Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Knowing Knowledge...!

Knowledge cultivates your seeds and does not sow in you seeds - Kahlil Gibran

I am completely convinced. We have what it takes. Without a doubt. We just have to believe in that and do the right things to leverage on it. :) Digressing a bit and jumping into one of the principles of KM, that’s why knowledge management is more about motivating and encouraging people to adopt the ‘necessary’ behaviours to learn, create and use knowledge than just about enhancing processes and building tools to manage knowledge.


"What you get by reaching your destination is not nearly as important as what you will become by reaching your destination." - Zig Ziglar

Words of wisdom. The idea, undoubtedly, is to focus inward….! To concentrate on what you want to become….rather than what you want to get, because the former is what, ultimately, defines who you are.

Laughter - The Soul's 'Loft' Area

I love laughter. So, when I found this cool collection of quotes on laughter, I simply had to drop a connection. My favourites among these are:

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. - Yiddish Proverb

A hearty laugh gives one a dry cleaning, while a good cry is a wet wash. - Puzant Kevork Thomajan

Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails. What puts man in a higher state of evolution is that he has got his laugh on the right end. -Max Eastman

Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects. - Arnold Glasow

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Flower Follower

Discovered something wonderful. Unleash the digital artist in you. Go here.
Source: This blog post.

Brains Begging for a Break

My brain normally refuses to give in to extensive multi-tasking and begs to be left alone with one or two tasks. So, it feels good to read about this.

Some random extracts:

"Multi-tasking isn’t a solution. It’s a vast and growing part of the problem."

"Our total awareness is limited to only three or four objects at any given time. We can concentrate fully on only one."

"Killing yourself for your career means you won’t be around to enjoy your success, while your organization will."

Thursday, July 26, 2007


As far as blogging goes, I seem to get into these quick (“Thank God for that!”, some people may say ;)) phases - that last anywhere between one day and a week - wherein I a) have this irresistible urge to blog about a particular topic (as long as the phase lasts) or b) end up adopting a particular style/attitude of blogging. I am in one such phase now and it is called “Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes”. So, here’s another quote. And yes, you guessed it right - I love it. :)

"Don't waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window-- or break down a door" - Brooke Shields.

Wow. Life really ought to be lived and loved liked this, don’t you think? To be happy or not to be happy is a choice we make. The more permanent your methods of remaining happy (we were born happy), the better. Fixation on materialistic entities simply means we’ve got to make a choice to be happy more frequently. ;) Fixation on entities outside our control also means we’ve got to make a choice to be happy more frequently but this is going to be more difficult than in other situations. Fixation on loving others…extending unconditional love….is a great way to be happy. If this seems impossible when it comes to certain people, even if we can’t be one of those great souls that are full of love, we could at least be neutral to start with. Fixation on ourselves and the way we approach life means controlling something that is very much controllable though it is a matter of resolve and discipline. But if we’re looking for happiness, it is worth it. Ain’t it? Anyways, it is only a matter of time before the attitude gets ingrained in us and we then don’t even know how we seem to be able to pull it off. I am talking about the door that Brooke Shields is referring to. :D

Let’s lead a better life by simply deciding to be happy! Happiness is the real wealth. (In my experience, the only time when this gets really difficult is when your health is not good…no wonder then, that health is considered to be wealth!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


"I like coincidences. They make me wonder about destiny, and whether free will is an illusion or just a matter of perspective. They let me speculate on the idea of some master plan that, from time to time, we're allowed to see out of the corner of our eye." - Chuck Sigars



Ooh! I just love this quote…. :D You’re as happy as you make up your mind to be, after all!

“I don’t suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.”

If progress depends on people who are irrational, then let’s encourage insane people. Hey, ironically, isn’t this very conclusion a rational one, though?

OK. Didn’t mean to hurt you by asking you to think rationally. ;-)

PS: In my previous post, I’d mentioned that I’d put up some ‘good content in my next’. Make that the ‘next after next’ if your definition of good is what I think it is likely to be. :[]

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rocking Girl Blogger?! :)

Jeane here has given me the Rockin girl blogger award! Mmmmm!! I think that’s really really nice of her! :) I actually don’t know what else to say except that it is an amazing feeling when people indicate that you’ve been able to engage them in a positive and constructive (and, at times, entertaining) way. While on the topic, I feel like sharing a little something. I was rearranging my shelf a week ago and found a lot of old greeting cards and letters that some of my friends (at different points of time) had sent me and was pleasantly surprised to see a common thread emerging in most of those communications. I am not going to describe what it is lest I sound like an awful trumpet-blower but suffice it to say that it left me with a very nice and pleasant feeling of having made a tiny difference -in my own small way - to all those friends. Jeane’s recognition brings back those memories and inspires me to get better at what I sometimes attempt to do – share my joy/make others feel good/happy/inspired. Okay. That will be all. I can see that I am dangerously close to getting into the zone of self-indulgence. ;) If there’s something I can do to make this worthwhile, without wanting to sound patronizing…..I just want to tell you to try making others feel happy. Especially kids. Bliss!! :)

