping with my fascination for taglines....here's an interesting interview by BusinessWeek (on taglines) with a marketing and branding expert.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Tidbits

I spotted this - yesterday - on the window of a car – “My next car is Swift” (I haven’t seen this kind of a sticker before…only seen regular stuff such as “you are following the car of the year”)

Heard on Radio City yesterday – “We are talking about whether Sonu Nigam will fill in the vacuum left by Kishore Kumar who is celebrating his birth anniversary today…” LoL :D


PS: For the uninitiated, Kishore Kumar was (or should I say "is" given that his voice is eternal ;)) a popular Hindi playback singer who died many years ago...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Sign of the times!

It is indeed a sign of the times! Amazing!
The birthday wishes one gets from unknown people is more than those that one gets from friends and acquaintances! Can you believe it? Reasons: Availability of information on intranets/www and email technology! :o

Hot tips to be a successful manager!

Hot tips to be a successful manager!

Another lady at the top...

Mindtree Consulting...

Moneycontrol.com - News, Mindtree Consulting plans IPO

Mindtree's going commercial in a big way as opposed to its quiet and more or less 'social' existence so far! I've always wondered if Mindtree is a very unique company that is not focused so much on growth and making money as on its values and CSR-like initiatives...but this piece of news has maybe proved me wrong....they are looking at an IPO and inorganic growth! The lure of the money tree? :)

(CSR - corporate social responsibility)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Top 100 Global Brands!

Check out this link to get a hang of this year’s top 100 global brands. And now for the obvious question, when is an Indian company going to make it to this list? : Sob, Sob....

The top 10 global brands are:

Coke (beverages)
Microsoft (software products)
IBM (IT)
GE (conglomerate)
Intel (IT hardware)
Nokia (telecommunication)
Disney (entertainment)
McDonalds (food)
Toyota (automobiles)
Marlboro (tobacco)

Pepsi must be finding it extremely difficult to bottle its emotions…eh? ;) While Coke is the Numero Uno, Pepsi is only at #26!

Talking about Accenture and Intel – They are both present in the list.

Does somebody have the complete Samsung Story, please? I am impressed by business stories from South Korea. Korean chaebols have certainly made it big coming from almost nowhere...Samsung, LG, Hyundai…(please don’t forget to share links to interesting stories about these companies…if you’ve/you come across them)

Google has made an appearance for the first time (!) and is @ # 38.

PS: Click here for Business Week’s parent story on this brand-ranking exercise…

Ar G(L)UE ments!

Something that my sibling read out to me from one of his text books: (this is not a verbatim reproduction)

Different people handle/react to arguments in different ways. The immature way of handling arguments includes repression (deal with it in a cruel manner), psychotic denial, distortion (misrepresent facts), projection (exaggerate), conversion (change things to support the ‘winner’ of the argument), undoing, disassociation, and rationalization. (I should say that I am surprised about the last one making it to this list! I’d have thought it is perfectly mature to rationalize. Maybe rationalize in this context actually means ‘to defend’. Any thoughts?).


While, the mature way of handling arguments is to anticipate it, indulge in humour, and through sublimation (making it a non-issue), and suppression (“ya! ok! I understand” types…). In my perception, some of these approaches, frankly, seem to have a very thin line of difference. I think humour would definitely win hands down if it boils down to choosing the single-most effective approach among these…though it would be mandatory to address the issue at the heart of the matter after the initial ‘face-off’.

IT Advertising

How many software/IT products/services companies you know use celebrities to advertise themselves? I love Intel's unconventional and trend-setting advertisements despite their (Intel's) distance from the end-customer.

Here is Accenture using Tiger Woods to advertise themselves....and of course, I remember that Microsoft had used Narayan Murthy for their Windows XP campaign....hmmm....interesting! Who would have thought about a software/IT company using an actor/musician/sportsman to advertise their services/products...!

Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar Full Newsletter: "By Zig Ziglar

You are at the top when . . .

You clearly understand that failure is an event, not a person, that yesterday ended last night, and today is your brand new day.

