Monday, October 31, 2005

The trip to my village...

The post on the trip to my village is still in the making! :-
Till then, I thought I'd at least put up what I think is a cool photograph of one of the temples in my village. I'll bless you in advance because I know you'd want to fall at the feet of the person who clicked the snap...It was good old me who was behind the camera.... :)

Aa-ha! [Thinking Inside The Blog!]

Is there anyone out there who has done her/his own thing against the wishes of society or for that matter in the face of raised eyebrows and has as a consequence some experiences and lessons to share? How does one carry oneself, counter questions, curb excessive curiosity, call the shots, not give in under al?

Balancing Acts

Balancing Acts

Brilliant collection of approaches to leading a balanced life....

Talent over Hype

Talent over Hype

Methinks: There is a thin line of difference between Branding and Hype. Branding ought to be done not for 'cheating' or 'fooling' people but to simply COMMUNICATE CONSISTENTLY THE VALUES THAT THE COMPANY/BRAND STANDS FOR AND DO SO IN A CREATIVE MANNER...! PERIOD.

"Mosh Pits" Of Creativity

Innovation Labs

Is this the beginning of the end?

Is this the beginning of the end?

Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Floods, Blasts, Heavy rains, Unlimited corruption….

The pain that the world seems to be going through leaves a bitter taste in the mouth to say the least. One fears if this is the beginning of the end of the world as we know it….

An analysis of why we are going through this has been done and has resulted in various findings. But do we care? Could we care any less? We continue to pollute the world. We continue to harm the environment. We continue to think short-term. We continue to be selfish. We continue to be ourselves….

I hate to be pessimistic. I like seeing the positive side of everything, but the series of continuous destructive events in the recent past thrusts forth the obviousness of the mistakes we have made and continue to make and their repercussions…will the world last another century at least?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Blink Blink...What Do I Think?

Thoughts on Blink (The Book by Malcolm Gladwell): Warning: The thoughts are raw/unfinished

One reason why one should rely on intuitive feelings rather than on technical/scientific analysis, at times, is that those who gather data and utilize statistical tools to analyze could be parties with vested interests. They are prone to pick up information that are advantageous to them and simply base their analysis on those few selected numbers and conveniently ignore/turn a blind eye or, even worse, mask the other numbers. And anyways - vested interests or not - in most situations - analysis or no analysis - it is all about the one of the most-abused words 'perception'. Even analysis can be based on perception; The inputs taken for analysis can be CHOSEN/FILTERED/TWEAKINTERPRETEDTED to suit one's preferences/prejudices/biases/understanding. In other words, using intuition to decide what to analyze is a possibility that may lead to an intuition based decision despite an analytical process occurring in between the preliminary data collection and final decision!

Having said that, I should also add something that is a contradiction of sorts - I think that practiced and deliberate analysis irrespective of whether they lead to successes or failures (rights/wrongs) also teach, in the long run, us to be intuitive. Yes... because, ultimately they give you a feel for whatever you're doing; they get things ingrained in you; they become your extension and transform your thinking by converting continuous analysis into intuition (inherent knowledge not necessarily uninfluenced by external factors). In the book Blink, the very first example of art connoisseurs involves snap decisions, but one has to take into consideration these snap decisions are made by experienced folks, that is, people who've seen, felt, analyzed (etc etc) art before. It is this very experience and practice that eventually leads to a situation wherein one can make snap decisions. Snap decisions rarely come without practice/experience. If a small child shows exceptional talent in a particular field, the phenomenon is admittedly almost impossible to explain except if it has medical roots. But in the case of adult skill sets and expertise, it is probably only information overload over a period of time that helps one learn how to filter information in the first place, distinguish between the important and the insignificant and eventually almost automatically/mechanically, get to only that which is required. This does not mean that this person can do without outside data - An essential trait to be retained would be the ability to listen to one's own reasoning and feelings despite overwhelming data from the outside world. One should be able to think her way out despite contradicting information bellowing for attention. That is also intuition to be able to analyze (speed of analysis may vary from person to person and this would perhaps be a reflection of one's inherent intuitive abilities) and make sense out of the multitude.

Update - Hey, what the hell am I trying to say here, after all? Okay. It all boils down to 2 things:

- Let's not forget that analysis does not mean absence of intuition and 'subjectivity' as we do use subjective opinions to choose what to analyze and ignore data that doesn't fit into our paradigms

- Intuition (as in the talent) is many a time, the result of shrewd analysis and pattern recognition over long periods of time!