The Rockin girl blogger award originated here and the rules are that you ought to give credit to the initiator – Roberta Ferguson – and you need to tag girl/women bloggers who, you know, rock. Some of the rocking girl bloggers (only referring to people who blog somewhat regularly) I know are Astha, Sari, Deepthi, and Chinmayee. But having said that, this is also confession time for me. I know I am doing a very incomplete job of identifying rocking girl bloggers because I haven’t been catching up with many blogs of late – my RSS reader is probably sulking and calling me names because I’ve made him (her?) undoubtedly obese. But honestly, there’s so much to read and so little time. Books, articles on the internet, magazines, papers, mails, messages, sign-boards, brochures, visiting cards, clocks, and now blogs. For that matter, even speed-reading courses need to be read. Ok. I know my using this opportunity to ramble like mad is completely unjustified. My sub-conscious is probably trying to make up for lack of opportunities to post on other topics. Be warned that any tags coming along shall be grabbed and crazily held on to when I am going through such a low-inspiration-action phase. Forgive me. I promise to put up some good content next (oops, burned my bridges). Meanwhile, here are links to those rocking girl bloggers….

Astha is undoubtedly rocking because she is so genuine and nice to read. Especially because her thoughts on the HR function in organizations are so refreshing

Sari is second to none when it comes to passionate and amazing write-ups – and not just on sports but on some other topics like work culture as well

Deepthi’s writing style is cool. She writes with flair and panache and there’s something very absorbing about it

Chinmayee is such a talented singer and blogger…! I think she simply rocks in the song Sahaana (from Shivaji – The Boss) which is my current favourite number!

Jessica’s creativity, range of topics and ideas are overwhelming. Period.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Dear Blog Readers,


Apologies! This is not so good, but I think I’ll be posting a bit infrequently for the next 1-2 weeks. Daily posts may be quite difficult. I am aware that my frequency of posting has come down a bit now…..it’s one of those phases where I can’t do much other than hope that inspiration comes knocking and, maybe more importantly, I find the time to give it some form on my blog. Till then, please be(ar) with me. :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kindergarten Paradox Thinking...

It’s been a while since I wrote something about (pondered over) paradox thinking! Here’s a cute something that reflects paradox thinking at the kindergarten level! :)

Calvin aims a snow ball at Susie and congratulates himself on having done an admirable job of hitting his target. Susie is visibly annoyed and starts gathering so much snow that it begins to look too large a snow ball for her to handle. Calvin guffaws and ridicules Susie for her apparent lack of intelligence and points out to her that she’d never be able to pick it up, leave alone throwing it at him. Even as he laughs his head off, Susie advances towards him with a determined look on her face and simply picks him up and takes him to the place where she had gathered the snow and ‘drives’ him face down into it. Ha ha! Talk of some cool paradox thinking!! :D

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Doggy and the Donkey

As I sat listening to some amazing music and watching the world watch me as I went past it this morning, I spotted a (cute) little donkey that was, unfortunately, limping along to nowhere in particular. It’s amusing when you see the rest of the world fear something you know is harmless because you know you yourself have been in situations where you’ve feared things that are harmless and have entertained some lucky souls in the process. Anyways, as the donkey limped along harmlessly a doggy that was sauntering in from the opposite direction mistakenly believed that there might be a confrontation of sorts and shrunk a bit, looked the donkey up and down and quickly turned around and ran for life. Unfortunately, I went past this part of the world too quickly to be a witness to the rest of the story. Presumably, the doggy may have then looked for cover and watched the donkey go past and then convinced that he was out of danger, returned to his original route. So, let’s say that I may not have missed anything sensational. But, the scene was quite cute and inspired me to concoct a dialogue between the two aforesaid characters…given that I am a fan of animation movies and the like. Here is the imaginary dialogue for your consumption……

Doggy (surprised): I haven’t seen a donkey in donkey’s years!

Donkey (angry): You dogs outnumber us donkeys in Bangalore and we don’t-key like it. I came because I’ve got a bone to pick with you on that front. Please note the figurative speech. I personally hate bones on my plate and would prefer paper on the wall any day. So, eat your own dog food…..and I mean that literally, by the way.

Doggy (angry): Grrr. Every dog has its day! And I am determined to make today, my day. I am going to kicka--, literally!

Donkey (angry and surprised): What? That was a very mean thing to say! What do I say now…? Err….my vocabulary has gone to the dogs!

Doggy (determined): That’s because I am doing all the donkey work! Watch out, I’ll get all the other dogs who have a dogged determination and be back in a tick. You’ll soon be in a doghouse…and that my friend is figurative as well as literal speech.

Oops. An overdose? But I love playing with words……English is such a beautiful language, sigh!!! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What once made Jack a dull boy....now makes him a dull employee!