You have made friends with your past, are focused on the present, and optimistic about your future.

You know that success doesn't make you and failure doesn't break you.

You are filled with faith, hope and love; and live without anger, greed, guilt, envy or thoughts of revenge.

You are mature enough to delay gratification and shift your focus from your rights to your responsibilities.

You know that failure to stand for what is morally right is the prelude to being the victim of what is criminally wrong.

You are secure in who you are, so you are at peace with God and in fellowship with man.

You have made friends of your adversaries, and have gained the love and respect of those who know you best.

You understand that others can give you pleasure, but genuine happiness comes when you do things for others.

You are pleasant to the grouch, courteous to the rude and generous to the needy.

You love the unlovable, give hope to the hopeless, friendship to the friendless and encouragement to the discouraged.

You can look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion and up with gratitude.

You know that 'he who would be the greatest among you must become the servant of all.'

You recognize, confess, develop and use your God-given physical, mental and spiritual abilities to the glory of God and for the benefit of mankind.

You stand in front of the Creator of the universe and He says to you, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant"

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Brain Trust in Bangalore

A Brain Trust in Bangalore


Today seems to be a "I-FOUND-THIS-NICE-ARTICLE-HERE" day for me. Here's another...

The Hindu : Opinion / News Analysis : President Kalam reminisces

The Hindu : Opinion / News Analysis : President Kalam reminisces

Reminder - Read this...
(Go ahead...you too can read it ;))

The Hindu : Opinion / Leader Page Articles : Malls of the few, chawls of the many

The Hindu : Opinion / Leader Page Articles : Malls of the few, chawls of the many

Nicely written article about the recent labour unrest @ Honda in Haryana.

The Power of Analogies

Those of you who believe in analogies shouldn't miss this one. I found it to be fascinating! Imagine the wonderful things that life has in store for us! If we were simply observant enough and watched the way life went about around us, who knows...we might a solution to some of our seemingly impossible problems....just by 'analogising'! :) I'd love to make such discoveries!

----------------------------

KE: Where did you learn about social networks?
Dr. Karen Stephenson
KS: My background is in chemistry and I was looking at the properties of large protein molecules. In Biology and Physics there are certain basic principles by which matter is organized. When I was working as the manager for quality assurance in a laboratory in Salt Lake City, I was sitting on the mezzanine watching about 200 chemists and physicists doing their work. A flash occurred to me because I saw them interacting in patterns that I had seen before in theoretical chemistry and physics and it hit me so powerfully that I thought a lot about it. In less than six months I was on a masters program in quantum chemistry; I moved all of my mathematical studies over to the department of archaeology to test these theories out in human groups. I wondered if there was a natural order to organizing. The best way to test that out is to go where human civilizations once were so that they're not moving around. From an archaeological standpoint, I retraced the steps of networks and settlement patterns in what is now modern day Iraq and Egypt to determine if there was a uniform pattern and there was. I then carried it out in living human organizations. I've spent about 20 years now looking at modern day corporations, governments and academia.

Source - HR.Com

Quotes on Forgiving...

My cousin bought a pocket-book on forgiving; I liked the quotes and wrote them down in my diary. Here they are...

(Er...ahem...I don't have the names of the book and its author...I should hopefully include it in this post provided my cousin hasn't misplaced the book and lets me know the details...)

-------------------------------------------------------

When you cannot forgive someone for causing you hurt, you are allowing that person to control thoughts and your life!

There are more chances of your offender realizing how wrong he has been, in the calm waters of your forgiving silence than in the disturbed waters of your reactive behaviour.

Those who can forgive have high self-esteem, low stress levels and better emotional health than those who cannot!

We sometimes find it difficult to forgive others for making derogatory remarks about us. What somebody else feels about us is not important. What is important is what one feels about oneself. As long as we can honestly examine ourselves and say that we are not what the others think us to be, it is fine!

Forgiving is a bad act. It makes the other person feel weak in your presence.

The bliss of freedom lies in letting go of our dislikes, grudges, anger and hatred.

It takes much more effort and courage to be in control of your emotions and behaviour than to give in to them.