And, ahem....I recently read in an article (The discipline of innovation) by the late Peter Drucker that even he believed that intuition does not come comes after arduous years of analysis!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Paradox Thinking - Traffic Jams

I engaged in paradox thinking yet again. :-) I was in the office bus on what was to be yet another 3-hour journey home from office, last week. As I looked out the window at the fellow travelers and billboards, I observed an advt. for couches.  It triggered off my thinking and in about 6-7 seconds I was thinking about various things and connecting them all together. One of the obvious thoughts on my mind was solutions for the traffic problem in Bangalore. This in connection with the advt. got me thinking in the opposite direction. If we can’t make it home on time and end up wasting a hell lot of time in traveling, why not bring the home to the bus!? This may sound pessimistic, but I seriously don’t know what else to think off the cuff. So, proceeding with the thinking, why not build buses and cars that are mini homes. That is anyways nothing new. There are luxury cars with sofas, TVs, and refrigerators. That would help us do what we would anyway be doing once we reach home – read/watch TV/eat. Talking is anyways already possible what with mobiles et al.


So, how did I get the idea? By combining 2-3 thoughts! Traffic, an advt, the concept of paradox thinking….combining many thoughts indeed works wonders. Collaboration invariably leads to innovation. Combination of ideas creates the knowledge sundae a la the combination of ice cream, chocolate and nuts. :-)


Related post – on one another day last week, I was in my bus and happened to look at the bus next to mine and saw a newspaper sticking to the window. Saw the headline “Bangalore roads may be Jam-free”. I was of course filled to the brim with the urge to reach out and break the window and grab the paper. I rushed to the library to check out if it was that day’s paper only to realize that it wasn’t to my disappointment. Did anyone read the article? What exactly does it say? What are the solutions proposed? And BTW, ironically, I also was amused to notice an advt. for British Airways right next to the article that read “The world is waiting”. Indeed! The world is waiting for Bangalore’s roads to be jam-free not to forget free from pot-holes as well…

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Eknath Easwaran...

A Thought for the Day From Sri Eknath Easwaran

October 18

He that loveth, flieth, runneth, and rejoiceth. He is free, and
cannot be held in. He giveth all for all, and hath all in all,
because he resteth in one highest above all things, from whom
all that is good flows and proceeds. - Thomas a Kempis

This spring I watched six baby swallows learn how to fly. They
were huddled on the telephone wires observing their mother, who
came flying slowly by in front of them, doing the easier turns
and showing them the basics of flying. There was no need for
these baby swallows to read books or attend lectures on how to
fly. They have an inborn instinct for it. Learning to fly may not
be easy, but this is what birds are born to do.

The Lord sees us sitting on a perch made of pleasure, profit,
power, or prestige, quaking with every variation in our bank
account and every critical comment that comes our way; and he
asks us if we would not rather forget our failings, weaknesses,
and insecurities and become united with him.

This is what we are born to do: to leave our perch of selfish
interests and soar aloft. To soar to union with God means to give
all our love to the Lord, so that all the faculties and resources
which have been hidden in us can come into our lives to the great
benefit of those around us.

>From Eknath Easwaran, "Words to Live By" (Nilgiri Press, 1997)

The UNIfied UNIverse

I was running through a pocket book on Vivekananda’s approach to meditation today on the way to office. The book states that Vivekananda spoke about the fact that the microcosm and the macrocosm are the same, after one of his enlightening experiences. He said; at the atomic level everything in the universe is the same - they work on the same principles. I took my eyes off the book and went back to something else that I had stumbled upon earlier - a TV programme (The elegant universe) that mentioned Einstein’s unsuccessful quest for the unified theory, which – now - according to the string theory is highly unlikely as, for example, gravity doesn’t apparently work at the sub-atomic level. The forces in the micro-microcosm are supposedly different from what we experience at our level. I feel the urge to explore this matter in detail….

Monday, October 17, 2005

Breaking the Silence...

I am technically back. ;0 But, it’s going to take me a while to break the silence on my Blog… :-)

I’ve got lots of posts planned but it’s going to take me a while to pen them.

Got some interesting thoughts that ‘came’ to me on my one-week –blissful- vacation. Thoughts on birds I met, people I met, books I read et al….but they will all have to wait... :-(

Till then….toodle-oo!