"It's not the hours you put in your work that counts, it's the work you put in the hours." - Sam Ewing

I think this one ought to be printed in bold, Arial Black (probably), font size 10,000 (whatever) and put up in the reception areas of most companies that I know of. I just can’t help feeling confused when I come across supervisors who complain about a shortage in the number of hours their team is putting in without even attempting to understand whether the output expected of the team has been delivered (if it has been delivered in a duration that’s less than average, that’s more a time for celebration than anything else). And, in the first place, there might actually be a need for supervisors to understand what kind of investment (time) the output expected calls for – maybe there was a gross overestimation. And, of course, at times, even if there is a need for spending more time every day due to underestimation, what its impact is on the quality of the work and what its impact is on the people themselves are serious questions that have to necessarily be posed. Take a simple example - look at students who pour over their books for months together without understanding what in the world they are looking at as opposed to those who understand the concepts quickly and move on to something else (maybe outside of regular work!). You know who’s likely to be referred to as “that bright kid”. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and further on…a dull employee. :P

Sunday, July 08, 2007

High Performance Entrepreneur

One of the books that I am currently reading is The High Performance Entrepreneur by Subroto Bagchi (of Mindtree Consulting). To start with, I find the book to be a very easy and intuitive read. Bagchi’s narration sounds effortless and is more like a story/conversation rather than an accumulated capsule of advice (which many people are loath to listen to). While the entire book is certainly worth talking about, I’d like to – in this post - quote some of the persuasive statements that Bagchi makes in the chapter on getting good people and keeping them. They are really worth your time and I think if teams understand and follow these aspects well, life in an organization would be so much more effective and fulfilling. In most cases, I do not have anything much to add to the statements….

Nothing binds people better than trust, freedom, accountability and stretch

Once the people know that the system does not play favourites, most of the problems are prevented from happening” (….if it is true that the organization does not play favourites or for that matter dirty politics, then it is important to do everything to ensure transparency……which, in turn, is what will help employees trust and understand that such immoral elements are absent in the organization)

Bagchi believes in five things for managing high-performance professionals – a performance management system that everyone understands, communication with evangelical regularity, feedback capturing via outside support, development of leadership, and support network for leaders.

Bagchi says some interesting things about a certain category of outstanding people – He says they need to be understood, nurtured and valued and goes on to add that they’d be most interested in stretch goals, freedom, constant communication, encouragement in risk-taking and a strong peer group. He reiterates the importance of a strong peer group in the case of a start-up environment.

There was one particular paragraph that struck a resonant note in me. “If the founding team has figured out everything and all it needs is a bunch of order-takers, why should brilliant people take the risk of working in a start-up? People seek inclusion in strategy and problem-solving. Towards this, you have to constantly inform them of issues, problems, opportunities and concerns. For this, they must have access to information at all times – even when it is inconvenient” (I believe that this is quite true even in established companies. A manager who believes that his reportees are there to just take orders will soon run out of luck and reportees. The more competent and impatient the reportees, the sooner they will attempt to run away for such a manager will never ever be respected)

Bagchi quotes Ashok Soota’s interesting ‘information’ principle that says 95% of the people must get access to 95% of the information 95% of the time. Bagchi minces no words to say that despite there being good reasons for secrecy/privacy, competent people hate an environment of secrecy. I’d like to tie up two aspects here and point out that absence of communication can very well be interpreted as an environment of secrecy.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Check out this presentation on Groove. I’ve been a fan of Groove ever since the time it was available as a beta download – I guess this was some time in 2001/2. Can’t wait to experience it live, as part of a truly collaborative team, in conjunction with MOSS.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Thinking about TRUST!

The capacity of the human being to rise up to the occasion/need of the hour is amazing. Mind-boggling...incredible….and so forth. Necessity is the mother of invention is something that we all are familiar with. What I am alluding to here, though, is slightly different. I am referring to acts of performing to one’s full potential or even getting close to one’s full potential. When the spotlight is thrown on human beings who outdo themselves in certain situations, it goes a long way to prove that if one is really motivated and has the zeal, there is absolutely nothing on earth that can prevent her/him from doing what might seem – to others - like a sheer miracle. This feeling was strengthened in no small measure as I watched a bunch of talented kids go way beyond their own previous performances, in a singing competition. One common factor – apart from the default challenge embedded in the program - that I noticed was that the trust bestowed in them by the program hosts and judges improved the kids’ confidence by leaps and bounds.

In an organizational context, the only challenge is that the situation(s) that inspires such a performance from people may differ from person to person. Some people can do wonders if they are allowed to lead, some are happier to follow, some can change things almost overnight if they are given a complete free hand, some people can do it amidst peer pressure, some people do it just for the love of their jobs etc. I believe that almost everyone is likely to come close to a miraculous performance if they are truly trusted to do a good job and told so; time and again. And, I am talking only about one dimension of trust….that associated with competence.

T- Tell them you trust them to perform. Give them all the information and support that may be required. Leave your doors open for advice if required

R – Rest assured that they will perform – the belief has to be genuine….only then will it show up in your natural behaviour with them

U – (make sure you) Understand the task and the competence required to perform it and do target a reasonable match between the task and the person (Obviously!)

S – Stay away from the person till the deadline is reached or at least a while before the deadline is reached, in case it is critical to ensure that everything’s fine in advance

T – (post the performance) Tell them that the trust you placed in them was completely justified and you’re proud of them while at the same time not allowing them to get completely carried away.