When we decide to forgive, we refuse to let anybody else have any kind of control over our life.

He who has not forgiven an enemy has never tasted one of the most sublime enjoyments of life.

Hatred gets people nowhere!

Chinese saying: one who pursues revenge should dig 2 graves.

Transform your desires to intentions. Be grateful for all that you have or all that has happened to you, for all that happens to you leaves you stronger and wiser than before.

Accept your anger and drive it away. Watch it go as a detached observer. If you remain a silent and keen observer when it approaches it will go away leaving you unharmed.

To forgive is an act of victory for yourself and over your tormenter.

You always have the power and freedom to choose your response under any circumstances.

Just for today I will shift focus of my attention from what happens to me to how I react to it.

There is no failure. There are only results. It is our judgment that makes them appear as failures or successes.

Thank GOD for our failures. Our failures teach us how to be successful!

Having lost everything in life, tomorrow still remains ours.

The quality of forgiveness is an alternative of the strong. The weak can never forgive.

When you forgive, you do no one but yourself a favour. Not being able to digest the wrong the other person has done to you is your problem, not his.

Introspection

Try this if you want to get one step closer to understanding yourself better…

Describe yourself by completing these sentences…(this is something that I thought of ….if you’ve got more sentences that can be added to the list, please feel free to suggest. I (and many others, I think) want to go further into this introspective journey…)

I certainly am

my list - creative, original, enthusiastic, thoughtful, imaginative, intrinsically motivated, genuine, perseverant, versatile, optimistic, kind, forgiving,

I sometimes am

my list - emotional, undecided, angry, unconventional, wacky, weird, indifferent, subjected to irritation/hatred, brave, impulsive, humorous, a poor listener

I am never

my list - vindictive/cruel, revengeful, completely dependant on others (at work),

I want to be

my list - wiser, more level-headed, stoic, more humorous, more understanding, a globe-trotter, braver, calmer, more tolerant, a better orator,

To be continued…(I’ll keep adding to this list as and when I discover more…)

So, what do we do with this? Once you’ve identified what kind of a person you are, decide what you want to retain/get rid of/improve/adopt. Work on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th categories. Simple, ain’t it? What is it that makes you unique? Think about it. It’s worth your time. It may lead you to your real purpose in life!


I am already thinking of adding - "I love...", "I hate..." etc to this list...

Monday, August 01, 2005

From Knowledge Economy to Creative Economy?

Get Creative!

What do you think about GE's transformation under Immelt's leadership? Especially after Welch was touted as the Father of all CEOs?? Can't wait to see the results a couple of years down the line...

Short Story Creativity

I was blog-surfing on Friday evening and came across a blog that is apparently famous for its short stories (good ones I should say...though I did not have the time to read it all :-( ). It sort of caught my attention. My first thought was that it was extremely creative. I believe that the effort will get one’s creative juices flowing and help one feel tickled – if it comes out well that is. It might bring in radical and unconventional ideas as well. It might get one to think, so to speak. So, I’ve decided to take a stab at it. The good news for you is that I’ll keep it going…but will not write them frequently unless/till I feel I have what it takes. Here’s my first such short story. Silly one as you might expect. But so what? We’ve to start somewhere, eh?

As she struggled to find her way out, she saw him in the crowd. But his wasn’t a face in the crowd. She wanted to stop but the crowd did not let her. For a fleeting moment, their eyes met. They recognized each other. He was moving in the opposite direction. She quickly changed her direction and walked in his direction. She caught him looking back and searching for her. He then turned back and walked towards her. He had an exquisite looking object in his hand. It looked very familiar. She fished out something similar from her bag. They were facing each other in a few seconds. He quietly placed the pen on her outstretched hand without a word and she fixed the cap in its place in silence and showed him the pen long enough for him to take a hard look at it. She then said ‘Thank You!’ and put the pen in her bag and both of them turned around and started going in their original directions. Once she reached home, she pulled out the pen and smiled at what she had written on it – “Returning this pen will bring you peace.” The pen’s cap had the last word. She too had had the last word.