Friday, October 07, 2005


I will most probably not be posting on my blog for the next 10 days or so...
But I'd imagine that I may have a lot to say when I 'come back'! ;)
Till then....enjoy the silence...! :-)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Mystery of the Shrill Cries

Time for a ‘fun’ post. I am in the mood for it. So, here goes…. :)

Every day, when our doggie walks into the house to settle down for his nap in the evening – which is normally after I have returned home from office - our neighbours hear shrill cries emerging from our house. As you may have guessed, they originate from me. The joy that I experience in inviting our doggie into the house and watching him snuggle into his bed comfortably is what is manifested in the form of shrill cries. The shrill cries get shriller when followed by our doggie’s endeavour to jump on to me and bite my head off, at times. When the ritual of me screaming my vocal chords hoarse began, our doggie was, I think, utterly confused and dazed by my behaviour (he conveniently forgot that sometimes the noise was deafening only when he tried to ‘behead’ me). If I were to interpret his expressions, they would be a combination of one or more of the following: “Errr….I hope you are all right?” / “I just don’t believe it!” / “You drunk?” / “Do I hear you right?” / “Can I help you in anyway?” / “Err….is it something to do with me?”. (I can go on, but I guess I ought to know where to draw the line as no one including our doggie is going to stand up and tell me what the expression really means). So, the ritual continued unabated for a few days till the people at home began to warn me about the repercussions of the same.

Despite the warnings I continued with my habits (old habits die hard) but there was a sudden change in the environment from unexpected quarters. Our doggie who gave me his undivided attention until then - more with a view of solving ‘the mystery of the shrill cries’ a la timothy or buster (Enid Blyton’s dogs from The Famous Five and The Five Find-Outers respectively) than out of sheer kindness for a person who would otherwise have had no audience whatsoever - suddenly seemed to get bored with all the hallabullah. Of late, he listens in for a while and then quickly runs up to his bed and falls asleep (or maybe pretends to be asleep, I’d imagine). He gives me a few customary glances and rolls his eyes around the room while still managing to keep a watch over me before running off. I can only attempt to read between the glances and conclude that he perhaps has decided that The Mystery of the Shrill Cries is an unsolvable one and his beauty sleep was anyway more important than shrill cries (or fries or whatever) that anyway wanted a change in tune among many other things like being done away with per se, or maybe he got on to think that he would rather not be associated with me and the shrill cries for his own protection from the neighbourhood early-sleepers. Whatever…..woof…woof. BARK. STOP.

Well, the bottom-line news for the reader is that the ritual has now been reduced to a few short notes (An abrupt break in the communication between doggie and yours truly is not advisable, you see) that I use to indicate that I am glad he is home and safe and getting on with life - which is but mostly a combination of eating, sleeping, chasing cats, squirrels and children and star-gazing that closely resembles the act of introspection. EEEEEEKS (read: short shrill cry)

Nimmy's ES....ha ha ha (Last Part - Part III)

For an organizational KM initiative to be a huge success or at least accomplish something significant at the end of the day, I think there is a definite need to ‘over’ communicate the need for KM. Some people will not be happy about being consistently bombarded with communiqués but as soon as they see a smooth transition into the demonstration of the benefits of KM, the noise would die down. Also, the communiqués would generate conversations and discussions which are a must for an initiative like KM to take off. Out of sight, out of mind is a cliché to be remembered. The communication needs to driven by the organization’s leaders and more importantly they need to practice what they preach. The association between KM and Innovation needs to be drawn clearly; the organization needs to move away from individual recognition and towards team rewards - to the extent that it doesn’t seem silly (eg: loose recognition and praise given to an entire team for an obvious piece of work done by an individual would be no less than ridiculous). Individual rewards need to be handed out, but the criteria should be designed based on the sharing tendencies of the individual more than anything else. If a person who does well at work but hoards knowledge is rewarded and encouraged, further chatter about knowledge sharing will clearly result in cynicism and bitterness in the team. Overall, I strongly believe that consistent and persistent communication that inspires and corresponding practices from the leaders of the organization may be a panacea of sorts for KM….it will surely have a great impact on the effectiveness of the KM initiative while perhaps not contributing so much to the efficiency (productivity, processes, techniques etc) of KM activities.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Nimmy's enlightening statements....ha ha ha (Part II)

Why would Corporate Blogging be successful?

Blogs have a personal feel to them. They are self-centric and will not, in my opinion, be seen as a “here’s-how-you-can-help-others” initiative by the bloggers themselves, even though, in reality, that is what it may be. What kind of a feeling will one get when one picks up the pen and writes into one’s diary? One of altruism? Noh! Actually, ‘good’ bloggers get the due recognition and following even while others are benefiting out of the blogger’s knowledge. So, blogging will work better than asking people to write articles and papers and upload it into the repository for the ‘benefit of the rest of the organization’! I got to add that it will work…unless you are dealing with a lot that is overtly cautious and suspecting of its colleagues/a lot that hates writing and is highly oriented towards auditory learning/a lot that works in a scenario that is so badly organized and planned that there is no time left for writing (which, admittedly, can be time-consuming).